TRANSCRIPT | Wed, October 21, 2020 | Sinful Lifestyles in The Church

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Hey, 3trees. As I've already mentioned tonight, it's an honor to be with you. And I thank you for giving us the chance to kind of lead you through the Word of God. We're in the middle of a series throughout 1 Corinthians, It's entitled “What in the World?”. And we've kind of derived that from a variety of things. But the number one thing we want to point out is that the church in Corinthians, or the Church of Corinth, filled with Corinthians, was a place that had become worldly. They had reached a place where that culture was beginning to overly influence their behavior as Christians. And Paul is writing this letter in1 Corinthians to bring correction to them. So we've been moving through it a chapter at a time. And for the most part, we're going to do that throughout the course of the entire book. But tonight, we're actually going to look at two chapters; we're going to look at 1 Corinthians 5, and 1 Corinthians 6. And as I teach through this, you'll be able to follow along on a screen that I have here behind me. But also, you're welcome to grab a Bible, I'm going to be reading from the ESV translation. And another thing I want to point out, because I do think it's helpful, and I do think it's important, you can go to ericgilbert.org. And as you scroll down the page, you'll see a link there that simply says, discussion guide. You can click that link, and then you can follow it forward until you find today's date. And then you'll be able to download the discussion guide and the message notes. You can print those off, and you can follow along with us. You can keep them for your own record. I think especially for those of you who are choosing to go through this whole book with us, it's going to be really something great to just go back and reference in times later. And just you know, maybe even you're rereading the Book of 1 Corinthians. I know a lot of people like to read the entire Bible through every year, or at least the entire New Testament through every year. This will be something you can go back, you can revisit. And so we want to put as many resources and tools in your hand as we possibly can. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so as we pick up things in 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, what we notice is that there is sin in the assembly of believers. There's sin in the church, okay. And everybody knows it. There’s sin. It's happening in the church, and everybody knows it. But the problem here at Corinth is that they've been slow to do anything about the sin. So there's sin, a lifestyle of sin has been embraced by certain people within that within this congregation, the church at Corinth. And even though everybody's aware that this is happening, like there's no kind of correction coming to it, no one is addressing it. It's almost like that they're not even bothered by it, or that they're not convicted about it. That almost there's an arrogance associated with the way in which that this sin is being propagated among them. And so now as we move into chapter five, and chapter six, like Paul is about to address it head-on. And he's going to begin to actually issue some rebukes, if you will, about the fact that this sin has been allowed to carry on for so long without anyone addressing it. So here's what we learned is that human imperfection must never be an excuse for sin. So just as parents must discipline their children in love, so churches must exercise discipline. And so I want you to stick with me tonight, lean in the best that you can, and we're going to move through this. And I want to show you a quote that is actually from one of my favorite New Testament commentators, Warren Wiersbe. And here's what he says about 1 Corinthians 5 and 6. He says, “Church discipline, when it comes to someone's in sin, and that sin has to be addressed.” And I want to point this out more later, but I guess I need to go ahead and say it. And it's this. When we're talking about sin, being in the church, the Bible is clear that any man who says he's without sin is a liar. Okay? So we're all going to have failures. We're all going to have mistakes. We're all going to mess up; can I get an amen? But what this is talking about is his blatant sin. Like somebody has embraced a lifestyle of sin, and they are repetitively committing the same sin habitually. Okay. And in, in that situation, what we learned out of chapter five, in chapter six, there has to be some form of discipline if that person is a recognized member of the Church. So church discipline is not a group of pious policemen. We're going to learn about church discipline tonight, but you need to get this is not so you can become a pious policeman out to catch a criminal. Rather, it is a group of broken-hearted brothers and sisters seeking to restore an airing member of the family. And so the reason I just pulled this quote because I didn't think I could say it any better than that. It's just beautifully stated. And this is what we're getting tonight. We're learning about church discipline and the need for it when somebody has embraced a blatant lifestyle of sin, but it's not so that we can become the policeman trying to find the criminal, okay. It is so that we can be a group of brokenhearted brothers and sisters, trying to restore someone that is airing as a member of the family. And so when we think about this concept of brokenhearted brothers and sisters, what we're going to learn is the reason we're brokenhearted is because the person we care about is in sin. That's what brings the broken heartedness. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I want you to even notice this verse. So, we’re in 1 Corinthians, right? But I pulled this verse from 2 Corinthians, because in this passage of text, 2 Corinthians, this is the second letter that Paul wrote. So 1 Corinthians is the first letter he wrote to this church, 2 Corinthians is the second letter that we have on record that he wrote to the Church. And in the second letter, he addresses his tone in the first letter. Okay. So we know we already noticed and in 2 Corinthians, he's very straightforward. There's obviously a rebuking tone about the things he’s saying. But I want you to see this 2 Corinthians 2:4, “For I wrote to you talking about,” talking about 1 Corinthians, “I wrote my first letter 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.” Like, just think about that for a minute that Paul is saying, I know we had to deal with some touchy stuff in 1 Corinthians. Like, I know, we had to deal with some difficult subject matter in that first letter that I sent you. But when I was writing to you, I wasn't writing to you just to cause you pain, and make you feel humiliated, and make you feel condemned. He's like, I wrote to you because my heart was breaking. My heart was hurting. In fact, I was writing that letter to you with tears, with tears. So when we look at 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, what we realize is that there should be three responses to sinful lifestyles inside the church. Now, I alluded a moment ago that I was getting a little bit ahead of myself, because I wanted to put a little bit of emphasis on this term, sinful lifestyles. And I want to make sure everybody's on the same page the best that I can, okay? 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So, we're not talking about the fact that somebody just commits a sin. We're not talking about the fact that someone just fails in a moment and comes up short. We're talking about someone who has embraced a lifestyle of sin. And what we learned about the church at Corinth is like there's more than one, like sinful lifestyles inside the church. And what makes this an issue at Corinth is that these people have embraced the sinful lifestyles, but they're continuing to like lead the church, and they're continuing to function in a capacity that gives them exposure as clear people playing a significant role in the church evidently, okay. So here's the first thing that we learned about sinful lifestyles. When we, as a part of the church, recognize that someone has embraced a sinful lifestyle, our first response is to mourn for the person in sin, to mourn for the person in sin. Now, we saw earlier that when Paul is writing this to this church, he himself has a spirit of mourning about him. Like he's in tears, he's in anguish, he's grieving because of the sin that they've embraced. And so this word mourn, even in the Greek, it references, the way that you respond to death. So like when you know that someone has died, when you know that someone has passed away, that is associated with mourning, a period of grieving. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so this is the same thing in this verse, 1 Corinthians 5, it actually reported to me that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among the pagans, for a man has his father's wife. So what it's basically saying is that there is a man who has taken his stepmother, and is in a sexual relationship with her. And he says, like even the pagans don't play that game. And here you are in the church, and you're allowing this to be tolerated, keyword tolerated. So, we're not addressing it, we're not acknowledging it, we're acting like it's not happening. And he says, do you not realize like, you're arrogant, you're arrogant in the eyes of God, because you're choosing to tolerate this. And it says, “ought you not rather to mourn?” So, his first conclusion is not that you should just jump into judgment, or that you should just jump in to trying to make someone pay for this mistake and for this sin that they've committed, but that our first response should be to mourn. That when we see someone who is a part of the Church and someone who honestly should know better, and someone who should be making better decisions, that there should be something in our heart that breaks for that person, that we grieve for that person. And it's not something that we just look for an opportunity to start posting on Facebook about, look what a hypocrite, or that we point out to somebody else that can you believe who they are and the way that they've done it. But there's a there's a breaking inside of, there's a tear being shed inside of us. In fact, I believe when you put what he said in 2 Corinthians with what he's saying in 1 Corinthians that if you haven't cried for the person, if you haven't shed tears for the person, if you haven't been broken for the person, then what gives you the authority, Come on somebody. Right? Because ought you not rather to mourn.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

 So, let's look at a second response. Second response is after you've mourned after you've got your heart in the right place, after you really cared for that person, the second thing is you confront the sin. So the sin does have to be confronted, but it has to come from a heart that's mourning for the person who's embraced the lifestyle of sin. Okay. So, when we think about confronting, this is the passage of text in chapter five that points it out, it says, “I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did this thing.” After he's talked about a spirit of mourning, okay? “When you are assembled, “ so he is saying that this actually can take place in a public setting, in a public setting, “ I pronounce judgment on the one who did such a thing. So when you are assembled, and you've gathered in the name of Jesus,” and he says, “and my spirit is present.” So he's saying, I can't be there with you, but I want you to know I support this,

