Time Alone With God daily devotional: 1 Corinthians 5

Time Alone With God daily devotional

1 Corinthians 5

New International Version (NIV)

Dealing With a Case of Incest

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,[a][b] 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.”[d]

Start

Consider: As you can see from even a quick reading of 1 Corinthians 5, the Corinthian church had some major problems. The situation outlined here is mind-boggling. People in the church (perhaps even some of their leaders) who claimed piety were engaging in gross immorality. There was no repentance there. Paul was shocked—“And you are proud!” (5:2). And so, says Paul, “I have already passed judgment on the one who did this” (5:3). This may feel at odds with Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount when he told us not to judge. But it really is in harmony with Jesus’ approach to sin and to sinners.

You’ll notice that throughout Jesus’ ministry he showed great patience with sinners, but great anger toward hypocrisy. He was tender and forgiving toward tax collectors and prostitutes. But some pretty fiery rhetoric came from his lips directed at the religious, judgmental Pharisees. Why would he say to religious people, “tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31)? It all had to do with authenticity.

When we come to Jesus acknowledging our sinfulness and our incredible need for grace, he accepts us without condemnation. This is the nature of God.

     “A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

     “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit…” (Isaiah 66:2)

This is what Jesus meant when he began the Sermon on the Mount with these words…

     “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

We should never fear the wrath of God when we humbly seek his forgiveness and his grace. We should never fear condemnation when we live in relationship with him, knowing that we will always depend on his grace and never on our own righteousness. But we should fear for our souls when we flout his grace with arrogance and hypocrisy.

If you remember the plank in your own eye and your need of grace, you’ll be okay.

Pray:  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

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