Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 5

When should a church leader act as judge?

1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Sometimes Christians complain too much about the behaviour of people who are not Christians. Perhaps those Christians are just gossiping. Or perhaps they are genuinely worried about the state of this world.

There are proper reasons why Christians should be aware of other peopleís evil deeds. Christians have a duty to pray for other people. Also, Christians must sometimes explain to people why their actions are against Godís law. And Christians should help people who suffer because of other peopleís evil and cruel actions.

Christians should always remember that God is the judge. They themselves do not normally have any authority to act as judges. So instead, they must trust God to do what is right. And they must only deal with those matters that God wants them to deal with.

However, there is one matter where God gives some Christians authority to make judgements. It is in the organisation of churches. Church leaders must sometimes make important decisions about the members of their churches. And in those matters, the church leader acts as a judge.

It is a serious responsibility, and the church leader must pray carefully. Godís word, the Bible, should guide his decision, as the law guides a judge. The church leader must not show favour (special kindness) to someone who is wealthy, impressive or important. He must do what God wants him to do.

The church leaders at Corinth had to ask a very evil man to leave their church (5:1). It was a difficult thing to do. But God had given them authority to make that judgement.

Next part: Wrong use of judges (1 Corinthians 6:1)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.