“It is the local church that is to instruct and hold their members to these God-ordained roles and standards. Should members of that covenant community defile what God has blessed, the church calls them to repent. And if they do not repent, they are to be put out of the local church (Matthew 18:15-20).”
(Tedd Mathis) In this essay I address how a local church is to respond when a member practices sexual sin. Since the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever, let’s remind ourselves of what He has commanded His people in the past.
The one, true God, set His love on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, promising to make them a nation which He would bless. They were to be a righteous and just people (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 7:7-8).
IN LOVE He protected them as a fledgling nation for 400 years from being amalgamated into the idolatrous Canaanite tribes and their abominable sexual practices (Gen. 15:12-16; Lev. 18:3, 24,25; 20:23).
IN LOVE He preserved them as His people in Egypt and brought them out of that nation’s idolatry and abominations (Lev. 18:3. 30; Ezek. 20:7-12).
IN LOVE He gave them a holy law with a high view of marriage, explicitly commanding them NOT to desire or practice the sexual abominations of Egypt or Canaan (Deut. 6:1-19; Ezek 7:10-11). They were to put to death or cut off Israelites who went after abominable sexual acts of the false gods (Leviticus 18:1-30).
When Israel disobeyed Him, the Lord brought severe judgment on His people (Judges 2:11-23; Isaiah 1:10-17; 3:8-9; Jer. 5:7-9; 6:15-19).
IN LOVE and mercy to foreigners, even those who had been emasculated and served as male prostitutes, who turned from their false gods and abominable desires and practices, and wholly identified themselves with the one true God, the Lord God promised full pardon and eternal hope (Isaiah 56:1-8).
For a previous essay providing background, you can read it here.