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The Punishment for Incest

Leviticus 20:11-12

“‘The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

“‘If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have committed a perversion; their blood shall be upon them.

The sexual sins that we have been going through in Leviticus are wrong for Christians today. We know this because it was repetitively made clear by the apostles in their writings that we now have in the New Testament. Incest is well known to be wrong by most people in the western world today and some would naturally agree with the death penalty for it.

In reality, incest is just one of the sins that God gave the same penalty for. Remember, rebellion is also punishable by the death penalty, as is adultery.

In Corinth, Paul dealt with a specific instance of incest that the church refused to judge. By considering how the church handled this incident, we learn how we should be handling all of these incidents in our churches today. I don't plan to go into the details now, but you should know that the death penalty was not the way for the Church to deal with it.

Jesus, through Paul, told Christians to rebuke the sinner first. If the sinner does not repent, they are to be abandoned. They are not to be communicated with unless they are willing to repent. You can find the details in 1 Corinthians 5. It is interesting that Paul tells us that the Corinthians were proud of their tolerance. Does that sound familiar?

In 2 Corinthians we learn that the man had repented of his sin and Paul demanded that the church welcome him back! You can read this in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11. We are no longer in the death penalty business as believers, but it is allowed by a civil government as God clearly describes to Israel in these verses. The hope of the Church is that a sinner repent so that they can be fully restored as born-again believers in Jesus.

Need help understanding other parts of the Bible? Several of Troy's studies are now available for purchase as ebooks: John, Galatians, Luke, and Acts when you use a Kindle reading app. A topical index.

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