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Sunday, July 13, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corinthians 5:1-8
1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
This is not a PC passage, for it will require churches to clear out the obvious sinners in their midst. Not that everyone doesn't sin from time to time, but the people who are practicing sin, whether it be sexual sin, as the incestuous relationship in verse one, or other ongoing sins. A church member who has a unrepentant vice can drag down other believers into it. Also, if such sin is not confronted, it brings on the idea that the sin isn't really that bad. In the Jewish pre-Passover preparations, the house was cleaned out of any leaven to prepare for the high holy day. Paul's suggesting that we clean house from the yeast of sinful lifestyles. We're seeing a number of denominations wrestling with whether they want to conform to culture and edit the Bible to allow for extramarital sex or whether they want to take the Bible at face value. If they opt for being baked goods filled with the leaven of modernity, they may "rise" but quickly fall flat, for the bubbles do not provide spiritual structure. Unleavened spiritual bread may look less appealing at first to the outsider, who's used to the taste of the world, but it provides better nourishment in the long run.

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