Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Monday, March 31, 2014

Laying aside....

  "Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,  if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. " ~ 1 Peter 2:1-3

Wherefore laying aside. -This signifies that we are naturally prepossessed with these evils, and therefore we are exhorted to put them off. Our hearts are by nature nothing more than cages of those unclean birds—malice, envy, hypocrisies, &c. The Apostles sometimes name some of these evils, and sometimes others of them, but they are inseparable,—all one garment, and all included under that one word, the old man, which the Apostle exhorts Christians to put off—and here it is pressed as a necessary evidence of their new birth, and furtherance of their spiritual growth, that these base habits be thrown away; ragged, filthy habits, unbecoming the children of God. They are the proper marks of an unrenewed mind, the very character of the children of Satan, for they are his image. He has his names from enmity, and envy, and slandering; and he is that grand hypocrite and deceiver, who can transform himself into an angel of light.

So, on the contrary, the Spirit of God who dwells in His children is the Spirit of meekness, and love, and truth. That dove like Spirit which descended on our Savior, is communicated from Him to believers. It is the grossest impudence to pretend to be Christians, and yet to entertain hatred and envyings upon whatever occasion; for there is nothing more recommended to them by our Savior’s own doctrine, nothing more impressed upon their hearts by His Spirit, than love. Kakia may be taken generally, but I conceive it intends that which we particularly call malice.

Malice and envy are but two branches growing out of the same bitter root; self-love and evil-speakings are the fruit they bear. Malice is properly the procuring or wishing another’s evil, envy the repining at his good; and both these vent themselves by evil speaking. This infernal fire within smokes and flashes out by the tongue, which St. James says, is set on fire of hell, and fires all about it; misjudging the actions of those they hate or envy, aggravating their failings, and detracting from their virtues, taking all things by the left ear; for (as Epictetus says,) Every thing has two handles. The art of taking things by the better side, which charity always does, would save much of those janglings and heart-burnings that so abound in the world. But folly and perverseness possess the hearts of most people, and therefore their discourses are usually the vent of these; For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The unsavory breaths of men show their inward corruption. Where shall a man come, almost, in societies, but his ears shall be beaten with the unpleasant noise (surely it is so to a Christian mind) of one detracting and disparaging another? And yet this is extreme baseness, and the practice only of false counterfeit goodness, to make up one’s own esteem out of the ruins of the good name of others. Real virtue neither needs nor can endure this dishonest shift; it can subsist of itself, and therefore ingenuously commends and acknowledges what good is in others, and loves to hear it acknowledged: and neither readily speaks nor hears evil of any, but rather, where duty and conscience require not discovery, casts a veil upon men’s failings to hide them: this is the true temper of the children of God.

These evils of malice, and envies, and evil speakings, and such like, are not to be overlooked by us, in ourselves, and conveyed under better appearances, but to be cast away; not to be covered, but put off; and therefore that which is the upper garment and cloak of all other evils, the Apostle here commands us to cast that off too, namely, hypocrisies.
What avails it to wear this mask? A man may indeed in the sight of men act his part handsomely under it, and pass so for a time; but know we not that there is an Eye who sees through it, and a Hand that, if we will not pull off this mask, will pull it off to our shame, either here in the sight of men, or, if we should escape all our life, and go fair off the stage under it, yet that there is a day appointed in which all hypocrites shall be unveiled, and appear what they are indeed before men and angels? It is a poor thing to be approved and applauded by men while God condemns, to whose sentence all men must stand or fall. Oh! seek to be approved and justified by Him, and then, who shall condemn?  How easily may we bear the mistakes and dislikes of the entire world, if He declares Himself well pleased with us! It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment; he who judges me is the Lord, says the Apostle.

But these evils are here particularly to be put off, as contrary to the right and profitable receiving of the word of God; for this part of the exhortation (Laying aside) looks to that which follows (Desire, &c.), and is especially so to be considered.

There is this double task in religion—when a man enters upon it he is not only to be taught true wisdom, but he is also, yea, first of all, to be untaught the errors and wickedness that are deep-rooted in his mind, which he has not only learned by the corrupt conversation of the world, but brought the seeds of them into the world with him. They improve and grow indeed by the favor of that example which is round about a man, but they are originally in our nature as it is now; they are inherent to us, besides continual custom, which is another nature. No one comes to the school of Christ suiting the Philosopher’s word, ut tabula rasa—as blank paper—to receive his doctrine: but, on the contrary, all scribbled and blurred with such base habits as these, malice, hypocrisies, envies, &c.

Therefore, the first work is to raze out these, to cleanse and purify the heart from these blots, these foul characters, so that it may receive the impression of the image of God. And because it is the word of God that both begins and continues this work, and draws the lineaments of that Divine image on the soul, therefore, in order to receive this word rightly, and to be properly affected by it, the conforming of the soul to Jesus Christ, which is the true growth of the spiritual life, it is required beforehand that the hearts of those who hear it be purged of these and other such impurities.

These dispositions are so opposite to the profitable receiving of the word of God, that while they possess and rule the soul, it cannot at all embrace these Divine truths; while it is filled with such guests, there is no room to entertain the word.

They cannot dwell together, because of their contrary nature; the word will not mix with these. The saving mixture of the word of God in the soul is what the Apostle speaks of, and he assigns the lack of it as the cause of unprofitable hearing of the word—not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For by that the word is concocted into the nourishment of the life of grace united to the soul, and mixed with it, by being mixed with faith, as the Apostle’s expression means: that is the proper mixture it requires. But with the qualities here mentioned it will not mix; there is a natural antipathy between them, as strong as in those things in nature, that cannot be brought by any means to agree and mingle together. Can there be any thing more contrary than the good word of God, as the Apostle calls it, and those evil speakings? than the word, which is of such excellent sweetness, and the bitter words of a malignant tongue? than the word of life, and words full of deadly poison? For so slanders and defamings of our brethren are termed. And is not all malice and envy most opposite to the word, which is the message of peace and love? How can the gall of malice and this milk of the word agree? Hypocrisy and guile stand in direct opposition to the name of this word, which is called the word of truth; and here the very word shows this contrariety, sincere milk, and a double, insincere mind.

These two are necessary conditions of good nourishment: 1st, That the food be good and wholesome; 2ndly, That the inward constitution of those who use it be so too. And if this fails, the other profits not. This sincere milk is the only proper nourishment of spiritual life, and there is no defect or undue quality in it; but the greatest part of hearers are inwardly unwholesome, diseased with the evils here mentioned, and others of the same nature; and, therefore, either have no kind of appetite to the word at all, but rather feed upon such trash as suits with their distemper (as some kind of diseases incline those who have them to eat coals or lime, &c.), or, if they are in any way desirous to hear the word, and seem to feed on it, yet the noxious humors that abound in them make it altogether unprofitable, and they are not nourished by it. This evil of malice and envying, so ordinary among men (and, which is most strange, amongst Christians), like an overflowing of the gall, possesses their whole minds; and not only are they not nourished by the word they hear, but are made the worse by it; their disease is fed by it, as an unwholesome stomach turns the best meat it receives into that bad humor that abounds in it. Don’t they do so, who observe what the word says, in order to be better enabled to discover the failings of others, and speak maliciously and uncharitably of them, and vent themselves, as is too common—This word met well with such a one’s fault, and this with another’s?—Is not this to feed these diseases of malice, envy, and evil speakings, with this pure milk, and make them grow, instead of growing by it ourselves in grace and holiness?

Thus, likewise, the hypocrite turns all that he hears of this word, not to the inward renovation of his mind, and redressing what is amiss there, but only to the composing of his outward carriage, and to enable himself to act his part better—to be more cunning in his own faculty, a more refined and expert hypocrite; not to grow more a Christian indeed, but more in appearance only, and in the opinion of others.

Therefore it is a very necessary admonition, considering these evils are so natural to men, and so contrary to the nature of the word of God, that they be purged out, so that it might be profitably received. A very similar exhortation to this has the Apostle St. James, and some of the same words, but in another metaphor: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word. He compares the word to a plant of excellent virtue, the very tree of life, the word that is able to save your souls; but the only soil in which it will grow is a heart full of meekness, a heart that is purged of those luxuriant weeds that grow so rank in it by nature; they must be plucked up and thrown out to make place for this word.  ~ Robert Leighton, commentary from 1 Peter chapter two

More harmful evangelism *Update*

Once again, Tony Miano takes to the streets and, as usual, targets abortion clinics. I don't understand why he only concerns himself with abortion and  homosexuality. I also don't understand why he thinks he has a right to tell this man to 'man up and go to work'. The man tells Miano he's in school, and Miano says, 'that's not providing for your children!'  Miano hasn't worked at a full time job since 2000; he quit his deputy's job and stayed on under a voluntary basis only. Who is he to tell anyone to get a job? Feel free to dissect this and comment. I am sick of men like Miano standing on street corners, pointing their arrogant and judgmental fingers in the faces of sinners, having NO compassion, and calling it 'evangelism'! Enough already! Get a real job Miano, and quit fleecing the flock. These hatemongers who disguise themselves as 'Christians' need to step off their soap boxes, it's time for Tony to get a job and leave the preaching of the Gospel to men God has actually called and equipped. 

* Here is an update, in this video, Tony Miano makes this horrific accusation:

"“You are going to die someday and it might be a result of the breast cancer you contract as a result of this abortion. It might be due to the ovarian cancer you contract as a result of this abortion. It might as a result of the cervical cancer you contract as a result of this abortion. Or it might be by suicide as many women who murder their children then turn to murder themselves. When you die, you will stand before God and give an account of your life. He will find you guilty of murder, even if you don’t abort your baby today. Because the first moment, the thought of abortion entered your mind, you murdered your child in your heart. God already finds you guilty. God will not care about your circumstances. God will not care if you allowed yourself to be deceived by the media, by your parents, by your boyfriend, by your doctor.” T. Miano    
I am speechless, and angry!  This man is about to be given the 'right hand of fellowship' into John MacAthur's church. Is this the message MacAthur supports? Attacking women constantly and making these crazy accusations? This is NOT the Gospel message Christ commands His true sheep to speak, this is a crazed religious fanatic, like Fred Phelps, spewing out his brand of religion, and it saves no one.  Here is the video, you can tune in just after the seven minute mark to hear for yourself, IF you have the stomach for it....

I will share one comment on youtube that caught my eye - this is from the video posted below... 
"I like brother Tony's ministry but I am seriously questioning the tone and method used on this video. I don't think you're going to win anyone over into the kingdom by bombarding them with three different voices constantly going back and forth and telling him things like he's not a man. Do you want to stop one abortion or win the entire family into the kingdom (he has 3 kids that I'm sure aren't being raised in the fear of the Lord)? The tone hear seems to be more along the lines of WE'RE MAD AT YOU FOR BEING A SINNER! If a man isn't born again (as I wasn't for the first 20 years of my life) should I expect him to suddenly become a godly man and say this abortion is wrong, let's not go through with this. No, his heart isn't regenerated so no matter how atrocious it is he's going to attempt to justify it almost 100% of the time. I would like to know the statistics on how many people actually change their mind once they are headed into an abortion clinic and hear people outside trying to reach them from a distance just before they walk in the clinic. WE MUST REACH PEOPLE BEFORE THEY GET TO THAT POINT! It's obvious that his girlfriend is the only one working because he says he's just a student so telling him to ALL OF A SUDDEN to be a man and go get her out of there is almost pointless. Abortion is an awful tragedy but I would still want to talk to this young man about his soul even if his girlfriend went through with the abortion but I wonder if that opportunity was lost because of the tone and method used in what seemed to be (and I could very well be wrong) an effort to prove to him  that he is a sinful murderer. He was a murderer before he ever went to the clinic. Hate in his heart is the same as murder".

This comment speaks volumes, we are not called to judge sinners, to be rude, or to 'get in their face'. We are not called to argue with them or enrage them. The arrogant demeanor of Miano is not winsome, nor is he effective. He is a waste of donated dollars because God will not use pride-filled arrogant men to speak to sinners. If Tony Miano belongs to Christ, he's certainly forgotten the sewer God pulled him from. He is in need of repentance just as much as the gentleman he attacks. This poor excuse for evangelism is nothing more than an attack on an unregenerate sinner, a lashing out at him and accusing him of being lazy, of not caring, and of not being a man. Who is Tony Miano to make such judgmental calls?!? 

