Quarter’s Theme: ORDERLINESS IN THE CHURCH
Unit 1 – Maintaining Unity In The Church (Lessons 1-4)
LESSON 3 22/3/2015
PURITY IN THE CHURCH
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 225, 308
Devotional Reading: 1 Pet. 1:3-15
Topic For Adults
BE YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER
Topic For Youths
BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHER
Topic For Intermediates
HOLINESS IS A MUST FOR YOU
1 COR. 5:9-13
Memory Verse: I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people (1 Cor. 5:9) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Judge Yourself So As Not To Be Judged
1 Cor. 5:12-13
In Matt. 7:1, the Bible says we should not judge others so that we will not be judged. The “others” may be believers or unbelievers, because God has not committed any judgment to our hands, for we are also being considered for judgment. God is the judge of both the living and the dead. However, as believers in Christ, we need to help ourselves by checkmating ourselves anytime any member goes the wrong direction. We are not concerned with the unbelievers outside, other than preaching the gospel to them. However, we must be concerned about the eternal soul of an erring brother. We must therefore correct, rebuke, and even discipline the person if need be, so that he may escape the final judgment of God coming on the unbelievers. As individuals, we must constantly be examining ourselves and make necessary amends so as to escape the terrible judgment of God.
Point of Emphasis: Judge those who are inside and not those who are outside.
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to always judge my deeds to know whether they are right or wrong. And help me to make amends where necessary before it is too late.
Whenever God commands His children not to do certain things, it is to achieve a
purpose which will be beneficial to His children and to His church. The ultimate purpose of all of God’s commandments is to maintain purity in the church. The church must be different from every institution in the society in its moral teachings and practices. This week’s lesson deals with some steps the congregation and individuals can take to ensure purity in the church.
NOTES ON THE LESSON
(1) KEEP NO COMPANY WITH AN IMMORAL BROTHER OR SISTER (1 COR. 5:9-11)
Bible commentators are sharply divided as to what Apostle Paul was referring to in verse 9. While some believed that he was referring to the same 1 Corinthian epistle and the earlier instruction in 1 Cor. 5:2, others believed that he was referring to some other epistle which is now lost, and which has been sent to them before their messengers had reached him. But the bottom-line is that Paul had already spoken to them about the instruction he wanted to reiterate in this passage.
The instruction he gave them was that they should not keep company with sexually immoral persons. This means they were not to associate or mix up together with them. However, Paul realized that the issue of immorality or moral problems is more than sexual immorality and this calls for his emphasis and expansion of the contents of the instruction in verse 11 that they should not keep company with anyone who claims to be a Christian but whose lifestyles, character, attitude, disposition and principles are not in line with Christian principles.
Such moral laxity that may warrant a Christian to be isolated by others include sexual immorality, covetousness, idolatry, drunkenness, railing and extortion i.e. a dupe or fraudster. As a matter of fact not only should other Christians withdraw from him or her, they must not even eat with him or her. This means they must not have communion with him or her. They may have civil dealings with a person that knows not God and who does not make profession of Christianity, whatever his moral character maybe, but you must not associate with a Christian who is scandalous in his conduct. This is to make him or her realize his error and repent and to allow the world to see that the church of God does not tolerate iniquity, thereby preserve the purity of the church.
(2) JUDGE THOSE WHO ARE INSIDE (1 COR. 5:12-13)
In the first division, Paul clarified an issue that the instruction he was giving is meant for the church and not for the whole society. This is because unbelievers have not seen the light of the gospel and to do ungodly things is their nature. Therefore, Paul said he was not saying that we should withdraw from all fornicators or idolaters of the world but from those who profess to be Christians (v. 10).
In verse 12, Paul brought up the issue of judgment. He said he has no business in judging those who are outside the church, i.e. the unbelievers, but his concern is to judge those who are inside the church – the believers. In essence, Paul is saying that the church has no authority over unbelievers, but on the believers in terms of judging their sin. The word “judge” in this sense means to pass sentence upon, to condemn, or to punish. It is to show the immoral person that God does not accept such behaviors. Members of the church are to help themselves by keeping watch over themselves and by rebuking people with doubtful character. The church must judge its erring members, before the people of the world condemn the church.
Paul made it clear in verse 13 that it is God’s business to judge and deal with those unbelievers who are outside the church. The church must be concerned with the discipline of its unworthy members and leave the unbelievers to God to judge. If the need be, owning to the gravity of the offence, the church has the power to excommunicate the offenders who have openly offended against the laws of Jesus Christ. However, caution must be taken not to use this instruction to handle trivial matters or take revenge; nor should it be applied to individual problems between believers. The instruction is for dealing with open sin in the church, with a person who claims to be a Christian and yet who sins without remorse. The church is to confront and discipline such a person in love to be able to maintain purity in the church and among members.
After conversion, believers must know that they have to work on their characters. Any behavior or attitude that can be regarded as immoral must be dealt with according to God’s word. Purity within and without must be the believers watchword. If all believers in Christ pursue purity of life, the church will be pure and free from worldly contamination.
(1) What is the opinion of scholar about an earlier epistle which Paul referred to in this lesson?
(2) Mention two things the church must not do with immoral believers?
(3) Mention the moral problems identified in this lesson.
(4) Why must believers judge themselves?
(5) What is the ultimate goal of church discipline?
JUGE-TOI TOI-MEME POUR EVITER QUE TU SOIS JUGE
1CO. 5 :12-13
Dans Matthieu 7 :1, la Bible dit que nous ne devons point juger (autrui) afin que nous ne soyons point jugés. Les autres pourraient être les infidèles tout comme les fidèles car Dieu n’a confié aucun jugement entre nos mains, car le jugement nous attend aussi. Dieu est le juge à la fois des morts et des vivants. Cependant, en tant que croyants en Christ, nous devons nous aider les uns les autres en nous sentant défaits chaque fois qu’un membre prend la mauvaise voie. Nous ne sommes pas concernés par les infidèles qui se trouvent à l’extérieur, en dehors de leur prêcher l’évangile. Cependant, nous devons être concernés par l’âme éternelle d’un frère en déroute. Nous devons donc corriger, réprimander et punir la personne, le cas échéant afin qu’il puisse échapper au jugement final de Dieu qui vient sur les infidèles. En tant qu’individus, nous devons constamment nous examiner et réparer nos torts nécessaires afin d’échapper au jugement terrible de Dieu.
Point essentiel : Juge ceux qui sont à l’intérieur et non pas à l’extérieur.
Axe de prière : Seigneur, aide-moi à toujours juger mes faits et gestes pour savoir s’ils sont justes ou faux et aide-moi à réparer mes torts le cas échéant avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.