Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 3 months ago

Sin, Discipline, and Grace in the Church

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Me, the First Corinthians chapter, fiveI'll be reading first Corinthians five this morning and preaching from thisportion of God's word. So First Corinthians five Paul begins and I sort of imagine himwith shaking his head. His jaw open his eyes unbelieving as hereports what he has heard to the Corinthians First Corinthians five. He says it isactually reported that there is sexual immorality among you and of a kind thatis not even tolerated. Among Pagans, for a man has his father's wife and youare arrogant. Ought you not rather to mourn, let himwho has done this be removed from among you, for, though absent in body? I ampresent in spirit and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on theone who did such a thing when you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus,and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus. You are to deliverthis man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may besaved in the day of the Lord you're. Boasting it's not good. Do you not know that a little leavenleavens the whole lump cleans out the old leaven that you may be a new lump,as you really are unloved 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 theunleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not toassociate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the sexually immoralof this world or the greedies and greedy and swindlers or idolaters.Since then, you would need to go out of the world, but now I am writing to you not toassociate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty ofsexual immorality or greed or as an idolater, reviler, drunkard or swimer,not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judgingoutsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge God,judges, those outside purge the evil person from among you? May God bless his word to us may beseated. Paul speaks to us in First Corinthians,five and very clear terms. There are a few things here and there, which mightfind a little bit of confusion around things that you're not exactly sure howto interpret. But the core of his message should be I'm very clear. Hesays it at the beginning. He says it throughout and he says it at the end that this grows a big, notorious and public sin that is amongthe church on needs to be purred. The person who is doing this thing should be removed from among the people x, communicated set outside the boundaries of thefellowship of the Church and the people so that they might be saved. In ourpassage to day, we learn that the...

...church and Corinth had another bigproblem. We've been thinking about one through the first four chapters, thatwas this arrogance over their understanding of the Ministry of theGospel another similar things related to that now. Paul comes to another onehe's heard a report, and he says it is actually reported that there's sexual immorality amongyou and of a kind that is not even tolerated among the Pagans for a manhas his father's wife. Not only was that a problem that sin initself with this particular man, but there was a second problem, which isthat the people in Corinth, the body of the church, was failing to do its jobin removing this person from among its members, and they needed to. The Sin in particular was the sin ofincest and when way of describing that orputting it would be to say this incest is acting like you're married withsomeone in your family that you're not and shouldn't be married to. In thiscase it was a son acting like he was married to his step mom and that's what the phrase wife of hisfather probably refers to, that: it's not that it is his step mother and ifthe father was still alive it. The Sin may have been even worse, because thenit would have been not only incest but adultery too. These are very big sins and every one knew it to give them awake up, call and avoid certain wrong conclusions about the law and the oldcovenant. Paul doesn't quote: Levitic is eighteen or Leviticus twenty, whichdoes forbid incest, but to make his point and he's he. Instead, he saysthis sin is a other kind, that's not even tolerated among the Pagans. I have to go to Moses to show you thatyou don't need special revelation natural law. God's Natural Law teachesthis plainly enough. The Pagans don't even accept this, and yet it's no bigdeal. It seems to be in your congregation, you're sitting on yourhands instead of dealing with the sin that is among you, and indeed the Pagans did not toleratethis in Rome. Those who are found guilty of incest were guilty of acriminal charge. They could be banished out of the cityto an island exiled you'd lose your citizenship if foundguilty. Potentially, you could lose your property, your social status,common fellowship with friends and families and in cases where it was alsoadulteress, as may be the case here. One Historian, Bruce Winter, tells usthat the charge of incests combined with adultery was so serious that it isexcluded from a five year statute of limitations under Roman law, whichmeans even long after the crime had been committed. A person could be foundguilty and sent into exile. This is how the Romans, who are not necessarily followers of God'smoral law and all kinds of other ways, dealt with this particular Sim. What does not? What is the implicationor what are some of the implications of the Church? Failing to deal with thisin their own congregation in Mathan? Twenty eight Jesus tells usgo make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of thefather, the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe. All that Ihave commanded you. This work that he commands us to is not the work of oneindividual, but the whole body of...

Christ founded in Christ and hisapostles, but when that body of Christ, when thechurch, when as the church, we allow big public notorious sins, that evenpaans don't tolerate, we are not walking any longer in thename of the father of a son in the Holy Spirit. We are not observing andteaching others to observe all that Jesus commanded, we're not we're not following the greatcommission, we're doing the opposite, and this is dangerous not only to our not only to our witness but even to our existence as a church. Why would I say that when revelation two three Jesus Rights,letters to seven churches, which represent the whole church throughouttime and there he makes an there, he says that he will comeagainst those people and those churches that do not repent to the Church andEphesus. He writes in the revelation to five. I will come against you andremove your lamp stand from its place. Unless you repent, he's essentially saying thiscongregation, will itself be excommunicated out of the Church ifthey do not repent, and this also applies to individuals.Excommunication for refusing to repent of sin can also apply to congregations in away including refusing to excommunicate inan individual that needs to be excommunicated. Jesus writes to theChurch and Thyra in revelation O D, Eighteen throughtwenty nine L. Actually, let's let me turn to that and read that that you might hear that the weight of his words revelation twoverse eighteen and to the Angel of the Church and Thir Tyre right the words ofthe son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire whose feet are likeburnished bronze. I know your works, your love and faithand service and patient endurance and that your latter works exceed the first.But I have this against you that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who callsherself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practicesexual immorality and to eat food sacrifice to idols. I gave her time torepent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold I will throw her on to a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her. I will throw into greattribulation unless they repent of her works and what I will strike herchildren dead and all the churches will know that. I am he who searches themind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works but tothe rest of you in Thyrotropin t hold this teaching who have not learned whatsome call the deep things of Satan to you. I say I do not lay on you. Anyother burden only hold fast what you have have until I come the one whoconquers and who keeps my works until the end to him. I will give theauthority over nations and he will rule them with a rod of iron as when theearthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authorityfrom my father, and I will give him the morning star, he who has an ear. Lethim hear what the spirit says to the churches to hear the problem. This church had a person who wasexercising and doing things in it, as could be considered broth sexualimmorality. The Lord was calling her to repent following those who werefollowing her to repent and they were not. They were infusing to repent andbecause of that, and because of the...

Church's unwillingness to repent,danger was at hand. Tribulation was coming and more would come soon. It'simportant, in other words, that when we read a passage like First Corinthiansfive, that we don't simply hear this crazy and gross in and just pass by itlike a video clip some crazy thing on the Internet, andwe shake our heads and scroll on to the next thing that has no bearingon our lives. No, this does have bearing on our lives.It warns US away, of course, from gross sins and from sin of every kind and anykind, but it also tells us that these things apply to us that we must takethe lot word of the Lord seriously, because unless I miss something, sin isstill a part of our lives as individuals and within the body of the church, andwe need to understand the nature of that sin and we under dont need tounderstand the nature of our Lord and Saviour that we might look to him forsalvation from that sound and so for the remainder of my sermon, I'd like to point out just afew things that we might notice from this passage and be reminded ofthat we might follow the word of the Lord here in First Crinth Ans, five, the first as we think about what thenature of Sandias is to notice that it is like eleven. That's how the Lorddescribes it to us here through his apostle. He says in verse: Six: Do you not knowthat a little leaven leavens the whole lot band? He speaking about bread right,you add a little bit of leaven to the bread and the whole thing is effected. It is systemic. It moves throughout the whole body. SinIs not just in this one tiny little place and can be carden off andsanctioned off from every other little place. It has effects on the wholething. This happens of course, individually.Doesn't it? We want one little thing into our lives and we allow it to bethere and we sort of say it's not a big deal until, of course, it is a big deal. Perhaps you've had a dream, or perhapsyou've actually lived out. This dream where you lie, and then you lie tocover up your lie, and then you lie to cover up your lie and then it justbuilds and builds and builds until you are in this big tangled mess of a thing. Sin Doesn't just it's not just a thingin our minds or a thing in our hearts. It's all connected if it intertwineswith ourselves. It's it holds US captivesin spreads. It affects us inour lives. It affects us not only in different parts of our of ourselves,but in our relationships in our lives too. We allow sin to sort of have thisone piece over here and then it starts showing up over here. Oh well, I justdo that at work. I would never do that at home. Why? I just do that at home. I wouldnever do that at church and so on and so forth. It spreads itmoves it in facts and a lot of times. We think of sin is something that is alot less than this. We think it is something because I like manageable,like a like a little plant that we forget about, and it's just sort ofover there and it'll be fine. Sin Isn't like that. SCRIPTURE SASONisn't like that, and it's not only true within our lives or in the within, likeourselves, or our relationships or...

...areas of our lives, but it's even truein our relationships as a church and that's in particular what Paul has inmind here. He speaks of this person as being eleven is their sin. He saysyou need to cleanse it out. This will affect you, and this is not right. When we see sin, wherever we see sin,we ought not to treat it lightly. We not ought to let it go sure there are. It doesn't mean that wetreat assins exactly the same way and things like church discipline canbe abused. There are such things as overreacting,but thinking of sin as a minor thing as an unimportant thing as a thing thatought to be ignored or worse, cobbled and protected should not be a part ofour thinking should not be a part of our acting. What should our response be, especiallywhen there is a big problem within the body within the church? We've seen this from time to time, inlocal congregations and in denominations as a whole, where things are found out discovered,sometimes made open by the world exposed in the news shown to everybodyto look at to mock and to see what should our response be to those kindsof things when we have when our sins have been discovered or when we discover them ourselves? The Paul says, in light of thisparticular congregation, that their response should be public. It should be open, it should not be arrogant or boastboastful or hidden, but it should be mourning and in repentance. He says in verse three that, though I'mnot Presto, I am absent in body I am present in the spirit and as if present,I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing and whenyou are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is presentwith the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan forthe destruction of the flesh, so the dispirit may be saved in the dayof the Lord, they aren't to say well that was bad.Let's hide it. They are to openly publicly, as theyassemble, acknowledge it and collectively in agreement with thediscipline that has already been with a judgment that has already been rendered set this person outside the bounds ofthe church. That would be a hard thing to be aright, and he says that he doesn't say you should be arrogantabout it and they also doesn't say you should be proud about it or happy about.He says you should morn about this. It's communication and these hardthings of discipline should be accompanied by mourning and sadness,regret and repentance and as the one is set out. This is a apublic response and it is a Christian response, because it's not just a a sort ofpointing of fingers. It's a looking to Christ and asking for the Lord's Mercy. It'sseeing the sin that is present in US and in our body and calling out to himfor our salvation, because who is our Passover lamb? Whois the one that Paul says, saves us from the day of Wrath. The judgment of the Lord on the day ofthe Lord, who is the one who allows us to O, not be judged for our sins, butinstead be forgiven in our repentance...

