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1 Corinthians 5 - Root It Out

Tolerance has its place in society, but sin should never be tolerated in your life or in the church.

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1 Corinthians 5 Summary

The Corinthian church was tolerating a sin so wicked that it made even the most pagan sinner blush. It's so wrong that Paul doesn't even need to address why it's wrong.

Rather, he takes the church to task for not addressing the issue. Paul's instruction is to hand this sinner over to Satan (v5), but notice that's not to be done out of spite or anger, but rather as an act of grace.

Satan, by the ordinary means of this sinful world, will allow this man to pursue his sinful inclinations to their natural conclusion, and in doing so, this man will very painfully kill off his old sinful self.

In our society, tolerance has become a god in and of itself, and unfortunately this attitude has seeped it's way into many churches. V6-7 use the illustration of yeast to demonstrate why just a little bit of toleration of sin can ruin the entire loaf.

You are called to be judgmental, however. Here are the conditions that necessitate judgment (v11):


the person identifies as a Christian


unrepentantly continues in public sin


you must not associate with them - do not even eat with them.

Dig Deeper

Even in the midst of this strong instruction to either eliminate the sin or eliminate the sinner, there's a really interesting statement that Paul makes, almost as an aside. He writes "When you are assembled... the power of our Lord Jesus is present... (v4)." That's an amazing fact: when we assemble as God's people in response to His call to worship, Jesus is present!

We must also take note of the comprehensiveness of the sinful activities we must not tolerate in the church. As of late, the discussion has centered around sins related to human sexuality, but we are also called to root our greed, idolatry (a hugely comprehensive topic in and of itself!), and alcohol & substance abuse (v10-11).

Remember, the first place to begin cleaning house is in your own soul!

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who will judge all people, both inside and outside the church (v13)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask for insight to identify and turn away from your own unrepentant sins, and courage to confront those who's action drag the entire church down.




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