Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 5-6
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Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The Amish call the practice of separating a person from the congregation “shunning.” Paul, in 5:11-13, gives a list of those who are to be set aside from participating in the congregation. There is another list in 6:8-10. The leaders of the church in Corinth had written to Paul, who had founded their church, to ask him for his guidance in handling these most difficult matters (7:1). Why would Paul be so strict? The answer is found in 5:6-8. If we can find the time, we might do well to reread the words in the references listed here. Leaven, or yeast, will cause the bread to rise well above the pan, unless checked by the heat of baking. Unchecked, it can make quite a mess. Sin, unless checked, will eventually infect the whole loaf, the church, the family, the individual life, and even the life of our country. The role of government is to stop evil from spreading out of control. More about that tomorrow. We might want to pray for a turn around in the health of huge numbers of people infected by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sexual promiscuity is the root cause of this modern epidemic. May God help us to be faithful to one man, one woman marriage, or else remain chaste as a single person.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I’m well aware that sin is not just those actions mentioned in Paul’s lists. I often think of Your Word that says, “To know to do good and to not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Anything less than Your perfect plan for the human family is sin. Therefore, I have no problem agreeing with the Apostle John in 1 John 1:8-9. Thus, I ask for Your constant forgiveness and Your cleansing action in my life. In Your Holy Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
When I was a very young minister, my hero in the ministry, Tom Johnstone, shocked me with this story. He was a Pastor in Montreal when he discovered one of the prominent men in his church was unfaithful to his wife. Here’s what happened! Pastor Johnstone, a one-time boxer, took this man by the lapels of his suit coat and said, “With the spiritual authority God has given me as your Pastor, I now deliver you unto Satan for the destruction of your flesh, so that your spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (5:5). The man fell to his knees, repented before God and his Pastor, and later to his wife, and the woman with whom he had committed this sin. God forgave him and so did his wife. That family was restored. His flesh was destroyed in that he, by his godly sorrow, identified with Christ in death. In Galatians 2:20 Paul writes, “I am crucified with Christ.” In Romans 6:11, Paul writes, “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I’ve never been brave enough to do what Tom Johnstone did, but I’ve seen the same results in a number of wayward men. I’ve knelt beside them and prayed fervently for the gift of repentance, and for the power of God to deliver them from evil. I know God answers prayer. AMEN!!!!!
Yours for living right before God and people,