The leaders of this church were divided over what to do – this young man was living with his stepmother. Paul speaks straight to them. Today, the tendency in evangelical circles is to be just like these elders.
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside.”
Here is one more most excellent truth and reality from Paul, one that we need to wrestle with.
Notice that Paul sets up the context of not even considering that his remarks on association are in any way to do with “out in the world”.
Instead, they are to be actioned within the people of God, within the church, where wolves in sheep’s clothing prowl and where people will even do what is not tolerated amongst unbelievers.
We are to be a regulated people under God’s laws! And when those laws are made a mockery from within, we are to initiate Paul’s wisdom here (and found throughout God’s word).
We are to bring light to the darkness (as Paul has been pointing to in this letter), and not hide away from the wrongdoing.
It’s a hard thing to process sometimes, and it’s a very hard thing to carry out in the heat of a situation.
But God does not ask us to decide whether or not we might hallow His Name. He tells us to trust and obey.
* Father God,
This is a hard passage to think about, and a very hard passage to enact when faced with a similar situation.
Please help us be wise. Please Lord, help us be wise in Your wisdom.