Exalting God, Edifying Believers, Evangelizing the Lost

Dealing Seriously with Sin

By Michael Youssef, Ph D.  May 24, 2020

Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.

We live in an age when sin is tolerated—even celebrated. Actions that were once shameful are now held up as virtuous and honorable. Sadly, this even happens in some churches. But sin should break our hearts. Whether it’s our own sin or the sin of a brother or sister in Christ, it should make us weep.

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul addresses the sin of a believer in the church. A man was involved in an ongoing incestuous relationship. So Paul told the Corinthians to hand this man over to Satan (see 1 Corinthians 5:5). In other words, since he was no longer submitting to the Word of God, he should be made to leave the church and should no longer be treated as a believer.

This may seem harsh, but Paul gave these instructions out of love. Paul’s goal was to see the man turn from the path of wickedness, even if it meant physical pain, so that “his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” That’s how seriously God regards sin, and so should we.

It’s common in our culture to believe the lie that one person’s sin has no effect on anyone else, but that’s not true. Tolerating one sin will make us susceptible to others. But true humility stops at nothing until every sin is brought before God on the altar—even at the expense of our own comfort and pride.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for tolerating sin in my life. Help me to receive wise instruction from Your Word and from Your people and to humbly call others to confront their sin as well that we might be a holy nation that glorifies Your name. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“[H]and this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:5).

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