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Sermons--Corinthian Series

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                   A PLACE FOR CHURCH DISCIPLINE

1 COR. 5

INTRO:  WE LIVE IN TIME WHEN PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS—NOR DO THEY WANT TO BE JUDGED (EX: POEM OF MAN LOOKING IN MIRROR)—MORE POPULAR VERSE TODAY IS NOT JN.3:16 BUT MATT.7:1 “JUDGE NOT SO YOU WONT BE JUDGED” ---CHRISTIANITY IS BEING REPACKAGED TO PRESENT A GOD WITHOUT WRATH BRING ING PEOPLE WITHOUT SIN INTO A KINGDOM WITHOUT JUDGMENT THROUGH A CHRIST WITHOUT A CROSS---HOW CAN WE LIVE AS CHRIST’S FOLLOWERS UNLESS WE ACCEPT GOD’S REVEALED TRUTH ABOUT OURSELVES, OUR SIN & HOW HE HAS COME TO REDEEM US?  CHURCH DISCIPLINE IS VERY TOUCHY, SENSITIVE ISSUE—WHEN & HOW DO YOU DO IT?  WE DON’T WANT TO BE LEGALISTS OR SPIRITUAL POLICE—BUT NEITHER DO WE WANT TO BE SO TOLERANT THAT ANYTHING IS ACCEPTED—NOR DO WE WANT TO IGNORE BEHAVIOR BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TROUBLE. THE WORLD IS TO BE INFLUENCED BY THE CHURCH NOT VICE VERSA. CHURCH IS NOT PERFECT & WE NEED A HUMBLE ATTITUDE (1 COR. 10:12)  IN CH.4 PAUL URGED COR. TO IMITATE HIM IN HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN & SINNERS---DON’T GO BACK TO THE OLD WAY OF LIFE.  (HEB. 6:4-6) (2 PET.2:20,21)

I.                  A CALL FOR CHURCH DISCIPLINE

A. THE REPORT:  THE CHURCH WAS NOT SEEKING THE WISDOM OF GOD (CH.2)—THEY WERE WORLDLY, IMMATURE (CH.3)—NOW PAUL DEALT WITH SERIOUS REPORT—THIS WAS NOT A RUMOR OR GOSSIP—A WELL KNOWN FACT OF ON-GOING LIFE-STYLE—SOME IN THE CHURCH WANTED PAUL’S ADVICE

SEXUAL IMMORALITY (PORNEA) IS ANY SEXUAL PERVERSION. THIS ACCOUNT DEALS WITH INCEST AMONG CONSENTING ADULTS (MAN WITH STEPMOTHER)—PAUL POINTED OUT TO THEM THAT EVEN AMONG ROMANS & GRKS THIS WAS FORBIDDEN—YOU COULD BE EXPELLED FROM COR. FOR THIS. THE JEWS FORBID THIS (LEV. 18:7,8)(CAPITAL PUNISHMENT)—SO THIS WAS SERIOUS MATTER AFFECTING NOT ONLY THE PEOPLE INVOLVED BUT THE WITNESS OF THE CHURCH

B. THE REACTION: THIS BEHAVIOR WAS BENEATH THE STANDARDS OF THE GENTILE COMMUNITY. THE CHURCH KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON & TOLERATED IT—WE DON’T KNOW IF THERE WAS A DIVORCE OR DEATH BUT IT APPEARS WOMAN WAS NOT PART OF CHURCH SINCE PAUL DEALS ONLY WITH THE MAN. THE CHURCH SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRIEVING BUT THEY WERE PROUD—ITS POSSIBLE THIS MAN HAD WEALTH (THRU INHERITANCE) AND WAS A PATRON OF THE COMMUNITY—SO NO ONE WANTED TO CHALLENGE OR OFFEND HIM. BUT THESE BELIEVERS THOUGHT THEY WERE SPIRITUAL & ABOVE JUDGING ONE ANOTHER BUT THEY WERE SHOWING NO REAL LOVE OR COMPASSION FOR THEIR BROTHER

