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1CORINTHIANS 5:1-5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

This is a tough one. One things for sure though, Paul is writing to Christians about their not making the choices Christians should. In fact, we never see Paul talking to someone outside the church about the need to behave better than they do - even though Paul is writing to Christians in a very debaucherous city: Corinth. It's the Christian he holds to a higher standard because right behavior and thinking is a response to knowing the love of God, experiencing the forgiveness of Jesus and being motivated by the Spirit of God. Only God in us and with us makes us willing and able to be "good." Only God's followers "hunger and thirst for righteousness."

So why do we/I so often expect non-Christians to abide by our standards for marriage, business ethics, war and peace, child raising etc? Are we wrong to do so? Is it possible to pass laws or stage protests tat can actually change a leopard's spots? Is it OK to MAKE someone outside our club behave as we should without their wanting to? These are just some of the questions we'll wrestle this week as we discuss 1 Corinthians 5 at ikon. We start around 8 PM every Tuesday at the People's Church in Franklin, TN. Stop by sometime.


Blogger Kathryn said...

amazingly i just read this chapter this afternoon, in fact it was the last thing i read.

Blogger GrovesFan said...

Man! We just talked about this on Sunday. Our pastor is teaching a series on the prodigal son and used this passage to say pretty much the same thing. We cannot hold the unbeliever to the same standard because they "don't get it" so-to-speak. I'd like to be at IKON for this one, but unfortunately, I live too far away and I'm too old to get in the door.


Blogger Mrs.B said...

I think we approach people from the wrong angle when we try to correct their behavior before we introduce them to the love and grace of God. Living "right" does a person no good unless it stems from a relationship with God. In fact I think it gives people the wrong impression of God. Instead of seeing God as a loving God full of grace they see him as the bad guy who just wants to boss people around.

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Mrs. B, I agree. God has standards, absolutely, but He alone can inspire and empower us to keep those standards. So, without Him, His love, power, forgiveness etc, there's no point in even discussing the standard. The should do's become want to's when we believe God is good first.

Ezekiel 36 tells us it's the SPIRIT of God that moves us to obey God's commands. Those without the Spirit can never want to or be able to meet his standards for "good."

I wonder if the reason why we still try to apply our standard to those outside of the church's jurisdiction is A)not knowing what I and Mrs.B just stated or B)control issues C)fear (which is related to B is it not?) D)arrogance, E) other

What do you think. When I do it, it's plain old B because of C.


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