“The Christian ‘army’ is the only one that seems to shoot its wounded”
You have heard the phrase above, and if you have ever been one of the ones “shot”, you
know that it stings. We must remember that the church is not a club for the righteous; it is a spiritual hospital for sinners because all Christians are still sinners, even though they are forgiven. However even hospitals have isolation units for highly contagious sicknesses. Unlike what the world assumes, the church is not a place for “doing good works” to get to heaven, it is a place to honor Christ for dying for us to forgive our sin. Because of our human tendencies to religious legalism, it is true that every Christian is a hypocrite to one degree or another whether secretly or obviously. We all have sin issues which we deal with daily, so the feeling of being “shot” by another sinner stings all the more. But there are good reasons for church discipline. Only when we see sin from God’s perspective can we understand church discipline’s necessity and submit to it with the goal of restoration of sinners into fellowship with God and one another. Jonathan Edwards said that “We should never be surprised to hear that a Christian sins.” We all sin as our old nature is still with us.
Expel the Immoral Brother!
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. 2 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? 3 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. 4 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, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who died to forgive your sin and remove you out from under the power and authority of Satan who is constantly tempting you. I know that you will sin as that is in your old nature, but you must choose to die daily to its evil desires, and “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Encourage each other in the church to die to sin and live for my Spirit’s control; it is one or the other not both.
I AM the Holy God and I desire my children to be holy as well before this wicked world. Just as I gave my commands to Israel who were my representatives to the world so that they would walk uprightly before the wicked people of the day as a peculiar people and a holy nation, so too, I gave my Spirit to control you in holiness from the heart, not just by outward conformance so that the world would desire what I have given you and thus come to me for forgiveness. This is why sin cannot be permitted to run unchallenged in my congregation. It is my testimony which is tarnished by your sin and hypocrisy. People avoid me when my children live in obvious sin.
Sin cost Christ his life
When you realize that Adam’s original sin in the Garden is what brought the imposed penalty of death – (defined as separation from God), along with its manifestations of diseases, sickness, the curse, and all other manner of hardships we face on a daily basis; it stands to reason why the only cure for sin on a global scale is the voluntary sacrificial death of God himself in Christ to satisfy the required payment which he imposed. Jesus is the only one with the power, love and ability to set things right which he did on the cross but will finish ultimately when he comes to set up his kingdom on Earth. He came once to break the power of sin, the authority of Satan, and the finality of death but when he comes a second time, he will make right all wrong in the world under his righteous rule. Only God almighty can do this for us. Thus there is no such thing as victimless sin because all sin cost God the life of his Son by design.
Be holy as I am holy
As with the giving of the Law to Israel so that they would be holy among the nations, and could say come to us as we have the very words of life, so too, we believers, who are his church, his bride, and his representatives in the world today, are to be holy like him so as to show the world inner godliness is from a personal relationship with Christ. It results in a life so attractive that others want to be his children too. But when Christians live for selfish pleasure, it has the opposite effect and repels people from coming to Christ for salvation 1 Cor 15:34. God’s name is tarnished and those people choose to remain lost ashamedly because his children want to keep playing with sin and not abide in the Christ life. Thus the church, as his body, needs to discipline those members for the sake of the purity of body and glory of Christ in the eyes of the world. How can a church full of undisciplined sin reach out to sinful humanity and say follow us, we have the answers of life’s questions which you seek.
More to come,