Monday, March 31, 2008

Handing Them Over to Satan Part 4

To sum up, this was a serious offense, 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and 15, and other scriptures are very telling in relation to the seriousness of sexual sin. We don't need to go over them all here. As the compassionate people they were called to be, this assembly was called upon to love this man enough to exclude him from fellowship since his sin had excluded him from fellowship with the kingdom.

But there is a happy ending to this story. In 2 Corinthians 2, Paul decides that the sinful man has come back to repentance and should be fully restored as a brother. Now the place of the Church is to forgive and comfort him so he's not "swallowed up with much sorrow." By receiving him back again into fellowship, not keeping any records of wrong, they are loving him still, fulfilling the goal of his separation, to understand his sin and the assembly's pride.

In other words, it worked. This man's reaction was not, "what a bunch of condemning and judgmental people." Even if it were, it still would have been love, but we have this incredible testimony of repentance. He realized the seriousness of his sin, repented, and was fully restored.

I have to admit to never seeing this at all. While I've seen a rare instance of loving rebuke and removal of fellowship, I've never seen the situation where the person comes back repentant AND a fellowship loving enough to fully restore, both at once. I believe, as God builds His Church, that we will see the necessity of both the discipline and the restoration in the coming years. Let us love enough to do both.



At 12:33 AM , Blogger mattmm said...

I've also seen the expelling without the welcoming back. Does anyone even read 2 Corinthians?


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