...it's Christ. Church discipline is not just aboutpointing fingers angrily at other people. It's about. Looking to the Lord,who has already cleansed us, no that's what he says he says. Yes, you need toseparate this old love and you need to get it out that you may be a new lump, but this is,but he says, as you really are unleavened, they already belong to Christ. Theyhave already been made holy. This is walking that is not in accord with thatand that's why they need to act and when they act they need to act not asthose who are trying to prove themselves as better than each other orprove themselves as better than the world, but as those who need the salvation ofJesus- and that is what this person is called to. This particular sinner within thecongregation they're not called just to be sorry they're, not called just to mourn theirsins, they're called to look to Christ and to repent, like the woman in revelation two thatwe read of and those who were following after her the Lord says I am callingher I'm calling them. I am calling to the Church to repentance. This is a great word of grace. We have a connection with the OldTestament and that the Lord cares about holiness, but we have a difference with the oldcovenant here under the Old Covenant. Those who committed incense were to beput to death and with no pity that's what the Lord says under the new covenant it's differentunder the new covenant. He calls them yes to cast them out of the church, butnot to put them to death to cast them out so that they might seethat they are being separated from Christ separated from this peopleseparated from those blessings in the refusal to repent with the whole that he would return, and he would come to the Lord in Faith and as we read in Second Corinthians,that's what happened and beloved. This is what happens whenthe Lord disciplines us and when he does it in love. Sometimesit's so hard. It's so embarrassing. It's so scary, it's so difficult, but he does it because he loves us because he does desire us to repent andto turn to him, because he does desire us to walk in the works that he hasprepared for us. He is our savior, it is through him and through his bloodthat we have salvation. So yes, our response should be toexclude this person from Christian Fellowship, but we do so with the hope and theprayer that they would turn again to Christ. Should we be arrogant in these things, as we feel the sting of guilt and shamefor our own sins as we feel how easily we could fall into these thingsourselves, as we look at our lives and see the ways in which we have falleninto these things, do we have any right to stand injudgment in the kind of judgment that is filledwith pride and arrogance and say you know, I've really got my life together.What's your problem, that's not church discipline. Church discipline is a humbly lookingto Christ as the one who the only one who can save us from our sins, the onlyone who can take us out of gross...

...immorality of this end, as he lists other kinds:greed, wimbling, idolatry in others. Jesus is the only one who can take usout of those things and save us, and he does it by his blood. Yes, the Rod of the Lord is strong, but he shed his own blood so that we might have life, and so, as we consider a passage likethis, is we've considered the nature of sins. We consider the nature of thechurch. The nature of the Apostolic Ministry is the as we consider the workof Christ among his people and all of these things we need to see them all. Coming fromthe same place, which is Jesus, the Apostles Authority is not anauthority that he has because of his own righteousness. It's an authoritythat he has, because Christ has called him to speak. The word of t Christ, the identification of sin as in therecognition of sin as it it is in- comes from knowing the Lord and HisHoliness, knowing that Jesus shed his own blood to make us holy and, as weread an effusions five to cleanse us from our sin, the necessaty, the necessity for ourholiness, is also grounded in Christ who died so that we might be forgiven.The connection between the Leven and the oven unloving bread in the PassoverPaul, as is to be played out in our lives, because Christ was their Passover lamb.They were to get out the Israelites as they were fleeing Egypt or to get theeleven out of their house. They were to celebrate in the future the Feast ofthe unloved, bread that was their response to this work ofGod. This miraculous saving work of God and our lives should be the same. We get the leven out, not so that we can achieve holiness,but because God has given it to us, we get the leven out of our lives. Wefight the flesh, we repent of our sins. We come each Sunday and we confess oursins publicly, even sexual sins. Why? Because of what Christ has done for us? We think about the forgiveness of oursins in light of Christ. We drop our arrogance and we mourn our sins becauseof Christ. We come to him and all that he has done with total dependence,total humility and the strength to do what aresometimes very hard things. Sometimes it's repenting, sometimes it's forgiving beloved life in the world and the fightagainst the flesh is difficult. The Lord never said it would be easy. He said it would be hard, but he promises to us the strength tofight the strength, to love the strength, toforgive the strength to repent. So Lord calls you to day to trust him to trust him for everything you need for the fight against sin in yourself and in our church a May. The Lord Be Gracious andmerciful to us, as he has promised, to be, let's go to him now and prayer and askthat he would fulfill his word among us.

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