WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:1,2, Matthew 24:37-39
Here it comes again, “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.” Sexual immorality has to be judged. Again we see the arrogance of those in verse 2 being “…puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.” I wonder if “taken away” means being moved nearby or means being taken away permanently. Did Paul mean “taken away” in the Priestly sense or in the Kingly sense? What would we expect “taken away” to look like? The best dictionary for the Bible is always the Bible. If we go to another place where this Greek word is used it can give us some context and a point of reference so we can see what it means. It appears in Matthew 24:37-39 which says, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” The question is, when they were all taken away in the flood, were they moved next door or were they permanently removed? We all know the answer to that one, but the stunning thing is Paul’s attitude. What he says in 1 Corinthians 5:2 is “Why is this guy still walking around? Why have you not already had the funeral? What are you doing?” Is this New Testament love in action? If we have read this passage our whole lives and thought it meant the man should simply move geographically, it is surprising to consider Paul is likely talking about the Lion in action, not moving, but removing! This is how the Lion confronts evil – if there is repentance, forgive. But if not, he is history. Look at how Paul thinks and ask if that mindset is active in the church today? We are supposed to be New Testament believers! Have we tried to conform Jesus to our culture? Should we now arise and be conformed to His instead?