Paul Rebukes the Church
In this chapter, as Paul continues to exhort and admonish the Corinth church, Paul begins by rebuking those within the congregation who had been reportedly taking part in sexual immorality. But then as we read the following verses, we notice that his admonishment is actually not focused primarily on those who practice sexual immorality, but those within the church who simply observing it. In verse 2, Paul rebukes the congregation saying, “You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who has done this deed would be removed from your midst” (NASB). Paul’s passion and his heart are clear. Paul believes that the arrogance and complacency of the members of the body who are not mourning the sin, are equal to or even greater than the sin of sexual immorality.
The Leaven of the Dough
To further illustrate his belief, Paul continues with an analogy of the leaven in the lump of dough. In verse 6, Paul here uses the analogy of the leaven in the dough to show the church how even one root or strain of sin will ruin and corrupt the whole body. And Paul strongly emphasized this so that they “may be a new lump, just as [they] are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover has also been sacrificed.” (1 Corinth. 5:7) Paul understood that Christ was sacrificed for the purity and the sanctification of the church, and that if it remained tainted, then the church would continue to be corrupt with “malice and wickedness” (5:8). Paul desired the church to be a place of celebration and it to be filled with and founded upon “sincerity and truth”(5:8).
In the last part of his letter, Paul refers to a letter that he had previously written about disassociating themselves with those who were sinful. But here, he clarifies that they are not to remove themselves from the world, but those who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ but live solely of the world. Here Paul exhorts the church to trust in the Lord, and that He will judge
As believers, we are shown a clear vision of how Christ desires our churches to love and to grow. Christ wants our churches to be built in sincerity and truth. And as much as we love KCM and our campus ministries, Christ calls us to love the church first. And within our churches, if we believe that we are one body who loves the one Father, then it is necessary to hold accountable those who are within that body. We mustn’t look at just the whole but carefully observe the parts that which make up the entire body. We are called to be accountable, rebuke and exhort those who we claim as a part of our body. If we love the body of Christ, then we will obey as God commands and our obedience will lead to a church that is built upon truth and sincerity and most importantly, one that glorifies God. We often desire for growth within our churches but often are afraid to truly do what is required of us in that process of growth. Let us pray that we ourselves may have the boldness and the confidence in Christ to go and build the church and body of Christ so that God may be glorified in and through us! Through our obedience we must have confidence that God will work mightily in and through us to build His church and that He will use us to make his glory known.