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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

5:3 “For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.”
 
For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.
Paul passed sentence on the young man who lived in incest with his stepmother. His sentence was “guilty.” The verdict is settled. There is an air of a settled conclusion on this matter by Paul – his judgment stands. Although Paul is far away, he can make a decision about this situation because of its clarity in biblical terms.
Paul’s judgment here is not judgment of motives but of facts. Christians are not to judge motives because we cannot see motives. However, we can judge an act of incest.
PRINCIPLE:
Private sin should be dealt with privately and public sin publicly.
APPLICATION:
Private sin should be dealt with privately and public sin publicly. If a sin is public, then it is the duty of local church leaders to deal with the situation. Public sin cannot be countenanced or condoned because it affects the testimony not of the individual but of the whole church.
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