Protect Yourself and the Body of Christ – 5-23-22

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” 1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of First Corinthians chapter 5 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Immorality Defiles the Church

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even [a]named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are [b]puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord [c]Jesus.

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore [d]purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed [e]for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Immorality Must Be Judged

I wrote to you in my epistle not to [f]keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 5:1 NU omits named
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:2 arrogant
  3. 1 Corinthians 5:5 NU omits Jesus
  4. 1 Corinthians 5:7 clean out
  5. 1 Corinthians 5:7 NU omits for us
  6. 1 Corinthians 5:9 associate

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 20:31- “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I hope you had a blessed and beautiful weekend!
I hope you came hungry – we have a short chapter to read today but it is juice meat for those ready to hear from God!!

Last chapter began a transition in topics. We spent lots of time talking about division and denominations, giving us insight on how to repent and not take part in such nonsense as well as insight on how to pray for our local churches and fellow believers.  We must ask ourselves, if our every action and thought is kingdom unity minded or not. Are we being in the best interest of God’s kingdom plan.

I understand why man made this chapter include only this, not in context with the rest of the book (no overlap in thought, as we begin. It starts with difficult words and ends with difficult words. Recall Paul’s threat to show up as a disciplinarian – well, here is a taste.

Paul heard from Chloe’s people about the division – He also heard about a man in their church who as openly having an affair with his father’s wife (I hope it was his step mother and not his mother – but either way… ewww!) If that happened in my local church, I would not even be able to look at them again! But Corinth was a pretty woke city. All the temples to false gods and Greek philosophy constantly trying to seep into the church becomes a constant fight back by the true believers who are awake and not woke!
Yes, I am applying modern terms – because the SAME thing is happening in the modern church!!! It is not a man with his stepmom, necessarily. The exact sin is not the point. Paul never even says the sin is as much of a problem as: THE REAL PROBLEM is the TOLLERANCE for the sin. And this, I know, is a fine line – so let God reveal it to you. The sin is being “woke” – the sin is not loving and accepting a sinner and leading them to Christ and being a Godly example.
Another thing we need to know, in order to understand this passage, is the structure of the church then verses the structure of the church today. You see, back then – church was only believers, making a dish to share and meeting together and sitting and laying around listening to one of the teach while eating and children playing. Then discussing the teaching to ensure everyone understood it. It was truly a body of believers and very few infiltrators. These believer WENT OUT, behaved like Christians, preached Jesus, made disciples and THEN brought them into the fold. The modern church brings in their unsaved friends and family expecting the preacher to reach them where we failed – we intentionally bring in infiltrators. We welcome in witches and warlocks and Satanist and the demon possessed. How will they hear if we do not bring them in? Our out reaches consist of tables set up at fair and flyer and advertisements to COME hear the good news of Jesus. Less of an “outreach” and more of a “drag in”.  And how will they ever learn the good news unless they come in? Do changes need to be made in the formulas of the modern church and do we need to get back to SOME of the old practices? YES! All? It is not going to happen until we are forced back into hiding.
So now that we know the situation Paul is speaking to and the behaviors of the early church we can red this chapter and gain the real insight.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

Today Paul hits right to the point! It is not all sexual immorality (although all is a sin). We must remember that in attendance are believer who are sex slaves, even slaves in pagan temples – they cannot help their participation in sexual immorality and beg God for forgiveness and mercy. Paul is not speaking to ALL.
Also, Paul is not speaking to the new believer who has come in with a complicated situation and is actively working to be free from or in a pre-common law marriage. (What is that? In those days we have documented records of 7 different types of legal marriages, whereas in the USA we have two: common law and ceremonial. Many people then could not afford a ceremonial wedding and just moved in together, because after one year they received the legal benefits of being married. In the USA it is 7 years of living together, in most states, and difficult to prove in court, for any legal benefits. So Paul wasn’t speaking to the new believer who was living as husband and wife with the intent of being legally husband and wife – there is nothing in the Bible telling them to separate until they could afford an expensive Roman wedding. ALSO – most traditional Jewish weddings, that did not also follow the Roman ceremony and associated fees, were NOT considered legal by the government until they lived together for a year. That would be the pre-common law marriage period.)  There are cultural nuances that were understood by the reader of the time – and confused by our lack of knowledge.
However – an affair with your stepmom (Please God, let it be his stepmom and not his mother!) was something even worse than what the word was doing!

For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 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.”

