“I meant you must not associate with people who claim to be believers but continue to live in sin. Don’t even eat with a brother or sister who sins sexually, is greedy, worships idols, abuses others with insults, gets drunk, or cheats people.”
WOW!!! I’m going to get straight to it. Does today’s text describe you or some of the people in your circle? This text is clear, cut and dry.
Paul is addressing the Corinthian church. They were dealing with a church member that was sleeping with his stepmother. Yes y’all I said his stepmother. The church members weren’t sure how to deal with this guy so they most likely ignored the scandal as if it wasn’t happening. Word got back to Paul concerning the issue so Paul wrote them this letter. Be sure to read chapter 5 in it’s entirety in order to see the bigger picture.
Starting at verse 11 Paul warned the church members not to have anything to do with “believers” that purposelessly live in sin. What does that mean? It means that if a person that says they are a believer in Christ but think that it is okay to go against Christ than believers who are living for Christ should not associate with them. Who do you need to cut ties with? Beware, the devil believes in Christ too but he doesn’t live for Christ. Now, there is a difference between a believer who wants to continue to live in sin and the believer who sins but don’t want to continue to live in sin. The former believer is not interested in changing their behavior while the latter believer is interested in changing their behavior. It’s important that we know the difference because we want to be able to help pull up those who want to change instead of be pulled down by those who don’t want to change. It’s possible to pull someone up off the floor that wants to get up instead of pull someone up off the floor that wants to stay down on the floor. Try it at home with a family member and see what happens.
Have you ever heard this? Birds of a feather flock together. It means that you and your BFFs think more alike than not alike. So, if your BFF is into wild inappropriate partying it’s more than likely that you would be too. If your BFF is into showing God’s love it’s more than likely that you are too. Now, I’m not saying that you and your BFFs have everything in common but y’all do have a lot in common. That’s why their your BFF. Do you and your BFF still have a lot in common though? Have you changed? Have they changed? Do they engage in things that you no longer have an interest in? Are they adding to your life or sucking life from you?
There comes a point in our lives where our BFFs that we’ve had for years even decades can no longer be our BFF if we are living two different lifestyles. It’s difficult to walk away from those close friendships but by default if we no longer live like our BFFs than a natural drifting occurs. They go from being our BFFs to being more of an acquaintance. We begin to have more past memories of how we use to be close than we do present memories. We begin to realize that how they are living their lives isn’t healthy for our growth in Christ because their interest is not in growing in Christ. We understand that continuing to hang out with them on a regular would only keep us in a lifestyle that we want to escape.
Paul instructions to the Corinthian church members was not to associate with such “believers” because of the impact it would have on them. He knew that associating with these “believers” would pull down everyone else. Remember these “believers” Paul refer to are people who are “believers” in Christ but not living for Christ nor do they have a desire to live for Christ.
As followers of Christ it’s important that we walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Where do you stand? Are you a “believer” that does not want to follow Christ? Do you have BFFs that are “believers” that don’t want to live for Christ? Are you trying to live for Christ but feel like your BFFs are impeding your growth? As Paul cautioned the Corinthian church members I caution you today. Live for Christ to the fullest. If your BFFs aren’t interested in living for Christ then it’s time to separate. Prayerfully one day they will be interested but until then don’t risk your own growth. They will pull you their way instead of Christ’s way. What decisions must you make today? #LivingTheLife