First things first, we will be reading 1 Corinthians 9-12 until next Friday. We’re half way through the book gals! :)
There was lots of good stuff here, as usual. So much I realized again for the first time, things that took on new meaning for me because of the context, things I was convicted about and I need to change big time. That’s the way it’s been pretty much ever since we started doing this. But this is the first time I have ever read a book and felt discouraged about our circumstances as a Christian body. Hopefully I can explain this clearly.
I have always loved my church. We’ve had a great church since I can remember. My parents were saved when I was a toddler and ever since that time we’ve had good teaching from our pulpit. But after reading chapter 5 this week I realized we’ve got a long way to go to be a church that God would be pleased with. We’ve got a great right-on-the-money message coming from a wonderful pastor every single week but there’s so much more to our church than what he says for 40 minutes in the morning and evening and Wednesday’s study. Paul was writing and telling the church in Corinth that they were corrupting themselves because they weren’t taking sin seriously. If someone got up in our church and said that the board had spoken to an immoral believer and there had been no repentance, and the term "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" came up, people would be utterly horrified and maybe even throw some tomatoes and cart you out of the church. There would be an uproar because you were keeping a fellow believer accountable. Doing what scripture says. What a thought!
If we know a believer is living in sin we should be so concerned about his soul and his relationship with the Lord that each time we meet up with that person we are pleading with them to repent and come back to fellowship. Instead we ignore the real issue, throw them a party to show them ‘love’, and let them enter the fellowship week after week thinking that everything is okay!
What is even more scary and humbling is the list of sins that Paul says are to be dealt with by excommunication. Just see if there isn’t potential in your own life for problems…sexually immoral, covetous, idolater, reviler, drunkard, extortioner. We are commanded not to even sit down and chat with Christians who are involved in such things. If these things were taken seriously by the Christians in our church it would change our ministry. We would free the Holy Spirit to actually start doing something. Not even something big necessarily, just something. No one is concered with holiness and righteousness anymore. We just want to make everyone comfortable and ‘loved’. And I realize that I am one of those people who just don’t want to ruffle any feathers and doesn’t say anything to those who need it. There have been a few times when someone should have spoken to me and if not for close family it would never have been dealt with.
I still like my church but I just wish we were all the Bible says we are to be.
By the time I made it through half of chapter 6 I was thankful. "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." 6:11 I am so thankful to be a true believer. So thankful to have God’s grace bestowed on me. I was sin and Christ chose me and washed me and is making me more like Him. That verse is another ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ statement. God didn’t have to choose me but He did and I am happy to be ‘Christ’s slave’.
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in our body and in your spirit, whyich are God’s." 6:19,20. This verse says that if you are a Christian you have no choice but to do exactly what the Bible says. You were bought and paid for and are a slave to Christ. No bones about it. You are owned and have to do what He says, all the time, whether you like it or not. That scares me to no end! I have NO control. I act like I do and that must look so silly to God. Do I really seek to glorify God in what I do all day? Or am I just doing what I want and giving it that name so it looks spiritual?
So I’m messed up, our churches are all messed up (for the most part) and we are all happy and in la la land. Somethings wrong and it needs to change. I’m still working through it all in my brain but God is definitely trying to teach me something and by golly, I want to get it right! :)
I’ll leave it at that for now. There’s so much more to the 4 chapters but I’ll just read what you had to say about it all. :)