So….if you like gross stuff, you’ll like today’s reading.
The city of Corinth was much like cities in America today – intent on fulfilling physical lust. Sexual permissiveness was rampant then as it is today and church believers were fulfilling those lusts then as well as today. As serious as the sexual immorality itself was, so was the tolerance of it! These believers were not taking corrective measures, but rather became arrogant and flippant about it. We read this and say, “Man, I can’t believe this so called believer is doing such a gross sin…” We forget that God is likely saying, “I can’t believe YOU are tolerating this sin in My house!!!” The Church just stood by doing nothing about it. In fact, they arrogantly refused to do anything about it! And as a result, their testimony was being severely hindered!
“It is reported” = people knew, it was public, it was in the church and it was disgraceful enough that even unbelievers didn’t practice it. Incest – a man was having sex with his dad’s wife, probably his step-mom. And though they should have been ashamed and addressed this sin, they instead were proud. Paul straightforwardly let’s them know they need to tell this guy to get out!
He then goes on to explain why by using an analogy. Yeast, though very small, when worked into the dough affects the entire batch – it puffs up! These believers had allowed a disgusting sin to go on and had even become “puffed up” about it.
Paul goes on to say we shouldn’t associate with sexually immoral believers, not to even eat with them. Why? Not to show hatred but to drive them to conviction and to seek forgiveness from the Savior!
*None of us are perfect and we all hide sin at times, all of which displeases God. This passage though is not so much talking about committing a single sin, as it is addressing continual sinning with the knowledge it is wrong. And yes, I am guilty of that as well at times. How about you? Is there a sin you need to confess and stop or will God need to make it “public” in order for you to change?
*Worse than this, is there sin going on with someone else that you know is wrong and you aren’t saying anything about? Sometimes our silence gives approval. Often we want to please people more than God and we’re afraid to gently bring it up for fear we’ll lose a friend. Ask God for strength to lovingly address it.