Yes, God calls us to love one another but He is also a holy God and wants His Church to be holy as well. Paul gives us an example of when we must make a tough decision for the health of the Body and for the ultimate well being of the believer. And for those watching to see if we are truly different.
1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among the pagans: A an has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even 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. 4When 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, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 5:1-5
Paul is clearly telling us here that there are times that we must judge for the sake of the Church Body and for the sake of the one caught in the sin. Not to lord it over them but humbly in a hope to bring restoration in the end.
If we allow sin to run ramp hit in the Church than we are hypocrites and no different than the world. This is why Paul writes on this subject because when one who is caught in a sin and is unrepentant, not willing to turn away from it, then the rest of the body must stand up for holiness and approach the one caught in the sin.
In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul gives us instruction on how to handle a brother caught in sin.
9I have written in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-10not at all meaning people of this world who are immoral, or greedy and swindlers, or idolators. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolator or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man you must not even eat.
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked from among you.
These are never fun decisions but they are vital to the health of the body of the Church. When we do not make these difficult decisions and they are found out that is when the Church looks like a bunch of hypocrites.
We must be a pillar of light standing in the darkness. But if we allow the darkness to live among us our light will go out and we are useless to anyone and victim to the wrath of God for not doing His will and protecting His church.
We must call ourselves to a calling more stringent than that of the world. Yes God is a God of love and mercy and when someone comes back truly repentant then we can accept them back into the fold. But if they are rebellious and don’t care that they are sinning it is time to cut ties. This is how the Body of Christ stays away from hypocrisy. Let’s be deligent in this difficult task for the good of the Body of Christ.
Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!