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1 Corinthians 5 (NIV)
Dealing With a Case of Incest
5 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. 2 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? 3 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. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 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. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 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. 8 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. 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 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.”
Why would the Corinthians be proud of such an immoral situation?
Lord, In Your Word, You provided standards of what behavior is acceptable and what is detestable to You. Throughout human existence, people have pushed Your limits and have done things that hurt You, hurt others, and degrade society as a whole. In today’s society, values, morals, and ethics have continued to deteriorate. Sinful behavior has become trendy and the popular thing to do. The Corinthian Christians thought that their acceptance of this man was saying something good about them. The same is true today where some churches are proud of taking a loving stance to accept sinful behavior and some feel pressured to giving in instead of grieving for how the corruption is eating away at the core of society. Christians and the Church are not enlightened when they look to change the standards that You have given us in Your Word. As the Church takes on the sinful characteristics as norm within the Church, it is no longer set apart, it ceases to exist as a Church, and loses its influence. Your Church is the place where healing and change should be encouraged. It is where sinners go to be exposed to Your holiness, to be freed from sin from the cross and to be transformed to holiness. Help the Church honor You by standing strong against evil. We, the Church, are called to minister and love the people who are trying to overcome alcoholism, addictions, sexual immorality, and corrupt behavior that is eating away our society. Today Lord, I come to you again and ask for your forgiveness and cleansing. I pray that Your Spirit raises up in Your people to be set apart from the sinful corruption of the world, and in Your churches to be that place where sins are not accepted but the sinners are welcomed. May your church be a holy place. Help me to lead a holy life. Amen