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For the Purity of the Church, Part 2

1 Corinthians 5:9–13

Posted by Nathan Thiry on May 28, 2023
For the Purity of the Church, Part 2
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Main idea: Live out the holy calling of the church by representing Christ to the world and the church. 

1 Corinthians 1:2, 9

Revelation 4

1. Associate with sinners like Jesus did. Be salt and light in the world. (1 Corinthians 5:9-10)

  • Mark 2:13-17
  • John 17:15-18


  • Beware of “ooooh” “gross” attitude – don’t be surprised when sinners act like sinners
  • Beware of embracing their idolatry and heart and actions (and thus losing the saltiness and light of Christ)

2. Do not associate with unrepentant sinners (willful, continual, stubborn) who claim to be Christians. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)

  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  • Hebrews 12:14
  • James 2:18-19
  • 1 John 3:8-10
  • Revelation 21:8
  • Matthew 18:12-20
  • Galatians 6:1-3


  • Look to your own life – live holy and pure before Christ as you allow His word to examine you.
  • Invite feedback from others – ask them to hold up the mirror of God’s Word to you.
  • Care for each other – lovingly, humbly confront sin in each other’s lives.
  • Judge with God’s judgement those who claim to be Christians who are practicing stubborn, willful, continual sin.
  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    Good morning, Faith our church. It's good to see all of you this morning. Welcome at my welcome to Dan's welcome. If you're a member here, it's so good to gather together week by week and worship Christ. And if you're visiting us, we're really glad that you came to visit us today. And we pray that you'll be encouraged by God's word and also we hope you get connected with with us, we want to get to know you better, and you get to know us, I one thing I'm gonna put your attention to is the weekly, maybe you got one of these on your way in right inside the first page, there's a little box that has community announcements, you'll see a community announcement there about a memorial day breakfast picnic tomorrow that you all are welcome to participate in. But this is a place for you to put your own announcements, you would do that by contacting the contact that is in the little box there. And you can let us know there's if there's stuff you want us to know as a church, because we get there's a lot of body life that happens a lot of things we do together that aren't part of the official programming of our church, but they're things that you're doing, and you want other people to know about it, so they can join in with you. So that's a great resource to know about. On the back, you'll see there a bunch of summer activities that we're doing as well. So that's a great way to find out more information on what's going on and also get some encouraging material as you read it. So it's great to be here together today and continue looking at First Corinthians five. I'm excited to get to say this passage with you this morning and encourage you to turn your Bibles to First Corinthians five now we're going to read the whole chapter again. And then I'll focus on preaching verses nine through 13. The second part of last week's sermon for the purity of the church. So if you're able to stand with me as we read God's Word together, we're going to read starting in First Corinthians five verse one.

    It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife, and you are arrogant. Are you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For the absent in body, I am present in spirit. And as if President I've already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, so the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know the little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven, the you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, now with the old leaven 11 of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. Not at all, meaning the sexually immoral this world, or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters since then you need to go out of the world. But now I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of Brother, if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed. Whereas an idolatry Revealer drunkard or swindler, not even to eat was such a one. For what am I to do the judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church, whom you are to judge, God judges those outside, purge the evil person from among you. This is the word of the Lord. Let's pray together. Father, we come to you a holy God. We praise you, we worship you. We acknowledge that all of us are guilty of sin. All of us have rebelled against you. None of us are worthy on our own merit, to be your children to be here and your presence. And yet you have given us Jesus to be our Savior, the Lamb who has sacrificed for our sins who rose again, we thank you, Christ, for forgiving us for taking every single one of us who have trusted in you and giving us a new life giving us your righteousness, giving us forgiveness, giving us a new heart making us yours. Help us now to live as a holy people. Help us to live out the identity, the calling that you've given us to be holy as your holy. Help us do in our association with each other, to minister faithfully, your truth, your word, your gospel. Help us to in our association with the world's Minister faithfully to them as well. We might represent Christ and be salt and light in the world. Now we pray for Sister churches all around the city who faithfully are proclaiming your word we pray for Trinity Church right now in the valley and Grace Christian fellowship and other locations and Indian show church in Christ our hope and Community Bible Church and many others God that are faithfully preaching your word, help our brothers and sisters to to faithfully represent you to the world and to faithfully represent you to each other. Can we pray for those who are grieving today the loss of loved ones, Boston and who have served in in the armed forces or who have lost them Other ways that we pray for them that would comfort them. Help us to, to have a firm view of our hope in you because of the gospel. pray right now that you've ministered to us by your word. Help us to know you better and to have a clearer idea even still, how to make you known through our lives and through our ministry as a church. We pray in Your name, Christ, Amen. May be seated. Many of you know that there's a group of Nepali men and women who started gathering a faith Baptist Church about 15 years ago, they were living in Bhutan, they got kicked out of Bhutan, and were living in Nepal as refugees. And then they started coming to faith Bible Church, Dan and Pammi Wallace sitting right there were some of the first ones to minister to them. And for a long time, we were helping them get adjusted to Spokane. Eventually, they started having their own service on Saturday nights right over here to my left. And now they're meeting every Saturday night and they also meet on Fridays, together and one of their homes and they eat together. And if you don't know much about Nepali culture, like many cultures in the world, it's a very collectivist culture, not individualistic. I'm going on the Southeast Asia team and Gary Morgan's been teaching us about culture, helping us to understand that there are individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures, the individualistic cultures, it's kind of more about what do I want to do? Decisions are made more in respect to what's best for me, what do I need? What are my thoughts, and a collectivist culture? It's more about the group, what's the group identity? What does the group need, there's not so much autonomy. And there's elements of individualism that are important in terms of being responsible and taking care of what one needs to do. But also the collectivist side of things is very valuable as well. And I think as we look at the Bible and a passage like this about associating or not associating with people, it doesn't make so much sense an individual sixth sense, but in a collective sense, we're part of one body part of one group, it makes more sense, than Nipah. Nepali brothers and sisters have a lot that we can learn from them, as well as many other cultures that are more collectivist about what it means to belong to each other, and how to make decisions about what we're going to do on the basis of what's best for our group. What's best for the whole body. And what is this association we're part of, as a church? Who are we associating with? Yes, we're associating with each other. But even more importantly, we are associating with fellowshipping with the Holy God, with God, the Father, God, the Son, God, the Holy Spirit, who since before the creation of the world, they God is glorious. He's amazing. He's full of splendor and majesty and awesomeness, and God in His try unis. Three Persons, one God has always shared together perfectly, this perfect fellowship is perfect Association, perfect unity, and He's holy. There's no one like God. Every time we get a glimpse of God in the scriptures, we see how holy he is. Remember Isaiah six, when Isaiah sees the vision of God, and He sees the God is on His throne, he's high and exalted above everyone above everything. And as the train of his robe fills the temple, and as and Isaiah sees these Serafin, these angelic beings praising God saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. No one is like God. He's in a class all by himself. He's perfect. He's pure, he's light. He's separated from anything that's evil. He's always faithful to his character. And we should have the same response as Isaiah and say, We're a people of unclean lips. How can we be in God's presence?

