Good Morning MBC. Our Scripture reading today is 1 Corinthians 5.
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
Sin is tolerated in the church far too often. Ignored sin in the church destroys the sinner and demolishes the gospel witness of the church. Notice that the goal in these verses is not to punish the sinning man just for the sake of punishing him. The goal is the spiritual restoration of the man. That must always be the goal of church discipline, as we see in Matthew 18 as well.
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Verse 6 shows us one reason why churches cannot ignore sin. Unrepentant sin spreads like a disease in the church. If we call sinners to repent, we prevent the sinful “leavening” of the whole church. If we ignore sin in the church, hearts will begin to grow calloused to sin.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Paul understands that Christians must be willing to associate with the lost of the world for the sake of gospel witness. However, for the reasons mentioned above, unrepentant sinners need to be removed from church membership. We’re not called to judge the world, but we must hold one another accountable in the church. Too much is at stake in our personal lives and in our gospel witness as a church.
I hope you have a blessed day!