How to Give Your Prodigals to God

Thread starter #1
I was invited to preach last Sunday morning.

 
I believe your reference in Corinthians is dealing specifically with offenses in the local assembly, not Christians as a whole.
In other words, we must turn them out of the church (local assembly), not out of our lives. It's an act of loving church discipline.
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks for that. As far as enabling goes, how do you handle Hosea and Gomer?
How does Moses handle Abraham marrying his sister? It is not a problem since the command against marrying one's sister had not been given yet.

Hosea and Gomer are not an example for New Testament believers to follow any more than Abraham marrying his sister is an example for New Testament believers to follow.
 
Thread starter #6
I believe your reference in Corinthians is dealing specifically with offenses in the local assembly, not Christians as a whole.
In other words, we must turn them out of the church (local assembly), not out of our lives. It's an act of loving church discipline.

The problem with your narrow interpretation is that the actual text says "anyone who calls themselves a believer." The better interpretation is that "anyone" means "anyone who calls themselves a believer" regardless of whether they happen to be in the local church.

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.

The criteria not to eat or associate is simply twofold: calling themselves a believer and the presence of one or more of the disqualifying sins. You are adding the bit about the local assembly.
 
The problem with your narrow interpretation is that the actual text says "anyone who calls themselves a believer." The better interpretation is that "anyone" means "anyone who calls themselves a believer" regardless of whether they happen to be in the local church.

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.

The criteria not to eat or associate is simply twofold: calling themselves a believer and the presence of one or more of the disqualifying sins. You are adding the bit about the local assembly.
What was Paul's reason for teaching so many rules within a "salvation from grace" Christianity?
 
Thread starter #8
What was Paul's reason for teaching so many rules within a "salvation from grace" Christianity?
I'm not sure I agree with your premise. Did you watch the video?

There are several sound reasons for the Biblical instruction not to associate or eat with those who claim to be believers but continue in certain sins:
1. Bad company corrupts good character.
2. That folks in these situations would have a better chance of realizing their spiritual state is in peril if they do not enjoy the pretense of Christian fellowship than they would if they are treated as fellow believers.
3. Handing lukewarm Christians over to God allows them to hit rock bottom and hopefully be broken in repentance and come to a real salvation.
4. Real horizontal fellowship (with other believers) is conditional upon real vertical fellowship (with God) that is damaged by ongoing, unrepentant sin. The pretense of horizontal fellowship with those who don't really enjoy right standing with God is not helping anyone.
 
The problem with your narrow interpretation is that the actual text says "anyone who calls themselves a believer." The better interpretation is that "anyone" means "anyone who calls themselves a believer" regardless of whether they happen to be in the local church.

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.

The criteria not to eat or associate is simply twofold: calling themselves a believer and the presence of one or more of the disqualifying sins. You are adding the bit about the local assembly.
Any idea why God gave Paul this particular sin list? I would agree with you that it is only pertaining to people who call themselves Christians. Christians performing that particular sin list.

Suppose my grown daughter is a drunkard. What Paul is saying, and I agree he is, is that as long as my daughter is a pagan, I can let her stay in my house.
If my daughter is a drunkard and claims to be Christian, I must kick her out or else be an enabler.

Even as a Christian, as a Dad as well, that would be really hard for me to do. Regardless of if my daughter was a believer or not.

Then I start to notice my Christian Mom is constantly slandering folks. My Christian Dad, the business man, goes beyond Capitalism a bit and becomes greedy. Perhaps even swindling someone. He then starts cheating on his income tax.
Yet Paul is telling me not the eat with them anymore.

I do believe what I am doing goes against what Paul is saying. I really don't even have a justification for my enabling.

That's why I mentioned Paul bringing up all the rules he has. Paul is sometimes confusing going back and forth between grace and obedience. Rules to follow within salvation. Salvation and obedience.

Then he goes back and forth between Jews and Gentiles in Romans 11. Like there is some national difference. Before that he says Gentiles were strangers to the covenants, without hope, and without God.

Then he teaches election and predestination a lot. The Potter making vessels of destruction and mercy. A remnant chosen from Israel based on grace and not works.

I just don't think we fully understand the mystery/secret revealed to Paul.
 
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The problem with your narrow interpretation is that the actual text says "anyone who calls themselves a believer." The better interpretation is that "anyone" means "anyone who calls themselves a believer" regardless of whether they happen to be in the local church.

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.

The criteria not to eat or associate is simply twofold: calling themselves a believer and the presence of one or more of the disqualifying sins. You are adding the bit about the local assembly.
I disagree. Here's why.
Verse 10 prefaces the next verse, which you quoted.

1 Corinthians 5:10
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

It essentially is saying that if you applied this to every single individual, then you would need to leave this world. It would be impossible to function in society if you distanced yourself from every person you judge to have a mote in their eye. That's not what he's teaching. It's to turn the one guilty of having his father's wife(a member of the church at Corrinth) over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.
We are not told to do that for everyone in the world.
 
I disagree. Here's why.
Verse 10 prefaces the next verse, which you quoted.

1 Corinthians 5:10
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

It essentially is saying that if you applied this to every single individual, then you would need to leave this world. It would be impossible to function in society if you distanced yourself from every person you judge to have a mote in their eye. That's not what he's teaching. It's to turn the one guilty of having his father's wife(a member of the church at Corrinth) over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.
We are not told to do that for everyone in the world.
Maybe you can explain that better because it sure sounds like it says what it's saying. That in the whole wide Pagan world one can't help but socialize with individuals performing the sins on that particular sin list.

