Monday, 16 June 2014
But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13
There is a difference between “judgments” and “judging.” We as Christians are to continuously make right “judgments.” We are to abstain from evil, recognize evil, identify that which is evil, and work against evil. However, as a body we are not given authority over those outside the church. Though we may make judgments on their conduct, we are not the judges over their conduct. Societies come and go and moral perversion is an inevitable part of them, usually increasing as the society ages.
Because the church is not the judge of societal wickedness, Paul begins with the word “But.” This is given in contrast to what he just said in 1 Corinthians 5:12 –
“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”
Those outside are excluded from church judgment, but they are not free from judgment! Instead, “those who are outside God judges.” There is no pass for wickedness and perversion. Instead, it will be handled in a separate manner by the ultimate Judge of all men. On the other hand, we are given authority over matters of disobedience within the church. It is the responsibility of the church to make judgments and then to pass judgment on those who violate the precepts laid out in Scripture.
To confirm this, Paul says “therefore.” Because the church is given this authority, it must use it properly and exercise it without fail. For those in Corinth, the decision is rendered by Paul – “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
The most severe judgment of the church is directed. The offender is to be put out of the fellowship and regarded as a pagan to those in the church. He has no rights within the body at all. He has been delivered over “to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” as Paul noted in verse 5.
Unfortunately, a consequence of living in a society where there are many churches and denominations in any given town is that the offender in the world today can simply cross the street and sit in a different church. However, the sentence if properly imposed on him should hopefully be of such weight that he would repent and turn from his wickedness.
Life application: The church has a moral responsibility to uphold God’s word, to keep the body pure, and to expel those who flagrantly disobey what God expects. Let us endeavor to stand boldly on the principles of Scripture and be strong in our moral convictions lest we be found wanting in our adherence to what the Lord expects.
Lord God, chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians instructs the church to stand firm on the moral principles laid out in Scripture. Those who flagrantly abuse Your guidance are to be removed from the fellowship. In today’s world, this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the immense amount of moral perversion within society and even within the church. This is especially true when our national leaders have grown so corrupt. Help us to look not to their example, but to Yours. Help us to stand fast on what is morally right and to act in accordance with Your will. Amen.