On his radio program, Miano chastises a young woman who questions him about standing on a step ladder. He accuses her of being disrespectful {around the 74 minute mark} because she didn't address him properly! That is sheer, raw arrogance on display.{Source}. This young woman left Miano's preaching, turned and headed towards the SDA table. Who could blame her? She was a victim of arrogant man-centered preaching! She was 'slapped on the wrist' because she didn't properly address Tony. This is an inexcusable display of a man filled with the sin of pride, a man who demands respect. Tony has forgotten, IF he even ever knew, what it means to die to self. Tony is not having any impact for Christ, except  for a negative one.  

Here is another example of Miano's 'style' from Facebook. It's obvious Tony Miano sees himself as a person above reproach and rebuke, that is always a dangerous place to tread...

  • 1st Timothy
    6:3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 6:4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of wor
    ds, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 6:5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
    Like Ray Comfort and staff did with Tony Miano, I'm withdrawing myself from his self-righteous hard-hearted callous, bitter ex-cop, attitude. I pray to Jesus Christ alone, period! Jesus Christ of the King James Bible is my God and my only God! Is He yours? Let the mockery begin, go ahead wolves, feed at us true Christians, we are called to suffer persecution anyways.
    2nd Timothy
    3:12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 3:13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 
    Praying for real Christians to preach the gospel to every creature under the guidance of MEEK counsel. Go ahead mock both directly and indirectly as do the lost. You will have your reward. Psalms 5:5-6

  • I want to point out  from the video in one particular exchange, this gentleman tells Miano and his dog and pony show that " "She already made up her mind." Someone from Miano's 'camp' retaliates with '"NO she didn't! You're the man of the family Cassius, not her!" The victim of this verbal attack says "In today's world, women also get a say so."  Of course, Miano's camp tells this man how he's sacrificing his 'manhood'. I am NOT a feminist, I point this out for this simple reason and ask this question, is THIS what the Gospel is? Is this a presentation of the good news of Christ? It's quite evident the 'motive' behind this exchange. Miano and his camp are pushing an 'agenda' and NOT the gospel of Christ. This patriarchal/reconstructionist type religion is a dead religion that does not save sinners. Miano seeks to oppress women, which is why he always targets abortion clinics! They are easy prey for him; he could care less about their eternal state, he just wants to belittle them and set himself up as some type of 'authority' over them. God is not behind this man's ministry at all. I do pray for the Lord to shut down this harmful dog and pony show, I also pray God will break Miano over his sins...for the sake of his soul. He is as lost as the sinners he badgers. 

    The Doctrine of Mortification

    It is the studied judgment of this writer, and he is by no means alone therein, that doctrinal preaching is the most pressing need of the churches today. During the past fifty years a lot has been said about and much prayer has been made for a God-sent revival, but it is to be feared that that term is often used very loosely and unintelligently. Unless we are mistaken, if the question were put, A "revival" of what? a considerable variety of answers would be given. Personally, we would say a revival of old-fashioned piety, of practical godliness, of fuller conformity to the holy image of Christ. The "revival" we need is a deliverance from that spiritual apathy and laxity which now characterizes the average Christian, a return to self-denial and closer walking with God, a quickening of our graces, and the becoming more fruitful in the bringing forth of good works. Whether or not Scripture predicts such a revival we know not. Two things we are sure of: that whatever the future may hold for this world, God will maintain a testimony unto Himself (Ps. 145:4; Matt. 28:20) and preserve a godly seed on earth, until the end of human history (Ps. 72:5; Isa. 27:3; Matt. 16:18). Second, that there must be a return to doctrinal preaching before there will be any improvement in practice.

    continue reading here...

    It's time to cleanse the temple

    John 2:14-16  "And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

    There are numerous conferences held throughout the year that draw some of the biggest 'names' in celebrity Christianity; names like MacArthur, Sproul, Lawson, etc. These conferences can be costly, for example, to register at the upcoming T4G conference, it will cost you over $300.00 for one adult {source}. Oftentimes, these conferences feature questionable men like C.J. Mahaney {source}, whose alleged sex abuse scandal has not been resolved. 
    These conferences feature exhibits outside the main area, booths set up to sell the latest book, cd, or dvd by the celebrity pastor who will be preaching at the conference {source}. 

    I was reading the word earlier; when I read from John 2, particularly verse 16, these conferences came to mind. Pastors gather at these conferences to preach God's word, songs of praise are offered, as well as prayer.  Worship is taking place, and in the 'outer courts' of these conferences, people are peddling the 'wares' of the celebrity preachers inside! Let me share some commentary from Matthew Henry on the above-mentioned verses...
    'Great corruptions in the church owe their rise to the love of money.  In overthrowing the tables, he showed his displeasure against those that make religion a matter of worldly gain. Money-changers in the temple are the scandal of it. Here is a reason why they should not profane the temple, because it was the house of God, and not to be made a house of merchandise.' ~ M.  Henry

    When the Lord arrived at the temple during Passover, He immediately purged it. Once more, let's read the writings of Matthew Henry, "The first work we find him at in the temple was the purging of it; for so it was foretold there (Mal_3:2, Mal_3:3): He shall sit as a refiner and purify the sons of Levi. First purge out the old leaven, and then keep the feast. What course our Lord took to purge out those corruptions.  He never used force to drive any into the temple, but only to drive those out that profaned it. He gave them a good reason for what he did: Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise." 

    How can these 'men of God' justify peddling their goods in the hallways while they stand on stage and preach God's word? It's time to break out the whip; these celebrity Pastors are profaning worship by combining their greed with their preaching. It is disgraceful to 'do business' during worship, to seek financial gain while these men claim to be 'men of God'. They lash out at the word of faith men who fleece, and yet, they do the same! May God have mercy on America, it's 'shepherds' have sold out, 'And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.' Isaiah 56:11

    Our sin cost Him

    “With his stripes we are healed.”
    - Isa_53:5

    Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of his flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over his poor stricken body.

    Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of his own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which his stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.

    “See how the patient Jesus stands,
    Insulted in his lowest case!
    Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands,
    And spit in their Creator’s face.
    With thorns his temples gor’d and gash’d
    Send streams of blood from every part;
    His back’s with knotted scourges lash’d.
    But sharper scourges tear his heart.”

    We would fain go to our chambers and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of his bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost him so dear.  ~  Spurgeon

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

    The Christian's armour

    Practical Christianity by A.W. Pink

    Part 2: Progress in the Christian Life

    Chapter 6-The Christian’S Armour
    Ephesians 6:10-18

    In the passage which is to be before us the apostle gathers up the whole previous subject of the epistle into an urgent reminder of the solemn conditions under which the Christian’s life is lived. By a graphic figure he shows that the Christian’s life is lived on the battlefield, for we are not only pilgrims but soldiers; we are not only in a foreign country, but in the enemy’s land. Though the redemption which Christ has purchased for His people be free and full, yet, between the beginning of its application to us and the final consummation of it, there is a terrible and protracted conflict through which we have to pass. This is not merely a figure of speech, but a grim reality. Though salvation is free, yet it is not obtained without great effort. The fight to which God’s children are called in this life is one in which Christians themselves receive many sore wounds, and thousands of professors are slain. Now, as we shall see in the verses which follow, the apostle warns us that the conflict has to do with more than human foes; the enemies we have to meet are superhuman ones, and therefore in order to fight successfully against them we need supernatural strength.

    We must remember that the Christian belongs to the spiritual realm as well as the natural, and so he has spiritual as well as natural foes; hence he needs spiritual strength as well as physical. Therefore the apostle begins here by saying, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (verse 10). The word "finally" denotes that the apostle had reached his closing exhortation, and the words "be strong" link up with what immediately precedes as well as with what now follows. Some of you will remember that the whole of the fifth chapter and the opening verses of the sixth chapter are filled with exhortations, and in order for the Christian to obey them he needs to be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."