    We see the same thing in Revelation four, we see a holy God, we see His glory. Revelation four, we see the same thing, a throne. See, the God is on His throne, he rules over everything. There's one throne, and there's one who's seated on that throne. We belong to his fellowship to his association, our gathering our assembly, as the churches were under him, he is on the throne reigning. And then in Revelation four, we see that he's full of glory, like the glory of a sunset and the sunrise and rainbow all wrapped together. This is glorious God on the throne. We see these four living creatures representing the best of all of creation, and his 24 angelic ruling elders and listen to what Revelation four Verse eight says, the four living creatures, each of them was six wings are full of eyes all around within and day and night, they never cease to say, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. And then we see verse 11, the entire Heavenly Court cries out, Worthy are you our Lord and God's receive glory and honor and power? For You created all things and by your will they existed were created. Our association our fellowship is with a holy God. He is far above anything we can imagine. He is so holy as the creator, as the king as the ruler of all. He is in a class all by himself. And if you and I are his people, he's called us to live before him holy, set apart for Him. How is that possible? How can any of us be holy? Revelation five or six gives us the answer right? We see not only God the Father on the throne, the Spirit of God before him described as the seven torches, but we see the lamb relation five or six, between the throne and the four living creatures among the elders. I saw a Lamb Standing, as though it had been slain with seven horns and with seven eyes. So the seven spirits of God sounded all the earth, we see Christ, the perfect God man who came to earth from heaven lived the perfect life, perfectly obeyed God's law, perfectly fulfilled all the righteousness that God requires of His creation. He is worthy to be in God's presence, he is worthy. And he gives us his righteousness as a gift. Not only that he took all of our sin in himself and became as a lamb slain, taking all of the wrath of God for our sins. That's why we can be God's fellowship. God's Association has assembly, his people, because of the Gospel story. This is the Gospel story, a holy God that on his throne, the Creator has given his own son, God, the Son, Jesus, to be our Lord and our Savior, to die for us. Listen to what Jesus has made us our identity, our Gospel identity and calling revelation five, nine and 10, where you read about in first Peter to listen to Revelation five, nine, and they sing a new song saying really are you to take the scroll and open it seals, for you were slain. And by your blood, you ransom people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have made them a kingdom and priests are God and they shall reign on the earth. Because of the gospel because of Christ's because of his bloodshed for you and for me, he's made us if you trusted in him, a kingdom, and priests. Every single one of us, every man and woman, child who's trusted in Christ, you become a son or a daughter of God, you become part of His kingdom. And he's ruling through you. The rule of the Lord Jesus Christ King Jesus is represented by us as people were his priests were meant to represent, to represent God to the earth, to the world and to each other. And we're meant to worship God. And so we have a holy Association, the holy fellowship that has God, the Father, the Son, and Spirit. And our job is to represent him to the world and represent Him to each other. So how we associate with each other, how we relate to each other is important and matters. We see our Gospel story, we see our Gospel identity and calling you turn back to First Corinthians one scene, verse two, what Christ's the lamb has made us. It says in first Corinthians one verse two to the Church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be saints, together with all those who never replace, call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, but they're loaded ours. This is who we are brother and sister. We are the assembly of Christ, where His Church, His people, each local church, where Christ is preached where his word is preached, where people trust in Him and love Him and love each other. We are God's church, we belong to him, and he's made us our position is we're sanctified, we're set apart in Christ Jesus were made holy. He's made us holy. And now he calls us to live holy lives, be holy, because he is holy. He's made you holy, so be holy, be set apart. He wants our lives to match up with the reality of who Christ is. Who are we where people who call on Jesus as our Lord, he's your Lord, he's my Lord. If we call him Lord, our lives need to submit to Him. And that's part of our association with each other. As we ministered to each other, we help each other to remember that Christ is king. He's Lord, my life comes under him. My life is for him, your life is for him. Look at verse nine of First Corinthians one. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We have been called into a fellowship. caliber, think of it the Fellowship of the Ring. And those nine people that came together to destroy evil by throwing the ring in Mordor, right? We're even part of a real fellowship, a greater fellowship, the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ. He's conquering sin, conquering Satan and death, conquering evil, building his church. And that's what we're part of. You were part of the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so you have a mission, you have a calling, to represent Christ to the world, and represent Christ to each other. And so he gives us not only a position, but he gives us the practice. He doesn't just make us righteous, He makes us righteous. He doesn't just call us holy, He makes us holy. And so every single person who's in Christ, you have, the promise of God is faithful. He's making you like Christ. He's drawing you along. So every time you turn towards sin, he's turning you back. He's turning you back to him. He doesn't let you wander off, he calls you back. How does he do that? Through each other, we call each other back to Christ. And if Christ is truly your Lord, and my Lord, I'm going to come back, you're going to come back. And anyone who doesn't come back to Christ, when they're called, and they're called, they're called, they're denying the Christ as their Lord. And so we need to not associate with them anymore in a way that would say to them, we affirm your faith in Christ, we affirm that you are part of Christ's church, not that we can see their hearts but our association is meant to communicate to represent God's heart and God's truth that he says in His Word. So we see in First Corinthians five To our passage, our big idea, we need to live out the holy calling of the church, representing Christ to the world into the church. Because a holy perfect God is associated with us, fellowshipping with us, we cannot associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian, who practices sin willfully, continually and stubbornly, we have a holy calling. So what does Paul mean when he says this? What does he not mean? We started out with saying what he doesn't mean, he doesn't mean that we should not associate with with people in the world who are practicing sin, we should associate with sinners in the world, just like Jesus did. We need to be salt and light in the world represent Christ to the world. He does mean that we should not associate with unrepentant sinners, who call themselves Christians who are part of our church, who have been baptized who become members who are had been affirmed by the church, who then began denying Christ and refuse him all through the process of church discipline. So are calling us to be a holy people because God is holy. Now, because we're better than anyone because of who Christ is. So let's see, our first point, we should associate with sinners, like Jesus did be salt and light in the world, be a salty ambassador for Christ. He says in verse nine of first person, the UN's five I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not well, meaning the sexually immoral this world are the gradients when there's or idolaters. Since then, you need to go out of the world. So far, I've written them a previous letter that we don't have record of, or we don't have the letter itself, but we know that he wrote this letter. And in that letter, you told them not to associate with sexually immoral people. And it seems that some of them may have been confused. Some of them might have thought Paul is saying, anyone who is sexually immoral that you should not associate with them. And so they might have thought, Well, Paul, how can I go to work them? How can I go to school? How can I live in a neighborhood, I gotta head to the hills, or leave the earth or get on a spaceship that hasn't been created yet. So they're like, that's crazy. So they just kind of ignored what he said, because it's not possible. Or they might have thought, Okay, I can't associate with anyone who's sexually immoral. So I'm gonna go and create some Christian ghetto and live out in the in the middle of the wilderness where no one else is, except for a few other Christians. And that's not what Paul's saying, either. So Paul's correcting their misunderstanding of what he was telling them. He's not saying to create a Christian ghetto, or a bubble of isolation, where you only buy and sell from other Christians and you don't have any dealings with anyone. He's not a Christian. He's not saying to to not associate with people in the world who are practicing sin. Because if we were to do that, we'd have to stop fulfilling our mission, which is to be salt and light, to represent Christ to the