Read I Corinthians 5 -- 9
The Bible makes a distinct difference between Christian and pagan lifestyles. It was reported to Paul that immorality existed in the lives of members in the Church at Corinth. Although it was apparently common knowledge, no one was saying or doing anything about it. One member was committing fornication or adultery with his father's wife (I Corinthians 5:1), which would mean that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with his stepmother. Whether his father was still alive is not indicated. Paul admonished them to immediately excommunicate the offending member: In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and (along with) my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (5:4-5).
It is vital that we be sensitive as to how our lives affect our witness in the world. In addition to that, the consequence of how our lives affect the Church and our Christian friends is critical. Still more serious is how our lives affect our relationship with God: I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or an extortioner; with such an one not even to eat (with them). . . . Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person (5:11-13).
When the leaders of the Church allow obvious ongoing sin among the members, it encourages a sinner to rationalize and excuse his sin and then continue his immoral lifestyle. Consequently, the decision to say or do nothing, merely in the interest of peace, would be in opposition to what God has said in the Bible.
Because of the inevitable result of sin, 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. And such were some of you (6:9-11). The key word here is WERE because they had forsaken their sins and had received Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. But Paul went on to say: You are washed, but you are sanctified . . . by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11).
Word Studies: 5:11 railer means slanderer; 6:9 effeminate means homosexual perversion; abusers of themselves means sodomites; 7:1 not to touch a woman means not to have sexual relations with a woman; 7:5 Defraud not one the other means do not deprive each other of marital rights; 7:12 put her away means divorce her; 7:32 without carefulness means free from anxieties.
For I Corinthians 6:16: See Gen. 2:24. I Cor. 9:9: See Deut. 25:4.
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Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 6:11