As we begin our third week reading through Paul’s letters, we find ourselves in chapters 4 & 5 of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. It was a church that was in the middle of a very pagan society. Paul and Timothy spent time discipling this church to live different from the world around it. Often you hear Paul speak of not associating with the sexually immoral and other sinners, but I love how he teaches in verses 9-13 that this kind of judgement isn’t meant for people outside of the church.
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside…” – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NIV
He specifically says here that we can’t hold the lost to the same standard as the church. We don’t judge non-believers for what they don’t know is wrong. Leave that to God. This is a great reminder. Our call is to live as believers under grace and by the standard Jesus set. We must approach the lost with love. In these chapters Paul challenges the church to live like Christ – not as the world. On this Father’s Day, may our lives be a reflection of Christ – not this world. Help us Lord to lead our families well. To lead them toward you and not the world.