King's Business - 1917-10

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bers. The “leaven” represents hypocrisy (Luke xii. 1), wheras “truth” stands for sincerity and reality. 3. The Duty of Excluding the Offender (v. 9 -1 3 ). Paul demands that this grievous sinner shall be excommunicated. Such transgres­ sors have no place in the assembly of God’s people. We may be compelled to meet and in a certain sense fellowship, or perhaps better, come in contact with them in the world, but by no means must we allow our­ selves to fellowship with or shelter such persons within the Church. Paul had before written them to this effect. He now writes again enforcing a similar lesson (v. 9). The believer is “to have no company with” such a sinner. This expression is a strong one (cf. 2 Thessalonians iii. 6, 14; Ephesians v. 11) and means not to go up and down with, or together; hence not to have intimate or habitual intercourse with (cf. 2 Corinthians vi. 14-17). Even though a man bear the Christian name, if he be guilty of the sins mentioned in these verses —sins against oneself, against one’s neigh­ bor, and against God—he is to be ostracized from ,Christian fellowship. The brethren are not even to eat with him (v. 11), not merely at his house, but at the same table anywhere, and particularly at the Lord’s table (cf. chap. xi.). If Christians must not eat common food with such, how much less share with them that which is mysteri­ ous and divine. “We must not eat with him who will not be able to eat with the saints in the kingdom of heaven” (cf. vi. 10). Both the fellowship and discipline of the Church have to do with the brethren, not with the world. So far as the Chris­ tian is concerned, judgment must begin and end with the house of God. The judgment of the world is to be left with God (v. 12, 13). The “wicked” person (v. 2, 9, 13) is to be put out. By such a “wicked” person is meant( the one causing actual harmful­ ness and positive mischief to the Church (cf. Luke iii. 19). Such an one is not only to be excommunicated by the Church,

but has also by the apostle (cf. Matthew xviii. 18-20; xvi. 16-18; John xx. 23) been “delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh” (v. S)—an expression which may mean exclusion from the assembly of the saints; a handing over to Satan for physical affliction with a view to reformat tion (cf. 1 Timothy i. 20; Job. ii. 4-7; 1 Thessalonians ii. 18; 1 Corinthians xi. 30-32; 2 Corinthians xi. 7; Luke xiii. 16) ; or a cutting off, temporarily, from all the means of grace. 4. The Sin of Litigation Among Church Members (vi. 1 -8 ). The matter of judging those within, rather than without the Church, discussed in the preceding verses (v. 9-13), leads to the subject of litigation between church members (vi. 1-8). Just as failure to dis­ cipline or judge, and as the result of such discipline or judgment, expel the unright­ eous from their midst, indicated a low state of spirituality, so did the fact that believers went to law against fellow-believ­ ers indicate a low ebb of spirituality. Such Romans (vi. 16; xi. 2; cf. also vi*. 3; vii. 1), times elsewhere; twice in the epistle to the 13, 24), an expression found only three (iii. 16; v. 6; vi. 2, 3, 9, IS, 16, 19; ix. epistles of the expression “Know ye not?” taught by the oft recurrence in these two great Christian, truths. This is clearly conduct implied great ignorance concerning and once in James (iv. 4). The problem of litigation dealt with in these verses would seem to affect the civil, rather than the criminal courts. It was, further, a question not of a believer going to law with an unbeliever, but of a believer going to law with a believer, and that before a heathen tribunal. The fault the apostle finds with the Corinthians is that they were bringing Christian difficulties before heathen tribunals and judges, who, doubtless, rejoiced in such an opportunity of seeing the inconsistencies of Christians displayed before them, and who gloried in thus magnifying the imperfections of the followers of Christ. Christianity professed to be a religion of love and fraternity,

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