I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people and not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person and not even to eat with such a one. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 NASB
The Bible makes it clear that we are to be motivated by love. We are to love other believers (John 17:23), and even our enemies (Luke 6:27). To seek to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). To forgive others always (Matthew 6:12).
As Christians we need to be concerned about the impact of our actions. In the early church, some who professed to being believers were living in immoral ways that could not be ignored. Such conduct infected the body of Christ with a kind of spiritual cancer, and Paul insisted that it had to be removed from their midst (v. 13).
Following Paul’s example, we need to realize there are standards that must be maintained, for we’re all accountable for what we do. However, we also need to exercise this accountability in a spirit of love and forgiveness.
This is why the written Word is so important. In all of his letters, Paul was defining what it means to live as a believer, and why our behavior matters. He wanted his readers to know God’s standards and live according to Biblical principles.
You may be tempted to live like people around you, and to do what others say is acceptable. But always remember that your behavior demonstrates what you believe. Your actions matter. In the so-called gray areas, you can find God’s timeless standards in His Word. In every situation, make that your authority and the reference point for your life.
PrayerFather, help me to live so others can see Jesus in me. Give me discernment about the people with whom I associate. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Extended Reading1 Corinthians 5