Text: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Title: Dung in the Brownies, Date/Place: NRBC, 9/12/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, story of wedding, p. 13-14
B. Background to passage: this is in the middle of Paul’s teaching about some shortcomings in the church that Paul wants to correct. He is dealing with the man who is sleeping with his step mother. He told them last week that they should be outraged and morning over this sin, and that they should judge the brother, turning him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.
C. Main thought: In this text Paul gives the reason why he is so passionate about this issue.
A. Sin spreads like cancer (v. 6)
1. Glorying not good, covered that last week. The issue here is sin. Paul likens it to yeast (a common OT metaphor, dating back to the time of the Passover). He says here that this man’s sin, and the church’s toleration for it is a sure recipe for spiritual shipwreck. He says that a little bit of sin will infect the whole church. It will spread and foster other sorts of sin in others. Sin is no respecter of persons. It is deadly. Its mission is to destroy lives, and it is very efficient in doing so. And Christ takes very seriously the damage to His bride caused by sin, and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her from it.
2. Pro 13:20, 2 Tim 2:16, Heb 12:15, 2 Pet 2:1-2, 1 Cor 15:33
3. Illustration: cancer surgery/treatment usually starts tomorrow, dung in the brownies, one drop of HIV in a blood transfusion, at the hospital they tell you to stay away from those who have a compromised immune system, tell about Peru and the glitter on the hands of the little children, tell about the elder at Chuck Swindoll’s church who had an affair, nothing was done, and many fell to the same sin the next five years
4. We don’t fear sin. We don’t take it’s consequences seriously. We toy with it, ignore it, even encourage it in some circumstances. We must realize that sinning members who are not fighting sin will poison the entire body. People are generally not concerned about the purity of the church! Maybe we think it is a lost cause? It was incredibly difficult to find illustrations of purity of the church, rather than in the church. What if we treated sin like we treat the flu? Even when helping those caught in a sin, guard your heart, realize your vulnerability. But when brethren persist and refuse to repent of sin, the church will suffer. And that’s why Paul tells them to get rid of the leaven. Lovingly, brokenly purge out those among you that openly, brazenly, guiltlessly, rebelliously, refuse to fight sin. Pray that God would help you fear sin, hate sin, make war on sin, kill sin, run from sin, and plead with others to do the same. For the sake of the weak, and sick, please don’t bring sin around. You could be responsible for the downfall of baby Christians, for the weakness of the church. Wayne and Bryan and their hang up with Mark because of his work behavior, and the harm to the church.
B. You are not a stained bride (v. 7)
1. Paul also reminds them of their state now, and their coming state. He says to purge out the sin, and be a new leavenless lump of dough, because in truth they are. They really are an unleavened lump. They are a bride adorned for her husband. And the reason is that Christ is our Passover. He is the spotless, substitutionary, vicarious, sacrifice for us. He is the blood shed for the remission of sin, therefore when He is applied to our lives and accounts, we are view through His righteousness. He is the spotless lamb and the bread without leaven slain and broken for us. He broke the bonds of sin in believers.
2. Eph 5:25-27, 2 Cor 11:2, Jude 1:24
3. Illustration: Adrian Rogers gave a simple illustration regarding this one time, he simply asked a question, “who is going to be more prone to avoiding dirt, the man who is a mechanic and been in the shop all day, or the man in a white suit going to a formal dinner?
4. Much of the Christian life is trying to become what you already are. We are called saints (set apart ones, holy ones), but experientially we don’t see that, so we strive to become what we already are. We are trying to bring to experience what is already true about us. We are already free from the bondage of sin, so we work to experience that. We have been given all we need for life and godliness and joy, so we work to attain some measure of that in reality. But many times the knowledge we possess as sinners causes us to use that as a crutch and have no hope of conquering sin. OR we know the other theological truth, and cease to strive for holiness because we are justified by faith alone. It is a paradox of the Christian life to be aware of your constant sin, yet be aware of God’s viewing Christ’s righteousness in you. We are there, but have not arrived. We are declared holy, but working toward holiness. But again, the sense here is cooperate: you are (theologically), should be experientially here, and definitely will be a spotless bride that Christ will present to Himself, so work toward looking like that kind of bride here, b/c He is our Passover.
C. Sincerity and truth (v. 8)
1. Paul refers to the Passover feast or The Feast of Unleavened Bread (he was probably writing about Passover time). This once a year feast remembered the night that the death angel passed through Egypt and passed over all the houses with the blood of a spotless lamb on the lintels and doorposts. It was a quickly prepared meal without yeast, so that the bread didn’t have to be kneaded and rise. And thus the yearly remembrance meal resembled that. And it came to symbolize the purity and holiness that the Hebrews exhibited in their hearts, and in their sacrifices. And he says now they are to continually keep the feast (spiritually speaking), not as the old man, old covenant ritual, but we, as the bride of Christ, continually strive to be leavenless, living lives of purity and truth; and having a church characterized by purity and truth.
2. Josh 24:14, 2 Cor 1:12, 3 John 1:3-4,
3. Illustration: tell about Parrish Akin’s fixing of a little problem for me, hard to describe what this looks like, but you will know it when you see it, Matt’s long drive back to Hickory to confess his transgression to his girlfriend’s parents, Erika and I talking about a church that we really thought was a good church who is in the process now of firing the pastor, and another that has had a recent history of fights/splits
4. Believers are to live daily remembering the “passover” that God did on your sin when he placed it on Christ. The blood of the Lamb was applied to the doorposts and lentils of your life, and God did not strike you down for your hard-heartedness and rebellion. And also daily, believers are supposed to fight sin in their personal lives so that you may live with for the Truth of God, living in truth, and being truthful to others. We are supposed to live with genuineness, purity of heart, and sincerity. But again, the main application here is to the cooperate bride. We should be a community that reflects truth and walks in it, submitting our lives to it. This status is not meant to say that a church must be absolutely free of people who are not walking in truth and thus pure, but the majority and living in this fashion. So ask the question of yourself, then of New River. Do you walk in integrity/purity in your dealings with others in the church? Is New River thought of in the community as being a place of truth, purity, and grace?
A. Closing illustration: In a church, sin left unchecked is like a bull in a china shop, and the damage will be extreme, Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers came to counsel with him in the study. “Dr. Howard,” he said, “we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin.”
The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the visitor said, “You see that label? It says strychnine—and underneath in bold, red letters the word ‘Poison!’ Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, ‘Essence of Peppermint;’ don’t you see what might happen? Someone would use it, not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label, the more dangerous you make your poison!”
C. Invitation to commitment
• Is Christ Exalted, Magnified, Honored, and Glorified?