My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Friday, October 19, 2007

1 Corinthians 5

You must purge the sin from amongst you. Purge. Puuuuuurrrge...

Why are you proud of a man who sleeps with his step-mum? I have made a judgement. He must be given to the devil for punishment, then maybe his soul could be saved. You have to get rid of sin that is amongst you. A small amount of yeast goes through all the bread. You cannot associate with this man, because he claims to be a Christian. You can still associate with the worldly people who don't know Jesus. You can judge and expel those amongst you, but not those without.

Key verse:
11. I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

My thoughts:
Some good ol' fashioned excommunication going on here! All of this need to be read in the context of Paul's next letter, in particular 2 Corinthians 2, which calls for forgiveness for the repentant brother.

Paul is, of course, addressing a specific issue and a specific person here. He is absolutely clear on the fact that someone who is openly sinning cannot be part of them. That does not mean that someone has to stop sinning before they can come to God. Paul also makes it very clear that those who have not met God yet should be reached out to despite of any immorality they are involved in. I also don't think that Paul expect that new followers would instantly rid themselves of all parts of their former life, though they should be striving to. Paul here is talking of someone who is well within the church and is well known who is clearly and openly sinning but no-one is willing to discipline him. He cannot be associated with.I think in this day and age, this is practised at a leadership level, which I think is appropriate. People can passively pew sit no matter how sinful they are, but as soon as they wish to take some sort of leadership level in the church, then the church is associated with them, and they in some way represent the church. They must then represent the values of the community.


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