But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. even to eat with such a one.
How judgmental of Paul! Right?!
Some might read it that way. But the issue Paul raises here is not one of self-righteousness or superficial judgment, but of unrepentance.
The issue is a man in the church is sleeping with his Father’s wife (see verse 1-2). And what is worse is, apparently, the church, thinks nothing of this! This is the church!
This unrepentant attitude in the church towards such grievous sin is serious. This is a sin that Paul tells us is of those that won’t inherit the kingdom of God. It is one thing for a man to partake in this sin. It is another for it be tacitly endorsed by the church.
Paul describes it as leaven. Like yeast worked into flour, it is impossible to separate from the entire batch. So too the leaven of sin that is tolerated in the church. The entire body becomes corrupted by it and the name of Jesus is tarnished.
The effect of this unrepentant view of sin is that the purpose of the entire church is eschewed and pulled off track. Therefore, the body needs to act. The first hope for the individual is repentance. The second is to remove the propagator of the sin leaven that he / she may be saved and the church be delivered.
There is a time and place for church leadership to deal decisively with unrepentant sin. But daily we must deal decisively with our own sinfulness, knowing to tolerate it has important implication for the church and its mission and our own eternity.
PRAYER: Father, I confess my need for you. Reveal to me where I have tolerated sin in my life, that I may confess it to you, renounce the place it has in my life, and walk free of it. Forgive Father, in Jesus name Amen.