Bible Reading Day 236
Day 236: August 24 (1 Corinthians 5)
Today Paul directly addresses the scandal in the church at Corinth. The context shows us that there was a member of the church who was in an immoral relationship and flaunted it as a sign of spiritual tolerance.
By contrast, Paul says they should not be tolerating such behavior but should instead put the unrepentant person out of the church.
As we read, it is important to remember that Corinth is an Ancient Greek city with that culture, where sexual immorality was common and accepted. But Paul says this form of immorality (incest with his stepmother) was not even accepted by the pagans. So much of what Paul writes can be misunderstood today as Christians being intolerant of others, and condemning of sin. In fact, all Paul is saying is “there is a culture clash between the values of the culture and the values of Jesus; you cannot tolerate a brother in Christ exchanging the power of God for the power of sin.”
Paul draws a clear distinction between judging those who do not believe (which is God’s prerogative) and those who have accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation. Paul says we are to judge those inside the church – not in the sense of condemning every sin we can find, but in the sense of allowing ourselves to take heart-broken action when someone turns their back on godly principles while still claiming to follow Jesus.
For too long Christians have pointed the finger at those who are still trapped in sin, condemning them, while overlooking those in sin who are also in the church, tolerating them.
We are called to be holy – set apart for God – and that means we can’t accept sinful behavior in the church, nor can we condemn outcasts to stay that way.
Have a great day!