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January 30, 2006 by Isaac Hovet

::Scripture::
1 Corinthians 4:1-6:20

::Observations::
Don’t jump to conclusions about leaders
Don’t brag about one leader at the expense of another leader.
Everything comes from God, so we should not boast as if we made something happen.
Paul’s tone is sarcastic and strong.
Being and Apostle is to be made a fool. Weak. Hungry. Thirsty. Naked. Cursed. Weary. The world’s garbage. Abused.
But the response of the Apostles is: Enduring. Living on. Gentleness. Blessing the curser. Continue to preach.
Timothy is going to be sent to the Corinthians.
Paul evens warns those who are arrogant – He will be returning.
“The Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power”
Paul asks why the man in sin hasn’t been removed from the fellowship of believers. He doesn’t seem to think there is room for such sin in the church. If one person is allowed to go on sinning, then the whole camp will be affected. He then goes into more detail about dealing with sin. If a person claims to be a Christian, and yet is continuing to sin, then Paul’s says that they are not allowed to be a part of the church.
It is not our responsibility to judge outsiders, but it is our job to judge those who are on the inside of the church. “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Lawsuits among Christians must be stopped.
In light of our justification through the work on Jesus on the cross, we are then faced with the question – Since I have been absolved of my sin, do I keep on sinning so that Grace may increase? Never. Not everything is good for us. And clearly we are not to indulge in sexual immorality. And sexual sin so affects the body. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and so we should keep the temple clean.

::Application::
I am going to be careful with how I judge other leaders. It is easy for me to become critical of people like Benny Hinn or Jerry Fallwell. After reading this scripture I am going to be sure that I honor those who God has put into leadership, rather than just moaning about them or using them as examples of what I don’t want to be. I am sure that it is wise to learn such perspectives from people such as these, but I can’t allow my critique to lead others into a tainted, rotten relationship with others.

I have never been naked, thirsty, or seen as the world’s garbage. Certainly I don’t want to any time soon, but if that is what it means to lead God’s people into relationship with him, then that is what I will do. I am his vessel, his servant, his worker of the harvest. I will preach, I will lead, I will be scorned, looked down upon and certainly will be abused. But I will not forsake the calling and mandate that is on my life. I think Marc’s story yesterday…it seems like it could never happen to me…but it could.
I am more challenged than ever to address sin. I know that there are those who are in sin within our fellowship. They have been addressed, but are still living in such a way. In the future I am not going to hesitate to be bold and confrontational about such matters. Paul’s wisdom is right.

::Prayer::
Father God I thank you so much for the life that I have. I am not burdened like much of the world is. I have a roof over my head and a place of employment. I have the awesome opportunity to lead people to your son Jesus. I know that many don’t have this knowledge and I with to be one that can bring light to their world. I want their passion to be for you. I want their morals to be based on you. I would like to see this little community changed for you. So, thank you. Make me the man that you want me to be. Help me to walk in obedience to you every day. I want to glorify you in ever action. I don’t want to be burdened by sin or by the pull of this world. I want to be an efficient servant for you. Be with me and my family today. I ask you to guide me and speak to me throughout this day. Please help me to get the rest I need for this big week coming up. I know that there is so much that needs to get done, and so I ask for you grace. I commit it all to you.

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