Highlights In Today's Reading:
Refrain from spiritual pride and open sin (chap. 5 — 6). Power in the Blood (5:7)! Marriage 𣺝" according to the Lord (chap. 7). Our Christian walk weakens or strengthens others (8:8-13). Be careful not to deprive the Lord's anointed ones of their reasonable support (9:9-14). Strive to go the distance for the Lord (9:24).
It was reported to Paul that immorality existed in the church at Corinth. One member was committing fornication or adultery with his father's wife (5:1). Paul urged them to immediately discipline and excommunicate the guilty fornicator in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (5:4-5).
The need to be more sensitive as to how our lives affect our witness in the world is important. But, how our lives affect our church and Christian friends is critical; no sin is an isolated event. Still more serious is how our lives affect our relationship with God. I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. . . . put away from among yourselves that wicked person (5:11-13).
If the members of the church do nothing, it encourages the sinner to rationalize his sin as acceptable; it will then spread like a cancer within the congregation.
To leave things as they are in the interest of peace represents a stand for what the Bible clearly condemns.
Because of the seriousness of sin, the Apostle Paul again said: Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God (6:9-11). Sin must be forsaken.
While the Bible views sex as a gift of God between a married man and woman, which can bring happiness and fulfillment only within the marriage relationship, many treat sex as no more than a physical appetite to be satisfied whenever convenient with consenting adults. Paul wrote of the need to give yourselves (unhindered) to fasting and prayer (7:5).
There are times when a spiritual need from God should supersede all other considerations.
Paul said: Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (I Cor. 7:5).
Thought for Today:
Thy Word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it (Ps. 119:140).
5:11 a railer =one who is verbally abusive, a reviler; 6:9 effeminate =male homosexual who takes the feminine role; abusers of themselves with mankind =sodomites; 7:1 not to touch a woman =not to marry; 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other =do not deprive each other of marital rights; 7:12 let him not put her away =let him not leave her or divorce her; 7:32 without carefulness =free from anxieties.
For I Cor. 6:16: See Gen. 2:24. I Cor. 9:9: See Deut. 25:4.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Officials: Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Jr. (MD) and Gov. John Lynch (NH) • Country: Malta (388,000) about 60 miles south of Sicily • Major languages: Maltese and English • Religious freedom • 97% Christian; 1.7% non-Religious/other; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding as you read the Word of God (Ps.. 119:73).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:27