World English Bible translation
5:6Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump? 5:7 Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; 5:10 yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. 5:11 But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Don't even eat with such a person. 5:12 For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don't you judge those who are within? 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. "Put away the wicked man from among yourselves."
In yesterday's lesson, we dealt with a new issue Paul had begun to write about to the Corinthian church. There was a case of a man that was living in gross sexual sin. He had taken his father's wife into some kind of permanent union. Whether they were living as man and wife or whether the woman was his concubine was unclear. In either case, Paul was outraged and declared that the man should have been immediately put from their midst. They should have immediately mourned him as one that had died and mourned his loss as though he had immediately lost his life.
The Corinthians had been "puffed up." They thought they were enlightened in showing that Christ had given them the freedom to do even this immoral thing. But Paul uses an analogy from Jewish ritual to show what they should rather have done.
Right before the Feast of the Passover, the ritual of a Jewish household demanded that the entire house be cleaned of any food products that contained yeast. The old yeast and any leavened bread was eaten or discarded. In this way, no yeast at all would be present in the house during Passover. Paul writes that in the same way the assemblies of Christ should get rid of sin, which is like yeast, in order to celebrate the Christian Passover, which is the new covenant of Christ Jesus our Lord.
In this way Paul writes that we will celebrate the new life in Christ with sincerity and truth. Paul includes all sin in this way, not just sexual sin. He tells the Corinthians not to associate with those that are covetous, idolaters, slanderers or drunkards. Then he goes on to make clear to them that he does not mean that they are to not associate with such people who are not Christians. Specifically he means people who call themselves Christians and continue to live unrepentant lives like these. Paul charges them to judge these people and to put them from the church.
Now the church is filled with sinners. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Paul is not saying that if a brother or sister in Christ slanders someone they should be immediately kicked out of the church. There are as many gossips and slanderers in the church as in any other human endeavor. But, when confronted with their sin, the brother or sister in Christ will feel conviction and remorse for their sin. They will repent and they will struggle not to fall into the same trap again.
Now, if this is not the case, if when they are confronted with sin they continue to proclaim that they are without sin, then it becomes a case for the church to deal with. If we refuse to acknowledge the sin in our lives, then the Spirit of God is not living inside, convicting us of sin. It is the convicting work of the Spirit that leads to remorse and repentance. Where God has convicted us and is working with us in our lives, there is no need for others within the church to act. But, where we refuse to acknowledge the convicting work of the Spirit, the church must act.
Paul is not here talking about the salvation of those that are put out of the church. Salvation is the work of God. What is at issue here is whether the person who chooses to live in open sin can continue to participate in the life of the church.
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