Excommunication Deserved, but I’m Happy

The following is an overview of 1 Corinthians 5 and 6. Perhaps you should skip below and read the text first. My blog-thoughts are not based upon extensive study. I am not going to my commentaries or back into my personal records to look up previous expositions on these two chapters. Today, I am merely meditating on these two chapters as part of my daily devotions, and in doing so the Holy Spirit is bringing to mind four questions:

1. Why are we not more undone by our sinGod hates all our immorality in all its forms. All our sins of commission and sins of omission are equally heinous. Oh, how God despises our …

  • Heterosexual sins
  • Homosexual sins
  • Arrogance in the face of sin
  • Lack of mourning over our sin and others
  • Selfish greed
  • Swindling
  • Thieving
  • Idolatry
  • Revelry and drunkenness,
  • Food domination and other addictions
  • Judging of outsiders; this is not our place
  • Lack of loving and protective church discipline; this is our place

Yes, how foul we are in our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. We do that which is forbidden, and we do not do that which is commanded. Like Paul and all other sons and daughters of Adam, we are all filthy rebels who are guilty. And as such, it is very clear that none of us are able to inherit the kingdom of God. Based upon the Law and our performance, we are all condemned. All we deserve is relational, ecclesiastical, and eternal excommunication. This leads us to the second question.

2. How did we grow up singling out homosexuality as a special category of sinPlease, allow me to be very clear. Homosexuality, like other sins, whether enflamed by our fallen nature or depraved nurture, is not in accord with God’s will. God’s Word makes it very clear that it too is an abomination. And, it is also true that like other sins, homosexuality comes with its own unique challenges and consequences. However, that being said, I don’t get it. Why do we put it in a special category when neither Moses, Jesus, or Paul does so. What’s the deal?

3. Why are we not more enthusiastic about the Gospel? Despite our heinous records and reoccurring transgressions, we are those who have been eternally favored by the Father, Son, and Spirit. All who are saved have been …

  • Bought with a price
  • Washed
  • Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
  • Made one with the Spirit
  • Made one with Christ
  • Sanctified

How great has been God’s long-suffering mercy? He has not poured out upon us what our sins have deserved.

How great has been God’s unfathomable grace? The Father has sent his Holy Son to pay 100% of the sin-debt owed by rebels of all classes and categories. All who are united to Christ are completely covered by his atoning work. Regardless of their particular sins, regardless of how many are past, press, and future, all are guiltless before God.

How great is God’s unwavering affection? We have been justified and sanctified. Clothed in Christ’s holiness, we look like radiant brides in the Divine Groom’s eyes. What a travesty to deny this Gospel truth!

4. Why are we not more excited about worshiping well with our perfectly sanctified selves? Let us listen to Paul’s encouraging exhortation. Our bodies have been remade for the Lord. They are holy to him and will be raised by his power in the resurrection. Until that day, we should not use them in “prostitution.” Instead, with glorious affection for our Divine Groom, we should eagerly and quickly flee from immorality. Every day, we should get our sanctified selves up and “glorify God with our bodies.”

Concluding Thought: Therefore, I don’t know about you, but I am leaving this text more humbled and happy than when I arrived. Yes, it has some tough things to say about me and my sin. Yes, it calls out certain sins and sinners. And yes, it has some deep teachings regarding the necessity of loving church discipline. But today, I leave this text different than when I arrived. I leave …

  • Judging my fellow sinners less
  • Considering my own sins more
  • Rejoicing in the finished work of my Sanctifier
  • Wanting more passionately to flee sin and practice the righteousness of Jesus more today than I did yesterday.

I am bad! I deserve nothing but relational, ecclesiastical, and eternal excommunication. But Jesus is so, so good! Therefore, today, I want to honor and worship my Savior with my heart, soul, mind and strength. Today, I want to “glorify God with my body.”

1 Corinthians 5-6     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! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have 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 that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that 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, not with the old leaven, the leaven 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 of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have 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.” When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or 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, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

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