“It is not my business to judge those who are not part of the church. God will judge them. But you must judge the people who are part of the church. The Scripture says, “You must get rid of the evil person among you.”
1 Cor. 5:12-13
We live in time of staggering sin. It’s saturating everything and everybody— the world, and the Church . Our rebellion has gone viral. We’ve been so inured and taken by it we find we just can’t imagine thinking apart from its influence. Two generations ago things were astonishingly simple. Todays sin has gotten superbly sophisticated— or has it?
Paul in his note to the Corinth church was compelled to point out a few things. The culture in Corinth was like a communal ‘sheep dip’. Everyone went through it. It saturated everything— it soaked everyone, from head-to-toe.
This extreme atmosphere of sin pushed Paul to take a stand. Most likely he would never had to do this. But, the conditions demanded he respond to the sin that was raging everywhere. And perhaps by doing this publicly, he could see people saved from feeling ‘the flames’.
The Church in 1 Cor. 5 felt that they were doing the right thing by accepting people living in continuous sin. It seems as if their liberal hearts were opened to receive sinners of all varieties. In their thinking, this made themselves as the Corinthian church quite remarkable, maybe even exceptional.
Paul however, will not be manipulated by human logic. He instead presses us with him, to the good and the true. He admits (point blank, mind you) that he has no authority over the lost, the secular, and the world. He has nothing, ‘zilch’ to say about the way the heathen behave. “It’s none of my business’ says Paul. And he turns, and walks away.
We Christians, as believers however, are his business. Paul, like a great ‘lens,’ focuses on you, and on me. As part of the Church we are brought under its oversight and its direction. It dictates to us now what is proper for us– acceptable, and honoring. But the ‘worldling’, he goes free, doing whatever he desires. We however, come into a direct and sure correction of our ways.
What is your sphere of influence, and how far does it extend? For Paul, he recognized his boundries. And we must see ours. The urge to intervene is very strong. We must back off. But even though we detach from our worldly commitments, we are still to be a strong, sure light in their midst. But we are not to be the judges of this world system. But the Church is a whole other matter.