Paul Condemns Spiritual Pride
5 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. 2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Two very uncomfortable subjects that no one likes talking about in this chapter. First is sexual sin, and second is not associating with a sinful brother or sister in Christ.
It’s pretty incredible that there is a man in sexual sin with his own stepmother, but even more baffling that the church is boasting about it. I can’t fathom under what circumstances anyone would be bragging about such a thing. Regardless of what it is, sexual sin is generally such a secretive, shameful sin that we have the opposite problem which is no one wants to talks about it. And Paul expands that list to include a variety of sin; greed, drunkeness, idol worshipper, cheater, etc.. Regardless, Paul gives them such an incredible warning to remove the man from their fellowship. Asking someone to leave a church or no longer associating with them is controversial and many believe this should never happen. But Paul is very clear. Of course, you never want to get it to this point but there are definitely times when this could be warranted. The purpose, though, is not one of hate, but of love. The idea of expelling someone is an extreme measure to help them see the error of their way and get them to repent so they can come back into fellowship. It feels very anti-Christian to segregate someone, but it’s not if done with love and the proper intentions. Paul is clearly not happy with what’s happening in the church, but his motives are to get everyone back on the right track.
And we must remember Paul is talking only about those claiming to Christians. He says we cannot avoid everyone, nor should we. His warnings and instructions are for us in the church.
Just a note of interest, even though this letter is called 1 Corinthians, verse 9 indicates that this is at least the second letter written to them. Fun fact.
We need to remember that we must love our fellow brothers and sisters enough to confront them about obvious sinful behavior. No one wants to get to the point of being expelled from fellowship. These kinds of talks are tough, but are necessary if we genuinely care for our friends. Pray and let God give you the courage and words to say when these situations arise. This is part of the “love your neighbors as yourself”.
God give us courage and an extra measure of your love to talk to those who are falling. Help us to help them. Lord, help me to stay humble in my own sins and short-comings and help me allow others to speak life into my own situations. God we thank you for another day of life and sunshine. We honor and praise you today. Amen.