    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Finding that 'balance'

    The following post by Jon Gleason reflects much of what's been on my mind lately...

    If Satan can’t push us into unbelief, blatant rebellion , or complacency, he’ll push us into harshness.  He might prefer theological liberalism, feminism, immorality, and dishonesty, or to see us complacently drifting along, doing nothing for the Lord.
    But if he can’t get that, because we are too zealous, too committed, too firm in belief, he’ll tempt us to be proud of our rightness and zeal.  The result, invariably, is to twist us into messengers of a harsh and compassionless Gospel which is no Gospel at all, and can even lead to cruelty and oppression, all in the name of “being right.”
    Either way will do for Satan.  Anything to get us away from truly honouring our Lord, anything to keep us from giving out a true Gospel message of purity, truth, compassion, and mercy.
    Fred Phelps just died, so some may think of him.  But probably every one of us tends towards either unbelief / weakness or pride / harshness.  Satan will find your buttons and push them.  You don’t have to be like Fred Phelps to pervert your message and your life.
    May the Lord keep us true and tender. {emphasis mine}
    James 1:20
    For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

    See also 'no love without truth' 

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    The way of salvation

    Our many defects and corruptions

    Let the world see the church of God does not tolerate iniquity!!

    1Co 5:11-13 - 'But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.' {NASB}

    The holy name of God is being dragged through the mud by men like Doug Phillips and his recent sex scandal, by Driscoll and all his hypocritical actions which are too lengthy to mention here, by men who claim to have authority and use that as an excuse to belittle, oppress, and and make large sums of money.  Organizations like World Vision have damaged Christ's name with their recent decision to hire homosexuals, then retracting that statement and stating ' We are asking for your continued support'. Sure they are!!! It's always about money, power, etc with false religions.
    Why isn't the church dealing with men and organizations like these?

    The Apostle Paul had NO problem laying down guidelines, from God, on how to deal
    with impenitent men. How are we to deal with the sexually immoral? The idolater? The reviler? The swindler? And so on...
    They must be removed from the church! Yet, we see men like Driscoll still in the pulpit. Let's look at a couple of sins the Apostle mentions here a bit closer, using commentary from Albert Barnes to do so...

    The railer, or reviler - "A reproachful man; a man of coarse, harsh, and bitter words; a man whose characteristic it was to abuse others; to vilify their character, and wound their feelings. It is needless to say how much this is contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and to the example of the Master, “who when he was reviled, reviled not again.”
    The drunkard - " Perhaps there might have been some then in the church, as there are now, who were addicted to this vice. It has been the source of incalculable evils to the church; and the apostle, therefore, solemnly enjoins on Christians to have no fellowship with a man who is intemperate."
    John Gill does an excellent job in his commentary, " The apostle's meaning is, that in his prohibition of keeping company with men of the above character, he would be
    understood of such persons as were called brethren; who had been received into the
    church, and had been looked upon, and had professed themselves to be such; and who might be mentioned by name, as notoriously guilty of fornication, covetousness, idolatry, and extortion, mentioned in the former verse; to which are added two other sins any of them might be addicted to, as "railing" either at their fellow brethren and Christians, or others giving reproachful language to them, and fixing invidious characters on them: and "drunkenness"; living in the frequent commission of that sin, and others before spoken of; and that such persons remaining impenitent and incorrigible, still persisting, in such a vicious course of life, after due admonition given them, were not only to be removed from their religious society, from the communion of the church, and be debarred sitting down, and eating with them at the Lord's table, or at their love feasts, but also were to be denied civil conversation and familiarity with them, and even not suffered to eat common food at the same table with them: which though lawful to be used with the men of the world, yet for some reasons were not advisable to be used with such; partly for vindicating the honour of religion, and preventing the stumbling of the weak; and partly to make such offenders ashamed, and bring them to repentance."
    The Apostle doesn't say, 'oh, we all sin', or 'we must forgive one another'. These are some excuses I've heard concerning grievous sin in the church; however, Paul is very straightforward, 'I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother' ...'not even to eat with such a one.' That seems clear doesn't it? Once again, read what Albert Barnes says about not associating with a wicked brother, "To be wholly separated and withdrawn from such a person. Not to associate with him in any manner."

