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Mike:
Thanks for the daily comments on the One Year Bible passages! You're a tremendous help along the way!

The passage that jumps out at me today is Ezra 8:21-23, where Ezra considers the journey back to Jerusalem. He talks about fasting and praying for God's protection and provision, because he had already declared to anyone who would listen that God's hand would be upon them. He says he was ashamed to ask the king for any more favors or his protection. WOW! How often do we boldly declare God's hand is upon us, then depend on our own efforts or the efforts and resources we can see, rather than depending humbly on God's good hand?

Thanks again for the good stuff!

Ezra 9 (NKJV)
5
At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.
6
And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.

I Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
6
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
7
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
8
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

11
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

Psalm 31 (NKJV)
5
Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6
I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the LORD.

Proverbs 21 (NKJV)
2
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.

NOTE:
May we have the truest spirit of being “poor in spirit” and of true, lasting, and deep repentance.

Not just because we need to see where we have sinned, and not just because sin is wicked—though this is true.

This verse keeps ringing in my spirit—the true substance and reality of who we are IN CHRIST:

Colossians 3 (NKJV)
1
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

YES…
I need to repent so God can show me any way I have displeased and dishonored Him. I need to repent for any sin I have committed.

YOU AND I ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST, and we truly “have died” and our life is “truly hidden with Christ in God”, and Christ “is our life”.

It is NOT true to our new nature in the Spirit to live in sin.

PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THE TRUE MAGNIFICENT GLORY OF THE FATHER AND JESUS in us. The Lord Jesus longs to manifest HIS CHARACTER THROUGH US. May that ALSO be a reason for me – for you – to repent.

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)
4
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

GREEK: Buried – sunthapto {soon-thap'-to} - to bury together with

Through baptism believers “thereby declare that they put faith in the expiatory death of Christ for the pardon of their past sins; therefore Paul likens baptism to a burial by which the former sinfulness is buried, i.e. utterly taken away.

GREEK: Glory – doxa {dox'-ah}

1.
splendour, brightness
a.
magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace – of God, of Jesus
b.
kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
c.
the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
d.
a most glorious condition, most exalted state
e.
weighty substance—eternal, true, of true value
~~~

As Jesus was physically, literally raised from the dead by the magnificent splendor, moral excellence, and true substance of the Father—

So we are called to walk in newness of life by the glory of the Father.

Jesus has made provision for us to do that.
~~~

WE WILL NEVER ARRIVE FULLY IN THIS LIFE—and the more I learn the more questions I have.

But, also by grace, the more I want to GROW!

Philippians 3 (NKJV)
12
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

YET… in the middle of real longing and real questions—we ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST

Colossians 2 (Amplified Bible)
9
For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].
10
And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
11
In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).
12
[Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead.
13
And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions,
14
Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.
15
[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].

Vance

First Corinthians 5:6 "How terrible that you should boast about your spirituality, and yet you let this sort of thing go on."

I perceive this to mean that how can we boast of being Christians & live like "hell," like the pagan do?!?!?! I percieve that you must take the whole verse, instead of just the first of it to understand what is being said here. It is about not walking the talk - or actions speaking louder than words. It's like leadership being caught with their hands in the cookie jar type of thing - in other words, how can you get up & teach/preach what you do (boast) & then let sin go on in the camp?!?!? As far as I'm concerned there is no church discipline in this time & day - if there were, the churches would probably be empty?!?!!? BUT...there may be a reckoning day of repentance like not seen before & true disciples would be made & the Gospel would go out in Spirit & Truth & be effective once more.

Ezra

After so short a time the Israel nation is disobeying God again. Maybe the intermarriages happened because:
-the women were beautiful, exotic, or different.
-it was a way to get land or riches.
-to ensure peace between the neighbors.
Regardless the intermarrying violated God's command.

In the past, intermarriage led to worshipping false gods. My guess - it will lead to those practices again.

Yet, not everybody disobeyed God, there was a remnant within the remnant.

I was struck by the end of Ezra's prayer that "we" are before you in gulit..."not one of us" can stand in your presence. God's promises were made to the nation of Israel, and in the eyes of Ezra the nation had let God down. (those that married, and perhaps those that tacitly approved by their silence, and those same people not stopping the intermarriage actively??????)

Interesting how this might complement Paul's talk of "unity" in Romans and 1 Corinthians???? Or the silence, winking and nodding, and tacit approval going on in todays reading of 1Cor5.


BTW: I just lived out these verses in I Corinthians 5:6-12: I was going to fly with a CFI/Certified Flight Instructor that had taken me on as a mentee through a program with AOPA. I kept having a check in my spirit about getting into the cockpit/aircraft with him. I asked him if he had a personal relationship with Christ & he said yes to my face(I have been lied to so many times by men that profess to be Christians when they are not). The Lord gave me this scripture to give to him & he would never answer my questions about his private life (purity), but I knew what the Lord was telling me. I flew with him one time & he made a major mistake in the preflight & then in the air. My warnings from the Lord were right on & I knew it & so did he - he recused himself after that flight, as well he should have. This verse is a hard one to follow, but it keeps us pure & holy & separated from wolves in sheeps clothing.

ICor5
Continual Sin in the Church

Interesting how Paul spends very little time on the sin, but in addressing the "church" regarding the sin.

By the Greek verb tense, the sin is an ongoing relationship, not a onetime fling. The reaction of the Corinthian Christians - they were puffed up, proud? Perhaps this means they were so enamored with the idea of possessing spiritual gifts and still attached to the idea of man's wisdom - that they could rationalize this act.

As Ramona said regarding possible reasons for Solomon's downfall - perhaps the Corinthians thought in this area they knew better or that they were above it. Sexual freedom had been a way of life in Corinth for so long, maybe they thought it was really outside the scope of religion????

"...one of the most dramatic places where the ethics of Greek culture clashed with the ethics of Jesus. Sexual immorality was an accepted fact of life for the common person in Greek culture, but it was not to be so among the followers of Jesus....It wasn’t hard for a Corinthian to think you could be religious, yet still act any way you pleased when it came to sex..... More than anything, the Corinthian Christians were probably allowing this in the name of “tolerance.” They probably were saying to themselves, “Look how loving we are. We are accepting this brother just as he is. Look how open-minded we are!” We should never underestimate what people will allow in the name of “open-mindedness.” - David Guzik
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/4605.htm

They should have grieved over it:
-for the man
-for themselves -because they did not confront the sinner
-and for the church - that attitude and committing of sin may spread, for if this is allowed, what else may be allowed? Much less how this reflects on God.
======================================================
Paul has already established his right as an apostle and as a spiritual father to the church: not being there, in spirit Paul has already passed judgment on the man.

WHOA! What about the sermon on the mount...'judge not, lest you be judged.'

Paul is not being disobedient in the slightest way. Jesus’ command in Matthew 7:1-5 forbids hypocritical judgment, and judging others by a standard that we ourselves do not want to be judged by. Paul is perfectly willing to apply the same standards to himself that he is applying to the Corinthian Christians. - David Guzik

Some judgment is permitted, and some is not. “While Christians are not to judge one another’s motives or ministries, we are certainly expected to be honest about each other’s conduct.” (Wiersbe)

Jesus in Matthew 18 addresses this issue of sin of a brother, much less continual sin. Confront him individually, if not resolved with two or three others, if not resolved:

MAtt 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. NIV

[NOTE: (an aside) There was no church in Jesus' day. The church Jesus mentions is "ekklesia" meaning an assembly or gathering of people (with common interest like citizens of city or Christians). It in no way here or in epistles refers to "a building" or "institution".]

That is have nothing to do with them (like pagans and tax collectors). I believe that Jesus is not talking about judging the man, but rather in restitution and restoration of brotherhood. If it cannot be acheived, then "shunning" is appropriate.

I kind of disagree with David Guzik. Personally, I think Paul is not judging him in place of God, nor as God will judge him, but assessing and determining in the spirit what his sin is doing to the church - how the sinners conduct reflects on the Church and God.

So what is Paul's solution? If the man is continuosly sinning in this affair, does not repent - how do we deal with this guy?
======================================================
The same way Jesus advised.

1Cor5:5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. NIV

[There is also precedent in that Job was turned over to Satan - and he passed that test. Satan asked to sift Peter as wheat. Peter was turned over to Satan - Peter hated what he did (denying Jesus) and repented. Also mentioned in 1Tim1:18.

This is a hard concept, and I can only trust in the Lord, that for a believer it is what is needed to bring him back in line with the Holy Spirit. For a non-believer, it is necessary so that the body of Christ not be mocked.]

This is a very difficult passage to interpret. Not the expelling of the sinner from the church, but the implications of what will happen to the man. I am open to other's thoughts.

Paul spent a lot of time in Romans talking about the security of "salvation". So what is going on here?

The man is a member of the church - a brother. So although we may assume he is saved, we, as readers, really do not know. The man should know. Definately God knows.

If saved: Then the man is released to the world (Satan), and in Corinth wallows in the sexual sin. Like the Prodigal son wallowed with the pigs! The man by the power of the Spirit will realize how low he has sunk and realize what he is missing from being banned from Church - and come back in repentance. Like the father in prodigal son, the church should receive him back after repentance. Remember the prodigal son did not regain or become a "son" to the Father, he never lost his "sonship".

If he does not repent and come back, then he will die in his flesh in the earthly pleasures, but yet his spirit will be saved on the day of the Lord. His rewards at that time though will be insignificant or possibly nothing.

If not saved: then by handing over to the World, Satan can buffet him like Job.Or he can sink so low and be so broken, that he may truly turn back to the Lord, repent and actually be saved. The idea being God was drawing him originally when he joined church (even if not saved), and if "chosen" this man will be worked on by God through the "world" until he is broken and repents. For our God is a faithful God who will complete his works.

Personally, I lean to the "saved" version, but Truthfully - I do not know.


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