2 Corinthians 12:19(b) and 21, "...we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 21And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed."
Like any Bible preacher, the Apostle Paul wanted his ministry to result in individuals coming to faith in Christ, and for them to then live life victoriously over sin, and for the glory of God. Whatever he chose to do, it was always with the purpose of edifying people in their walk with God. Building and growing people spiritually is the goal of every pastor.
Paul was concerned that when he returned to Corinth that he would find many living lives defeated by sin and filled with reproach. God's people should mourn whenever a person begins to practice a sinful lifestyle. Paul stated, "...I shall bewail many which have sinned already." The verb "committed" in verse 21 has the idea of that which is practiced repeatedly. Individuals were living lives of uncleanness, fornication, and lasciviousness. What do these words mean?
- Uncleanness = speaks of any impurity, physical or moral.
- Fornication = any sexual perversion, which would include any sexual activity outside the boundary of marriage between a man and a woman.
- Lasciviousness = is unbridled lusts characterized as shameless and outrageous.
It is inexcusable for any Christian to be living life as described in 2 Corinthians 12:21!!! Don't allow sin to creep into your life, if it is left unchecked, it will become a way of life. Paul's words to the Romans are words of warning and edification, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:12-13)
Mercy is found in confessing and forsaking sin, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott