Summary: Our Past, Sanctification, The Holy Spirit, Justification
1 Corinthians 6:1-11 (p. 795) June 15, 2014
How broken does something have to be to be really broken? Can something be so broken it’s beyond restoration? Both really important answers depend on what we’re talking about.
If you’re talking about the visor in your car being broken...it really doesn’t stop the whole vehicle. If you’re talking about a completely rusted out 54 Desoto that’s different.
We have a tendency to judge brokenness in terms of our own brokenness and also how society judges brokenness. The Catholic Church uses two terms for sins: “mortal” sins (really bad ones that will damn your soul) and “venal” sins (little ones that aren’t good, but won’t send you to Hell). Major sins and minor sins.
Do you know who commits major sins: other people. And do you know who commits minor sins: ME!
But God’s Word says in the book of James “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For He who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder you have become a law breaker...(Then there’s a command) Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:10-13) pg 848
James says God’s rules are like a “Waterford crystal vase” you break the handle or the spout and you’ve broken it all beyond use.
You might not have murdered, but if you’ve lied or coveted, you’ve become a spiritual criminal. One separates us from a relationship with God just as much as the other. We don’t like that because murder has much more terrible worldly consequences than idolatry. But spiritually, they both separate us as lawbreakers.
I think this is important for us to understand as we read
1 CORINTHIANS 6:1-11 (p. 795 – Read Here)
You see, we cannot expect those people who are outside the kingdom to live like they’re in it. But, we should expect repentant and redeemed people to live like it.
I. OUR RELATIONSHIPS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
Corinth was a church absolutely packed with people like me...people with pasts. There weren’t any “grown up in church” kids at Corinth. Each of the people who made up this congregation were hopeless messes that had been saved. All of them were like the Samaritan Woman at the well. So much so that “mortal sins” were common. And there was a man sleeping with his father’s wife (1 Cor. 5:1). And, the Corinthians were proud of the fact they were “tolerant” of this sin. They treated it as “no big deal.”
Paul says “you should have been in mourning. You should have handed him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” Your boasting...your tolerance of this sin...it’s harmful to the body of Christ, because a little leaven, leavens the whole loaf. Sin will be treated as if “Oh well, so what, It’s not as bad as Levi’s (You know he’s living with his father’s wife).
Listen to what Paul writes...it introduces our text.
1 CORINTHIANS 5:9-13 (p. 795)
Those who claim to be your brother and sister in Christ but are sexually immoral, greedy, idolaters, slanderers, drunks or swindlers...Don’t hang out with them.
The problem is we in the American Church won’t share our lives with each other. Maybe a few, but church discipline is treated so cautiously it’s never done, or not done effectively. We don’t want to judge. We’d rather be tolerant. But what happens when you have never dealt with gossip or as Paul calls it (slandering). It not only gets a foothold, it becomes a church’s cancer. Or greedy people, where money becomes the first question concerning a ministry decision...or how about this church sin:
JAMES 2:1-4 (p. 847)
What if the guy that’s living with his father’s wife was really likeable, or tithes a lot, or more likely was a gossip...hateful and scared people with his bitterness...and nothing was done for those reasons.
If you show favoritism for these reasons...either out of fear or out of position...have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
But it’s different with people in the world. Paul says, “I’m not talking about the people of the world who are immoral, or greedy, and swindlers and idolaters...in that case you’ve have to leave the world.”
Verses 12 & 13 in Chapter 5 says, “what business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? ARE YOU NOT TO JUDGE THOSE INSIDE? GOD WILL JUDGE THOSE OUTSIDE.” EXPEL THE WICKED PERSON FROM AMONG YOU.”