February 15th, 2007
If you look at the teachings of Jesus and compare them with how Christians are commonly viewed, and how a lot of people claiming to be Christians actually behave, you can be amazed by the disparity. Jesus taught a radical and innovative message about love and forgiveness and mercy and self-sacrifice. How is it that Christians have come to be perceived as conservative, reactionary, angry, unforgiving, unmerciful and self-righteous? One of the main thrusts of Jesus’s ministry and indeed the whole the New Testament is against legalism, so how is it that today Christians are perceived as the guardians of the moral rules and regulations?
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 5
5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, a level of sexual immorality that does not even exist amongst the Gentiles, with one man having relations with his father’s wife. 5:2 You are arrogant, rather than being sorry enough to remove the man who did this deed from amongst you. 5:3 Although I am absent in body I am present in spirit, and I have already judged the man who has done this thing, as though I was present, 5:4 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are gathered together, and my spirit is there together with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:5 you must hand such a person over to Satan for the destruction of the sinful nature, so the spirit can be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus.
5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? 5:7 Clean out the old yeast, so that you can become a new batch of dough, because you are unleavened. Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 5:8 We must observe the feast, not with old yeast or with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 5:9 I told you in my letter not to associate with sexual sinners. 5:10 I did not mean that you should not associate with with any sexual sinners in this world, or with greedy people or profiteers or idol worshippers, because then you would have to leave the world. 5:11 Instead, I told you not to associate with anyone who is called a believer who is a sexual sinner, or greedy, or an idol worshipper, or a slanderer, or a drunk, or an profiteer. Don’t even eat with such a person. 5:12 What business do I have in judging people who are outside the church? Don’t you judge those who are inside? 5:13 People who are outside the church are judged by God. “Remove the wicked person from amongst yourselves.”
Entry Filed under: Legalism