A. The church was “puffed up” (1 Corinthians 5:2)
B. Persistent, willful, rebellious sin must not be tolerated (Rom. 6:1-7)
II. A little leaven
A. The sin of Achan led to the defeat at Ai (Joshua 7:1, 11-13)
B. The sin of Saul caused his family to lose the kingdom (1 Sam. 13:8-14)
C. The principle in prophecy (Haggai 2:11-14)
III. What shall we do?
A. Purge out the old leaven—remove the influence of sin! (Eph. 5:11)
B. You are a new creation in Christ, which means the old things have passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17)
C. Acknowledge sin, confess it to God, beg for His forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-4)
Modern society revels in tolerance, and many religious bodies have bowed to the world’s cries for tolerance. Activities and lifestyles that are clearly deemed sinful, unrighteous, and unnatural in the Scriptures are accepted by “tolerant, loving people.”
Paul addressed a group of people who were tolerant of sin in the first century. The church at Corinth had one in their midst who was in a relationship with his father’s wife. How did the church react to this situation? “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”
There was no repentance, no sorrow for the sin committed, and the church as a whole were not confronting the situation. Paul warned, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”
Yes, God’s grace is grand and His mercy is abundance, but He will not tolerate open rebellion. He “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). When sin enters the house of God, it must be dealt with. “Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)
1 Corinthians 6:20. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Pray for purity among God’s people, starting with yourself. Identify sin in your life and pray for God’s help through His Word to escape it and defeat it.
Paul wrote that Christians were “not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10). He reminded the Ephesians that before their conversion, “you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).
How did those Christians become Christians? “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:14,17). It has been said that every Christian is a walking sermon, so we should carefully consider our conduct when we are in the company of those who are outside the church. Our example and influence could be what leads them to Christ, but it could also be what drives them away.
With these things in mind, let us consider the Lord’s teaching as it refers to His disciples’ relationship to the world: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
How have you let your light shine so far in 2017?
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)