Do Not Conform to the Culture (Part Two)- 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

In our previous post, we saw how the church in Corinth had developed a spiritual problem. This church, in its desire to be relevant, progressive and accepted by the culture had accepted the philosophy of the culture to the point of seeing evil as good, it was proud of someone who did something even the culture saw as wrong. We will now examine Paul’s command to the church regarding how it was to deal with this issue, and how his command is relevant to the church in the present day. We begin in 1 Corinthians 5:2, in which Paul tells the church that the proper response to an act such as this should not have been pride but rather grief, and that the man who did this should not be honored but rather shunned, not held up as an example but put out “from among their midst”. Paul then tells them he is not physically present with them but is with them in spirit, he is showing them the true meaning of what was happening and they should accept and embrace it, they should see things the way Paul does and respond, for Paul has already “judged” this action as wrong, and they should judge it as wrong also. He continues in verse 4, telling the Corinthians that the next time they assemble together, after they are one in spirit with Paul, after they finally see things his way, they are to hand this man over to Satan, to put him out of their fellowship, to leave him to his sin and its destructive consequences, for his sin will one day make him so miserable that God may eventually get through to him and show him the error of his ways and he may repent. This is all so that his “spirit may be saved”, here as a reference to the possibility of him seeing things correctly (spirit saved) and repenting of his sin and returning to the fellowship, hopefully before he dies and it is too late. So how is all of this relevant to the church in the present day? As we have seen, the church in Corinth had so accepted the culture’s way of seeing things that they were proud of their acceptance of what God said is evil. A segment of the church in our day has done exactly the same thing. In a desire to be relevant and progressive, it has so embraced the culture’s way of seeing things that it now champions what God clearly says is evil. The solution for the church today is exactly the same as it was in first century Corinth, the church must be “one spirit” with Paul, it must see things the way Paul does. It must reject, rather than embrace, the culture’s way of seeing things, it must put out of its fellowship all who so embrace the culture’s point of view that they glory in doing what the culture says is right even though God says it is wrong. The church must be of one mind, one heart, one spirit, it must see things as God does and not conform to the thinking of the culture, and must rid itself of all who seek to bring the philosophies and ideas of the culture, which are opposed to the truth of Scripture, into the church, before the church begins to so emulate the culture that it can no longer function as a light in the darkness.

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