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Fornication In The Church

In 1st Corinthians chapter 5 the Apostle Paul deals with a serious problem in the Corinthian church. Here is the situation: 1 Cor 5:1-2 "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you."

  1. There was gross known sin in the church. It was " reported commonly" that a man in the church was involved in a sexual relationship with his father's wife
  2. The church handled it the wrong way. They were "puffed up". Paul said they should have mourned that a brother had fallen. They did not mourn however: they "gloried"--Vs. 6. How could they glory in that sin? Here are 3 possibilities: A. Maybe they were proud of how TOLERANT they were. Perhaps they spoke one to another in prideful tones about how other churches were "so divisive", but theirs had a "place for everyone". "After all", they might have said, "God loves sinners and so should we". Thus they might have gloried in the situation. B. Perhaps they GLORIED IN THE FALL OF A BROTHER. There is a tendency to suppose that the decrease of others is an increase to us. This is very ungodly. C. It could be that the person in sin was so INFLUENTIAL, perhaps even an instructor in the church, that folks just overlooked his sin because of his good points, glorying that he was such a grand fellow. Regardless of the reason , they were wrong. Paul's (the Bible's) commandment for handling such a problem was this: #1. Deal with it in the name and power of Jesus Christ (that is great authority) vs. 4. #2. Deal with it publicly-- vs. 4 #3. Deal with it in the spirit of the Apostle himself. Vs. 4 (this was not to be done angrily, or out of control, but decently and orderly.) #4. Deliver him to Satan (ie. Discontinue prayers for his physical health. Discontinue support for him personally, and stop fellowshipping with him.) #5. Do all of these things for the purpose of restoration--Vs. 5."that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Paul concludes the chapter with an illustration of Leaven (as a type of sin). Leaven or yeast is used to cause a firmentation in dough. This causes the bread to rise. Gods reason for dealing so harshly with gross known sin in the church is that it works as leaven. It causes the body of Christ to begin to rot (firment). It is not contained in the person invovled. It spreads throughout the body. Just as doctors would take out a cancerous tumor, sin is to be cut out of the body of Christ.

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