• Matt Beaney

#525 (14/1/22) EXPEL THE WICKED PERSON


‘It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?’ (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
‘I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.’ (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)
‘God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:13)

I could have entitled this blog ‘avoid poisonous people’. Christians and a local church must avoid allowing wolves to harass and poison our lives. Jesus warned us,

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them…’ (Matthew 7:15-16).

I guess that we could replace ‘fruit’ with, ‘by their yeast you will know them’!


Some people are evil and have evil intentions. Some people want to take advantage of you. Some people want to steal from you. Some people want to teach ‘doctrines of demons’. Some people bring division. We must recognise and avoid fellowship with such people. Don’t allow your compassion to allow these people to tear you down. Paul warns us,

‘But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires…’ (2 Timothy 3:1-6)

It’s the responsibility of the pastors of a church to expel a wicked person from the church and warn the church members not to fellowship with them. This may seem harsh, but shepherding requires this.


However, we all have a part to play. We may not put people out of the fellowship of the church but it may not come to this if each of us, in the relationships that we are in, are careful to warn a brother and sister who is wandering into sin or unbelief. We are not being true friends if we are not prepared to talk to those we love about things that are harming them and others!


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

'My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.' (James 5:19-20)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Important - this Sunday, our service is both live in the building and on Zoom from 10:30. Please go to the website for the Zoom link.

 

2. Icebreaker

What has been the most memorable (in a good way!) thing that has happened over Christmas and New Year?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians had become Christians out of a very sexually perverted culture. However, some of them were embracing the sin in their culture and going back to their old lives. Paul likens the spreading effects of sin in a church community to yeast spreading in dough - there is power in little things!

‘It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?’ (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
‘Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?’ (1 Corinthians 5:6)

The 'yeast' of sin that spreads is much more than sexual immorality. He also adds these things,

'But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.' (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Sin, if we are not careful, will spread in our lives and the church. We are to all play our part in the health of the church. Here are some ways:

1. Know your Bible - know the things that are sin. Know your identity in Christ.

2. Have humility - Be quick to deal with sin in our own lives - small things can be very destructive!

3. Help each other - Let's build deep friendships so we can encourage and correct each other. Share and ask for the support of a friend when we want to change.

4. Expel the un-repentant - Some people are dangerous and destructive. The elders of a church, on rare occasions, will have to put those who promote sin out of the church fellowship.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) How can we build deeper relationships in our Community Group so as be able to encourage each other more effectively?


iii) SIV - Too often, we can be tempted to think that if we embrace worldly values and style, we will be more effective in our mission. Why would resisting the yeast of sexual sin and other sinful traits make us more effective in our witness?

iv) SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

v) SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

vi) SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.







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