Episode #138. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 5 together: Paul is shocked to hear of the sin of one congregant and suggests some serious church discipline.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #138. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 5 together: Paul is shocked to hear of the sin of one congregant and suggests some serious church discipline.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
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1st Corinthians Chapter 5
Immoral Church Members
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even tolerated among the Gentiles — a man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Shouldn’t you be filled with grief and remove from your congregation the one who did this? Even though I am absent in the body, I am present in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who has been doing such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus, and I am with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, hand that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as indeed you are. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old leaven or with the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. But actually, I wrote you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister and is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? God judges outsiders. Remove the evil person from among you.
I should probably start by pointing out that God’s desire is never that a person is thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. But we all know there are natural consequences to our actions. Paul seems to be suggesting that this man be left to the natural consequences of his sin, not the least of which is being excommunicated from his church family. That kind of backlash tends to help us re-think our choices.
One might think that Paul is being harsh here, but in the very next set of verses, he points out that just a little sin can ruin a whole church body. Or said another way, a little leaven can ruin the whole batch. Now, don’t forget that Paul is talking to believers here. Undisciplined believers, to be sure, but believers nonetheless. We couldn’t possibly ascribe to the avoidance he talks about without hindering our telling of the Gospel to all nations. We have to hang out with the world in order to witness to them. But he’s suggesting that professing believers need to be held to a higher standard.
Let’s pray. Lord, these admonitions cause us to check ourselves to make sure there is no evil in ourselves that needs to be purged. In Paul’s very next letter to the Corinthians, he says that we must examine ourselves, to see whether we are in the faith. And in the 11th chapter of this book, that we should judge ourselves so we won’t be judged. There seems to be a theme here, Lord, and we need to pay attention. Would You help us? It’s so easy to slip by those mirrors of self-examination for fear of what we’ll find.
Worse, we have prideful tendencies that mistakenly assume we’re fine the way we are. Oh, Lord, have mercy on us. Convict us, Holy Spirit, when evil threatens to leaven our lumps. Only by surrendering to Your good will can we do this. We don’t have to be afraid of You. Jeremiah told us that You have plans for us, plans to proper, not to harm; plans to give us a future and a hope. Please give us a clear vision of Your care, God. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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