Sermon Recap 08.21.11
Last Sunday we examined 1 Corinthians 5 and explored the significance of heeding the company we keep with discernment. Paul continues to impress upon the Corinthians that they must think biblically rather than culturally. He emphasizes, “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV). Corinth was a pagan society accustomed to rampant sexual immorality, so Paul chiefly addresses the issue of sexual sin in this chapter. He explains that sexual sin cannot be subjectively judged based on a person’s background or situational circumstances. There are simply no exceptions to Scripture’s explicit depiction of sexual morality. Therefore, any type of sexual activity outside of a husband/wife relationship within a marriage covenant rebels against righteous behavior, and is thus inherently evil. All deviations are sinful and corrupt, regardless of personal justifications. In 1 Corinthians 5:5, Paul urges the church to cast out of fellowship an unrepentant member who is sleeping with his father’s wife, as Paul says, “Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” Hence, at times it is imperative to approach unrepentant members in such a way and “hand them over to Satan.” To hand someone over to Satan is to revoke his or her privilege of fellowship with the church and to refuse to nurture him or her in a life of unrepentant, habitual sin. The hope for the outcast member is this: that he or she may eventually miss the church, realize his or her sin, seek repentance, and return to the church. In response to the controversial subject of judgment, Matthew 7:01, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” is often quoted out of context. It is essential to note that this verse is not prohibiting Christians from judging what is sinful behavior; rather, it is speaking out against the hypocrisy of judging someone else’s sin while you are currently engaged in the same sin! When you wholeheartedly commit to your faith and walk with Jesus, you will need to engage in active moral evaluations; however, Paul contends that you must first judge yourself before judging others (1 Corinthian 5:9-13). If you are a Christian, have repented of your sin, and desire to progress in actively living out your faith, you can get involved in discipleship, biblical counseling, or growth groups.
Take It Further
Next week, we will begin our study with 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul addresses the issue of church members going to the law “against one another” (1 Corinthians 6:6). Join us this Sunday at 9am or 11am at the Linfield campus, where the pastor will expound on this text.