I Corinthians 5 -- 9
The Apostle Paul exposed a distinct difference between the Christian and pagan lifestyles as he wrote to the Corinthian Church about their attitude toward condoning sin among their members. It was reported to Paul that immorality existed in the life of the Church. 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 no longer living is not indicated, but Paul is saying that they must immediately excommunicate the offending brother: In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and My Spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (5:4-5).
The need to be more sensitive as to how our lives affect our witness in the world is important. But, 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 who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. . . . Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person (5:11-13).
As the members of the Church do nothing, it encourages the sinner to rationalize his sin and to do nothing about it. Consequently, the effort to leave things as they are in the interest of peace represents a stand against what God has said.
Because of the seriousness 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: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (6:9-11).
While the Bible views sex as a gift of God which can only bring happiness and fulfillment within the marriage relationship, there are many in our secular society that view sex as no more than a physical appetite to be satisfied. 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. Prayer and fasting will bring results that are not attainable any other way.
The importance of the listening aspect of prayer is too often overlooked. In prayer, the ear, not the tongue, should be of first concern. The tongue is trained through the ear. What the ear allows into the mind, the tongue gives out. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
For I Corinthians 6:16: See Gen. 2:24. I Cor. 9:9: See Deut. 25:4.
Government Official: Rep. Robert Ehrlich, Jr. (MD) · Pray for Wallbuilders Inc. and David Barton · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Edgar Sargent · Country: Lesotho (2 million) within the east-central part of the Republic of South Africa · Major languages: Sesotho and English · Limited religious freedom · 43% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 6% ancestor worship, divination, and spirit-possession cults · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Numbers 14:13-19).
Memory Verse for the Week: