This becomes difficult for two reasons. One, we have a hard time understanding who we should judge (and yes, it is permissible to judge some people). Two, we struggle with knowing what to judge. Today, we’ll deal with the “who” question and tomorrow we’ll look at the “what” question.
In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Paul shows us the struggle of who to judge. We are to judge those who sin and call themselves Christians. We don’t judge those who don’t follow God - that’s His job.
Many Christians today have wrongly applied this, just like the Corinthians did. They ignore the sin of those inside the church and avoid those who sin outside the church. The very reason Jesus came and the church exists is to help people encounter and follow Jesus. What are we communicating if our lives look no different than theirs? How can that take place if we are never in contact with those who need to hear?
You can almost hear Paul’s sarcasm when he says:
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. – 1 Cor. 5:9-10
We have to engage in the lives of those who need Jesus, but not by joining them in their sin. Instead, we are to live as examples of God’s grace – freeing us from sin and our empty way of living. When our brother struggles, we are to help him see his sin and turn from it.
This brings to mind two questions:
1. Are you involved in the lives of people who need Jesus so they can see and hear of a different way of living?
2. Is there sin in you life where you need to repent and turn to Jesus?