1 Corinthians 5:1-8
5 It is actually reported that there is sexual sin among you. I’m told that a man is sleeping with his father’s wife. Even people who don’t know God don’t let that kind of sin continue. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you be very sad instead? Shouldn’t you have thrown out of your church the man doing this? 3 Even though I am not right there with you, I am with you in spirit. And because I am with you in spirit, I have already judged the man doing this. I have judged him in the name of our Lord Jesus. 4 So when you come together, I will be with you in spirit. The power of our Lord Jesus will also be with you. 5 When you come together like this, hand this man over to Satan. Then the power of sin in his life will be destroyed. His spirit will be saved on the day the Lord returns. 6 Your bragging is not good. It is like yeast. Don’t you know that just a little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise? 7 Get rid of the old yeast. Then you can be like a new batch of dough without yeast. That is what you really are. That’s because Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been offered up for us. 8 So let us keep the Feast, but not with the old bread made with yeast. The yeast I’m talking about is hatred and evil. Let us keep the Feast with bread made without yeast. Let us keep it with bread that is honesty and truth.
Paul writes of his shock at the reports he hears about the church and what they have allowed to continue, in particular the sexual immorality. He has some very direct instructions and the expectation that they will follow through with it. As Paul describes what is going on, I wanted to add my voice to Paul’s and ask them, “what were they thinking?”
Isn’t it obvious? This sin should have been confronted a long time ago. Instead of hearing that it is still going on, Paul would have hoped to hear how they had addressed it.
But as I reflect on this, I can’t help but look at this from the viewpoint of the Corinthian church. I wonder if they were surprised by Paul’s tone and direct instruction. This church had been so focused on grace, that they had sacrificed holiness and did not look at the damage it was causing, the “yeast” as Paul describes it. This sin that they had “allowed” was damaging the reputation of the church to the local community, and they didn’t even realise.
It highlights to me the need to remain accountable, even to someone who is not directly involved and can see the whole picture of what is going on, and to submit to that oversight, so that I stay on track and not allow sin to lead me away.
Father, I am thankful for Pastors and leaders that you have placed over my life to help guide me and to see myself as I should and stay on course.
Written by Andrew Martin