Sin in The Church

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. (Source Unknown).

Divisions

The writing of this letter  was to pave the way for Paul’s coming to Corinth. He made it clear that sins in the church must be dealt with in a Biblical way. To “sweep them under the rug"only makes matters worse. Sin in the church is like cancer in the human body and it must be cut out. Paul tells the Corinthians that when they think he is trying to defend himself he is really doing it for their good (v. 19). The sins he mentions in this passage are either the result of church division or caused by lax morality which disunity tends to produce (vv. 20-21).  Legalism and immorality are often frequent bedfellows (Philippians 3:3,19). If you don’t believe this is true, just look at the great number of legalistic churches today where the pastor or someone on staff has gotten involved in immorality with  someone in the church. Then, this sin is often just “swept under the rug” by others.

Paul lists what might be called the 11 marks of the “unchristian” Church. (1) There are (1) debates that denote rivalry and discord about place and prestige; (2) envies which are the desire to have what is not ours to have. There are (3) outbursts of wrath which denote sudden explosions of passionate anger that sweep a man into doing things for which afterwards he is bitterly sorry; (4) strife which describes that utterly selfish and self-centered ambition which is in everything for what it can get out of it for itself. There are (5) backbites and (6) whisperings. The first word describes the open, loud-mouthed attack, against those whose views are different. The second is a much nastier word which describes the whispering campaign of malicious gossip.

There are (7) swellings (conceits) where a man magnifies himself when he should magnify his office; (8) tumults which is the word for disorders and anarchy. Finally there are the sins of which even yet some of the Corinthians may not have repented. There is (9) uncleanness which describes the life muddied with wallowing in the world’s ways and (10) fornication as when people did not regard adultery as a sin and expected a man to take his pleasures where he could. Then there was (11) lasciviousness (uncleanness) that knows no restraint, that has no sense of the decencies of things.

Application

I must live differently than unbelievers, not letting secular society dictate how I am to treat others.

II Corinthians 12:19-21 (English Standard Version)

Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish-- that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

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