A certain man in the church at Corinth had been guilty of wrong sex acts. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Paul told the church to deal strictly with that man.
Now, however, that man was truly sorry. He had stopped his wrong behaviour. He had asked God to forgive him.
Paul knew how that manís behaviour had damaged the church at Corinth. So, he urged the members that they should now forgive the man. Paul was not telling them to act as if the man had never done those wrong things. They would have to be very careful about him*. However, they should allow him to return to the church, and they should not be bitter towards him.
Paul added that he too would forgive the man. Actually, Paul was not sure whether he needed to forgive the man; the man had done nothing against Paul. Still, Paul considered it better to forgive than to say nothing.
Paul gave his reason. He understood how the devil uses such matters to cause trouble for Godís people. Satan is constantly looking for reasons to accuse Christians. He wants to separate them so that they oppose each other. He wants them to be bitter and angry against each other.
Paul was very aware of such matters. He often had to deal with problems in the churches. In the past, there had been problems with opposing groups in the church at Corinth*. When Christians use all their energy to oppose each other, they are not doing Godís work. In fact, by their wrong attitudes, they make it easier for the devil to do his work.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.