A Time for Tough Decisions

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!

Honor Your Body

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?  Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?  For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’  But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:13b-20

There was a time looking at verse 20 “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”  I thought that that was all inclusive.  Meaning if I had eating issues I was not honoring God with my body. But if you look in context of the scripture that is not what it is saying.

Let’s start at verse 12 and go to 13a:

“‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial.  ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.  ‘Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food’ – but God will destroy them both.”

As far as food is concerned the question is not is it permissible but is it beneficial. I had allowed food to become my master and that is where the problem is.  Nothing should be master over me other than my Precious Lord.

So the question then came to me if eating right was no longer how I honored God with my body what was it?  I had to look at the scripture in context and then it became very simply to know what God wanted of His children.  He even says it. “Flee sexual immorality!”

I’ve been single for 22 years and I know that this isn’t always a popular topic in any community to talk about.  In the secular community it isn’t politically correct to talk about sexual immorality.  As a matter of fact it is believed that sexual freedom is a part of our constitutional rights.

But those of us that follow God’s law are called to a higher standard.  We are called to sexual purity.  There is no place for sex outside of marriage!  It is Biblical.  It breaks my heart when I hear of Christians struggling in this area.  Not to say that I haven’t in my past but we have the fruits of the Spirit to help us one being self-control.

From my experiences if I go beyond where I can remain pure in not just body but mind as well, I’m sunk and self-control is out the window.  So I had to look at where my boundaries are for dating, since this recently became part of my life.  What can I do that will keep me pure physically and mentally.

This took some rigorous honesty with myself.  Is holding hands okay?  Is having his arm around me okay?  Yes as long as it is above the waste.  Is hugging alright? Definitely!  Is cuddling alright?  I think so.  Is kissing on the lips alright?  For me this is where I had to stop.  Kisses are very sexual to me and my mind then runs wild and sometimes my body.  So should it be God’s will that will wait for the man I marry, on my wedding day.

And oh will it be worth it!  You see I want to be as pure as possible and I want to do my best to avoid any traps the enemy may try to put in my way.  I want to be pleasing to God.

I also know that once the physical starts the talking and friendship development starts to suffer if you start to get to hot and heavy too fast.  With the right man I’ll have a lifetime for that.  But to find the right man is the most important thing and I don’t want to eliminate the courtship of learning about each other as friends and caring for that person without sex getting in the way.

I know my ways may sound foreign to many of you but I’m confident of this that my desires to please God and honor Him will be blessed.

If your in a relationship do yourself and your partner a favor and talk about what are your boundaries.  Do yourself the greatest favor and before you get together pray and seek God to help you find what is the best set of boundaries for you.  Then you can come together and see if you can honor one another’s boundaries.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!