Summary: we come to this passage where Paul has to deal with questions arising from an outrageous sin in the midst of the church. Paul directs his response to how the church should deal with the sin itself, and how the church should deal with sin in its midst
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PURITY IN THE CHURCH?
INTRODUCTION: Whenever I think of the value of the church, one verse comes to mind. Now it may not be the verse that comes to mind when you think about the church, but it is the verse that comes to mind when I think about the church –
Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
This verse reveals a couple of foundational thoughts regarding the church ……….
ü The Holy Spirit has made oversees for the church
ü God has called these overseers shepherds
ü We are watching God’s church, not ours
ü The church was bought with God’s blood
ü Hence – the church is to be a clean body of believer’s cleansed by his blood!
With that in mind – we come to this passage where Paul has to deal with questions arising from an outrageous sin in the midst of the church. Paul directs his response to how the church should deal with the sin itself, and how the church should deal with sin in its midst.
I DEALING WITH OPEN SIN – 5:1-6
Now, if you have been following along, you will remember that a couple of weeks ago, while we were in Chapter 4, we were dealing with judgment. At that point, Paul even said that he is not able to judge himself! Now when you think for a moment – you gotta ask yourself the question, “If Paul just got done saying how he can’t even judge himself, how in the world does he get off telling us to judge someone in the church!?”
The root of the answer is that In chapter four Paul was dealing with our ability to judge motives and service, and in Chapter five, the judgment is not in reference to motives and service, but in regards to sin. A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!
A The Judgment Principle
1 Judge only what you have the criteria to judge
a Cannot judge what I do not know about
b Can only judge what we know about
2 Judge those things God has declared to be sin
a God’s declaration usurps our knowledge
b God’s declaration usurps our desires
c God’s declaration usurps our wishes
B The Attitude of the Church
1 The actual report
a The word could also be translated generally
b Word can be applied in two senses
1 “The general report”
2 It is reported that there is general immorality ….
3 EITHER ALTERNATIVE IS BAD!
c What the text is telling us is that every time the Corinthian church is mentioned this issue is mentioned also.
d Once the “nick name” sticks – you never lose it!
2 The Corinthian church ALREADY had the association.
a The text tells us that they were proud of it
b The text also tells us that they did not tell Paul about it! ( he was getting it second hand)
1 For some reason they did not want him to know
2 Gotta wonder why, hmmm!
3 The testimony of the church was GREATLY affected by this event
a It was a commonly associated with the church
b The immorality (incest) was considered universally wrong!
1 Either in marriage
2 Or in a permanent relationship
4 The response of the church was WRONG
a They tolerated the sin
b They were proud of their position
c They should have been overcome with grief
1 “filled with grief” – grief as though one had died
Kind of interesting to note that the person involved was a man who was active enough to be known inside the church and outside the church! Cold this get any worse?
d The church had an attitude of complacency regarding sin and false pride regarding grace.
Just like you cannot yell fire in a crowded building, you can’t ignore God’s commands
C The Pattern of Judgment
1 Jesus established a pattern for discipline in the church – matt 18:15-20
Matthew 18:15-20 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ’every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.