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Faithlife Corporation

Unifying Separation

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Intro: [Here's to your health…Q and A with doctor]  What makes that funny is that we know it isn't true, but is sounds so true.  And you must admit there is a part of you that wants to believe those things…right?  When you face unpleasant circumstances or tasks it is easy to fall into justifications the sound great on the surface, but are all wrong in reality.

{The church at Corinth had done this.  They had allowed a man, who was unrepentant, to continue in his sin and still fellowship among them.  Not only had they allowed this, but they were in some way proud of their position on the matter.}

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

6Your boasting is not good. 

  • How were they boasting?  They refused to deal with this persons sin in their midst.  It wasn't that they simply accepted a brother in Christ who had sinned, or was dealing with sin in his life or even was growing out of sin; all of those things are normal and deserve grace.  This was someone who knew what he was doing was wrong, yet determined to continue to do the wrong thing and act as though it was really all right.
  • The church was either
    • afraid to confront or didn't think what he was doing deserved confrontation; which would not be reasons to boast,
    • or that they felt they were being loving and gracious by not confronting (Paul dealt with that in vs. 3-5),
    • or that they felt they could not and would not be effected by this sin.  This is what vs. 6-8 deal with.
  • When is boasting ever good?  Only in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31 which references Jer. 9:23-26)
  • Paul is not just saying that the boasting they were doing was bad boasting, but that they had no reason to boast.  Their view of themselves was wholly deficient.

{This is true for three reasons…}

Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

  • Leaven is a symbol of influence in the Scriptures.  Usually referring to the influence of evil in life.
  • Principle of contamination
  • [glass of water with drop of food coloring or sewage]

7Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.

  • What is the old leaven?  Paul is not saying there is old leaven vs. new leaven, but there is the old (old man) which is leaven.
  • What does it mean to be a new lump?  This is the new man in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • How are we now unleavened?  We have in fact been made unleavened through Christ, we now need to order our lives accordingly.
  • We are being called to live out our calling in Christ.  [imagine an anniversary party were one of the spouses invites someone they have been cheating with, or mistreats their spouse.  They may be married but their actions would show something entirely different.]  [like the art show that had a cross in urine, etc. we do the same to Christ when we claim his name yet live any way we please.]

For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.NASB95

  • What is the significance of the Passover?  Represented a change in life for Israel; God delivering them from a life of slavery in Egypt to a life of dignity and freedom in the promised land.  It was important to have the elements of the meal be without leaven for several reasons: the significance of the Passover and the new thing God was doing and the need to be ready to move quickly (they couldn't stand around waiting for bread to rise).
  • The "therefore" is there for the reason of saying this is how we should respond to Christ's sacrifice.
  • What is the leaven of malice and wickedness?  This is the old leaven.  Malice is the attitude or mindset and wickedness is the physical manifestation of that mindset.
  • Sincerity and truth are the first victims of overlooked sin.

Big Idea:  The unrepentant believer must be removed from the church to maintain the purity, integrity and Sincerity of the Body of Christ.

Conclusion: [preacher putting up a trellis and the little boy waiting to see what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.]  [Our testimony is like a balloon, you don't need 10 punctures' to flatten it, one will do]  [James Baker & Sun Lee…Is your God like you, if so I want to know Him.]

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