1 & 2 Corinthians: Day 5

Church Discipline

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Today's Text: 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Leviticus 18:8, Galatians 6:1-10

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Leviticus 18:8, Galatians 6:1-10

Are you shocked when you read the latest news headlines? According to Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, we shouldn’t be surprised at all by the terrible acts of the world. After all, if a man is not anchored in Christ, why should he walk in the way of Christ? Why wouldn’t his every action ultimately come from greed and selfish ambition?

Paul tells us there is a fundamental difference between Christians and the world. We are fully changed by Jesus, and therefore, we are measured by a different stick altogether. Everywhere you look, the world is going to cheat and deceive, but why not? If we do not know Christ and are not changed by Him, there is no reason not to cheat and steal if we can get away with it. But as Christians we claim the name of Christ, and He has changed our hearts. We have every reason to choose what is right, even when no one is looking. And not only do we have reason, we have a responsibility.

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul takes on the topic of immorality with the Church, and he does not do so casually. Sin among members of the body of Christ affects the whole body of believers. “Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough?” Paul asks, an undeniable urgency in his tone. Though he is not with them in person, Paul is “present in spirit,” and he demands his brothers and sisters act in a manner worthy of Christ’s sacrifice (v.2-5). He asks them to remember their new measuring stick: the gospel and grace of Jesus.

So what are we to do with those in the world who don’t know Jesus, and who continually and exuberantly choose what is evil? Paul addresses this, too, explaining that it is God and God alone who judges (v.13).

It’s such a relief that it’s not our job to busybody around and judge the world for doing exactly what the world is wont to do. God will judge. Instead of our judgment, God is calling us to give our energy and “not [tire] of doing good” (Galatians 6:9). We can share the gospel and we can do good, but there’s no need for us to hustle our judgment on the world—it’s not even our job.

And what about our brothers and sisters in the faith who do wrong? According to Scripture, reconciliation is the goal. Listen to these fiercely kind words from Galatians:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:1-2

Look out for each other! “As we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith” (v.10). Have zeal for doing what is right, restore your Christian brothers and sisters with patience, and do not grow weary in your work of doing good. The Lord transforms His children, and He makes them fit for the task.

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  • We can only do so much for people, trying to bring them back to God if they have sinned. You can only try so many times before you just have to walk away and let them figure it out for themselves. At that point, pray from a distance and leave it and Let God.

    For example, with v11, talking about the drunkard and “do not associate”–both of my parents drank and became drunk all the time growing up and into my adulthood. Now my mother is sober and is a different person and she sees her mistakes. We don’t have to completely cut someone out of our life due to them sinning, we try to direct them periodically so we don’t ‘tire out in doing good’ (Gal 6:9). I believe the more we associate with the method of sinning, it increases the risk for us to sin as we engulf ourself around it.

    Plus years ago with my big life changing sins, I would have casted myself out of the church by myself. God changed my heart and changed my focus onto Him more and I’m thankful. I’m grateful for Him being every forgiving due to the covenant of Jesus; I get another chance and I am made ‘white as snow’ (Isaiah 1:18).

  • Taylor Harvey

    I’m a little confused.. the verses in Galatians hold a great contrast to what Paul says in this chapter, specifically when he says to deliver this particular man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh in order to save his spirit in the day of the lord (vs 5)
    This contradicts so much of what I’ve been taught and I think I’m missing historical context. It is so harsh compared to the Galatians excerpt.

    • Angie Parizo

      I had the same exact thoughts. I keep wondering what I’m missing.

    • Kris-Florence

      what i got from it, paul is telling the corinthians of the wrongdoings of their brothers, helping them realize that although it is just one person who is committing this sin, that one person can affect the entire church (v.6) so when we turn to galations, that is a reminder that around us there are people who are still sinning and living the life of the world, however we shouldn’t give up and just let them do what they want, we should “do good” and make a point to share the gospel and make the LORD known. they don’t connect directly, it’s more of “hey you guys are sinning” and what we should do if we see someone sinning. we shouldn’t judge since that’s the LORD’s job, rather we should be supportive and help whoever is struggling out of their pit and into the light of the Holy Spirit.

    • Samara Parker

      I’m confused by this as well! Please comment if you have helpful insight on this contrast.

    • Ava Coache

      The way I have been taught church discipline is that the act of “throwing him to Satan” is the very last resort. Separating someone from the church is never something that should be taken lightly or done with out an intense amount of love and coming alongside of him which is what we see described in Galatians. Coming alongside of someone gently and bearing his burdens is always the first step in church discipline trying to gently help someone see the sin and hopefully that will allow them to take it out of their life. It is only until that step and several others steps are complete and they are still choosing not to remove that sin then the act of throwing him to Satan (removal from the church body) would put him in such a place that he would then want to remove that sin from his life and come back to the church body. Hope this helps ladies!

    • Danessa Ison

      I agree with Ava’s summary. Paul is referring to a believer who is in consistent unrepentant sin. The Bible outlines in other places how we are to attempt to reach that Christian and encourage them towards repentance. However, as the last resort, if the Christian chooses to stay in consistent, unrepentant sin then Paul is calling for them to be removed from the church body. I don’t think it contradicts the passage in Galatians because Galatians is speaking about a repentant person and how in that case our hearts should move towards reconciling them back to the church.

      • Em

        Matthew 18:15-17 is one passage that my church has used to back up that method of dealing with sin in the church.

    • Kelli Childers

      Excommunication is the last resort. The desire is to restore a brother not turn him over to Satan, but is sometimes necessary to keep the sin from spreading through the rest of the bidy, kinda like cancer…

  • Amy Masaschi

    If anyone wants a really good sermon that gives great clarity to these verses on church discipline, check this out by John Piper. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-satan-saves-the-soul

  • I think today’s church (evangelical white male ) leaders will have a lot to answer for…Supporting hate, using the Bible to hurt children, explicitly and implicitly

  • Zoryvett Rodriguez

    This passage means so much to me. I find myself commuting little white lies. Tiny things that aren’t necessary and aren’t needed to make. Things that won’t make a difference if the truth was told but I tell the lie anyway. And I realize that these lies are hindering me. They are my sin. I just repent all of that. The enemy will not have a hold on my tongue. I pray God can grant me the grace needed to realize real truths instead of white lies are so much more appreciated. Thank you God!

    • Lacy DiSabatino

      Your bold repentance is so sweet and good. I can say with confidence that you are forgiven by our amazing Father, and tonight I am praying tha the Holy Spirit would fill up every inch of you and nothing but loving truth could come from your lips and you would become known as a woman of truth, honest, and reliability always. I pray that you would know your identity is already one of truth, it is how He sees you today. Your comment touched my heart, as lies once big and then small were a major place of repentance for me in my walk with Jesus. I have found it to be such a hard sin to admit. Nobody wants to say, “I’m so sorry I just lied to you about…” and so many people struggle to even see their own small lies, myself included. What a lovely and brave comment.

  • Renae Pearson

    I’ve often said that I easily forget how much I love and appreciate people or forget to pray for them when I don’t see them regularly, but Paul’s example is convicting. He cared about them so much it was like he was there with them in spirit. I’ve felt that occasionally with some people, but can grow in that!

  • Erin Emmerich

    Im still trying to get a godly understanding on how to go about addressing the issue of church leaders living in sin. When does sinning cross the line to when we need to ask them to step down or even leave the church? It’s a hard topic!

    • Morgan Hunka

      So this is just giving general advice to your question without knowing the actual situation. I believe if it is something that has and continues to be the “thorn in their side” but they are open about the struggle, set themselves up with support and accountability, and are actively seeking forgiveness and change they should be shown grace. We all struggle. But, if they are continuously living in a sinful way with no remorse or efforts to change, a conversation needs to happen with the church. I don’t believe asking them to leave the church all together is a solution.
      Maybe read Romans 14 and chat with wise believers before taking steps.

    • Amy Estoye

      Matthew 18 is the standard for how discipline should take place in the church. John MacArthur has an excellent series on this chapter. I think it’s called My Brother’s Keeper or Am I My Brother Keeper? It helped clear up a lot for me and was actually the study that drew me to salvation!

    • Renae Pearson

      Have you looked at and especially prayed through 1 Tim 5?

  • Stephanie Cudnik

    I think the hardest part about being a Christian today is learning the difference between judging other Christians and judging non Christians. And knowing when to speak up. I think a lot of Christians have taken “don’t judge” and interpreted it as “there is no right or wrong. That’s not for you to decide, that’s up to God.” I think judgement is up to God, but we can still discern whether something is evil or good. I feel like a lot of modern Christians are afraid to speak up against evil because we don’t want to be judgmental, and that’s a slippery slope.

  • Nichole Lindsay

    I love the connection in the reading today and I notice it has a lot of implications for today’s church. Paul reminds the Corinthians not to judge non-believers and that is God’s job. I feel a lot of people are turned off by the church today because of the judgement Christians place on everyone especially non-believers. And Paul states it clearly to not do that! I also see that he wants us to judge fellow Christians but in a gentle way, helping them leave behind their sins, repent and be restored.

  • Brianna Foshie

    I think it is so easy to get caught up in judging others good or bad. We even judge ourselves, sometime more and often harsher than we judge others. We see someone wearing certain clothes and voice who we think that person is based off of how they dress. We see someone in the news who’s committed a crime and judge them and their families. I think with social media we see a lot of judgment and it has almost become normalized in our time.

  • It seems to me that 1 Corinthians 5 and Galatians 6 contradict each other. Paul is telling the Corinthians not to even associate with sexually immoral people and do remove the evil person from among you. That seems to not go with what Jesus teaches about loving all and what Galatians says about restoring a person with a gentle spirit. Any insight to this?

    • Stephanie

      Maybe it has to do with whether or not the person is willing to repent and change. If they are unwilling to repent, turn them out. If they are willing to repent, then show patience and gentleness and help them through it.

    • Kayla M

      I was thinking the same thing that one seemed extremely harsh and you never see a church remove someone from their the fellowship?! I think we turn a blind eye and maybe sometimes act like the verse’s in Gal.?

    • Elizabeth

      It is a little tricky to reconcile. However, they do go hand in hand. The Church is able to discipline other believers, but not from a haughty spirit. The purpose of church discipline is for the goal of ultimate restoration. I liked to read both passages in the AMPC to help. The reason they were to have the fornicator leave was a way to cause his heart to be corrected and then return. Believers also must be careful not to socialize with those other believers living in sin so as not to condone/let it affect them. The verse in Galatians is saying to help restore believers who are in sin (help them to turn from sin) but also warns to be careful and wise so as to not be tempted also (not to socialize with them too much like mentioned in Corinthians)
      Hope that helps! :)

    • Jessie Chatigny

      I think when we see inconsistencies in scripture like this, it’s an invitation in: an invitation to study and wrestle and not to skim and dry and make it the same (which is totally my instinct). One thing I hold onto is that these were God-inspired letters written to two separate communities with different cultures and different sins. Just like different kinds of people need to be told to take time to rest or to never stop doing good, these congregations needed different medicine. I have been a part of a church that had to ask someone to leave, a leader that was committed to adulteration and wanted the church’s blessing. And I’ve known many people that had affairs (and then reconciled or divorced) that we’re able to be ministered to and restored by the church. Context is so important. I wished we knew what Paul knew about the situation, but I love that there are multiple ways to respond and that the Holy Spirit can guide us. Makes it tougher without hard and fast rules but richer and more to the needs of each child and congregation of God.

      • Amy Rinta

        Well stated advice. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we apply this Scripture to our lives and especially when we attempt to apply it to others.

    • Jessie Chatigny

      So many typos! Try not dry, adultery not adulteration. Sigh. Phone typing :)

    • Madison Veitch

      This was exactly what I was going to comment! I feel like Corinth 5 (to me) feels entirely inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus. Worth a note and like someone else commented, a time to digest and pray over that reconcile that with Jesus within our own relationships with Him.

    • C

      Matthew 18, as someone mentioned earlier, has Jesus teaching us how to deal with church discipline – going to somebody one to one, then if they don’t listen to you, speak to them with a few others, then if they still don’t listen, tell it to the church. If they still refuse to repent, treat them as you would a pagan. So Jesus didn’t see it as contradictory to his message for there to be situations where it was appropriate to treat people as not part of the church – but only if they refused to repent. And it is always with the aim of them returning in repentance, just as God frequently disciplined Israel in the Old Testament to give them the opportunity to turn back to him. I think there’s a big difference between Christians struggling with sin, as we all do, and people who do not repent when they have acted sinfully. I guess the practical issue is discerning which situation you’re in!

    • Renae Pearson

      I can’t think of any passages where Jesus taught about calling people out for their sin, but He showed it by example a TON with the Pharisees! He’s was CONSTANTLY calling them out in front of everybody, because they were arrogant and uninterested in changing.

    • Amy Masaschi

      It sounds inconsistent b/c it’s a hard

    • Amy Masaschi

      It sounds inconsistent b/c it’s a hard saying. Don’t ignore or dismiss scripture b/c it seems inconsistent…God is not the author of confusion…do some serious studying and praying of these passages, listen to sermons preached on them.

  • can somebody explain Gal 6:2 and 5 to me? I’m sure there is some poetic explanation, but i just don’t see it

  • Alia McCants

    Thank you for asking this! I had the same wondering.

    • Jeri

      Verses 2&5 are not talking about the same thing. Verse 2 talks about bearing one anothers burdens, which is connected to v1 talking about transgressions, which are a burden. We bear one anothers burdens which we are told to do. V 5 talks about each carrying his own load (different from burden) which is related to v4 where Paul speaks about testing your own work and not comparing to your neighbors, thus bearing your own load as your neighbor bears his own load. It is best to read Vs. 1-5 inclusive to get all of what Paul is saying, rather than isolating two verses that seem similar. Hope this helps.

  • Marlaena Guenther

    Looking for some encouragement. My dad had an affair five months ago and left my mom to live with this other woman and her kids. Myself and my siblings are all adults and as far as I know my dad still would consider himself a Christian. He has been encouraged to seek counselling, reconciliation, to turn from his sin by family and by our pastor. I am struggling with vs 9-15 today where it says to have nothing to do with the sexually immoral and those who are verbally abusive, which he was. My biggest struggle is how to show the love of Christ (and as a daughter who loves him) but also without making it seem like all is okay and he is not sinning. Any ideas or suggestions? Prayers also appreciated. Thanks!

    • Tara Gillaspie

      Praying! What a hard situation. The Lord knows exactly what is happening, my only suggestion is to continue leaning on and into Him. He will guide you in every interaction. As a child you can definitely still show love and respect to your dad, while also sharing openly that you are still grieved by his actions. It’s hard if someone remains unrepentant to have a close and healthy relationship. Praying God gives you comfort and wisdom!

      • Savanna

        My dad cheated on my mom when I was 17. Not only did I find out through my siblings when my mom didn’t know, but I found out through my brother when he saw on my dads phone. My brother found out after he himself just came out of a psych ward. My dad found out we knew and told us to keep it a secret during Christmas from my mom. My mom knew something was going on so my brother told my mom. My mom kicked my dad out, we were forced to move out of our house, I had no where to go after bankruptcy so went to a college far away to have a place to live, and my baby sister moved to Alabama with my mom who quickly remarried her high school best friend. My dad claimed to be a Christian then, through now he is following God with his life. Gods plans are redemptive. This Does not go into detail the story of my family but it it a glimpse of Gods mercy. God loves my dad and loves yours. He has not let go of him, keep praying for him! It’s not the last chapter of the book

    • Brittany Fuller

      Praying for you!! ❤️

    • Linda G

      Super difficult. If the Lord opens the door, try asking him, “Dad, where are you at with Jesus?” His answer may be revealing. I have a hunch that your dad is enjoying the pleasures of sin but is also feeling a lot of guilt

      Most of all pray for your mom. How devastating for the entire family but her heart must be totally broken. You don’t need to “take care of her” but do lift her (and your dad) up in prayer. And maybe even the other woman…

      • Linda G

        My other question is: is the church there for the rest of your family? I pray so.

      • Marlaena Guenther

        From the people that know, yes. Our pastor is involved too and we have seen great support from those that know.

    • Stephanie Woods

      Sister, I have walked this road. My dad was a pastor when he abandoned our family for another woman. He never really came back or returned to a deep, abiding faith. God will supply you the strength and guidance to engage your father as he needs to be engaged, but it is God who convicts and God who saves (I say that because you are free of the burden of saving him – just listen to the Holy Spirit and obey his words). He has not out sinned the reach of God, and I would assume he is hard of heart, as he has chosen his sin over the call of the Lord and that’s a low place to be. Praying for you guys, the road ahead is so tough and confusing and sad. Sin makes a mess of things. All you can do is engage him like you would an unbeliever, show up, love him, and speak the gospel often.

    • Mandy Ray

      Love and prayers for you.

    • Marlaena Guenther

      Thank you everybody! Your words have been an encouragement.

  • Giselle Brown

    Thank you so much for this devotional. What a Godsend. I was just asking some of my girls in my bible study to pray for me this morning because I’m a nurse in a hospital where bullying is prevalent. I had a horrible day Wednesday and have been asking God to teach me to not hold grudges and not build bitterness against my boss who bullied me. I was also sharing how just saddened and disappointed I am by these nurses who are supposed to be taking care of these patients but are some of the most selfish and uncaring people that I know. But this devotional reminds me that I can not expect anything good from those who do not know the Lord’s grace. I’ve been putting so much hope in people but have just been so disappointed and hurt by them but realize the Lord redeems and can do so in this case.

    • Krista

      Giselle – Thanks for sharing your experience. I also work as a nurse and have seen bullying in the hospital setting, which can make for a very caustic and difficult work environment. On my floor even those who call themselves Christians still perpetuate gossip and malice. It was very discouraging, and honestly isolating for me in the first year I worked there because it was hard for me to make friends. But after a year of working there God provided two amazing friends for me who encouraged me and brought more joy into my work. I know He will provide for you as well, in exactly the way you need. I would encourage you in the meantime to keep doing what you’re doing – showing grace to those who are less than kind. It is not going unnoticed. God has placed you on this floor for a reason and He is working through you even now in this hard season.

    • Cathy

      Every morning as I am walking into the hospital, I am praying. Our jobs are so important to so many people, and I need ALL the strength I can get. I’m not talking about human strength, but spiritual strength. I pray Heavenly Father, I offer you all the joys, works and sufferings of this day. Help them to see you in me. AMEN. This always starts my day off on the right foot. It puts me in the right frame of mind. I give it all to God. If I have a particularly rough day, I pray more. I pray in particular for anyone I notice that is having a worse day than I am. When I take the focus away from me and focus on God, and send up blessings for those who need them, I am blessed in return.

  • Jennifer Martin

    I needed this devotional today. It’s always a good reminder that it’s not my job to judge the world. ♥️

  • Katalina Gonzalez

    Beautiful devotional… thank you♥️

  • I believe Leah Warren’s comment above speaks to this.

  • Shannon Lewis

    I was thinking the same thing as Kelly and Jessica. Thank you Leah! That does make sense.

  • Check out verse 5, “hand that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, SO THAT his SPIRIT may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
    Our church is going through 1&2 Corin. right now as well so our pastor keyed in on this verse, we usually miss it and there is this guilt we feel that we dont want to “kick people out”. We’re in an inclusive culture BUT this shows us that it’s possibly- probably better for the future good of the person. It is loving to show them their sin – everyone has blind spots. C.S. Lewis said “Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” Their future is more important than their current feelings or your feelings.
    Not saying it’s easy but it’s what is best! God bless y’all today!

    • Irina

      Yes. I’m surprised that this important passage was missed out by this devotion. And not surprised as it is an inclusive culture we live in. Instead, we are given verses from Galatians to smother the impression from Paul’s instructions to Corinthians…

    • Elle

      Thank you for pointing this out! I was a bit disappointed to see that this was not focused upon more in the devotional, as it is (I believe) one of the focal points of the verse. A bit unpleasant, yes, but necessary, for the church in the verse and for us as believers.

  • Leah Warren

    Kelly and Jessica, I’d assume that it has to do with the process of reconciliation presented in Matthew 18. If a brother/sister is repentant or sorrowful about their sin, we hold them gently and walk with them through restoration. But when the whole process of Matthew 18 has been carried out— with gentleness— and there is no remorse, then that person becomes a snare to the body and should be separated for a time. Does that make sense?

    • Hannah

      “17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

      How did Jesus treat the pagans and tax collectors? With love! He spend all his time with those persons, so i think that when someone refuses to listen, Jesus want you to love this person even MORE.

      I don’t speak english, but i hope you can understand what i’m trying to say.

      • hannah

        I don’t know if you’re referring to: “17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

        But how did Jesus treat the pagans and tax collectors? With love! He spent all his time with those persons, so i think that when someone refuses to listen, Jesus would want you to love and care for this person even MORE.

        I don’t speak english, but i hope you can understand what i’m trying to say.

        • Jennifer

          There is a level of spiritual intimacy and accountability that we have with fellow believers – we are brothers and sisters, united as family through the blood of Christ. We do not have that same closeness with unbelievers, and I think that is what Jesus is saying here. A pagan or a tax collector would not be a part of the congregation of believers; we are to love them (yes! and pray for them), but they are not the people we worship God and study Scripture with, or kneel beside in prayer, or ask for help with accountability. Their values and goals are different from ours; their advice to us in living daily life would differ from Scripture.

          Our family is going through a very real example of this right now. A family member’s sin caused much pain (not just to my husband and I, but to our kids, which breaks my heart), and we have tried to walk through this process outlined in Matthew. I read this passage again with my kids recently, and we asked the question, how DO you treat a “pagan” or a “tax collector” or an unbeliever? How are we to treat our family member? Love them, yes. Pray for them, yes. Live in such a way that they will want the relationship we have with Jesus, yes. Share truth with them when you have the chance, yes. But – have spiritual closeness and accountability with them, no. That is a privilege of relationship with other believers.

    • Alia McCants

      Thank you, Leah. This makes sense.

  • Carrie Rogers

    Thank you & Amen!

  • Jessica Taylor

    Wondering the same thing!

  • Megan Biddle

    As usual this is quite timely. Today we are meeting with a family members Pastor to address some sin they are flat out refusing to deal with. It is affecting everyone in our family in a very big way. Would appreciate prayer.

  • I have a friend that has been doing a lot of things that have me concerned. At first I wasn’t sure how to talk to her about it. We sort of played this “my sin is more extreme than yours” game and kind of joke about it. But now I’m in this place of living a life of holiness and I’m not sure how to talk to her. But this gave me so much encouragement. I’ve been wanting to have that talk with her but I didn’t know how or felt like it was my place to because I was basically cheering her on or joking about it with her. Prayers please in the coming weeks for the tough conversations that will come.

    • Debbie

      Prayers for patience and gentleness and conviction.

    • SarahB

      This is something I’ve been struggling with lately too. I love that you are able to relate to her – it’s sometimes hard to remember that we’re capable of the same sin. I pray that you’ll find the right opportunity to speak with your friend. Sometimes our best lovelies don’t listen and that’s ok – leave it all with Jesus! He is big enough. You are a good friend.

  • With the reminder of yesterday that none of us deserve a seat at the table with Christ it makes sense that Paul’s next step is going to a brother in sin. Remember the grace you don’t deserve and that you are a sinner too before you go to your brother in sin. Don’t be haughty in the mindset with is so easy to fall into. We are prideful people but remember your own sin first then remember God chose to save you…Ok now go to a brother in sin. The process is so key. I know I’ve battled this the past year a lot but God has been good to show me how ugly my heart is toward it all And how beautiful His grace is.

  • I have read this passage many times recently as I have been dealing with a friend who has fallen into an immoral relationship. The goal is restoration, yes, but I think that Paul is clear that if those practicing this sin continue in it and reject your pleas to repent, they must be removed. There is no assurance of their salvation and for them to bear the name of Christ mars the Gospel. This is especially true with sexual sin as it destroys the beautiful picture of the Gospel in marriage. I had to confront my friend. I agonized over it and prayed over it. She has rejected my pleas and it has been incredibly painful to lose her friendship, but I loved her to much not to speak truth. Sometimes it’s really hard.

    • Debbie

      Maria, yes, this is part of the process according to our Scripture for today. We are supposed to have patience with a sinning Christian and try to bring him/her back, but it is also clear that if that person is unrepentant, there should be consequences. Paul makes it clear we should not judge non-Christians. He also makes it clear we must judge Christians if we are to keep the body of Christ “unleavened.” It is painful to do this to s fellow Christian, and it should be so we don’t easily judge people and become legalistic (which would be sinful). However, as Paul indicates, if they are that determined to sin, them we need to follow Paul’s advice of separating from them in love in order for them to see they must stop sinning. Not fun, but you love your friend and want them to repent and return. My prayers are with you for strength and love and patience and gentleness. My prayers are with your friend that they will repent after seeing that unrepentent and continual sin should not be a part of a Christian’s life. Matthew 18:15-17:
      “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

      I am sorry you are in this situation.

  • … let us work for the good of all. A worthy goal . Thank you for these words of encouragement. They truly lift me up at a time when I am weary and flagging a bit in work and commitments that I have to my church and my family. Each morning, I ask God to be with in and in me and to work through me to fulfill His will. And then, I put one foot in front of the other and step out into the day. Before I know it, my hands are busy and my heart is lifted !

  • Kelly Chataine

    God is so good! He created us, loves us, redeems us, and tells us how to live!

    Update on my husband and me: Yesterday, we went to lunch with friends and other friends came over in the evening. These visits recharged us both and God used the visits to bring us encouragement! Dennis has had four strong and with-it days in a row. He is using his cane, a lot. He is trying new activities around the house. We are grateful to God for the healing and humbly ask that the healing continue.
    My days are busy but much more doable because school is out for two months. Join me in praying that Dennis will be much better once school resumes.
    Thanking God for this SRT community!

  • Suzanne Gordan

    Reconcilation within the Body is often a difficult and exhausting process. This reading was a good reminder that regardless of the difficulty, it is still my responsibility as a member of the Body. I need the Lord to give me grace to LOVINGLY confront some believers in my community that are in rebellion against God.

  • Bunny Perry

    In reading Matthew Henry’s commentary, he stated, “It is a sad consequence of divisions among Christians that it makes them apt to rejoice in iniquity. The sins of others should be our sorrow.”
    I am so guilty of this. Thank you Lord, for bringing my sin to light. I have much to learn and work on!

  • Amber Anyanwu

    Good morning ladies there is so much freedom in these verses when we apply it to our expectations of others in this world. The conviction for me was v. 2 “And you are arrogant. Shouldn’t you mourn?” How often my heart gets proud of myself or relieved when I see someone else “get caught” when instead I should be heartbroken. Lord help my arrogance and pride and help me to reevaluate my expectations of others. Bring me back daily to putting my full trust in you.

  • Terrisa Stewart

    Truly needed to hear these words this morning. I was in between minds on how to deal with a friend after he feel short of an expectation I had. Sure it was a worldly one but it hurt nonetheless. This reading reminded me that if I am to truly be a Woman of Christ I need to fix my eyes on Him and let Him guide my path. I pray that God gives me the kindness to deal with my friend in the midst of his wrongdoing because I know that sooner or later I’m going to need that same grace.

  • Churchmouse

    “It’s such a relief that it’s not our job to busybody around and judge the world…”
    The only body I need to be busy about is my own.
    Matthew 7: 1-5.
    Lord, let me not hold others accountable for that which I desire grace for myself. Help me to be gentle in spirit. May I carry others’ burdens in prayer instead of condemning them. Help me to daily examine myself first. Help me to work for the good of all. Amen.

  • Please pray for my daughter’s friend. She keeps talking about killing herself. She had been trying to help her for the last three hours. Thanks

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for your daughter’s friend to seek immediate professional support. So grateful your daughter is intervening even right now. Praying that the grip of depression would be broken and that this friend would walk in freedom. Right now, Lord. Do it right now.

    • M

      Will be praying for your daughters friend and for your daughter as she goes through this.

    • Susan

      Sending up prayers for your daughter and her friend. Father God, draw near and wrap your arms of protection around them both. May the enemy of darkness not prevail! In Jesus Name, Amen

    • Kelly Chataine

      Already prayed and will continue to pray.

    • Julie

      Praying for your daughter’s friend to get the help she needs to overcome this battle. I pray that she receives all that she needs to recover and heal to become whole again. May God cover her with His feathers and shelter her in His wings. Psalm 91:4 NLT

    • ~ B ~

      Lord, thank you for Kristen, thank you that a line of defense for her is to seek prayer and thank you for her daughter in her efforts and encouragement, I ask that you cover them in your peace and comfort in this day of concern and in the days to come. Lord, I ask that you reveal yourself to the friend, that you gird her heart in your love over her today and help her have the strength to overcome the lies of the enemy, to hear even your whisper in the midst of this noise, lift her Spirit to rise above any pain and give her a glimpse of your desires for her … Father God, remove any doubt, any shame and any hopelessness today … let your love, your peace and your purpose wash over her like a great wave and let her rise in a new wisdom today, free of the weights that hold her down. Lord, there is so much pain in the world … even this today today reminds us, in our efforts to introduce others to you, to aid in bringing them home, I ask that you give us the words, that you lift our hearts to have the courage and that you rejuvenate us when we are worn, so that we can persevere in this broken world … knowing full well that what you desire for one, you desire for the other! You leave the 99 for the 1, so Lord, bring this precious child of yours into the fold, Lord! I ask these things in Christ’s name!

    • Trayce Allen

      Praying for your daughter and her friend. So much sadness with famous people taking their own lives. First Kate Spade and just this morning I woke up to news of Anthony Bourdain. Lord, please bless all those who feel death is their only hope. Wrap your arms around them and help them see the glorious light of your presence. Amen

    • Alexis

      I pray against the spirit of depression that has it’s hold on your daughters friend. May she see and know the truth that she is loved. May she not listen to the lies that her life is worthless. May God bring someone to help her professionally.

    • Katelyn

      I’m praying for your daughter and her friend❤️

  • We (my husband and I) have been doing a Bible study in our home for about a month now, where people of other cultures come together (Christians and Non-Christians) and read a specific text. We then discuss only that text with a few questions that we prepared beforehand.
    There have been some very unique answers given and opinions (all are welcome) have been all over the map. I find myself getting frustrated with the non-believers for not knowing what is morally correct. Then this scripture reading hits the nail on the head. I just need extra prayer that it would sink in. That my expectations for the non-believers that attend cannot be the same as for the believers.
    Thank you for your words this morning. Quite encouraging.

  • Ruth Lund

    Thankful for these words this morning. I’m in a situation where it would be easy to judge another but I need to hold fast to the verses about not judging here, especially ‘let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.’

    I’m realizing I can’t do so much about that other person, and it’s not my job to worry about that. (Thankful for this too! What a relief that God has taken care of this and every other difficult situation in ways I may never understand.) But I can do something about me and my own heart, own attitude, own actions.

    Lord please help me to hold fast to this. Today and every day. Even when it’s not easy. Amen.

    • Alice Carroll

      Father, I pray that Ruth may hear the Spirit’s voice, and may He give her strength in the battle. Amen.

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