Backwards Judgment

Message:  In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul was writing to the church of Corinth about something he had heard about while he was away. The church at Corinth had a man living in living in sexual immorality so bad that Paul said that even by the standards of the unsaved Gentiles it was not tolerated. Not only were they tolerating it, but they were proud of themselves for not judging him. As I read this I thought about the current state of the body of Christ but the difference here is even more important. Paul distinguished the difference between judging believers within the body versus outsiders. He said “what business is it of mine to judge outsiders?” Paul was very clear that because this man was a part of the church and claimed to be a believer, they needed to throw him out for his own good. Not to shame him, but because his duplicitous life was hardening his heart and keeping him from repentance. He was living in sin and their toleration gave him no motivation to deal with his sin. He felt justified in it. The most important takeaway I get from this is that judgment belongs in the house of God. Those of us who are believers are held to the standard of the word of God. This judgment is not for the world. It is for those of us who are followers of Christ. For some reason the church has a habit of doing the complete opposite. We shame and judge the world but demand grace for ourselves. This has to be flipped the other way because we were called to a higher standard and we were called to reach a lost world. We can’t reach a lost world when we shame the world from their brokenness while excusing our own. It’s not enough to stop judging the world. We have to draw close to God and allow his mark on our lives to pull us to that higher standard. When we draw close to God we lose that harsh judgment and we change under the power of his love.

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