Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 5
SIN IN THE CHURCH!
1 Corinthians 5
1. Eph. 5:25-27 - The purity of the church is the result of being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are to be holy & without blemish (through Christ).
2. Church at Corinth not grounded in this truth, so much impurity within it.
3. 1 Cor. 5-6 - Addresses moral impurity & the church’s attitude toward unrepented sin in the lives of its members.
I. WHEN OPEN SIN IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS IS IGNORED, THE CHURCH BECOMES GUILTY OF SIN – 5:1-2, 6. (Problem in l Cor. 5 is not only fornication, but also the congregation’s toleration of sin!)
A. Congregations Can Become Guilty Of Sin!
1. 5:1 - Fornication among you.
a. Type that repulsed immoral Gentiles (with step-mother).
b. 2 Cor. 7:12 - The father was still living.
c. Either married or living with step-mother.
2. Problem: They were tolerating this sin!
3. Congregations & sin (cf. Rev. 2:4-5; 3:16, 19). Unless repentance, lose fellowship with Christ! (2 Cor. 7:10-11 - They did repent!)
B. Toleration of Sin in a Church Produces Arrogance – 5:2, 6.
1. Hard to imagine!
a. Perhaps due to the notion that they had wisdom (3:18), or had many spiritual gifts (1:7), considered themselves a great church (unaffected by this sin).
b. Perhaps they said: “This is a private matter – none of our business.”
2. Sin is deceitful & hardens hearts - Heb. 3:12-13.
3. They should have mourned (grieved) – 5:2.
a. Word describes one’s sorrow over death.
b. One’s spiritual demise should produce grief!
c. Not a passive grief -- It leads to a corresponding action!
4. The removal of the wicked person from the congregation - 5:2.
a. Implied: Man would not repent.
b. Stated: Church had an arrogant attitude.
c. Need: Correct attitude & take needed action!
d. Discipline is not enacted out of revenge or hatred -- grief over sin!
II. THE ACTION OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE AGAINST SIN – 5:3-5, 9-13.
A. Such Action Is Not Unloving or Wrong - It Is Entirely Appropriate – 5:3.
1. Church discipline does not “judge” thoughts & intentions, it judges (disciplines) actions! Therefore, Paul (though absent) could judge in the matter (having the facts – credible testimony - before him, 5:1).
2. We must not refuse/criticize authorized action against sin!
3. Discipline is both congregational (5:4) & individual (5:11) in nature.
B. Congregational Action – 5:4-5.
1. 5:4 - “Ye being gathered together” – This is during an assembly.
-With Christ’s authority! (Divine power & apostle’s endorsement)
2. 5:5 - “Deliver…unto Satan…”
a. Identify him with the one he is serving.
1) cf. Rom. 16:17 - “Mark” - Take note, behold.
2) 5:13 - “Put away from among yourselves the evil person.”
b. We will see the reasons for this action in a moment.
C. Individual Action – 5:9-11. (Social isolation)
1. 5:9, 11 – “Not to keep company with.”
--No “mixing together” - No social contact with the offending party.
2. 5:11 - “Not even to eat” - Implies condoning, approving of the person’s sin (cf. 2 Jno. 10-11).
3. 2 Ths. 3:14 – “Note” (congregational); “do not keep company with” (individual).
4. This is a commandment of God! Therefore, violation warrants discipline!
III. THE PURPOSES OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE AGAINST SIN – 5:3-8.
A. Destroy the Flesh – 5:5.
-Destroy the flesh as dominate force in his life - Rom. 8:5-8; Gal. 5:24 (cf. l Tim. 1:20 - Might once more be led by the Spirit).
B. To Save the Soul – 5:5. (By repentance - Acts 8:22)
1. Purpose is to save, not to condemn!
a. Cause shame for sin – 2 Ths. 3:14.
b. Not an enemy…brother who needs to be admonished! – 2 Ths. 3:15.
C. Protect the Church From Sin – 5:6-8.
1. Toleration of evil increases sin! (Leaven)
a. Moral standards are lowered.
b. To tolerate sin is to bear responsibility - Rom. 1:32 (Acts 20:26-27).
c. Others are influenced to sin (cf. Rom. 16:18).
2. Purge out from the congregation the disposition to tolerate sin (& the sin itself) - 5:7! (Purity illustrated by using the Passover – no leaven!)
3. Christian life is to be purged from sin! - 5:8
1. Acts 5:1-11 – God’s attitude toward sin in His church! (5:11)
2. 1 Cor. 5 - God’s attitude toward tolerating sin in the church! Discipline it!
3. Correctly applied discipline works! – 2 Cor. 2:6-8; 7:9-11