Becoming Sons Of God II
In Becoming Sons of God we looked at the need to be mature in our faith to be able to claim adoption into God’s family. One area that we overlooked is for believers to separate themselves from unbelievers. This passage declares that this is another key pre-requisite to our adoption.
The Temple of the Living God
2 Cor 6;14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.
Lets look at a typical American church today. What percentage of the folks are on their way to heaven? How many are on the narrow path? How many will pass thru the narrow gate?
Barna says 45% of Americans say they are born again, they also post another statistic the makes that number very suspect. A few years ago Barna reported that only 23% of churchgoers identified God as their most important relationship. I think this statistic gives us a more realistic number of today’s Lukewarm churches [perhaps only 23% are saved].
These two references discuss many of the problems at today’s Western churches.
This 2 Cor 6 passage (above) is clear. Only when believers come out from among the unbelievers will God accept them as his sons and daughters. The unbelievers are filthy in God’s eyes, and they spoil any of the true believer’s efforts to live as sons and daughters of the Lord.
Keeping your gathering clean
NLT 1 Cor 5;11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. 12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
These passages are simple and clear. All believers are to disassociate from anyone who claims to be a believer but sins sexually, is greedy, worships idols, is abusive, is a drunkard, or cheats people. Lets take a look at the Biblical example when this occurred.
Expel the Immoral Brother!
NIV 1 Cor 5;1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife . 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
Forgiveness for the Sinner
NLT 2 Cor 2;55 I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6 Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7 Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. 9 I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. 10 When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, 11 so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
Summary; We are instructed not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer but still indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. You should ask your pastor why he refuses to enforce these rules at your gathering. Don’t be surprised if he refuses to answer your question. If you are lucky enough to receive an answer, you can expect some poorly applied “do not judge references” that are not applicable to this problem. Please don’t fall for that. Perhaps some pastors would simply admit that this can not be accomplished while they “religously” maintain todays Pagan church traditions.
Please don’t give up hope. You may never be able to clean the pews at your current church, but you certainly can find another God Seeking Believer who’s willing to seek God and share with you. Remember the promise, KJV Matt 18;20 where ever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
The key here is gathering in Jesus name. Those who honor the traditions of men over the commands of the Lord are not gathering in Jesus name. They are not honoring the truth, they are not honoring Jesus.
NLT Mar 7;6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. 10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘ Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 12 In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. 13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”
The many other examples mentioned in vs 13 include the Participatory Believer Gathering Commands 1 Cor 14, the call to servant leadrship, the false doctrine of tithing, and finally the call to follow Paul’s tentmaker preacher example. These specifics are discussed; Servant Leadership Pastor’s Pay
May We Become Mature In Our Understanding, Embracing Our Biblical Roles, Living As Your Sons and Daughters, Disciples Of Christ, Coming Out From Among Unbelievers, In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.