Friday, June 30, 2023 – 1 Corinthians 5

Every person you see at church is a sinner, from the pastor to the sweet old lady, to the cute little child in the row in front of you. Some of them are unaware of the way they are sinning. Others are aware of it, but they also are repentant at heart and looking to God’s grace. Others are aware of their sin, aware of how God feels about it, and then make light of their sin.

Truthfully, we are all probably a complicated mix of it all at different times and places, which is why everyone in God’s messy family needs grace. God’s unlimited love and amazing grace mean that no one is too far into sin for God. But that doesn’t mean God has no boundaries for how the church relates to the world.

Paul heard about the drama surrounding sin the Corinthians were winking at in the community that was not even acceptable among those who don’t believe. God’s grace offered forgiveness to them, but their continued sin, abuse of God’s grace that was bought with the blood of his Son, and a community that seemed fine with it was what frustrated Paul. A community like that was certainly not a community where those searching for hope and salvation in Jesus Christ would be drawn.

Christians are famous for judging people outside the church and making light of the sin of those inside the church. We are supposed to judge Christians in our community, not by being the “sin police” for every Christian, especially those we only know from afar, or by placing ourselves in a position of moral superiority. Instead, we are to lovingly set boundaries within our own community with the purpose of restoration and reconciliation, so we can accomplish our mission together as a messy family of grace.

Questions for reflection:

  1. What are the sinful behaviors many Christians wink at, laugh about, or celebrate when God does not? What sins seem like no big deal to you?
  2. If someone had to have a hard conversation with you about the sin they see in your life, how would you hope they would approach it? How could they show you clear boundaries and God’s grace?