world. And he clarifies he's not just talking about sexually immoral, we always, it's easy to pick on sexual immorality, it's a big deal. sexual purity matters to God, the picture of faithfulness and marriage between one man and one woman is meant to picture God's relationship with his people, Christ's relationship with the church, and so it doesn't matter. But he also points out some other sins that are a big deal. In fact, any sin is a big deal. He says in verse nine, verse 10, rather, not at all mean, it's actually more of this world of the greedy, and that's when there's where the idolaters since then you need to go out to the world. So he's not just talking about sexual immorality, which is any kind of sexual sin outside of any sexual activity outside of one man, one woman in marriage. Also, he's talking about people who are greedy, who just want more. They just want more than not consent, they want more, and he puts ingredients together with swindling. So you get the idea of someone who's like cheating, conniving, tricking people kind of some, some busy some business dealers who are just trying to trick people out of stuff. No, they're, they're tricking the elderly person out of their money. They're swindling people, they're selling them something they say weighs this much, but they're using false skills really weighs this much. They're trying to cheat people to get more to get more, they gotta get the bottom line, they gotta get more through saying those kinds of people you're going to associate with them, they're going to be in the world, you're gonna be around them. You also talking about idolaters, who in Corinth were idolaters will pretty much everybody unless they were worshipping the one true God. They were idolaters like Dan talked about last week, they had all kinds of idolatry, temples, pagan temples, where they worship other gods, all kinds of immorality, and idolatry, abounding. And Paul is not saying stop being around those people who are doing all this sin. He's saying, if you were to stop associating with sinners in the world, you have to go out of the world, you'd have to die, or go live in some remote realm. And so it's saying that obviously, that's not possible. That's not what Paul's telling him to do. So the positive is, Paul is telling them associate with people in the world, as God's ambassadors as Christ representatives, be solid light in the world, your mission is to faithfully represent Christ to the world. We represent His holy law. We tell people, This is who God is. He's on his throne, he rains, he calls us to love Him and love each other. All of us fall short. We're all guilty. We all deserve God's wrath. We're all separated from him by our sin, but Christ was crucified. We tell the world about Christ crucified, who died for our sins so God could have mercy on us and forgive us. We represent Christ to the world. How do we do that? Jesus gives us a good idea and Mark Chapter Two about what it looks like to associate with people in the world. Let's look at Mark see where Jesus calls Levi and his friends to himself. Mark two verse 13 says he went out again by the beside the sea and all the crowd was coming to him. He was teaching them. Now as he passed by you saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, Follow me. And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined that table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. There were many who followed him. And describes of the Pharisees when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors said to his disciples, what is the use of tax collectors and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he said to them, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners. Jesus calls Levi, otherwise known as Matthew, who is a greedy swindler. He's a tax collector, he is robbing people, cheating people with their money using the authority of the Roman Empire to get more wealthy. And Jesus caused him to himself. Then he eats with Levi's friends, other tax collectors and sinners, immoral people. idolaters. Jesus doesn't say who the heck, I spend time with those people. They're so bad. Jesus doesn't have the attitude of the Pharisees. He doesn't. He doesn't separate himself from these people who are in the world living in the darkness. He calls them to himself and gives them life. He knows that they're dead in their sins. He's not surprised that they're that way. We shouldn't be either, right? When you spend time around people who don't know Christ, you know, they're gonna be trapped in the same sense that you and I were chopped in the same sins, we're still tempted with. Jesus talks with them, he eats with them, he spends time with them, he calls them to himself. He came to call the sexually immoral, the greedy thieves and the idolaters to himself, and to radically transform them. How does he call them now? He does it through us as people, you have the job of being assault in light in the darkness, of associating with people who are not yet Christians, of loving them, you're going to be around coworkers, neighbors, family members, people that go to your school, you're going to be around people, and they're going to be people who are practicing these sins. And which shouldn't surprise us, we shouldn't have a ooh, that's gross attitude, we should have a, I want you to know Christ. And you want to show Christ to them. Our mission is to call sinners, to come to Christ to be made righteous, to call the broken to come to Christ to be made whole, to call our fellow beggars to come to Christ, the bread of life, we must associate with people with sinners like Jesus did, being careful not to be marked by them. So like you, when you make a salad, you put your cherry tomatoes from your garden, and not ready yet are they but when they get ready, you put the cherry tomato in there with the romaine lettuce, the cherry tomato and the romaine lettuce don't really influence each other that much. They're kinda like, here's the cherry tomato, here's the romaine lettuce, it's all in there and the salad together, they're not really impacting each other in a very big way, right, they're just together in the salad that's like you, with the unbeliever in the world that you're hanging out with, you're with each other, you're associating, but you're not together together. Now, if you take a piece of meat and throw it in a Ziploc bag with a bunch of coke, or soy sauce, or some kind of marinade, that meat is gonna get affected by the marinade. After 24 hours, it's going to be flavored by that marinade. If you leave it in there for a couple of days, maybe you forget, eventually, that meats gonna just kind of start breaking down and you'll just have like a soup in there. I'll be delicious, right? That's, that's how we want to be like when you are associating with people in the world, you don't want to become like a piece of meat in the marinade. You don't want the culture, that thinking the sins of the world to marinate you and to affect your heart. You want to stay pure with Christ and stay close to Christ, Let Christ be the one influencing you, as you then influence them. And so we want to associate with the world in a way that we influence them. And some people are going to be drawn to Christ through you. Others will be repulsed by you. To some will be like the aroma of life to life looks like good deeds, two sets to others, you'll be the aroma of death to death. The message that you live in preach will seem like foolishness to some, like Paul said, verse first Corinthians one, but we are to associate with them, as Jesus associates with them, not being changed by them, but rather being a light that shines in the darkness. Jesus helps us with this in John 17, as he prays his high priestly prayer, John 17, verse 15, Jesus prays, I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am out of the world, Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth, as you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. Jesus prays that we would be in the world but not of the world, that God would keep us so that while we're associating with the world, with people that are rebelling against God, we would not become like them, we wouldn't be able to be a light to them be salt to them, we would lose our saltiness. He sends us into the world set apart to represent him to the world. And so Christ calls you and I to be solid light to be ambassadors to be his missionaries, to be representing Christ to the people around us who are dying and their sin. So a good question to think about is are you insulating yourself from the world so much, that you're not able to be salt and light? Perhaps you're trying to stay comfortable to stay away from possible awkward situations. So you don't really want to have a lot of friendship with people that are in the world. Perhaps you're trying to avoid being too did buy their sin and so you're staying away from the world. I would encourage you hold on tight to Christ and be around people who don't know Christ yet so you can be a light to them and be aware of the Ooh, gross attitude. Don't be surprised when sinners act like sinners. Don't be surprised when you're cheerful that your two year old acts like a two year old, it's gonna happen right? People who are dead in their sins who are enslaved to sanity, we're under the the in the world and under the realm of saying they're gonna act like they're gonna act, just like we acted when we were in the same place they are. But at the same time, beware of embracing their idolatry and our actions. Don't be a piece of meat marinating in the world's culture, be a cherry tomato, influencing them be Sonlight to the world. Second thing I want us to see is the second part of this passage, do not associate with the unrepentant sinners, the willful, continual stubborn sinners who claim to be Christians, because first Corinthians 511 through 13.

