Purging Our Sin
Dealing with sin in the midst of a church congregation is difficult. But Paul says it is necessary to purge the sin and deal with it directly before it silently spreads and affects the entire congregation. Additionally, church members should not be arrogant and turn a blind eye to sin. When we tolerate sin within the body of Christ, we, too, are guilty of sin.
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
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.
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.
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.”
Sin is destructive. As Paul mentions, only a little bit can silently spread throughout the body of Christ and eventually have destructive consequences. Paul states that not only is the Corinthian church divided, but they are disgraceful even in the eyes of those around them. Someone in the church is committing incest and breaking Levitical law, and the church is allowing it. They are turning a blind eye to sin due to their own arrogance. There is no discipline within their church. What sin are we allowing in our lives and in our church that we are turning a blind eye and ignoring? What are we doing to correct the sin and help someone that may be sinning in our midst?
Paul says that Christ sanctifies us. We are saints in Christ. Are we acting like one of Christ’s saints? Old Testament law renders us guilty with a death sentence, but because of Christ, we are redeemed by faith, and our sins are covered. Christ is the New Covenant, the new law. However, we are still human and will make mistakes, but we are not to tolerate sin within ourselves, within the church, and within our brothers and sisters in Christ. All must be held accountable to Christ. Therefore, we are to love one another and not brush sin under the rug.
Therefore, when we recognize sin in our midst, God calls us to deal with it immediately. The longer we tolerate that sin and allow it to continue, the more that sin slowly builds and defiles the entire body of Christ. It is like cancer that invades our hearts. If we don’t cut it out of our lives and purge it, the sin continues to eat away the healthy tissue in our hearts and in our congregation. We must purge it and replace it with love and sincerity. We are to live according to Christ’s New Covenant and not live according to the world, and we are not to associate with the sin of the world. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory, but we are all redeemed by our faith in Christ. However, we must not tolerate sin within our church, and we must hold each other accountable. Sin needs to be addressed before it destroys. Love the sinner but not the sin. Live above reproach and come together in the unity of Christ to ensure sin does not destroy the church body and our hearts.
Posted in 1 Corinthians
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