Summary: A Church Discipline sermon - (The Purpose of God’s Discipline is for our own good) - Don’t Tolerate Evil.
SERMON NOTES: “THE LIMITS OF TOLERANCE”
Do not tolerate evil:
1. For T_heir_____ sake
a. Handed over to Satan
i. How long (Is it final)?
ii. What happens next?
iii. Who falls into this category?
b. If we refuse to exercise discipline, we are refusing to exercise love.
c. Enabling vs. Loving
2. For Y_our_____ sake
a. Who was Paul really angry with?
b. Don’t be a follower (Sheep)
c. Don’t be deluded (Father of Lies)
d. Don’t be contaminated (Leaven)
3. For C_hrist’s_____ sake
a. God’s mercy in the Passover
b. God can abide sin, but sin can’t abide God
Title: The Limits of Tolerance
Text: 1 Cor 4:21 – 5:13.
MP: Do not tolerate sin.
FCF: God is too holy to allow sin in your
Sing: Abide With Me…
Intro – Appeasement of Germany: 3/7/36 Saarland / Rhineland, 3/12/38 Anschluss (Austria), 9/30/38 – parts of what is now the Czech Republic, leading Neville C. to declare this is a triumph for “peace in our time.” How short lived that peace was.
11/9/38 – Kristalnacht, 3/15/38 the rest of Czechoslovakia, 3/23 – Memelland (Lith.), and of course, on 9/1st, Poland.
Evil must not be tolerated, it only grows.
In Corinth, the Hegemon was less overt, but no less evil…
Do not tolerate sin –
1. For Their Sake (v5)
a. Enabling – Matt’s story
b. Being handed over to Satan –
i. isn’t eternal death
ii. it’s facing THE ACCUSER (reality check!)
iii. kills not the flesh itself but the fleshly nature that Gal 2.20 talks about
c. Understand – we’re only talking inside the church
d. Purpose is restoration – 2 cor 2: 5 – 11
e. Withdrawl of the Passover lamb protection / Exodus
2. For Your Sake (v2 / 6)
a. Why are you proud? You’re only proud if you consider the praise important
b. Isa 5:20 – Woe to them that call good evil and evil good – it’s confusing
c. A little leavening
3. For Christ’s Sake (v8)
a. Symbolism of the Pashcal lamb – He’s Holy,
b. He doesn’t abide sin
c. Holy cannot abide sin – b/c sin cannot stand in its presence.
His holiness is actually proof of his love – We are the ones who melt in his presence, not the other way around. He would have us restore relationship, but when we advocate that which is displeasing, it’s bad….
It started when the Nazis invaded a little part of Germany. It was called the Saarland, and on March 7th, 1936, they took moved into the Saarland against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. But they did it on a Saturday. The French were too busy to respond, and the British thought that perhaps the terms had been a bit too harsh anyway, and so when the Nazis made their first military move, nobody gave it hardly a second a thought.
Two years later, it was Adolf Hitler’s country of birth – Austria. Anscluss, he said – we should not be divided! The world began to take note, but they were tired of war and busy with their own problems. There was no protest. Of course, now with Austria part of the Nazi Empire, the next logical action was the Sudetenland – a part of the Czech Republic border Germany. This time, the Prime Minister of England, Neville Chamberlain was proud of his “diplomacy.” He boasted of the Munich Agreement that sold out his fellow Europeans. I believe in this document that contains both the signatures of Herr Hitler and myself, he said, this is peace for our times.
It’s called appeasement – give your enemy what he wants, the theory goes, and he’ll leave you alone. But, as Winston Churchill once said, you can always appease a lion by letting yourself be eaten.
Indeed, the lion is never satisfied. Less than 6 weeks later, the Nazis moved against the Jews during the Kristalnacht. Six months later, they invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia, and a week after that, parts of Lithuania were “returned” to the Nazi horde. It was not until September 1st, 1939, when Germany began its blitz through Poland that Europe finally agreed: evil must never be tolerated. It must be opposed.
Here in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is not facing a genocidal mad-man, but he is confront evil. Worse yet, he is confronting those who insist that evil behavior is at very least something that should be “tolerated,” maybe it’s even good. Sure, they said, we have a guy in our church who is sleeping his father’s wife – but look at how forgiving, how tolerant we are. We’re so loving, and isn’t God love?
Paul has an answer – yes, God is love. But for their sake, for your sake, for Christ’s sake – that love needs to be understood in terms of his holiness.