To borrow from Ellicott's Commentary;
"But the Christian must tolerate no such sins among themselves; they must exclude from the social circle any brother who, bearing the name of Christ, indulges in the vices of the heathen world.

Maybe we need more scripture. I hate that it says what it does. I think it would lead family members to shun it's own. I'd just tell my family members to quit believing in God, then I wouldn't have to shun them.

"any Brother" No wonder some Churches teach to shun their own family members.
Maybe there is a family member exclusion to the that Law.
 
These guidelines that Paul keeps giving? Are they Laws or just guidelines?
These Christians that become lukewarm, don't they still have salvation? Even if one becomes an idolator? Just because he develops an alcohol problem?
It's like I'm not seeing the whole picture considering I understand grace to be free.
 
Thread starter #13
It essentially is saying that if you applied this to every single individual, then you would need to leave this world.
Right. We are not to apply it to every single individual, just those who claim to be Christians.
 
Thread starter #14
These guidelines that Paul keeps giving? Are they Laws or just guidelines?
These Christians that become lukewarm, don't they still have salvation? Even if one becomes an idolator? Just because he develops an alcohol problem?
It's like I'm not seeing the whole picture considering I understand grace to be free.
Did you watch the video?

God's grace is free. It's a gift. But once received it is active in our lives, as Paul explains:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age ..." (Titus 2:11-12)

If God's grace is not transforming someone's life, I am open to the possibility that they may not have really received it.

Laws or guidelines? What does the Great Commission say?

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. - Matthew 28:18-20

Does that sound more like suggestions or directives to you?
 

Israel

Senior Member
There may actually (this is me being nuanced) be a great difference in motive between caring for a soul and the motive of "making sure" such a soul is made knowing of one's care of it. Something we have known and know of some necessity remaining that folks (of whatever stripe, friends, family...LOL...even enemies) should know that "we" care for them.
It's a difficult teat to let loose. Can't even say I know much of it, at all.

Surrendering to the truth that God through Christ is alone primary caregiver (if we have not seen the risen Lord we know nothing of this) we then still take on that peculiar responsibility, never ours to shoulder, to the right and orderly sustaining of creation.

How "OK" is it with God that he suffer being ignored? Thought even...uncaring...or worse...malevolent? Even willfully absent? Does he fret? "Oh, my...man does not know how much I care! I must do something!"?

Every molecule or atom set to wondering (or whatever agglomeration of them) "where is God...where is His care of me...?" is a candidate for participation in uproarious laughter and joy.

There's a reason we are told to enter a closet, and it's not anything other than a gift.
As if God doesn't know we are formed to reward. No point in lying about how deep a desire we have for one. The way of it...is just opposed to all we have previously known.

The Church is learning she is of all that remain in that closet, even as gathered.
That's the light the world has never seen, comprehend, or is able to sort out, set on a hill.
What has less than no interest in making its own piety known...living and speaking from a place beyond all reasons and reasonings.

This will be known, we follow the One that to all the world...is criminal.
If one cares to add criminally insane, no biggy.


The nice Jesus is and has always been just a figment. Endless struggle to "raise Him" is the believer's (eventual, and) delightful frustration. It is not the unbeliever's pleasure to learn of seeking to "go around" Him...it is reserved to us. That peculiar pleasure. Of how "OK" God is with all in Christ.

For the love of Christ take the short cut to breaking...set out to make the world (and/or the worldly) know how much "you care".
 
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Those in the local assembly. Paul is instructing this church at Corrinth to exclude this person from their assembly. Read the whole context. Then read in 2 Cor. where they also restored him.
That pretty much or makes means the same thing or accomplishes the same thing. If you do that in your local assembly, and I do it in my local assembly, we are still getting the job done.

How do feel about your own family? If they are members of your local assembly?
 
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Did you watch the video?

God's grace is free. It's a gift. But once received it is active in our lives, as Paul explains:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age ..." (Titus 2:11-12)

If God's grace is not transforming someone's life, I am open to the possibility that they may not have really received it.

Laws or guidelines? What does the Great Commission say?

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. - Matthew 28:18-20

Does that sound more like suggestions or directives to you?
Explain how if God's grace is free, one has to obey all the commandments in order to keep receiving the free gift? The best I've heard it explains is, God gives you His spirit to work with your spirit. So more or less, the fruit through obedience is the proof.

Again, it shows that maybe most of us are saying the same thing but only differently. I think most of us agree, there has to be that obedience.
We have to obey God's commands.

The gray area is the drunkard, fornicator, or homosexual. Perhaps the prideful man or the jealous sister. Did they not receive the free gift of grace?
If a Christian becomes an alcoholic, should this be proof that he may not have received salvation because he fails at producing fruit?

The homosexual, for whatever reason he is one, receives the free gift of grace. If he can't repent and stop his ways, is that proof he never received salvation?

I have lust in my heart. If I can't overcome my lustfulness, is this proof that I may not have received the free gift of grace that was given based on grace and not works?

Why don't we just shun the whole Church? Every member, every Christian?
 
Is there a difference in sinning and Law keeping? Again, how should we view Paul's guidelines to the Churches? Are those guidelines coming directly from God through Paul as Laws? Should we perform them as being obedient in keeping God's commands?
If so we, as a Church, should stop cherry picking those guidelines from Paul.
 
Thread starter #20
Is there a difference in sinning and Law keeping? Again, how should we view Paul's guidelines to the Churches? Are those guidelines coming directly from God through Paul as Laws? Should we perform them as being obedient in keeping God's commands?
If so we, as a Church, should stop cherry picking those guidelines from Paul.
Did you watch the video?

Does Scripture originate in the will of man? Or did men "speak from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit"?
 
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