Stay Away – I Corinthians 5:11

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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A professing Christian couple was living in open sin, causing another Christian couple to with draw their fellowship. When invited to the home of a third Christian couple where all the above parties would be present, the couple who had distanced themselves explained that they could not attend and why. The hosting couple emotionally exclaimed, “What difference does it make, and who really cares what they do.” When our text, in I Corinthians 5 was explained, it was brushed aside as being irrelevant for our day and time. In these apparent last days before our Savior returns to rapture us into the heavens, Christians have often become desensitized to the rampant practice of sin all around us. Even in Christian circles, the sins of the world are becoming commonplace and accepted. But, sin is still wrong, and God’s instructions to distance ourselves from these practices are as relevant as if God had sent them to us for the first time this week.

We can’t, nor should we, separate from everyone who practices sin. In fact, I Corinthians 5:10 tells us not to refuse to keep company with lost souls “for then must ye needs go out of the world.” Moreover, these lost souls need our ministry to bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ. However, God’s standard for us is different with professing Christians who practice six very specific sins. In verse eleven, the Lord tells us “not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator [any sexual sin], or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” By the way, there is no exception even for family members in this standard of separation. Why? I Corinthians 5:6 explains the “leaven” of sin can spread to us and pull us into these sinful practices. II Thessalonians 3:14 gives a second reason: God uses your withdrawal of companionship to bring them to a condition of being “ashamed” of their sin and willing to change. So, we should not be naïve enough to think we couldn’t be drawn into sin, nor should we refuse to be God’s instrument to evoke divine conviction and needed change in others.

Does the lifestyle and conduct of professing Christians make any difference in deciding whether or not to share time and meals with them? According to I Corinthians 5:11, it should! Now that we know, will we have the courage to obey?

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."