1 Corinthians 5:6-10

In 1 Corinthians 5:6-10 Paul continues rebuking the church for their failure to handle sin directly. Church discipline is an area that many prefer to stay clear of. There can be differing opinions as to the severity of the sin and the action that should be taken as a result, so often things may be talked about but seldom truly dealt with. Paul makes clear the problem with that approach, or lack thereof. If we overlook or ignore sin, really at any level, we lower the standard of expectations to a point where sin just becomes accepted. “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”

Ignoring or accepting sin is never ok with God. Sin is mankind’s biggest problem – it is what causes our separation from God and ultimately eternity in hell if not addressed through the grace of Jesus Christ expressed freely for us on the Cross. “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.” Man has a sin problem, and God graciously offered up a complete and everlasting solution. He sent Jesus as a sacrifice to die on a cross, be buried in a tomb, and raise after three days to give us victory over death. God has given us the solution, but we have to get rid our our sin problem by accepting His gift of grace.

Paul exhorts the church to celebrate the new way of receiving the forgiveness of sin – the shed blood of Jesus. Sin has been around since the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve experienced it then, and it’s been with us ever since. But the method of dealing with it changed when Jesus went to Calvary. Before that, it had been based on the law and obedience to God’s commands. Those things still guide how we should live, but the forgiveness of sin now happens through receiving Christ as Savior and Lord. That is the new truth we need to understand and accept. “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.”

Paul has instructed the church to remove the sinful behavior and person choosing to live in it. But now he goes further to blanket the sin of sexual immorality. Actually he addresses a broader subject of sin itself. We’re not to hang with people who are sinners. “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – 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.” We need to understand that sin carries a price tag and certainly can cause those in its patch to be swayed toward it if not careful. We need to associate with those who are not consumed by sin, and not just sexual sin. Any sin can cause us to fall and be separated from God.

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