THE VALUE OF DISCIPLINE
Thursday, 12 March 2020
1 Corinthians 5 : 1-13
“Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are .” -1 Corinthians 5:7
No discipline in a man’s life seem so easy and enjoyable. People generally don’t like corrections or to be corrected. In the same way it takes bold challenge to institute discipline in any area of life, without being placed in a bad picture in the eyes of critics, hypocritical sympathizers of the wrong doer or the culprit. Our study for today is no exemption of this.
A particular situation of adultery rose in the Corinthian church which nobody wanted to deal with. From what we understand from Apostle Paul, he was told about the incident, which means there was no one strong enough to confront the issue in the entire fellowship of these believers. He comes up vehemently against the situation. Though he wasn’t with them, yet he spoke with the mind and authority of God.
Let us put it this way (for us to relate to today’s context)- this brother may have been a very influential official in government and the society, or he was someone making biggest financial contribution in the fellowship, or the most eloquent teacher or worship leader in the Corinthian Church etc. Whatever the case be, unlike carrying out discipline in the secular system where institutions wouldn’t like to lose out on popularity or its numbers, the church has a different course to take.
Discipline is of utmost importance because, if serious sin is not dealt with, it can cause serious problem for God’s people and has the potential to infect and plague God’s household. With a mind set for God’s glory, we should never be afraid to confront such issues. Otherwise, not just the body of Christ suffers, the church itself will become subject to ridicule.
As Paul warns, a little yeast can work through the whole dough- how careful the church must be to nip it in the bud! For it is far better to challenge an ugly situation at the beginning than to leave it to the point at which the brother or sister is proud and puffed up, taking it as a license to continue living in sin. Paul says to get rid of the “yeast”- the powerful influence of sin (NKJV Study Bible) and live as a new creation in Christ- the new batch of dough.
It is possible for the church/individuals to become complacent about sin and do nothing about it. In our attitude to tolerate and not offend, it is easy to ignore sin and not deal with it. But the Scripture is very clear as to how we need to act: Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
All forms of discipline must be carried out with Love, care and concern for the offender, because he is God’s creation like us. The purpose is to restore so that he will depart from his grievous ways, repent and turn to God.
Lord Jesus give me the boldness to confront sin and to uphold and defend the authentic authority of Your Word for Your glory. Please keep me soaked in Your Word that I may not sin against You. Amen.
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