C. PAUL’S RESPONSE

1. DISCIPLINE FOR THE MAN’S OWN GOOD: THE CHURCH WAS PROUD OF ITS TOLERANT ATTITUDE TOWARD THIS MAN LIVING IN OPEN SIN—PAUL URGED THEM TO CUT-OFF THIS MAN FROM FELLOWSHIP. PAUL WAS NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT BUT HE WAS IN SPIRIT—HE DID THIS IN POWER/AUTHORITY OF JESUS’ NAME---“DELIVER/HAND OVER THIS MAN TO SATAN”—PAUL URGED THIS IN ANOTHER CASE (1 TIM. 1:20—HYMENAEUS & ALEXANDER REJECTED TEACHINGS OF THE FAITH & WERE TO BE HANDED OVER TO SATAN TO BE TAUGHT NOT TO BLASPHEME)---LISTEN: THERE ARE 2 KINGDOMS WANTING OUR ALLEGIANCE—THE KINGDOM OF GOD (LIGHT) AND THE KINGDOM OF SATAN (DARKNESS)—REMEMBER HE IS REAL ENEMY!  WHEN WE ACCEPT THE GOSPEL JESUS IS OUR LORD (COL. 1:12,13)---GOD’S KINGDOM IS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, JOY, PEACE IN HOLY SPIRIT (ROM.14:17)—THERE IS NO NEED FOR LEGALISM, POLICING---GODS WAY IS WAY OF FREEDOM, JOY (EX: ONE WOMAN TOLD OF LEADERS IN CHURCH WHO ACTED LIKE SECRET POLICE—THEY WOULD PEEK IN WINDOWS OF SCHOOL DANCE TO RECORD NAMES OF CHURCH YOUTH AND THEN ON SUNDAY CALL NAMES FROM PULPIT TO DISCIPLINE THE GUILTY—NO WONDER HER JOY FOR CHURCH WAS DESTROYED)   THE DISCIPLINE PAUL CALLED FOR IS LIKE PARENTS “GROUNDING” THEIR CHILD—THE PURPOSE IS TO CUT THEM OFF FROM NORMAL ACTIVITIES  OR BEING WITH THEIR FRIENDS—CAN BE VERY EFFECTIVE—WHEN AN ACTION AFFECTS HEALTH & WITNESS OF CHURCH IT MUST BE DEALT WITH.  THIS MAN COULD STILL COME & BE IN WORSHIP BUT HE WAS TO BE TREATED LIKE AN UNBELIEVER (EX: IN O.T. THOSE RITUALLY DEFILED WERE CUT-OFF FROM FELLOWSHIP—IF LEPERS (SYMBOL OF SIN) OUTSIDE CAMP)---FOR “DESTRUCTION OF FLESH”—THE MAN’S FOCUS WAS ON FLESH NOT SPIRIT—SO THIS ACTION WAS TO SHOW HIM HOW SERIOUS THIS SIN WAS—HE WAS GRIEVING SPIRIT, MOCKING HIS SALVATION AND MAKING GODS GRACE CHEAP.  THIS IS DIFFICULT TO DO—RISKY—THE PERSON CAN GET ANGRY, IGNORE YOU OR JUST WALK AWAY (GO TO ANOTHER CHURCH AND TAKE PROBLEM WITH HIM)—SOME MAY FILE LAWSUIT (WOMAN IN OK CHURCH OF CHRIST DID THAT IN EARLY 80’S)  TO BE OUTSIDE CHURCH IS A PICTURE OF BEING OUTSIDE HEAVEN—AGAIN THE GOAL IS RESTORATION/HEALING

2. THIS DISICPLINE WAS FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH: THE CHURCH DIDN’T REALIZE HOW SIN CORRUPTS—IT PENTRATES LIKE LEAVEN OR AS SICK CELL IN BODY SPREADS TO OTHER CELLS (EX: SIN OF ACHAN IN TAKING AI—THERE WAS SIN IN THE CAMP)—ITS BEEN SAID “THE SIN NO ONE DEALS WITH BECOMES THE SIN EVERYONE DEALS WITH”.  YEAST OR LEAVEN IS OFTEN A SYMBOL OF EVIL IN BIBLE. PAULS CONCERN WAS THE BODY COULD BE INFECTED WITH THIS ATTITUDE AND LOSE THEIR WITNESS—WORDS LIKE “WHOLE BATCH” (V.6) OR “BATCH WITHOUT YEAST” (V.7) REFERS TO ENTIRE BODY. PAUL USED THE ANALOGY OF PASSOVER—AT PASSOVER ALL LEAVEN WAS TO BE REMOVED FROM THE HOUSE—A THOROUGH SEARCH WAS TO BE MADE.  NOW PAUL SAYS CHRIST THE TRUE PASSOVER LAMB HAS BEEN SACRIFICED—SO WE KEEP THAT FESTIVAL—WHICH IS OUR DAILY WALK---LIVING FOR OUR LORD BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM SLAVERY OF SIN AND WE WANT TO MAKE JESUS ATTRACTIVE TO WORLD—ITS GIVING OUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES—ITS LIVING IN SINCERITY & TRUTH—WE ARE NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST AND SO WE LIVE LIKE IT!  PAUL WROTE AN EARLIER LETTER (WE DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER RECORD OF THAT) WHICH THE COR. MISUNDERSTOOD. PAUL DIDN’T MEAN THEY WERE TO CUT-OFF CONNECTIONS WITH  UNBELIEVERS—NOT TO BE HERMITS (IN MONASTERY OR CONVENT)—JESUS MET OFTEN WITH SINNERS/OUTCASTS—HE TOLD US WE ARE TO BE LIGHTS---SO WE BRING GOSPEL TO THOSE AROUND US (FRIENDSHIP EVANGELISM) AND THEN HELP BELIEVERS MATURE OUT OF SIN AS HABIT—WE CUT-OFF FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS LIVING IN SIN SO WE CAN HELP THEM TURN FROM SIN & KEEP CHURCH HOLY AS WITNESS TO THE HOLINESS OF GOD.  NO ONE LIKES DISCIPLINE—WE DON’T LIKE GIVING IT OR RECEIVING IT. BUT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY FOR EACH OTHER IN GODS FAMILY TO HELP SAVE, HEAL—NOT TO DESTROY, TEAR DOWN OR REJECT—IT IS AN ATTITUDE OF CARING/COMPASSION.  GOD WILL JUDGE THOSE OUTSIDE SPIRITUAL FAMILY. 

CONCLUSION:  STRINGED INSTRUMENTS MUST HAVE THEIR CORDS FASTENED SECURELY AND TIGHTENED SO THEY WILL GIVE THE PROPER SOUND---STEAM MUST BE CONFINED WITH PISTON/TURBINE TO MAKE MACHINERY WORK—A RIVER NUST BE DAMNED UP TO BE USED TO GENERATE POWER FOR ELECTRICITY—SO OUR LIVES MUST BE DICIPLINED IF WE ARE TO BE OF VALUE OR OF SERVICE IN THIS WORLD.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY—HE IS HOLY AND HE HAS CALLED US TO BE HOLY!

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