Tough LOVE. Emphasis on LOVE. These idiots in Corinth (who Paul loved dearly) were puffed up, bragging (verse 2) that they were so woke as t accept the sinner and hate the sin – but they were literally tolerating it and this man and his maternal figure were able to reap the benefits of being a believer, without dying to their flesh.
Time for another cultural history lesson. There were certain benefit to being Jewish, like participation in the temple retirement system and acceptance and belonging at the temple. There were certain benefits of being Roman, as we see Paul exploit these laws for preferential treatment and the furtherance of the gospel. Well, true to the cultural norm – the Christian set up a believer’s retirement system reflecting the Temple’s system, therefore requiring a tithe (because it was scriptural) and it paid into the system. This system helped with EVERY need, not just retirement. Your business had a slow month – they helped. You had any need, they helped. The orphan, the homeless, the delivered addict, the widow, the abandoned… they helped. Not to mention the meals, fellowship and community support. These people lived like family. I see people from my church at least once a week, at church, and occasionally once or twice in between Sundays. These people lived a lifestyle of support and open doors.

This close level of fellowship with sin – especially one so seemingly demonic – will dull the senses and corrupt even the strongest believer! You can cast the demon out, but it seems he would just invite it back, because it seems this man wants this – the only answer is tough love. LOVE again being the operative word.

PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD!!! I PRAY – you never confuse this for the manipulative form of tough love that started to be preached from the pulpit in the late 80’s, maybe earlier. This is NOT to manipulate this man into coming back, although it is in hopes of restoration. You do you somewhere else, is also not a threat or out of anger that they choose sin. Such a tight rope act here, I know. But in the wrong spirit it pushes people further from God and in the right spirit, God’s love draws them back. It must be LOVE. (More on that in a couple chapters.)

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”

Not good, dude! Not cool!  – What isn’t good? The sinner? He is NOT even remotely addressing the sinner! He says above that he judged it as sin…. but what is the sin? The SIN, the NOT GOOD BEHAVIOR is not a finger at the man and maternal figure – instead it is a finger pointing at the body or Christ for the compromise of tolerating sin in the name of being “woke”.
For example, I accept the LGBT community (including all the additional letters and the + sign) – meaning I accept the people. I hurt for them. They are bound an many possessed and when they say they are born that way (yes we are all born sinners under the curse) or they cannot help it – it is very true. Because they are bound to a lie they cannot break or possessed by a demon they cannot cast out by themselves. It is heartbreaking. And when trying to love them, you never know if you are speaking to them or a demon (unless God reveals it). And this kind of demon DOES NOT come out easily, and will not if the person isn’t willing to be free. It makes them nearly unreachable, except thought the word which can pierce deeply in there and grace that can transform anything and prepare it to be ready to be free. I have a few “friends” (more like acquaintances) who fall into this category. I am always here for them. I pray for them and witness to them. But they are not a part of my daily life and fellowship. They do not get to corrupt me. But also – they are trying to pretend they are a believer either, so there is not spirit of false religion creeping in with ‘em.

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

AGAIN – be ever so careful of your tough love – that it be love and not malice, wickedness or manipulation and that it is sincere and true.  (Again, more on that love in a few chapters)

Meanwhile:
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.”

You’d have to be in heaven in order to avoid and never be near someone who was sexually immoral in the city of Corinth! Yeah, this city was that bad! Besides, how do you reach these people if you avoid them like it’s a 2020 lock-down! Heck no! We love them into the body! We do what Jesus did with the prostitutes and tax collectors.  So if you did NOT understand the nuances of the Roman culture of the time period, at least if you keep scriptures in context you would know that the above doesn’t mean get into a 2020 lock-down or social distancing routine and not reach them for Christ.  Oh man!! Christ CAME for these very ones!

BUT here is it all summarized:
“ 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

OUCH!
Let’s bring this up into our modern culture and out of these Greek homes where church and family were synonyms. This means, if a member of the church is outwardly participating in any of these sins, they should be taken aside in private and offered the opportunity to publicly repent and be restored, or to no longer be members AND asked to leave and not return until they are ready to publicly show their repentance. Now what if they come to church and are not members? Then they should be taken aside in private, and be offered the opportunity to repent publicly and be restored, or asked to not come back until they are ready to show publicly they have repented so they can be restored.
Let’s use me and a loose example – although I was never asked to leave nor did I lose my membership, I had left during a church split and publicly sinned. When I returned to the Lord – I did not go home to my home church. I attended another church until God had built me up and prepared me. Because when I first returned, I was fragile and needed to be protected from what I would face. When God called me home – I had to walk in and show them, I was indeed serving the Lord and had been for a while. This wasn’t me coming back and it wasn’t like I hadn’t been serving him for a while and wasn’t going to leave again. I had to show publicly I had repented. As part of this process – I had to become a member all over again, even though by the Bylaws of the governing denomination it was unnecessary (and literally meant as malice and to insult me). I became a remember, humbly – and asked for NO membership ceremony or acknowledgement, mostly for their sakes before the Lord. The Pastor’s sake and those who followed this guidance ignorantly not discerning the principality at play. But the “Angry Demon” who is unhappy I have returned. Yes – I came back to a battle. These same forces say I am not sick, but backslidden and that is why I haven’t been in attendance. I came back to a battle. But the way to win the battle is through my testimony, by the blood of the lamb and loving not my life – in other words, I shut up and let God fight my battles. The point is, and was the only right things about this situation – that I must return humbly and show I have repented. Which is interesting – because God told me to come home and show myself to those of my past, to let them know I am serving Him, so they do not keep praying for me.

