Time Alone With God daily devotion: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

Time Alone with God daily devotion

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

9 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[a] 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.”[b]

Read: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Consider: We need to take another look at 1 Corinthians 5 in order to address our relationship with those who do not claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I am grieved when I hear Christians slandering those they consider to be outside of the faith. I often hear hateful language from self-professing Christians toward those they seem to despise—people they believe to be immoral. But Paul could not be clearer…

     “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” (1 Corinthians 5:12)

In other words, if you don’t think they’re Christians, you have no right whatsoever to judge them. He goes on to say…

     “Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12)

We should not be angry with those we think are non-believers. We should be angry with believers who show contempt for them. When I’m judging sinners, I’m out of step with the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Corinthians 5. When I’m condemning hate speech from believers, I’m in harmony with the words of Jesus and Paul. (Paul particularly singles out the believer who is “a slanderer”—5:11).

Now, let’s keep perspective. When Paul encourages us to judge those on the inside, he’s not talking about brothers and sisters who are struggling in their walk with Christ. Throughout his letters he’s very clear that we are to be patient with and watch out for those brothers and sisters who are weak in their faith. We are constantly encouraged to forgive one another and to be tolerant of each other’s failures. It is obvious from the context of 1 Corinthians 5:12 (see the entire chapter and yesterday’s devotional) that Paul is talking about blatant, arrogant hypocrisy—the kind of “yeast” that can work through the church and destroy weak believers.

It comes back to the beginning point. I must start with me. I should have no patience with slander, hate or a judgmental spirit emanating from my life. If I hold myself accountable to the command to love, and if I’m humbly asking God to help me with my planks, then I will have the vision necessary to love those outside the faith and be helpful with the specks of sawdust inside the body of Christ.

Pray: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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