    Concerning the command to not eat with such a one, Barnes says " To have no contact or fellowship with him of any kind; not to do anything that would seem to acknowledge him as a brother; with such an one not even to eat at the same table. The reasons may have been:
    (1) The necessity of keeping the church pure
    (2) In respect to the pagan, there could be no danger of its being supposed that
    Christians regarded them as brethren
    (3) This entire separation and withdrawing from all communion was necessary in these times to save the church from scandal, and from the injurious reports which were circulated.

    Lastly, the Apostle commands to 'remove the wicked man from among yourselves'. Again, I like what Albert Barnes says here, "Excommunicate him; expel him from your society. This is the utmost power which the church has; and this act the church is bound to exercise upon all those who have openly offended against the laws of Jesus Christ.

    Remarks On 1 Corinthians 5 {from Barnes}

    1. A public rumor with regard to the existence of an offence in the church should lead to discipline. This is due to the church itself that it may be pure and uninjured; to the cause, that religion may not suffer by the offence; and to the individual, that he may have justice done him, and his character vindicated if he is unjustly accused; or that if guilty he may be reclaimed and reformed - Offences should not be allowed to grow until they become scandalous; but when they do, every consideration demands that the matter should be investigated.

    2. People are often filled with pride when they have least occasion for it; 1Co_5:2. This is the case with individuals - who are often elated when their hearts are full of sin - when they are indulging in iniquity; and it is true of churches also, that they are most proud when the reins of discipline are relaxed, and their members are cold in the service of God, or when they are even living so as to bring scandal and disgrace on the gospel.

    3. We see in what way the Christian church should proceed in administering discipline; 1Co_5:2. It should not be with harshness, bitterness, revenge, or persecution. It should be with mourning that there is necessity for it; with tenderness toward the offender; with deep grief that the cause of religion has been injured; and with such grief at the existence of the offence as to lead them to prompt and decided measures to remove it.

    4. The exercise of discipline belongs to the church itself; 1Co_5:4. The church at Corinth was to be assembled with reference to this offence, and was to remove the offender. Even Paul, an apostle, and the spiritual father of the church, did not claim the authority to remove an offender except through the church. The church was to take up the case; to act on it; to pass the sentence; to excommunicate the man. There
    could scarcely be a stronger proof that the power of discipline is in the church, and is
    not to be exercised by any independent individual, or body of people, foreign to the
    church, or claiming an independent right of discipline. If “Paul” would not presume
    to exercise such discipline independently of the church, assuredly no minister, and
    no body of ministers have any such right now. Either by themselves in a collective
    congregational capacity, or through their representatives in a body of elders, or in a
    committee appointed by them; every church is itself originate and execute all the acts of Christian discipline over its members.

    5. We see the object of Christian discipline; 1Co_5:5. It is not revenge, hatred, malice, or the more exercise of power that is to lead to it; it is “the good of the individual” that is to be pursued and sought. While the church endeavors to remain pure, its aim and object should be mainly to correct and reform the offender, that his spirit may be saved. When discipline is undertaken from any other motive than this; when it is pursued from private pique or rivalship, or ambition, or the love of power; when it seeks to overthrow the influence or standing of another, it is wrong. The salvation of the offender and the glory of God should prompt to all the measures which should be taken in the case.

    6. We see from this chapter who are not to be regarded as Christians, whatever may be their professions; 1Co_5:11. A person who is:
    (1) A fornicator: or,
    (2) Covetous; or,
    (3) An idolater; or,
    (4) A “railer;” or,
    (5) A drunkard; or,
    (6) An “extortioner,” is not to be owned as a Christian brother.

    Paul has placed the covetous man, and the railer, and extortioners, in most
    undesirable company. They are ranked with fornicators and drunkards. And yet how many such persons there are in the Christian church - and many, too, who would regard it as a special insult to be ranked with a drunkard or an adulterer. But in the eye of God both are alike unfit for his kingdom, and are to be regarded as having no claims to the character of Christians." Barnes

    If the church continues to ignore and excuse sin, then the LORD will certainly deal with it, including those who did nothing.