Thursday, January 15, 2009
Spiritual Warfare and the Immoral Corinthian
Please read I Corinthians 5:1-5; II Corinthians 2:5-11. We live in a day of sexual openness in society and at times in the church. A pastor friend said he was in a restaurant recently and a young woman who used to attend a Bible believing church was his waitress. She told him how she was pregnant by her live in boy friend. She said she was looking forward to having a child. The irony of this is she knew who this pastor was and did not show any type of embarrassment or remorse for her life style.This bring us to God's standards concerning immorality among His people. Paul gives us the example of a man involved in an immoral relationship with his step mother. Paul commands that this brother involved in flagrant sexual sin be delivered to Satan so that his spirit might be saved. "Deliver him to Satan" is excommunication, which puts him into Satan's arena, outside the protection of the church. This judgment does not come lightly; it is made in the name and with the power of the Lord Jesus. There are two possible meanings for "the destruction of his flesh" 1. Destroying his sinful lusts. 2. Destroying his physical flesh (death). In some way, both senses may be involved. On the flip side of this coin, the man repents and the church refuses to restore him. Note the passage above. Plummer in his commentary said "That Satan should take man by sin is proper for him, but that he should do so through man's repentance is too much, for repentance is our weapon, not his" When we do not appropriately forgive others, Satan is able to gain an advantage (to defraud for the purpose of gaining what belongs to another) over us. He does so by overwhelming both the offender with excessive sorrow, and us with unforgiving hearts. Paul was aware of Satan's schemes, and we must be also. Paul was aware of Satan's schemes, and we must be also. When we refuse to forgive a repentant offender by not allowing him or her to resume fellowship with us, we are giving Satan an opportunity to defraud that person of his or her rightful participation in the body of Christ.