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Old 07-23-2009, 10:51 AM
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PaulB PaulB is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The Northwest of England
Posts: 158
Default 1 Cor 5

It makes a lot of sense Amanda!

I have also seen it where an act of gross immorality gets consolidated to such an extent that the brother or sister who comes along with true spiritually restoring compassion gets rejected as the legalist. Tears and emotion are not always the true sign of spiritual sorrow, they can often be the result of the person’s regret of being found out. Now in Corinth it is the case that the guy was lead to repentance as a result of Paul’s harsh rebuke (but that was for the good of the entire assembly). To be handed over to satan is quite a serious matter!

A smile, a hug or a listening ear alone aren’t always true acts of love, as these things can often be the obstacles that stops any spiritual maturity from taking place on the offender’s part and eventually result in preventing the leaven from ever getting purged out. Before you know it – the followers of Christ are suddenly found to be in the minority within their won church!

When we consider the cost of our salvation that it took Christ (who had no sin) to suffer the righteous wrath and indignation of God as the only possible way to save our souls (whilst maintaining His justice). Then this not only shows how seriously God treats sin it also shows how central to our existence (as a church) this act is. So in order to communicate the fundamental heart of the gospel message to a lost world, the integrity of the body of people who are representing that truth is of extreme importance in accomplishing this.

Many people today preach the gospel of acceptance “God loves you and has a wonderful plane for your life and accepts you just as you are” (which is partly true and yet so erroneous at the same time that it is an extremely dangerous foundation from which appeal). The first century church proclaimed a Jesus that made people appeal to God for acceptance, as many today are preaching a message where God is appealing to people for acceptance.

The truth of the matter is that people firstly need to accept Jesus as He truly is before they start making claims of adherence! It is not all about “the unaware” accepting Jesus, it is all about Jesus accepting them!

Too many today are labelling themselves as believers when in truth they don’t actually believe the truths that they claim to believe!

It is important to remember that the first century believers didn’t go around giving themselves titles – they were given them because of what they believed!

Acts.11: “….And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

In other words they earned the name (even if it were in a disparaging way) they didn’t have to produce one for themselves!

Now, no believer (or any, as a matter of fact) is perfect, but I do believe that we are the evidence of what we believe. When a “little leaven” is spotted by “those who are spiritual” it is an act of love to restore such a one, firstly because of Christ’s love for them and secondly because of the testimony of the rest of those who may be tarnished by their wanderings.

But if a brother is exposed to be false by the world then that does more damage than can possibly be imagined. For instance when you look at some of the tele evangelists that have been exposed by the media as frauds or adulterers how quick are the world to jump on us when they hear of it?

The testimony of the church is vital to the success of its mission. People are not fools, they know the genuine article when they see it, and even if they reject it they do so knowing that they don’t want it. And those who accept it can rest assured that they've found it!


God bless

PaulB
 

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