12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
— 1 Cor. 12:12 NLT
According to the latest polls and surveys, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis is still declining year after year. “So, what has that got to do with me?”, you ask. Well, let’s continue Paul’s comparison of the body of Christ to the human body. Let’s say that in the church you attend, the thumbs don’t show up when they should. Let’s further say that we have a lot of things that need to be picked up and moved to a different spot in the building. Not having thumbs makes this job a lot more difficult, if not impossible. Let’s say that we plan a Wednesday night visitation program, but the feet don’t show up, going door to door is still possible but much more difficult. The head of the church wants to do an outreach program but the arms don’t show up. How can we reach out without our arms? The head of the church wants to start an elderly care program but the heart is missing. Because the heart is missing, no one cares enough to help each other or anyone else. A human body can’t survive without a heart beat and neither can the body of Christ. Are we willing to take the chance that we are not each a part of the heart?
18 “But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! — 2 Chronicles 6:18 NLT
David had arranged for all the building materials to complete the Temple that Solomon built to honor God and to serve as God’s dwelling place on earth. This was the place that all of Israel would come to worship God with their offerings. Other than for special purposes, the Holy Spirit had not come to earth. It would be after the Resurrection that He would come and abide in each believer. Did God really live in the Temple? No, but His presence filled the Temple. On some occasions, His presence was so real and powerful that the priests were unable to enter the Temple. As Solomon implied, there is no physical building that could contain God. The only Temple that God desires to inhabit here on earth is our bodies. He does that by abiding in our hearts. Because of that, we can worship Him anywhere, anytime because we are the Temple that He inhabits. He is with us and will never leave us. We abide in HIm and He in us when His words fill our hearts and we show that He abides in us when we show His love to others by the way we live our daily lives.
16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. — Titus 1:16 NLT
Paul considered both Timothy and Titus to be his sons in the faith and as such, it was his joy and job to mentor them. Even though he left them at different churches to carry on the work that he had started, he contiuned to do this by writing them letters. In his 2nd letter to Timothy and here in this letter to Titus, Paul warns them about wasting their time in foolish talk and conversations. This type of behavior usually leads to divisions in the body of Christ. Crete was obviously well known for this type of activity since Paul quotes one of their own Cretan prophets as describing them as “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons”. That’s harsh condemnation of one’s fellow countrymen. However, it would not be hard to make that description fit a portion of our society today. The point Paul wants to make to Titus is that he has a tough job ahead of him. He is living among people who will make all sorts of claims and statements of their faith, but they don’t really know God and their lifestyles prove that they don’t. When we hear the Gospel of Jesus, we accept it as truth because the Holy Spirit has purified and prepared our minds to accept it. Those whose minds and consciences are corrupt will perceive all truth as being corrupt. The task for Titus was to convince them of the truth of the Gospel by his lifestyle. That is our task in our society today.
God is waiting to show you the Way.
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.—1 Cor. 5:1-5 NIV
When there a member of the body of Christ who deliberately chooses a lifestyle of disobedience, it is up to the body to discipline that person. We can assume here that the question of guilt has already been dealt with and the person is guilty. (See Matthew 18:15-18 for the correct procedure for finding a member guilty) The word “judgment” here is used much as we would use the word “sentence” when the judge announces the judgment of someone the jury has found guilty. So, what Paul is saying is that the leaders in the church should have already pronounced and carried out the sentence. The guilty party is a Christian and will make it to heaven but his physical body is handed over to satan for destruction. The longer the guilty party is allowed to remain in the church, the more damage it does to the reputation of the church and to the Kingdom of God.