Now – all the what if’s:
What if it’s a new believer but the second person in the immoral (by modern standards) is not becoming a believer – and they are praying for and trying to reach their partner? They need to be counseled to separate – we all know it may take a couple months. Let grace work and pray it through. And what if the second person also comes to Christ? They should be advised to go to marriage counseling and get married (separate if they can while planning a quick wedding) so they do not fall into sin.

What if a normally content believer, catches a moment of the “I wants” seeing the things they do not have and forgetting what lot God has given them? I have fallen temporarily into the “I wants”; we all have. Do we excommunicate them for a little slip-up? NO! Again we provide council and prayer and support and a reminder of all the verses on contentment, God’s provisions and giving! Do not let a believer slip away if you can help it!

What if a believer starts to take their eyes off Christ and other things become more important. Like, they choose a seat in the sanctuary where they can keep an eye on their car. Or they begin to skip church to work, because work is more important.  Do we hand them over to their lusts and idolatry? Or do we first council them in private. Do we preach it from the pulpit, but never handle it directly – or do we disciple and work with grace so God is glorified – turning a mess into a message for other and a test into a testimony!  Hello?

What if, we are at a wedding and the bride’s mother is overcome with joy and celebration, and the adrenaline mixed with the wine from the toast is just a little too much for the teetotaler – and she finds herself drunk!?! Are we going to cast her away as a drunkard?! Are we going to start a rumor mill, I mean prayer chain, to “free her from her drinking”?! or shall we extend grace and take notice that she never touches the stuff.

Now – a reviler or an extortioner is a bit more difficult to slip up and accidently slip into. These are a bit more black and white. Because a reviler, by definition is a repeat offender and NO ONE wants to be around someone who might extort you, not even once!

So – let grace and love guide you, seek restoration – but do not permit yourself to be in a situation where you become complacent, accepting of sin, compromising, lukewarm, permissive, or worse, corrupted and sliding away yourself. And for the LOVE of GOD – DO NOT BECOME “WOKE”!

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

Paul’s final point is a great one! AND he is NOT saying not to judge after he just told you how to judge and preserve the flock. Paul is NOT telling us to judge and be critical of sinner in the world – it is God’s love that draws them and we love the sinner and hate the sin.

As we read in Romans – God judges. God drops His wrath as He knows is best. So when God opens the world to swallow the sinner (like he did in the book of Exodus) do not be standing next to that sinner or you’ll be swallowed up to.
Do not be the one falsely accusing a brother either- or you might find yourself carrying Shadrach Meshach and Abednego to the fire – and that fire shall consume you.
Be warned – avoid the judgments not meant for you.

And mostly protect each other, in grace – in prayer – in fighting the spiritual battle to protect and restore our brothers and sisters. Be warry of compromise and do not tie yourself to other’s sins. Speak the word against it but fight for the soul!
Recently – as in, I was just interrupted, with a lady asking for prayer. She and her husband are retired from a 5 fold ministry and with some sliding because of trauma, the enemy has set up a strong hold and if manifesting drama. I prayed and spoke the word. You all know me – the pure word, in context, is my weapon. She replied with a rebuke (in all caps too) telling me the word is insensitive and ineffective. I can only laugh at the manifestation. And I thought I should tell you all, so you understand – new times, God is doing a new thing, greater things. If Jesus can heal someone without being there. MY HOLY SPIRIT FIRE PRAYER can reach heaven and pour fire down over here and burn off the fingerprints from the enemy trying to touch the Lord’s anointed! The Lord is recalling my sister out of retirement into a HOTTER, fiery ministry as a demon slayer! (ok caster outter – cause we can’t slay them.) She shall never me the same (Please agree in the spirit in the name of Jesus on behalf of her soul!) I do not know her, but I not my husband, My savior, My deliverer – JESUS – sacrificed himself and bought her with His blood. Not today satan! NOT TODAY. Our sister’s name is Kathy – we love her, we don’t let her fall, and we all in agreement shall follow up in prayer for her freedom from this demonic attack! Thank you for praying with me.
This passage is NOT about more division after almost 4 chapters speaking against division. It is about love. The Man and Maternal figure needed to be loved enough to be told what they did was wrong. Not it off or not here.
There is a difference between exhortation and extortion – so when tough love is needed, make sure love is the operative word.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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