    But now I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of Brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or as an idolatry reviled or drunkard or swindler. Not even he was such a one, for what am I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge, God judges those outside purge the evil person from among you? Paul is emphasizing very emphatically the need not to associate, not even to eat with to purge the evil person from among you. He's saying that they should not associate with this certain kind of person, they shouldn't be part of our assembly, they should no longer be allowed to be a member of our church. We shouldn't be affirming their testimony, their confession of Christ. Why is this? What is he saying? He's talking about a certain kind of person. And it's a continuation of what he said earlier in chapter five. There's a man who's practicing unrepentant, continual, stubborn, willful sin. And Paul is saying you need to remove him from yourself from your midst. As we go through the process of church discipline, the first step, the second step, the third step, we've gotten to the fourth step, this man is refusing to repent. And so Paul is saying, remove him from your midst, deliver him over to Satan, verse five, and now he's explaining what that looks like. It's not associated with them anymore. Not eating with him, purging that person from your midst. No longer are we including them in our association, in our fellowship, and our assembly in a way that would affirm them, because that will be speaking a lie. He's not talking about just anyone who claims to be a Christian. He's talking to anyone who bears the name of Brother inside the church among you. So there are plenty of people in Spokane are going to say I'm a Christian. Maybe they're a cultural Christian, maybe their parents were Christians, maybe they grew up thinking they're a Christian. But it's not that they're, that they're part of a church, that they're a member of a church. They're just saying, I'm a Christian, I'm not a Muslim, or a Buddhist or atheists, I'm a Christian. He's not saying you got to go find any of your neighbors and see Are you practicing in the sense, and I can't talk to you.

    There's gonna be lots of people who claim to be Christians, even in your family, who you're going to be around and they're going to be practicing some of these sins. He's not saying to stop associating with them. What he's talking about is the kind of association that we as a church have. Because a person comes to the church and they say, This is my confession. This is what I believe. And we hear their confession of the gospel. They believe that the Bible is God's word. They believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior and died for their sins arose. Again, they're trusting in Him, and they have a credible testimony, their life shows that they believe in Him. And if they haven't been baptized, yet, they get baptized, and publicly identify with him, they become a member of the church, maybe they're already baptized, and we hear their testimony, their confession, they become a member without getting baptized, he's gonna get baptized twice, they already been baptized as a believer, so they become a member of the church, that person is called a brother, or called a sister. That's the person he's talking about someone who is part of your assembly, and your association with them, is affirming and encouraging them. You've trusted in Christ, you've confessed Christ publicly, you belong to Him. Now, let's live like it. And we're always doing that we're always encouraging each other, we're associating with each other, we're ministering to each other. And this association, this gathering together, taking the Lord's supper together, singing together, hearing the word preach together, gathering in small groups together, this is an association, that comforts that encourages, that strengthens. And if someone is saying, I'm not going to submit to Christ, I'm rejecting Christ, I'm doing what I want to do. And I'm not gonna listen to you, and we've called to them, we've called to them, then was to stop associating with them. Because that association would be lying to them, it would be encouraging them as they head headlong towards destruction. We want to rather stop associating so we can, hopefully to see them be rescued from their destruction from their sin. And so he's calling them to stop associating with people who are part of your church body, who are denying Christ with their lives. Think about the kind of association we have. Remember, the Association of us with unbelievers in the world is like a cherry tomato and a salad. The kind of association we have as a as church members is more like a body. You have your body, right? What happens when something gets introduced in your body that doesn't belong there. Maybe some cancer cells, or some deadly virus, or some gnarly parasite that wants to eat all the chicken that you're eating. When that thing comes in your body, your body goes into high speed You're trying to fight it, your white blood cells start attacking it, your body is fighting that thing. And that thing is fighting your body who's going to win. When you get a situation like sepsis or whatever other medical situations, the virus or the cancer wins in person dies, or the cancer, or the virus gets killed, and the person wins, we are a body, we're God's temple, his people were integral, we're connected to each other in a vital way. This isn't just cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, this is a body, your body. It's important that there be integrity and unity, and we're all under Christ as Lord. So when someone denies Christ rejects Christ rejects people coming after them. Over time, it's clear that their heart is to deny Christ, they're no longer they're showing that they're not part of the body. So the association has to stop because it's going to be disastrous for the body. And for them, if that continues, you can't live together on the same body with with that, with that, without that unity under Christ as Lord. Like Dan said, last week, we let big sins go, bloody Wilson's grow. And so this is not just a call for us to identify that person who's under the fourth step of church discipline, not associate. This is also a call to all of us to examine our lives. Where do I need to come under Christ's lordship? Or what do I need to submit to him? He's made me holy, am I living holy, as he's called me to be holy? God's given us a special identity and calling to be a holy people to represent him to each other? How can I represent Christ to you and encourage you to live a holy life if I'm not living a holy life? And how do I live a holy life? How do you live a holy life, it's by dependence on Christ, trusting that Christ died for me, that he's forgiven me. He's given me his righteousness, he's given me his spirit. He's given me a new heart. That's why we can be holy as God is holy. And so as brothers and sisters, we associate with each other, calling each other, to look to Christ, to trust in Christ to live under Christ's lordship. And if we head off down the path of destruction, we call out to each other, we warn each other. We don't just ignore it or say it's okay. So we see a list of sins here that Paul talks about. It's not an exhaustive list, there's other sins that could lead to someone being confronted, you may need to confront me or I may need to confront you about some other kinds of sin besides one of these ones. These are some big ones that the Corinthians were dealing with. And let's go through the list is the sexual morality we've already talked about. That is, it includes this man and chapter five, who's having a more relationship with his mother with a stepmom. It also includes any other kind of sexual activity outside of marriage with one man or one woman. Greed is desiring more and more and more than what's due continual desire for more not thankful. I don't know about you, but I know that I have to put greed to death every day. And it's part it's in my heart I greed is easy to have in our lives idolatry. Obviously worshipping other gods, if you have a little statue you're worshiping that would be idolatry. But how easy is it to make an idol out of myself? Maybe not all of yourself right? To me, not all of some other person or something that's good, but we put it above God in our lives. Revealer reviled is someone who's insulting others through gossip, slander, malice, false testimony, using our speech, to tear down to destroy