7 June 2018

1 Corinthians 5
Proverbs 20

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.

1 Corinthians 5:11

Don’t judge me! How often do we hear these words from Christians? How many times have you thought them or spoken them? I’m certain I’ve done so countless times. There are many occasions in which it is appropriate to warn against ‘judgement’ among believers. But there are also times that it is appropriate to judge among God’s people. When ungodliness is plain to see among us, we are to judge. As Paul wrote: ‘What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.’”(verse 12-13)

The judgement made among God’s people is not frivolous and neither is it done light-heartedly. It is a serious matter which needs serious intent. Why? Because it spreads (verse 6) and because Christ died to make us a new people, not corrupted by sin (verse 7). It also doesn’t honour the name by which we are called: ‘Christ-ian.’ While we are called to judge among God’s people we must do so remembering Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:3: ‘Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam in your own eye?’ The call to godliness rests on each of us who claim to belong to Christ and so we #readthebibleslowly and reflect on our own sin. Are we as in verse 11 ‘sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or swindler’? Of course there is much more to dwell on in scripture but we know in our conscience where we fall short. So we pray and flee ungodliness.

If there continues to be ungodliness among us, we, with fear and trepidation, must remove it from among us. But not for condemnation (verse 5), but in the hope that they will turn back to God and be saved on the day of the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, pour out your mercy on us, that by your Spirit we may turn from ungodliness. Give us the courage to walk with one another in love and holiness. And keep us pure as a people so that we would live in the light and reveal your character to a dark world. In Your Holy Name, Amen.