Sin destroys. It infects like a disease. It spreads and grows, bringing destruction and eventually death. It is an ugly monster that gradually consumes and takes one captive. But Jesus Christ broke the power of sin on the cross. By His blood, we are redeemed and saved from the slave-like hold sin has on us. However, that doesn’t mean that we no longer have to deal with sin.
On the contrary, we all daily battle sin and its temptations. Even though we have been saved from the power of it and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we haven’t been freed from the presence of sin yet. Therefore, we must be on guard and constantly wage war on sin and our flesh. No one is exempt from the battle against sin. We all must fight it on a daily level because intentional, habitual, and deliberate sin has no place in the life of a believer or church
As we enter 1 Corinthians 5, Paul begins to dive into the nitty, gritty issues within the Corinthian church and what the believers need to do to take care of these things. The first topic Paul tackles is the danger of unrepentant, habitual, public, and unashamed sin that one member of the congregation was living in. The issue was a very public, sexual sin that was obvious to everyone looking on and was unacceptable even by worldly Corinthian standards. However, the church at Corinth had chosen to ignore the issue and allow it to continue without confrontation.
However, this was unhealthy and not fitting for the redeemed Church of God. This type of deliberate, habitual, and public sin has no place in the life of a Christian and definitely no place in the family of God. Therefore, Paul exhorted the Corinthians to confront the issue with their brother and ultimately remove him from the church if he was unwilling to repent. While this may seem like an extreme response, Paul makes it very clear that sin should not be tolerated in the church and must be purged out and removed.
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
~1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Throughout the Bible, God likens sin to leaven or yeast which causes bread to rise. But it doesn’t take much leaven to make an entire loaf of bread swell and grow. Likewise, a little bit of sin left alone will grow and can cause a person or an entire group of Christians to stumble and deviate from the straight and narrow way.
As believers, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and washed us, making us unleavened. We are no longer slaves to sin or held in bondage to our past mistakes but have been given new life and salvation. Therefore, we must be ruthless in rooting out sin and not allowing old leaven to taint the purity of the new life Jesus has given us. If we truly understand and treasure the sacrifice of our Savior and His atoning work on our behalf, we will not mock it by allowing and fostering deliberate sin. For practicing and living in sin as a Christian is a mockery and insult to the extreme sacrifice of Christ and unconditional love of God.
Therefore, as redeemed children of God, let us be unleavened, constantly battling sin in our own lives and holding one another accountable in this struggle. May we not tolerate habitual sin in the church, but lovingly and honestly confront it in a way that would bring restoration, healing, and redemption to the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. God has set before us a high standard to be holy as He is holy; therefore, we must dedicate ourselves to eradicating sin and pursue an unleavened life surrendered to Christ.
View the About page for more info on the author.
Receive Posts via Email