rather than build up a drunkard. Not just someone who gets drunk could also be applied to other substances that that lead you to not be in control of your faculties. So it's a ways to be filled with something besides the Holy Spirit. A swindler like we said before, is a robber, a thief, someone who's who's greedy, and they're trying to get more for themselves through deceit and trickery. This list is a list of sins that would lead someone to need to be disciplined in the church to be confronted. If it's in any of our lives, we need to be putting these things out. There's other lessons as well, like I said, but these are ones that particularly the Corinthians were dealing with sexual morality we see in chapter five here, but also chapter six, we're gonna study chapter seven. There's a lot of stuff related to purity, that that Paul's addressing greedy swindling was maybe the issue of the lawsuits, somebody wanted more, maybe greedy greed was also underlying the divisions in Chapters one through four, they wanted more fame more, more for themselves, more position, idolatry. He addresses in chapters eight through 10, although it's addressed all throughout the book, reviling each other was maybe what was happening in these divisions and chapters one through four speaking poorly of each other, also the last situation, also the spiritual gifts in chapters 12 through 14, some reviling could have been involved in as well as prideful self exultation. The drunkard situation comes up in chapter 11, with talking about the Lord's Supper. So these are all sins that they were facing, and their issues that we're gonna face to the All of us are facing in different ways, probably. So we need to be looking at Christ to make us holy, to purify us and in helping each other, your association with each other, how you minister to one another, how you know each other and disciple and mentor and encourage and help is meant to help each other to not be led astray into these things. Why are these things a big deal? They all defile God's temple, we are meant to be his temple where God dwells, where he makes himself known. Like we saw in the very beginning, God is holy, holy, holy. So we need to be holy. That's his holy. God has never sexually immoral purity in marriage. and sexuality has always meant to picture the relationship with God with his people, Christ in His Church. God is always faithful to His Bride. God keeps his covenant with us as people. So we should be faithful in our covenants with each other. When we are unfaithful were desecrated what's meant to be a picture of God's faithfulness. That's why it's a big deal. God's never greedy for something doesn't have God's generous and gracious and gifts freely. He's never a swindler or a thief. God owns everything and yet free to gifts to all of his creation. God has never idolatrous, he's always true in his worship, and in his view of himself and is true to his own character. God is always true, never gives his allegiance to false gods. God never reveals. He always speaks the truth and judges Riley, and Paul's making it clear that everyone, Chris Christ as their Lord, who is truly a saint, not in the sense that they've done a miracle and then recognized by the church, but a saint who has been saved by Jesus who has been set apart, as holy in Christ, because of Christ's blood and his death and resurrection is going to not be characterized by these things. We're not going to be willful, stubborn and continual in our practice of these sins. Now, does that mean that you might not get stuck in some one of these sins, and then someone approaches you and you repent, now that that's going to happen? There's gonna be times when one of us or any of us get led astray. And we're for a short season willfully, continually, stubbornly going after some sin. But then you when you hear God's word spoken to you through your brothers and sisters in Christ, you repent and come back. When the whole church addresses you and prays for you and confronts you, you come back. But if we are truly in Christ, we're not going to willfully continually stubbornly practice these sins, and refuse to repent. It's not going to be true of us. And so we can faithfully say was someone who is practicing these sins willfully, continually, stubbornly rejecting the process of church discipline, that we can't associate with them anymore. We can't act like they're a believer, like they're a brother or sister in Christ, because they're showing with their life, that they're not looking Matthew seven, we see what Jesus says, Matthew seven, verse 21, through 23, we see that it's not just saying with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, that shows that you really have Him as your Lord. It's showing that he's your LORD with your life. Not everyone, Matthew seven, verse 21, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day, Many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name, then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Let's be clear, it's faith in Christ that saves you. But if you put your faith in Christ, and he's your Lord, you're not going to be a worker of lawlessness, you're not going to practice rebelling against him continually. Jesus is saying, if you're saying, You're my Lord, but you're constantly rejecting him and fighting against him, then he's saying, I'm not your Lord. I don't know you in that way. So our lives cannot be denying the very thing that we're confessing with our mouths. And if they are, then we can affirm someone in their faith and their confession as a Christian. But in First Corinthians six, verse nine and 10, it says the same thing. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, the revisers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. If this is my life, if my life is characterized by these things, that I am not going to inherit the kingdom of God. And that means that I'm not a Christian. I'm not forgiven by God, because my life is continuing to deny Christ, Christ is the only Savior, the only way to be saved. And so if my life is saying, No, I don't trust in Christ, I'm denying Him, then that means that I'm not his. I'm not going to hear the kingdom of God, I'm gonna inherit other God's wrath forever. First, John three eight through 10 describes what how you can know if someone is truly a child of God.

