Wednesday, September 21, 2005

1 Corinthians 5:9 - 6:8

Once again Paul writes some exceptional messages in his letter to the Corinthians. I note a special message in verses 10 and 11 of chapter 5, "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. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, and idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat."

In these verses Paul makes it clear that we should not disassociate ourselves from unbelievers. If we did so how could we take the message of Jesus to these people? How could we fulfill one of Jesus' commandments to us? How could we share the message of salvation with them? Paul is telling us, however, that we should not associate with someone who calls himself or herself a Christian and at the same time still lives in sin. Such a person usually has a seemingly, at least seemingly on the surface, rationale for his or her actions. But always as we dig deeper we realize this rationale is unfounded. By rationalizing sin a person harms others for whom Christ died and dims the image of God in himself or herself. As a church, and as a community of Christians, we must be ready, willing, and able to correct, in a loving way, such people. This can be extremely hard to do. I know I find it hard to do - so hard in fact that I shy away for it. However, not only do they harm themselves but they harm all Christians - after all actions speak louder than words - thus we must do it.

Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

No comments: