Ought You not Rather to Mourn?

1 Corinthians 5:1-2 ESV

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.”

Sexual Immorality is Rampant

Sexual immorality is rampant in today’s modern church in America. And largely this is because of the cheap grace gospel which convinces its adherents that they can be saved from their sins, have eternal life with God, but still live in their sins deliberately, habitually, and rebelliously.

We also live in a sex-craved culture. Sex is in just about everything – in TV shows, movies, games, music, and advertising, et al. No matter where you go it seems you can’t escape it. It is blatant! It is in your face! It is in store windows, in check-out lines at stores, and even on Christian websites.

Sensuality is even in the church, in some of the music, in some of the presentations of sermons and music and drama, and in video clips, etc. It is in humor, even in humor used by Christians, even in sermons. And it is in the movies shown to the youth and in their music, too.

“Smart Devices”

And then there are smart phones everywhere. Most people in America seem to be in possession of a smart phone. Even children have these internet devices handed to them, some of which are not protected, and some of which are, but young people can find their way around these protections.

And then there are the adults who behave like children who are in possession of these private internet devices which can take them to an entire world of evil at their fingertips in the privacy of a corner in a room or in a room with a closed door where no one else can see.

They are pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent, addicted to sin, and intoxicated with all kinds of sinful pleasures, including incest, homosexuality, exposing themselves, being peeping toms, spying on others, breaking into others wifis, extra-marital affairs, porn addiction, self-gratification, abusing children, and engaging in sexual fantasies and prostitution, and the like.

They are liars and deceivers who hide what they do in secret so that no one will know. But many of them profess faith in Jesus Christ, and some of them are even pastors of churches, or they are deacons or elders or Bible teachers who make a show of righteousness on the outside while they hide their sins.

What They Practice

But righteousness is not what they practice. Sin is what they practice. And lying and deceiving is what they practice, and the truth is not in them. And that is because they are #1 in their own lives, i.e., they are their own idol, and their sinful pleasures come first, no matter who they hurt or destroy in the process, even to the destruction of marriages and families.

They are worthless (fruitless) in the eyes of God because they only feed themselves, and I am not talking about physical food here, but they feed themselves with their own fleshly and selfish and lustful desires at the cost (the loss) of purity, honesty, faithfulness, love for God, and love for their fellow humans, including their own spouses and children.

For, they are following the ways of the flesh and not the ways of righteousness. God is not their God, because they are their own god. They are perverted, corrupt, slothful, hypocritical liars who disguise themselves as servants of righteousness while they are servants of the flesh and the devil.

But they won’t be honest about their sinful practices. They won’t come into the light as God is in the light lest their evil deeds be exposed. So, they hide them in secret, while they continue in deliberate, habitual, and often premeditated sin against God and other humans.

And much of today’s church and their leaders are doing nothing about this. They are even promoting it with the cheap grace gospel, and they are even teaching that Jesus delights in them while they are engaged in sinful rebellion against him, because they just claim “Who I am in Christ” as a coverall for their sins.

But They are Proud

But they are proud of their church gatherings and their bands (praise teams) and their pastors, and of their performances and their sermons, and of their casual atmosphere and their welcoming of everyone, and of their non-judgmentalism and their acceptance of everyone no matter what.

But they are not mourning over their sins. Some people are. I am not saying this describes the whole church or all Christians in America, but it does describe a large majority of what is called church and who are calling themselves Christians. But they are not being taught to mourn over sin.

So, they are also not exercising genuine biblical discipline, either. And that is partly because many pastors are engaged in sexual sin themselves, and partly because the modern way to do church is to not offend anyone with the truth of the gospel, and to not confront anyone in their sins for fear they might leave the church. So, they are more likely to ask those who are adhering to the gospel to leave, instead.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV

“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

The solution? The church needs to cleanse herself of all rampant sinful practices which are now being allowed to grow and to spread throughout the church, which means removing people from their fellowships who refuse to repent of their deliberate, rebellious, and sinful ways (practices).

And then they need to help one another to grow in the Lord and to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity, and to hold one another accountable for habitual sinful practices. And sin, confess, sin, confess does not cut it. That is not repentance. It is worldly sorrow, not godly sorrow, for it doesn’t produce change, but just more of the same repeated over again.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you’.”

So, what is the object of this course of action? For one it is certainly to cleanse the church of rampant sinful rebellion against God so that the whole church (the whole body of Christ) does not become infected with this sinful rebellion. But it is also to shame the person in hopes that he/she will repent of his/her sinful ways so that he/she can be saved and have eternal life.

In the Hour of Trial

Lyrics by James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Music by Spencer Lane (1843-1903)

In the hour of trial, Jesus, pray for me,
Lest by base denial, I depart from Thee;
When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall,
Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall.

With its witching pleasures, would this vain world charm
Or its sordid treasures spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance sad Gethsemane
Or, in darker semblance, cross-crowned Calvary.

If with sore affliction, Thou in love chastise,
Pour Thy benediction on the sacrifice.
Then upon Thine altar, freely offered up,
Though the flesh may falter, faith shall drink the cup.

When in dust and ashes, to the grave I sink,
While heaven’s glory flashes o’er the shelving brink,
On Thy truth relying, through that mortal strife,
Lord, receive me, dying, to eternal life.

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