Sorry about this very long absence in this series. For a while, I got too caught up in other things and put more time on my Sunday and Tuesday posts. Well, I’m back with the Bible studies!
1 Corinthians 5 – Paul Condemns Spiritual Pride
In my opinion, this passage is pretty harsh. Paul is basically calling everyone out for their sins. He starts off the passage by talking about a man who committed sexual immorality with his stepmother and instead of repenting, they are so proud of what he had done. “You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. ” 1 Corinthians 5:2 (NLT) Paul continues by talking about judgement. He instructs the church to get rid of the sinful man so that he may be saved when the Lord returns. He accuses the church for boasting or bragging. He makes an analogy about how the sin is like yeast and it has the ability to infect the entire batch of dough. If you know how yeast works, it’s a microorganism that feeds off sugar as a food source and in turn, it releases carbon dioxide to make the bread rise. Even though it’s small, it can make a large batch of dough rise. If the sin is removed, then the bread will be “what you really are”. He finishes off that paragraph by saying, “So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread (old leaven) of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread (unleavened bread) of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8 (NLT).
He goes on to talk about judgement again. He reminds the church to not associate with those who commit sexual sins, are greedy or cheat people or worship idols. He tells the church to not associate with anyone who claims they are a believer, but they do all the above anyways. “Don’t even eat with such people.” At the end, Paul says to get rid of whoever is sinning and that it isn’t his responsibility to judge outsiders except for those in church. “God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, ‘You must remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:13 (NLT).
In my own interpretation, I don’t think Paul really means to kick out whoever is a sinner since we’re all sinner. That would leave an empty church. I think he means to be aware of what’s happening in the church so that we may correct them, get rid of the sin. That way, the sin wouldn’t influence the rest of the church, the dough. Church shouldn’t be a place of judgement, but it also shouldn’t harbor sins. I think we should be critical of the sins and gently rebuke whoever is committing the sins so that we may influence a good environment within the church. We can’t be blatantly blind to what’s happening.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Bible study!
Stay tuned for the next chapter!