As blogger Trent Hunter points out “we are supposed to run from things that can kill us – active volcanoes, oncoming traffic, and snakes come to mind.”

Yet, we can allow behaviors and thoughts into our life that are death to us in a far more serious way then being incinerated by a rushing lava flow.

Read this article by Trent in which he reminds us of serious dangers AND gives advice on how to have an exit strategy, or as he describes it – how to F.L.E.E.



How Should We Respond to Sin in Others?   


1 Corinthians 5:1-13

“Don’t judge me” . . “Be more tolerant” . . “Coexist” . . “You’re an extremist”.

These are common allegations that Christians often struggle to answer. As Paul corrects the Corinthians lack of response to sin in their midst, he helps us answers those concerns we may not know how to answer.


Why is Paul Upset?

A church member is sexually involved with his stepmother, which violated Jewish and Roman law

His father died or is an unbeliever, and the stepmother is apparently not in church

Paul was offended by this sin, and their lack of response

Paul accuses them of ‘arrogance’ v2 and ‘boasting’ v6

They were taking pride in their tolerance, or more likely, this is further proof that their sense of maturity is empty

Either way, pride has led them to a perspective of inaction

This scene is a strong example for why pride is dangerous

Instead of holding a perspective that exalts God, pride holds to our own thinking

If we love God, we will hate sin (anything that rebels against God)

v2 humility would not only ‘mourn’ the sin, it would act to ‘remove’ it. This is because humility submits to and fully embraces God’s ways


Paul guides them in ways we may need clarity

1.  Paul Addresses Judging One Another 

The Corinthians failed to correctly assess the situation, Paul didn’t v3

v12 instructs us to ‘judge’ fellow-believers. Yet elsewhere Jesus and Paul say “Don’t judge”. What are we to do?

We saw the answer in 4:6, when Paul told them not to go “beyond what is written”

God is the Judge v13. When we repeat what’s ‘written’, we are not judging – we are faithfully echoing his judgments

We cannot live obedient and discerning lives unless we apply God’s judgments

However, holding people to our standards and opinions is improper judgment

If we love God more than ourselves, we will be grateful for biblical correction from others

2.  Paul Addresses Church Discipline   

Paul gives the church specific action to take vs 4-5. It’s the ultimate action Jesus tells us to take with believers who don’t repent (Matthew 18:15-17)

Notice when there is serious and unrepentant sin, the whole church (believers) is called to participate v4

To “deliver over to Satan” is to put them out of the fellowship and care of the church

They should never be out of our hearts or prayers. Rather church discipline is a time that guides and unites us in prayer for them

“But that’s not loving.” God knows what is loving far better than you. His purpose is greater than for their comfort, it is for their soul’s eternal condition

The ultimate purpose of discipline is always gospel fulfillment v5 (this is also true for discipline of our children)

In the church today, discipline is widely ignored, because it is hard, messy and potentially explosive. But we don’t want to be guilty of v2

3.  Paul Addresses Zeal for Purity vs 6-8

Paul points out the broader context of why the church must respond. The nature of sin is to aggressively spread. A little sin acts like “leaven”

v7-8 Paul refers to the Passover festival to illustrate our new life in Christ

At Passover, all leaven was removed from the house. It symbolized putting away all sin to follow God

We cleanse out the old leaven, so we can have a “new lump” made with new leaven v7

Just as sin spreads so should the “new lump” of zealous purity

Purity and zeal should not be fearful or limiting concepts to us. In truth they are freeing and fulfilling!

4.  Paul Addresses Coexistence vs 9-13

Christ is Lord of all, he has authority over everyone. Matthew 28 says in his “authority’”, he sends us with the gospel to “make disciples”

Unbelievers are not disciples, they are under judgment and outside the church

To them we are ambassadors for Christ

We have authority from Christ to freely offer the gospel to them

Those in the church, claim to be disciples

They are citizens of Christ’s Kingdom

This brings them under the authority of the local church as we exercise the rules and benefits of Scripture for the church

We are to mourn what grieves God, wherever it is found

We are to celebrate what honors God, and spread it wherever we can



Last week we held a conference on sexual purity, “Fight to Be Free”. I taught the final session entitled “Come into the Light”. In that message I dealt with three lies Satan uses to draw men into lifestyles of pornography and lust. Here is my outline.



Hell Wants You to Believe

You will not stay pure; it is only a matter of time before you fall. Satan wants you to doubt that real change can happen, so that your actions will lack full conviction

The Truth That the Gospel Gives You

Ephesians 6:16 tells us that faith is a shield to extinguish the darts of Satan: Faith is to take God at his word – so act on it

Sinning again is a possibility, but that we will be pure and whole is the great inevitability

It is true we will be tempted again; but the greater truth is that we are being completed in godliness

“I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ”  Philippians 1:6

“May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Satan is a liar who knows the real inevitability

‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet’ Romans 16:20

Applying the Truth

Look for your identity in God’s Word. Look for the declarations of God’s work on behalf of his people

Become more mindful of God’s activity: look for evidences of God’s grace & give thanks for them

Think more often about eternal realities



Hell Wants You to Believe

You are too weak; other Christians can live victoriously, but not you. Satan wants you to think your struggle is unique, your situation is harder and your salvation is weaker

The Truth That the Gospel Gives You

Of course you are weak! But that fact is irrelevant to victory (Eph 6:10-18)

Great Commandment Living is always by the power of God (John 15:5)

Jesus lived and worked on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit

Power at work in you is same power that raised Jesus from the dead & lifted him above enemies (Eph 1:19-21)

The entire Godhead is active in our becoming godly men

  • Our new life of godliness was set in motion by the Father’s will and plan (Phil 2:13)
  • Our godliness is made possible by the all-sufficient work of Jesus Christ
  • Day by day we are empowered to live whole by the Holy Spirit who lives in us

Applying the Truth

Stop listening to yourself and daily preach gospel reality to yourself

Embrace your weakness as wisdom that keeps you abiding in Christ, rather than as a discouragement that leads to giving up

Become more Trinitarian in your praying and thinking



Hell Wants You to Believe

Sensuality and sexual fantasy bring needed happiness. Satan wants you to think there are justifications for “controlled indulgences” in lust

The Truth That the Gospel Gives You

Sin is Empty – it cannot give life or wholeness or fulfill its promises. Sin will never satisfy or be satisfied

Sin always turns on us! It chews up our life without a care for the consequences it brings

True Fulfillment and lasting Joy can only come when we love and submit to God (Eph 3:14-19)

Holiness must be the greatest happiness, because it is to be like our perfect Heavenly Father

Applying the Truth Eph 5:18-21

Be a worshipper who is in awe of God, and who increasingly loves God

Fill life with gospel work, this will regularly bring situations that press us to remain closely connected with God

Be deeply connected with believers who feed your soul and be that to others