Tuesday, 7/4/2017

Hello, My Fellow Americans,

Do you remember who said that on their newscasts? It has been a long time ago and it probably tells my age. I can remember his voice in my brain saying those words…his name was Paul Harvey. As with many other newscasters, they had their own special ways of announcing the news. It is my opinion that he was so well liked many decades ago…people identified with and were proud to be Americans. Today there is such a negative attitude about being American. People have been burning the American flag, demonstrating about many issues in our country, and even degrading our U.S. President over the past decades. Honor of our soldiers has been lost, ridiculing our people serving in public office, and disregarding and supporting our police officers and firemen is often heard by people in our cities.

Be it known that I am proud to be an American. I know that not all is perfect and even far from perfect in our country. There is a lot of turmoil and chaos in our land. Disrespect for those who serve our cities, states, and federal government is a part of our culture. Respect for one another is at an all-time low. It is time for us to pray to our God to ask Him to help us be faithful to Him in these times of political unrest and spiritual decay. May God help us to shine for Him to the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ! May continue to bless America!!!

1 Corinthians 5:11-13 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[a] whom you are to judge? 13I do not write these things to make you ashamed but to admonish you as my beloved children. (ESV)

Subject: Judging Others on the Inside

The Bible does say, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). And, it was Jesus who stated those very words. Why is Paul speaking about judging people? He is not talking about judging outsiders, but those who are inside the church. The word for “judge” means to decide right or wrong and to pass judgment on those inside the church.

He is not talking about slandering (insulting, maligning, smearing someone’s name) or gossiping (telling rumors or falsehoods) about other people, but evaluating and coming to a conclusion about people with sin. It is speaking about sin (missing the mark) against God and not personal preferences that we might have.

The judgments that we are to make should be based upon the Word of God and not opinion. It is not easy to stand upon the Bible and make judgmental statements about individuals (those inside) the church. Paul has just talked about the man living with his step mother and having immoral relations with her. Paul makes a strong statement: “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Does that statement sound like a declarative statement or a command? The word “purge” is an imperative (a command). It means to remove that morally corrupt person away from the church. But what if it is your relative or your best friend? That would not be easy to do if you were on the church board, would it? Paul does not delight in saying what he just wrote to them about taking this action against this man.

The sin is an obvious missing the mark. It is not about preferences or opinions, but about facts. It is coming to a conclusion of deciding whether it is right or wrong biblically. Your final answer is based upon Scripture, not emotions or whether it feels good or not. Are you willing and able to make some hard conclusions about people and sin as a godly believer in Christ? It is never easy, but it is always consistent with God’s Word.

Paul writes these challenging word to admonish (warn, instruct) his beloved spiritual children. He does not write these things to embarrass (make them ashamed). He cares about each of them and he wants the very best for the believers as a whole in Corinth.

Standing for HIM,

Pastor Les

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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