    And we as a church, when we practice the process of church discipline, when we stop associating with someone, we're not saying that we know everything that we know their hearts, we're simply making a judgment based on what God's Word says, God knows our hearts. God knows exactly where we are with him. And we're to faithfully follow what His Word says and how we relate to people, and speak truth to them. First on three, Verse eight says, Whoever makes the practice of sitting is of the devil. The devil has been sitting from the beginning, the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes the practice of sinning for God's seed abides in Him, He cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this, it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. If my life is making a practice of sin, I'm showing that I'm not really born again. Because when you're born again, this is encouragement to you, brother or sister. God gives you a new heart that wants to obey Him. And when you go off into sin, as you will, sometimes your heart wants to come back to God, you want to come back to Christ you confess, you repent, you trust in Him, and He brings you back. So if you have been saved by Christ, if you've been born into his family, you have a new heart, a new nature. You want to love your father and you want to love your brothers and sisters in Christ, even though you're not perfect at it, but you want him and so you always come back, you come back. The person who doesn't come back is showing they're not really born. In God's family, they're not a child of God. And so we can't associate with them and act like they are a child of God and make them feel comfortable as they head off into destruction. Finally, we see Revelation 21 Eight the same thing. See the it says, Revelation 21 verse eight. But as for the cowardly lesson, denying Christ's the faithless the test of the decibel, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake, the burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Do not be deceived. If this is what my life is characterized by this is what your life is characterized by your destiny is like a fire. That's not we want for anyone that breaks your heart, it breaks my heart when you have to talk to someone and address them when and you're concerned that this is where they're heading. You want them to have life. You want them to know Christ and to know His forgiveness and His love and His joy, to live forever, and the new heavens and new earth. But they can only have that if they trust in Jesus, if Jesus is their Lord. So if someone is denying Christ and practicing a life of sin, they're saying, I'm heading for the lake of fire. So our association with them needs to be such that it demonstrates how the we were not associated with him as if they were brother and sister in Christ. So these observable behaviors when they're practicing a continual, willful, stubborn way, to indicate that someone doesn't seem like they're a child of God, they're not saying they're not having truly received the life of God. And it's important for us in our association with them to communicate that truth, because we love them. Because we want them to recognize I'm rebelling against the Holy God, I'm going to face his wrath. And I want them to consider what that means to repent. So we as God's people, we're supposed to be the pillar of truth, a holy people representing Christ to each other, into the world where his temple was set apart for Him. It's not really about what makes us feel comfortable, what's popular to the world. It's about what is Christ one. Practicing church discipline is not a popular thing, not associating with someone who was once a member of the church, who is not anymore because they've continued to willful unrepentant sin. That's not a popular way to make the society writers think that we're awesome. We do it because we are part of the fellowship of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ represent what he says when he wants us to do look at what he says in first Corinthians six, verse 11. Such were some of you were not any better. We don't come to people that we're confronting about these things and think, Well, I'd never do that. I can't believe you're doing it. Now we're all guilty of the same kinds of things. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you're justified the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God, because we were washed, because we've been sanctified, because we've been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by God's Spirit, we don't keep practicing these sins. You know, someone is practicing them. We call them to repent. Christ has given us something better himself, leave the sin, come to Christ. But he says in first Corinthians five, eight were to celebrate the feast in sincerity and truth. He means these truths, speak the truth to each other, we celebrate the Christian life with truth. And so think about your own life, as we think about addressing these things in other people's lives. Starts with us, right? What's the log in my eye? What this list of sins? Where do I see myself being tempted? Where do I need to look to Christ to purify me to cleanse me to help me. And hopefully, that's what you're doing as you gather together with people that you're discipling and you're in your growth group and your men's group, your women's group your friendships, hopefully, we're associating with with each other in a way that we're helping each other. Do people know you? Do you know other people here? Now, if you're if you're new here, obviously, I got a lot of chance to get to know people. But our goal is everyone who's a member of this church would, would be known and would know others, so we can help each other. So when you see me wandering off in a pattern of greed or idolatry or immorality, you can you can say, Nathan, what do you do and look at, look at what God's Word says, come back. And you do that with a humble heart, a broken heart. So you don't want me to stray off and I do the same thing with you. But how can we associate with each other and that way, if we don't know each other, we need to know each other. These same start with small concessions, small seeds, right? Kind of root out those small seeds. You know what the maple tree grow for 50 years, then like, Oh, I gotta get rid of that. Now you pull up the little thing now, right? Like all those little spinners have fallen, make a billion maple trees grow in your yard, you mow him, you pull them up, deal with a sin? Well, it's a little tilted in your heart. Now with little get help from your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don't just fight it on your own, associate with each other, help each other fellowship. We need to help each other to come under the Lordship of Christ to submit to Him. And so, like I said before, this is not something that you're trying to do with everybody in the world who says they're a Christian. This is talking about people who are associated with you in your local church as members of your church. We have a responsibility to each other, and ministry to each other, to help each other, to associate with each other and to call each other to keep falling Christ to call out let's keep going it's like running a race. And you get tired sometimes and I say come on. on, keep going, it's okay. Look at Jesus. He's gonna get us all the way to the end. And sometimes I'm tired and you're calling out to me. Come on. You got this crisis got you. You don't actually go to a crisis. How's that? So trust him. Remember what Dan said last week, Matthew 1812 through 20. I'm not going to read it right now. But that's the context what we're talking about. If God's heart to see lost sheep brought back to himself, that's the heart of this is not prideful, shunning. It's about seeking restoration, that people would come back. And so when you see me in sin, you come to me when I want and say, This is what I see in your heart in your life, do you see that? Will you repent, and if I don't listen to you, you bring a few other people, so that they can confirm that you're seeing it right. And they can call me to repent. And if I don't listen, you take it to the we take it to the church, talk to the elders, the elders, talk to the person. And then the whole church says, Please, brother, sister, come back. Don't stay in your sin, don't reject Christ, follow him. And most of the time in those first, second or third step, someone comes back, God rescues us most of the time happens in the first and second step. We don't even know about it as a church, right. But sometimes we get to that fourth step where the person continues, and we need to not associate with them, we need to purge them from our midst. But it's out of love. Because we want to see them repents, we deliver them over to Satan, in a sense, given them over to the world to what they've chosen. Because we want them to come back to Christ, we don't want to deceive them by associating with them in a way that affirms them in their lie. So we need to be pursuing that together. With God's help, faithfully, pursuing knowing each other ministry knew each other, confronting each other, encouraging each other, helping each other, strengthen each other. A lot of times, somebody wants to obey, but they don't know how to do it, you might need to come alongside them and say, you see that pattern of sin in your life and you want to repent, but you're not sure how, let me help you. This is how God's helped me. Sometimes people are faint hearted, maybe they know what to do, but they're just discouraged. come alongside them and encourage them. We need to help each other. This the body of Christ, the church is visible, right, you can see like, these are the members of faith by law charities, as members of whatever church, the local churches, were meant to picture the invisible people of God, right. And so our goal is not perfect. But our goal is that the visible membership of the church would would picture the invisible people of God, they're going to gather, in the end, Hebrews 1223 talks about this invisible, this, this gathering of all God's people in heaven on Mount Zion. And we want everyone who's part of the membership of the church visibly to be people are going to be there in the end the people of God forever, right. So we don't want to lie to someone and say, Oh, you're gonna be fine, you're good. I saw someone die on on Friday, and the hospital got to be with someone as they were dying. And that's a it's a very sad thing. If you've been part of that, it's also very, so many things. We can't even describe everything that that is, but you want that person to be confident in Christ. You want to be confident where they're at with Christ. But that's not the moment to make that clear. The moments that make it clear what the gospel is, and if someone's trusting in Christ or not, is now while they're alive. Today, right? Today, where you're sitting here each other and you're in good health, you're able to walk in and out, you're on your own. That's the time to know if you're in Christ, if your sins are forgiven, If Christ is your Lord, you're gonna be with Him forever. That's the time. So our ministry to each other is meant to help each other see the truth of the gospel, to help each other to see what it means and to live it out. We want to help people be affirmed through taking the Lord's Supper through being a members of the Church, that you are trusting in Christ, look to him, he's got you, he's forgiven you. And if our lives start to deny Him, we call people repent, repent. But if they don't we stop associating with them.

