Christians Caught in Sexual Sin – 1 Corinthians 5

In this modern age of “tollerance” and “acceptance” this chapter is a horse pill.

I have participated in heated discussions about how to deal with people in our churches who are involved in sexual sin. Can there be any question after reading today’s chapter (1 Corinthians 5)?

4 You are to call a meeting of the church, and I will be there in spirit, and the power of the Lord Jesus will be with you as you meet. 5 Then you must cast this man out of the church and into Satan’s hands, so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved when the Lord returns.

Is this saying that if we tolerate this behavior and allow it to continue as we “love them to Christ,” we are putting them in greater danger than dealing with the sin head on? Would we be allowing this sinful nature to thrive and “he himself” will not be saved when the Lord  returns?

I have no doubt this can be done in love and not in anger – with restoration in mind, not punishment. But simply ignoring it and hoping the person will get over it on their own is folly.

What about prayer? Yes – we need to pray.
What about love? Yes – we need to love.
What about forgiveness? There’s no question – we must forgive after repentance.
What about grace? God’s grace is sufficient – but right choices must be made.

My days ministry have shown me that there is plenty of sexual sin within our churches. And, for the most part it goes on ignored. I’m very concerned that the world we live in is set on feminizing our men. It happens in our churches as well, thereby weakening any chance we have to take a stand against satan in this world. Tollerance and acceptance are the method by which this is being accomplished.

What to do? Well, look at the strong position Paul takes:

7 Remove this wicked person from among you so that you can stay pure.

 9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don’t even eat with such people. 12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

You can see with the strong language Paul is using, that it’s far too important of an issue to just ignore and hope it goes away. More and more men – more and more pastors – are getting caught in the web of pornography and sexual sin.

There are a number of ministries dedicated to helping people (not just men) escape from the bondage of sexual sin. For more information, here are a few links you can check out:

Lord, heal your church and start with the men! Help us know how to deal with people the enemy has captured in this powerful trap. Help us to know how to restore them to You without risking exposure to the rest of our congregation. Bring healing to your church, Lord, so we can regain ground that the enemy has taken from us.


  1. #1 by Irene on September 8, 2008 - 12:21 am

    I read your article thoroughly and with conviction. I just recently came out of a sexual immoral relationship. Yes. he is an unbeliever ,but he insisted that he was a chrisitan. He stated to me that he did accept Jesus Christ as his personal saviour,but He casually engages in sex. He has no convicts about engaging in this behavior as well. What is worse I became involved with him and his requirement was for me to engage in sex if I wanted to be with him. I compromised and let’s just say the final result is I got hurt in the end. Throughout the entire time of our relationship I felt myself falling further and further away from God. What made it even worse is that I continued to teach God’s word ,but I was convicted the entire time.To make a long story short, He end up dumping me to go back with his ex and am left standing confused and alone. I felt so ashame of the acts that I engaged in and felt that I allowed someone to use me to fulfill their desires. I compromised my relationship with God for a man who neither love or respect me. For people who say ,” having sex outside of marriage causes no harm.” THEY ARE SO WRONG. Sexual immorality hurts. It causes depression and confusion . It breaks relationships and causes loneliness. I tell myself all the time if I could turn back the hands of time I would run as fast as I could. I still see this person from time to time and he still is not convicted about his behavior.Please pray for me my heart is really broken and am now on medications to help me sleep and for depression. I hope my story will encourage others to not engage in this behavior at all.

  2. #2 by octavia on April 6, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    I agree with the previous mail. To engage in sex outside of marriage only leads to heartache, unless you harden your heart. Before I became a christian I was in a long term relationship which naturally included sex. After becoming a christian I abstained from sex for about six years. Then I met up with my ex one night and spent the night with him. Only afterwards I realised that God had completely forgiven, cleansed and restored me sexually, making me pure. And I was heartbroken that I had given myself away (again), only to be used. My ex went back to his girlfriend stating it was the biggest mistake of his life to cheat on her. I felt condemned, rejected and used and started another sexual relationship with someone because of what had happened. I moved further and further away from God and was drawn to the ways of the world. I always remained convicted, however, that What I was doin was wrong. I confessed and repented of my sexual sin. Five months ago, however, I started seeing my ex again and once again got involved in a sexual relationship. I regret it now and realise that it should not have happened. The last conversation we had he put the phone down on me and now refuses to take my calls. I made a mess of everything and am now dealing with the consequences of my sexual sin. My prayer was always that we’d be together and that he’d also turn to Christ. But I’ve done the exact opposite of a christian witness. What to do now?

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