Summary: Exposition of 1 Cor 5:9-13, regarding the third part in the series on restorative accountability, or church discipline
Text:1 Cor 5:9-13, Title: Who’s Coming for Dinner?, Date/Place: NRBC, 9/19/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: Guess Who is Coming for Dinner, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,”
B. Background to passage: Remember, Paul has called the church out on its failure to discipline. This really doesn’t have to do with Paul preaching against sexual immorality, the issue here is the church’s failure. Then he explains why it is so important: the purity of the bride. Now he is going back to clarify the sphere of the discipline of the church. In doing so he instructs on the how-to’s of discipline, as well as our posture toward the world and those in it. “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
C. Main thought: in the text we will see how we as the church should act toward sinners in and out of the church
A. Toward Sinning Believers (v. 9, 11)
1. Paul clarifies that his instruction to confront the sin, turn the sinner over to Satan, and purge out the leaven from the church only apply to those “called brothers.” For it is the brothers that have been bought with a price; that are God’s children; that are God’s representatives; that have been set free from sin; have been commanded to purity and holiness and repentance; that have contact with the church members; and have contact with the world. Do note that this accountability is provided for those that are “named” or profess Christ, which of course would be a necessity for church membership. Although I have had occasions where we held regular attendees that professed Christ accountable. And the nature of the judgment is to not have intimate fellowship with them personally or corporately. Our translation says “keep company with,” and the word means to mix with or mingle with, but has the connotation of close fellowship. This was exactly what they were doing. So believers are supposed to remove themselves from close fellowship with unrepentant believers for two reasons: to prevent themselves and the church from being infected with their sin, but also to shame their brothers in Christ into realizing their sin. He says not even to eat with them. And in the Jewish concept of the “table bond” there was close fellowship over food.
3. Illustration: “No church is healthy enough to resist contamination (even though they think they are) from persistent sin in its midst, any more than the healthiest and most nutritious apples can withstand contamination from even a single bad one.” –JM, "This person can no longer be treated as a spiritual brother or sister, for they have forfeited that position. They can only be treated as one outside the church, not hated, but not held in close fellowship." –WW