    Sin is a deadly virus. It's a cancer in our lives, right? So we need to deal with it, deal with it quickly as it comes up. And then we deal with it in each other's lives. If you look at verse 12, he talks about judging. Judging is not a very popular concept, right? We don't, you don't get a lot of popularity points on social media, if you talk about judging other people, right? Let's not judge anybody on my job to judge. But think about what he says in verse 12. What about to do judging outsiders? Verse 13, the beginning it says, God judges those outside, it's not our job to judge people outside who are not part of our church, right? It's not our job to judge people in the world who are rebelling against God, God will judge them. So as we associated with them represent Christ to them, we remind them, there is a holy God, who is the judge, he is the creator, and one day you're gonna stand before Him, He will judge you. I'm not judging you. But he does. He's he has his own standard and the word that you can see. So we point them to God who judges them. But inside the church, look at verse 12. He says, it is not those is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge, we're supposed to judge each other, not to condemn each other, but to help each other. Like imagine you go to your doctor, and they've done a much analysis of blood work and they've looked at your health and they've weighed you and senior high and all that stuff, and they've looked at all your symptoms, and they're like, but I don't want to judge you. You're okay. No, you're you tell the doctor tells me what's wrong with me. I want you to you're my doctor, you're supposed to judge me evaluate me, because you want to help me get better. It's your job. The doctors job to judge you. Not because you're being judgey but because they care about you. That's We deal with us in the church, your brother or sister in your small group who you're sitting beside your friend, your fellow member of the church, our job is to evaluate each other Nona. Like, I wonder if I'm better than you. You've got problems. I got to talk to you now. No, it's still love each other. I see how that's going in your in your marriage? Have you thought about that? Can I encourage you, I see that Cindy, you're getting stuck in and getting snagged away. And I see how that's going in your relationship with your co workers, can I help you, we're supposed to look at each other and evaluate so we can love them and help them. Love considers what's best for the other person. And so we're meant to judge each other in a in a loving, biblical way. Where we evaluate what the person needs, we speak the truth of God's word to them. We speak God's standards to other people, we tell them, This is what God wants for you. And we do that, as those who are humble, who realize that we're tempted in the same ways, listening Galatians six, one through three. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, your spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourselves, lest you to be tempted, Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he has something when he has nothing, he deceives himself. As we approach each other, to the process of church discipline, the process of discipling each other, we do it humbly, realizing I'm tempted with the same thing as you're tempted with I struggle, the same thing as you struggle, they're not any better. And so if someone's stuck in their sand, they're rebelling, the rebellion, they don't wanna repent. We come to them brokenhearted, pleading with them knowing that we're, we have the same weaknesses, the same struggles in our lives. We just want them to see Christ and know Christ and honor him and deliver on his lordship. So what does it mean practically for us, if someone is unwilling to repent of their sin, through the whole process of church discipline, we must stop associating with them, they are no longer a member of the church, we have to purge them from our midst, in the sense that they're no longer considered a member, we're not going to be taking the Lord's supper together with them, and even says not to eat with them. So we shouldn't be having meals together acting as if everything's great. It's not like that person who's said, they're a member of the church, who's become a member and has now rebelling against God, you're not gonna just hang out with him like, Oh, it's fine, you're good. I know, you can come to come to church anymore, but we're all good. Now, your representation to them is what God's heart is, you're representing the call to repent to them. So you might see them, you might spend time with them, but you're gonna be doing in a way that you're calling them to repentance, not just affirming them in their sin. So it's a very careful posture of not associating with them in any way that would deceive them, or would confirm or affirm anything in them. That's not true. What if this person is your family member, if it's your your son, or daughter, or your parent, who has been a member of your church, and now they're rejecting Christ, and walking away, it's a very difficult situation very tricky. You need discernment, you're still going to have Thanksgiving together, probably, you're still going to have birthday parties, you're still going to see see them, because they're still part of your biological family. But you're not going to spend time with them in the way that you would have in the sense of will be affirming their, their position with Christ. And so there's, there's wisdom in December that you need and how to handle the situations, you're still going to be their family, though. And so you want to keep calling them to repent, but you have to have wisdom in terms of how that what that looks like. And you'd like to talk to other godly men and women to figure out exactly what that looks like in your situation. So for all of us, God is calling us to be holy, He is a holy God, separated from sin, pure and devoted to his own character to Himself, and He wants us to be devoted to him. So first of all, represent Christ to the world. be salt and light associated with sinners, like Jesus does love them, point them to Christ. And with each other, we represent Christ to each other in the church. We look to our own lives, we want to live holy and pure before Christ and allows were to examine us, I encourage each of you. If you don't take anything else away from this, look at your own life, evaluate your own heart, what sins is God convicting you of Christ died for the sins, he died not only to forgive you, but to deliver you from bondage to them, to help you to obey Him, to trust in Him, to let Christ help you. Invite feedback from other people, to ask other people to hold the mirror of God's word to you so you can see your own heart more clearly. We're blind to our own sense. Sometimes we need other people to help us to see by holding up God's word to us care for each other, lovingly, humbly, with brokenness, confront sin in each other's lives. Let's help each other let's associate with each other in a way that helps each other to make it all the way. And then we need to judge with God's judgment, those who claim to be Christians who are practicing stubborn, willful, continual sin...

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Nathan Thiry

Nathan Thiry is the Growth Groups & Outreach Pastor at Faith Bible Church. He enjoys biking and outdoor activities, and has a passion to see the gospel spread throughout our community and the whole world!

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