October 15, 2019
2 Timothy 3:5-7 (NET bible) They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these. For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
The above condition happened in Ephesians church. Some of them attended worship regularly, but their lives were controlled by lust (still carried worldly patterns), so they captivated weak women (their heart’s intentions also follow lust) who were not rooted in the word. They deliberately vent their sexual desires until sexual intercourse occurred, which destroyed the life of the church’s members. Paul strongly told Timothy: Stay away from them!
The question is does Paul love sinners? I am sure Paul loved them as Christ loved the old Paul who also sinned. But remember, Paul also loves those who truly love God and truth. So the act of love that Paul must take was commanding Timothy to KEEP THEM AWAY FROM the midst of the Ephesians church. The purpose is: To keep the ‘worldly pattern’ from being transmitted to the other church members; and there were no more weak women among the church members ‘falling into sin’ anymore. That is an act of LOVE!
This act of LOVE was a form of cleaning up the ‘worldly pattern’ that were still exist in the midst of the church. Because in the past ‘free sex’ was a manifestation of worship to the goddess Artemis for the people of Ephesus. So Paul commanded to stay away from those who unite their spirits with the spirits of the world! They have been taught but they have not ‘learned the truth’ (their heart’s intentions have not changed).
From the above, I learned:
1. The act of love is a strict action against all forms / manifestations of worldly spirit.
Strict actions have a variety of forms; from warnings to action to stay away!
2. I realized that promiscuity conducted by those who still live in flesh / sin will always hide in the name of LOVE!
They will build the opinion that God always accepts sinners; so church has no right to reject those who are still ‘struggling with sin’. Remember, God is willing to accept sinners who want to change, but not sinners who hide in the name of ‘love’ so they can stay in the church to deceive those who still ‘struggle’ with their lust. This will only hold church up from appearing as a powerful institution to proclaim Christ’s holiness!
3. I am sure that Paul and Timothy would accept sinners who wanted to change and had a teachable heart.
No matter how bad / sinful someone was before, as long as he is willing to change by the work of the Spirit and the word, he is still worthy to be the bride of Christ! True repentance occurs in the lives of people who are willing to leave sinful life, not those who only want to repent because their actions are uncovered by others.
4. Paul even willingly gave up those who continued to live in their sins into the hands of Satan (1 Cor 5:1-5) so that those who live in sin could still be saved on the day of the Lord.
5. My part now is to participate in protecting church members in DIVINE LOVE and at the same time mobilizing each of them to protect one another, so together, as one Body, we always move in His holiness and perfection.
Sometimes divine love is often misunderstood by church. But this is the time for church to understand the dimension of divine love in a balanced way. #ILoveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus