Satan's Schemes

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

Discipline and forgiveness are necessary in the church, but Satan is always scheming to undermine both. With regard to discipline, the evil one tempts believers to neglect discipline as something intrusive and cruel. His goal is to have Christians think that toleration of evil is a virtue worthy of praise.

The believers in Corinth would not yield to Satan’s scheme. They wisely perceived that life without discipline brings ruin. A home and classroom require it for peace and learning. A business requires it for productivity. A church needs it for purity. If quarreling, greed, immorality, pride and other sins are permitted without being challenged, and with no consequence to the offender, sin gets the upper hand. So when one of Corinth’s own members fell into public sin, upon Paul’s urging the church disciplined the guilty person.

But Satan is not easily deterred in his drive to outwit the church. When discipline is applied properly, he subverts the action by inducing believers to be harsh and unforgiving of the person who sinned. Paul cautions against excessive correction and urges members to forgive and reaffirm a repentant member. An unforgiving spirit is a powerful weapon in the hand of Satan.

PRAYER

Lord, help us to be neither lax nor unforgiving. Amen.