and I'm behind you, and if you will confront this, you are doing the right thing, that's what he's saying, with the power of the Lord Jesus. So don't go in your own might, you're going to need the power of Jesus to get through this thing when you confront it. “You are to deliver this man to Satan. For the destruction of the flesh.” Did you know the Bible said that? That's a pretty potent statement. You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Notice two things here, it says that what you turned him over to Satan for is so that the flesh can be destroyed, but the Spirit can be saved. You're turning him over to Satan, so the flesh can be destroyed, but the Spirit can be saved.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I'm gonna be just totally honest with you, I do not claim to be a great theologian. I have spent a lot of time studying the Word, and I've read the Bible a lot of times all the way through. And I've read several stacks of commentaries. And I don't claim to be able to draw some kind of conclusion about what this really means. But I will tell you that as I've studied it, and as I've done my best to kind of understand it, when we took a look at this question, what does it mean to deliver someone to Satan? Here's what I think we need to take away. It does not mean he can never experience salvation. Since it is not the Church that grants salvation to begin with. Okay? So, when someone has embraced a lifestyle of sin, and they are someone who is prominent in the Church, and everyone equates that person with the Church, then what is to happen when you go and you confront that sin. And I mean, Paul even says it can happen in a public setting. Matter of fact, in another passage of text, he said, if it's an elder, you should actually rebuke them openly in their sin, so that other people would fear. I mean, there's some scriptures that when you think about trying to walk them out and trying to live them out, they do not adhere to church growth strategy. It does not mean he can never experience salvation. So it said, turn his flesh over so that his spirit can be saved. So here, again, I'm going to visit Mr. Weirsbe’s comments on it, because I believe out of everything I've read on chapter five and chapter six, that he's got some of the best things to say. Here's what he said, “When a Christian is in fellowship with the Lord and with the local church, he enjoys a special protection from Satan.” Just through the fellowship and being a part of the church, he enjoys a special protection. “But when he is out of fellowship with God, and his sinful lifestyle requires him to be excommunicated from the local church, he is then fair game for the enemy.” And God could, God could, could not Sunday what he could permit Satan to attack the offender's body so that the sinning believer would repent and return to the Lord. And when you think about what we read in that verse, about how, turn his flesh over to the enemy, so his spirit can be saved. Doesn't it seem like that there's almost a prayerful aspect of turning someone over to Satan. That it's coming from a heart of mourning. It's coming from somebody that's got tears in their eyes. It's coming from somebody that says, this is the last resort. Like, I don't want to have to do this. But like, at some point, you got to realize that you're becoming a reproach, not only to the Church but to the name of Jesus. And so we're gonna have to tell you that if you're going to behave this way, you're not going to be able to be in church leadership. You're not gonna be able to represent the church's ministries in a public setting because we need God to get your attention. And the only way we know for God to get your attention is maybe you're gonna have to get what you thought you wanted. without anybody trying to hold you back. Read Romans chapter 1 at some point. And then you're gonna realize on the other side of that, that there's something worth more than catering to your flesh all the time. So, first thing we do in response to sinful lifestyles inside the church is we mourn for the person, we confront the sin, but then we have to purge the sin. We have to purge the sin. 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want you to look with me at this next verse, it says, “Your boasting is not good.” So, in other words, Church of Corinth is full of itself. It's arrogant in a variety of ways. And he's saying, y'all got no reason to boast. You haven't even dealt with the sin that is in your church. Like, one of the reasons, I'm just straight up, moment of transparency. One of the reasons that I'm preaching about the Church at Corinth, in this season is a lot of you've asked us to take the Books of the Bible, kind of go through them chapter by chapter. You say you receive from that, and you're blessed by that. But when we were trying to select which book to go to, I was praying about what was going on in the world today, what's going on in culture, even a lot of the things that we're experiencing with the virus that's loose and all that stuff. And I just started to think about, like, the Church, if we're honest, if we're honest, the Church has gotten quite worldly. And I just feel like there's some things to pull from how Paul teaches the Church at Corinth, that when you, when you've gotten arrogant, and there’s sin. So, you're excited and proud about how many views you got, and how many people call your church home, and how big your buildings are, and how much money you got in the bank, and all those things we can all get proud about. He's like, if you haven't dealt with the sin, he's like, you better watch yourself. He said “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” So, he's talking about yeast, and how that if you're making bread, you can put just the least amount of leaven, the least amount of yeast in there, and it'll cause that whole thing to rise to some degree, and the more leaven, the more it rises. What it does, is it puffs up. Leaven puffs up. He’s saying y'all are puffed up. So cleanse out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump. Leaven is always likened unto sin in Scripture. And he's saying, you've let this sin in, and you've not dealt with it, and it's causing stuff to get puffed up. And the next, the next passage says, “Let us therefore celebrate, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil and sinfulness, but let us celebrate with the unleavened bread that comes from true sincerity and truth in our relationship with God. That church is not something we do on Sunday morning. And that a relationship with Jesus is not something we do just when we decide to tune in on a Wednesday night or a Sunday morning, or just when we decide to go through the motions of religious formality, but that we know that we're focused on not wanting that sand to rule and reign when there is sincerity, and there is truth. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And he's evidently even wrote another letter to them that they should not associate with sexually immoral people, not to associate with sexually immoral people. What's he saying? He's saying that if you get a little bit of sin in, and you let that sin rule and stay, it's gonna puff up. And he's talking about the fact that when you hang out with people who are sexually perverse and call themselves a part of the Church. This is what he’s saying. He's not saying that you can't go and minister in the world and try to lead people forward. Because if you go into the world, you ought to be pulling them up instead of them pulling you down. But what he's saying is if you are in the Church, and you start hanging out with people who also claim to be a part of the Church, and they are doing sexually perverse things that will get leaven in you, and then next thing you know, you'll start acting like them because they will pull you down. Like somebody needs to get this. The understanding that when you go into the world, there should, by default, because you got Jesus in you, you be pulling them up. But he's saying when you look around the Church, and there's people claiming to be one thing, and they're actually something else. If you spend too much time with them, and you hang in that group, it's going to get leaven in you. Here's what he also says, God judges from the outside. I had meant to spend a little time on that. I'm not going to. I’ll just give you this, what he's basically saying is that God judges the world, God judges the sinners, but we inside the church should be focused a little bit on what's going on with the sin. So God judges from the outside. So what we got to do, remember I told you earlier, what we got to do is we got to purge, we got to purge. So we mourn, we confront, and we purge. 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Now, I want you to look at this next thing. Remember how I was saying that God judges the outside. I want to show you three things that we do not judge, me and you as part of the church, three things that we do not judge. We do not get to judge motives. So I'm putting some of the things that have already come out of 1 Corinthians, the previous teachings, that we do not get to decide whether somebody's heart is right or not. We don't get to make the decision of judging what someone's motives are. Okay, that’s scriptural. Another thing me, you, we do not get to judge, we learned this in our last teaching, we do not get to judge the greatness of ministries. Now, we are to test and to know whether someone is of God or not. But we do not get to judge that this is a more effective minister than that one. We don't get to judge that this is a more effective preacher than that one. We learned this in the last one like Paul and Apollos, and Peter, like there was a controversy which one's the greatest preacher, which one is the greatest teacher, which one's the greatest apostle, which one is the greatest pastor? And what we learned is, we don't get to be that as part of the decision of who's the greatest; we don't get to do that. We also do not get to judge that outside of the Church. Remember what it just showed us? God judges those on the outside. So who judges the outside? [Me and you] we do not get to judge sinners. We don't get to decide whether they're going to Heaven or Hell. That's what it's saying. We do not get to make the decision, you go to Heaven, and you go to Hell, we don't get that. You and I have no authority in that regard. But what we do judge is sinful lifestyles inside the church. It’s heavy, isn't it? It's something you start to think about, and now some of you're starting to feel authorized. Well, that one is sinful in their lifestyle, and this one is sinful in their lifestyle, and I know things about this person. Have you mourned first? Have you cried first? Have you felt for their sin and the decisions like they're literally dying, and you don't want to see the enemy ravage them? Because if you can come to it from a place of mourning, it's one of the reasons that I believe that small groups are so important. And when I say this to some of you, you're going to be like, well, that's I'll never be a part of a small group if that’s what it’s about. But I've actually learned, like, it's really good to have some close relationships. It's good to have somebody in your life who can begin to see that there's some sinfulness that's beginning to become habitual. There's sinfulness that's beginning to take over your lifestyle, and that person can speak to you from a place that they really care about you because they're in relationship with you. 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The Bible even talks about that the wounds of a brother are a good thing. The wounds of a brother. Why? Because it cuts away some of that sinfulness that's beginning to slip into our life. And so we don't get to judge people's motives. We don't get to judge who's got the greatest ministry. We don't get to judge who's going to Heaven and Hell. But when we're in accountable relationships within the Church, we're going to have to from time to time mourn for those in a sinful lifestyle, confront that sinful lifestyle, and by the grace of God see that sinful lifestyle purged so that it doesn't become a leaven to the whole thing that God's trying to raise up. Can I just get an amen from somebody if you believe it to be the Word of God? So here's the deal. I mean, it's obvious I can even as I'm preaching this, I can feel the weight of this as I'm trying to teach it. The bottom line is church discipline is not easy, and it's not popular, but it is important. And I want to show you two things that really teach us how important it is. Number one, if it's done properly, God can use it to convict and restore an erring believer. Remember when it talked about someone being turned over to Satan, that it was the flesh that got messed up, not the Spirit. Remember that? So, God can use those moments to try and teach somebody that their behavior is in error. This is a bomb drop. It’s a bomb drop. We're talking about in this situation, a form of incest. It's a bad sin. Chapter Five, there's a man who's sleeping with his stepmom, doing it openly, doing it blatantly, and he's still serving in a church, and nobody's called it out. But Paul comes on the scene and tells them you got to deal with it. Like the way these typically worked. His letters were sent to the church and then they would stand up and they would publicly read the letter in the forum. That's that's what people believe probably happened. Can you imagine, this dude was squirming in his seat when I started reading this 1Corinthians letter. But they did what they were instructed to do, mourn for it, confront it, and purge it, and believe that the enemy is going to eat on his flesh with the absence of the presence of God until he realizes how much he needs God. Are you ready for the bomb? Are you ready? 2 Corinthians 1-11 implies this man got right with God. Read it. It implies that this man responded to the correction, he responded to the discipline, and he got right with God. Isn’t that something to be celebrated? And that's what it It teaches us that culture must not dictate the Church's moral standard. Culture must not dictate the Church's moral standard. 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Originally, what was happening with the Corinthians is they started making arguments to defend their sin. And if you want to look at those arguments, they quote culture. Okay, so Corinthians 6:12. it says, “All things are lawful for me,” that phraseology “all things are lawful for me,” was actually something that was very prominent in Roman and Greek culture. It was a statement that they made to basically say, I'm a part of the greatest Empire on Earth, there's nothing anybody can do to stop me, I get to do whatever I want to do. And Paul quotes the statement of their culture. He says, yeah, all things might be lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. Can I get a little bit of help?  I might be able to do whatever I want to do, but that doesn’t mean it's helpful. You can go have an affair, but it ain’t gonna help your marriage. You can choose to belly up to the bar and stay way too long, but it sure ain’t gonna help your occupation the next morning. You can choose to keep operating in fits of rage and go off and throw stuff and break everything in the house, but it ain't gonna help you in parenting those children. Okay. All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but I will not be dominated by anything. Like I have this conversation with my kids all the time. Like my son absolutely loves PlayStation. He loves 2K and some of those other games. And if I would let him he would sit there for hours at a time. Other moments, I'll see him on his phone, or even his sister, and they just scroll endlessly for hours through their social media feeds, all those things. And every time that I feel like they've went past a boundary with it, that they went to a place where they're not able to control how much they're indulging it, I set them down. And this is what I explained to them, here's why you can't play PlayStation anymore. Because I need you to know that nothing can dominate you, I need you to know that there is no addictive behavior that can keep you glued to something for hours at a time if God wants you somewhere else. I need you to understand that there's no screen that is going to so give you FOMO, the fear of missing out, that you do not engage with whatever God is calling you to with solitude or quiet time or whatever. I'm constantly trying to teach this to my kids. Yeah, you can sit there and play PlayStation all day, if you want to. Yeah, you can sit there and scroll through your phone all day if you want to. And you can look at this filter and post that but choose to not be dominated by anything. Wouldn’t it be great if we can learn that at the buffet? 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Here's another statement from culture. So this was a statement from culture, all things are lawful for me. Here's a second statement, he's calling out the statements of their culture. So this is a cultural statement, “Food is meant for the stomach and stomach for the food.” And what they mean by that is that they were authorizing themselves to be gluttons. And Paul seems to be implying that they had taken the same thing towards sexual relations. that the body is made to be able to engage sexually, and I'm not going to restrain it, because what the body wants the body gets. And he's saying, Yeah, and God will destroy both one and the other. Because God's in charge of the food, and God's in charge of the stomach, and at the end of the day, you better do what God says, because watch this, the body is not meant for sexual immorality. So tying this to this. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, it's meant for the Lord, and the Lord, for the body. This is pretty good stuff, isn't it? Let me show you another verse. “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the land, the Lord, for the body.” Can we just say that out loud together, because I think it's pretty powerful. “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body” You know, as you move on, and you start to look at the things that Paul's laying out in 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, we notice that there's some stuff that we really need to probably apply to our life a little more effectively if we're going to represent Jesus. You know, at one point, in this passage of text, and we talked a minute ago about how that, you know, church discipline, it's not popular, but it's important. Remember, we talked about that? in that section of the text, where Paul's kind of working through the discipline stuff, one of the things that he tells the people to do is that if there is somebody like this man that he's pointed out, who's giving their body over to sexual morality, and they've embraced this lifestyle of sin openly, he goes as far as to tell them, that when they're trying to purge that sin from the midst of them, remember, it's treated like leaven, he actually says to them, don't eat with them. Now, theologians have broke that apart, trying to figure out what he meant. Some think he meant don't like, don't engage with them in settings where you're comfortable, and undoubtedly, he probably means that, but I believe maybe the best interpretation of that is he was saying, It's not even meant to be a person you partake in the Lord's communion with. Because every time in the early Church, they would get together, pretty much they were partaking of communion to remember the Lord's death. And I think he was saying, if you let somebody come in, and you know that they're in this lifestyle of sin, and you partake, the semblance of the Lord's cross, communion together, he's like, you know,did you forget that the body was made for the Lord? And that the cross paid for you to have the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven? And then he points out, don't you ever forget that people who practice these sins, such sins, they don't even get God's kingdom. Then he gave a list, and you need to get ready, it goes beyond some dude, just sleeping with his step-mom.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Here's the list. I don't think it's all-inclusive, but I think he was making some pretty good points. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? There's no use of me even pretending to try to take communion because they haven't truly experienced the Cross in their life. Do not be deceived. This is a word for the modern Church. If there's anything I'm going to read tonight, that is a word for the modern Church, you need to hear this. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived? Neither the sexually immoral, that is any kind of sex outside of the bed of marriage. You can make every excuse that you want, and I come to you from a heart that cares about you. You can say you’re taking it for a test drive, and you can talk about all the reasons why that it's okay. But at the end of the day, if it's outside the bed of marriage, it's sexual immorality. Neither sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkard, nor the revile or the swindler will inherit the Kingdom of God. Do not be deceived. Does not matter what anyone tells you about how that the Bible is outdated and Scripture applied to something 2000 years ago, and it means something different today than it meant then. People who practice sexual immorality, people who swindle people, who run their mouth and revile other people like these are not Kingdom practices, They are not Kingdom Principles, and they are all things that if these become lifestyles, for us, even homosexuality, according to what this says, that at some point, we have to care enough about the person to risk the relationship to save the life. To risk the relationship to save the life. Such were, I should underline that, and such were some of you, were, Come on somebody, were. Such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the spirit of our God, that's the Church, we were that, we failed in those ways, we lived those lifestyles, but praise God, he washed us, sanctified us, justified us. Here's what we learned from that is that the grace of God can still change a sinner’s life. The grace of God can still change a sinner’s life. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, such were some of you. But praise God, justified, sanctified washed. Grace can still change a sinner. Aren't you glad that you saved and you know it? Aren't you glad that if you aren't, you know you can be. I want you to understand something if you ever find yourself in a setting where somebody cares enough about you to point out some things about your lifestyle that might be sinful. You know, if they're wrong, you can get mad, you can get offended, you can get all upset, and you can walk away and use it as your reasoning and your excuse. Or maybe you could just take it as this is an opportunity to help that person to learn maybe how to make a little better judgments about who they're going to confront. Right? But if they're right, if somebody talks to us about a lifestyle of sin and they're right, that can save our lives, and keep us from so much harm and so much pain. So thank God, that He's established His Church. And I get it. Like sometimes even as a senior pastor, I don't know how to go about all of this perfectly. But I think God that in my early days, I was part of the Church, growing up in church, and I called myself saved. And I think anybody that knew me well knew that I was a part of a church. And I had a friend that came into my life. And was in my early 20s, and he started to point out to me, he's like, Eric, like, that's wrong, like what you're doing, that's a sin. And he gave me Bible for why it was a sin; I didn’t like it. I got mad at him. I was upset with him. And then he followed up, we had a further conversation. And it's a long story that would take me a long time to give you the full testimony of but I could tell you that over the course of three to five years, God used that man in a powerful way to illuminate that there were places that I was settling for less than what God had for me and that it was, in actuality, a sinful lifestyle that could not be justified, regardless of how much I wanted to insert the insufficiency of my flesh. At the end of the day, that weakness had to be made strong. And it was a place that I had to give totally, and completely to God.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

 And so there's a difference between the momentary mess up, and the occasional failure, and the lifestyle of sin. But maybe you're struggling with the lifestyle of sin and you're ready to say, I'm ready for Jesus to wash me, I'm ready for Jesus to sanctify me, I'm ready for Jesus to justify me. I'll be honest with you, I've taken more time in tonight’s teaching than I had intended to, and I know that that's going to delay some of your discussion groups and some of the conversations that you'll get to have. Maybe even there tonight there gets to be some really good, open, honest, transparent conversations. And so we're not going to have an extended period of time here at the conclusion of this teaching. But what I do want to do is close with communion and I'm going to ask my wife if she would to just gather this together, and I'm gonna ask Curt if he would just to go to the piano and just play something softly. And I don't know Curt, maybe you could just play Amazing Grace. Just Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that said saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but my God, now I'm found. Some of those things we were, but we're not those things anymore. And so the Lord's Supper, even in 1Corinthians 5 and 6, we learned that like it's a big deal to get to partake of this because it represents the cross of Jesus. And if there's a place in your life where sin has become a lifestyle, let there be just a moment of repentance right there, just a moment of God set me free from this mess that I've settled for, and these motions that I'm going through, and these things that I've got in my heart. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Lord, I thank You that You forgive us of our sin. I think if we need first-time salvation, you can give it to us. I thank you, God, if we need to rededicate our lives, you're willing to do that. I thank you, Father, that Amazing Grace is one prayer away. And so we take the bread, we bless the bread, we break the bread, and we eat of it tonight. This cup represents the blood of Jesus. It was shed for you and me, the blood of Jesus, shed for you and me so that we wouldn’t have to settle for sinful lifestyles. With reverential awe for the work of the Cross, I’m going to ask you to take and drink of the cup. I’m telling you the Lord is great, and He is greatly to be praised. I want to pray for you. Father, I thank you that tonight we get the chance to experience your Word, we get to experience your Spirit. And God I pray that you speak to each of us in our own ways, and I’m asking you Lord, I plead with you, that none of us would take tonight’s teaching and tonight’s word, and use it as a justification to become overly judgemental of other people. But that we would learn where that you have authorized us to offer judgment, and where you have not authorized us, but even beyond that Father, that even when there is a time to confront somebody, that Lord we would never, ever, do that without having shed tears for the person that’s in sin and struggling with sin. Let us follow Paul’s example. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, and this church said, amen and amen. Amen. 

 

I want to thank you guys so much for hanging out with me tonight. God bless you. Go with God, He will go with you. Greater things are yet to come.