1Co 5:12-13 “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
There is a lot of evil in the world. We see it on the news broadcasts, read about it in the paper, and hear it talked about wherever people gather. It is preached about from pulpits and railed against in government halls. Our focus is pulled in many different directions.
The simple truth is, evil is not new. In Genesis, chapter six, verse five, we are told “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The imagination (purpose) of our carnal nature is only evil according to God’s word. This runs contrary to the idea that there is some good in every human being, so will we believe the philosophy of men or will we trust God’s word?
It is easy to allow the philosophy of men to turn our attention outward. Again, as we can see by Paul’s words here, this is not new. He has spoken to the Corinthian brethren about not keeping company with those who are covetous, idolaters, fornicators, etc. Then he calls our focus away from the world at large.
As the children of His kingdom here, we are not responsible for what goes on in the world. Our focus should be on what is taking place in His kingdom where He has called us to dwell. We need to start within ourselves to make examination of how we are walking before the Lord. It is important that we consider these things in a spiritual way as well as physical.
We can be covetous and still give freely of our funds. Sending money to the church on a regular basis yet never attending service is a form of covetousness. When we fail to be involved with our time and effort, because we would rather spend that in pursuit of “rest” or some hobby, we are being covetous regardless of how much money we send. In the same manner, we can be faithful to our spouse yet set things above our devotion to God and make of ourselves fornicators and idolaters.
This goes directly back to Jesus’ teaching about removing the beam from our own eye before we attempt to remove the splinter from our bother’s eye (Mat 7:5). We need to first look to ourselves, then to the body of believers the Lord has joined us to. In the same manner as Paul advised the Corinthians to put away from among themselves that wicked person, we must put away from ourselves (repent) those things that keep us from serving God in spirit and in truth. Simply put, discipline in the church begins with discipline in my according to the working of the Holy Spirit.
Make no mistake: the world will not go free. God judges them that are without. We have no jurisdiction there, other than to be His witnesses in the earth. We need to put our trust completely in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and see to our own house.
May God guide our steps in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake!