Sunday, January 11, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 9 – Sinning Believers

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 9 – Sinning Believers
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We are looking at Paul's letters in order, first looking at Romans, and now I Corinthians.

In Paul's letter to the church congregation in Corinth, he has first addressed their issues over whom to follow, or who is the head of the church. Paul makes it completely clear; it is Christ Jesus, and no one else.

He explains that the teaching and wisdom of God comes from the Holy Spirit, and teachers and preachers are "laborers", whom build on the only true foundation, which is that of Jesus Christ crucified.

Last week Paul addressed humility; this week we read of an appeal and warning.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.and you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 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.
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.

                   I.            MORAL STANDARDS
a.      Sexual immorality in the Church
                                                                         i.      LIT. "Whoredom", meaning many sorts of immoral sexual activities.

                                                                      ii.      This was more widespread than a case or two, and word even got back to Paul about the immorality.

                                                                   iii.      Such was the case; it was even uncommon for the Gentiles, pagans, unsaved to act in these manners.

                                                                     iv.      This specific case is also spoken of in II Corinthians 7:12, Paul's third letter to the church and it appears from the text that this was a step-mother and step-son, and the father was still alive.

b.     The Corinthian pride
                                                                         i.      Some apparently tried to argue that this was permissible under the guise of their over-spiritualized view of Christian liberty.

                                                                      ii.      A danger which can take hold of a follower who strays from the word in order to chase the Spirit.

                                                                   iii.      They will find themselves over spiritualized with no grounding in the Word of God.

                                                                     iv.      Paul says, you should have been mourning this, not defending it.

c.      The actions should have been judged (corrected)
                                                                         i.      The individual should repent, or be taken from among the congregation.

               II.            JUDGMENT OF SIN
a.      A little yeast (sin) is not OK
                                                                         i.      Paul says "I have judged this case already"

                                                                      ii.      This does not contradict Jesus' instructions not to judge in Matthew 7:1-5, Paul is judging the "actions" of a believer, the "fruit" of a confessed follower, as we are told to do in Matthew 7:15-20.

b.     Get rid of your old yeast (sin)
                                                                         i.      The one confessing to be a follower, living in sin, who has refused to repent, must be set free from the church.

                                                                      ii.      The scripture says "hand them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the Day of Judgment."
1.      This means, cease all to do with the individual as far as "help". Paul implies to even stop prayer for them, because scripture tells us that the only prayer God will hear from the lost, is for salvation.

2.      They want their sin, and their actions confess Satan as their master, then release them to their master, in hopes that the sin will so negatively affect their flesh (earthly lives) that they will turn back to the Lord before death, and once again have salvation because they repent.

c.      Keep the festival
                                                                         i.      Paul explains that yeast in the festival represented this sin.

                                                                      ii.      We once kept the festivals in deed, a foreshadowing of the coming salvation found in Christ, but now we have Christ, let us rid ourselves of the old yeast, and be as unleavened bread.
            III.            SOCIAL RELATIONS
a.      Do not associate with these types of people
                                                                         i.      Sexually Immoral, greedy, swindlers, idolaters

b.     Not meaning "all" who sin, otherwise you would have to leave this world.
                                                                         i.      Rather, those who claim to be a follower of Christ, but is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler.

                                                                      ii.      Do not even eat with these people.

c.      I (Paul), do not judge those outside the church
                                                                         i.      God will judge them.

                                                                      ii.      However, Christ has commanded we judge (correct) those in the church who claim to be followers of Christ.

d.     What do you do when you find one who claims to be a follower but continues to live in sin?
                                                                         i.      Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 how we are to judge sin in the church.
1.      If your brother or sister sins, point out their fault just between the two of you.
a.      (In Corinthian Church's case: Brother, you are sleeping with your mother. Sexual immorality is a sin against God.)

2.      If they listen, you have won them over.

3.      If they will not listen, take one or two other believers with you, so that the correction may be established by two or three witnesses.

4.      If they still refuse to listen, tell the Elders of the church.

5.      If they refuse to listen to the Elders, there can be no fellowship.
a.      Paul states in I Corinthians 5:13 "Expel the wicked person from among you."


As Paul corrects the thinking of the church in Corinth, we need to look also at ourselves.

Paul says there should not be pride among us, because the only difference between us and the sinners of the world is Christ Jesus.

Although sin is everywhere in the world, we are not to allow it in the church among those who claim to be followers of Christ.

This does not exclude the "lost" who have not yet come to Christ, those sinners are more than welcome to come to church and discover a relationship with God.  However, when they claim Christ, and a relationship in Him through the covenant of His blood, they must repent when sin is revealed to them in their lives.

The difference between a believer and a lost person is this.  We both will be attacked with sin in our lives. The lost person (whether he confesses Christ or not) will continue to live in that sin, where as the follower of Christ, will repent of the sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us all pray that if there is something in our lives that is against God, He reveal it to us so that we may repent of it, and be in good standings with Him.

Remember, we can judge ourselves so that He won't judge us.

We can listen to our brothers and sisters correction, so that we may be in good faith.

We can accept the Word of God as our correction in the church, or we can refuse to repent, be cast out and judged by God on Judgment Day.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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