For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”Corinthians 5: 12-13
Some time ago I heard a pastor comment that “a pastor who avoids telling the truth to his church may be loved by the people, but he does not love the people.” What do you think?
While Paul’s command to “purge the evil person from among you” may sound harsh, those may have been the most loving words spoken to the man involved in sexual immorality and it benefited the entire church. In Paul’s next letter he refers to this situation and the restoration of the man in –
“For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.”2 Corinthians 2: 4-8
It’s important to note that Paul took no joy in writing what seemed to be unmerciful words, yet he was willing to do what honored God, the church, and, ultimately, the man. How would the man have reached a point of repentance if no one was willing to confront him? What would have happened to him? the church?
Everyone loves a happy ending and in this instance, the man had come to his senses and Paul responded again in love. The point is that, in both instances, Paul’s actions were loving toward all.