12 “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.'”
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?
Those on the “outside” are non-Christians. Christians or churches have no authority over non-Christians.
Co 4:5, Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
1 Th 4:12, …that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Do you not judge those who are inside?
Those on the “inside” are Christians in the local church. The local church receives members, and the local church expels members.
But those who are outside God judges.
God will judge unbelievers at the Great White Throne judgment.
Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
Paul quotes Deuteronomy 17:7; 24:7 in this sentence. He says that it is the responsibility of the local church to make judgments about the moral behavior of believers.
When they conclude that a believer is intransigent about sin, they are to expel that believer from fellowship in the local church. “Put away” is a command, so there is no option for this action.
There are times when we must undergo surgery to cut out the cancer. There are times when drastic measures must be taken to avoid further damage. It is always wonderful news when someone comes back to the Lord.
Making an issue out of sin rather than the solution to sin displaces the proclamation of the gospel with self-righteousness.
It is the local church’s responsibility to make a judgment about the intransigence of a believer regarding extant social sin. If there is no repentance, then it is the church’s responsibility to judge Christian sinful behavior. The purpose of this judgment is not punishment but remediation so that the sinning Christian returns to fellowship with God.
It is bad business for the Christian to try to reform non-Christians before they experience regeneration. Reformation without regeneration is mere religion without Christ. All we do is make non-Christians respectable, all the while bypassing the need for the gospel. Many wives try to reform their husbands by making an issue out of their drinking or other overt behavior. They give the impression, “If you get off the bottle, you will be a Christian.” This is a mistake (1 Peter 3:1-6) because it will drive him from the Lord. If they must choose between the bottle and the Lord, they will choose the bottle.