One of the best reasons i can think of for blogging is to help me think. I'm meeting up with Lorenzo tomorrow for some 1 Corinthians 5 action, and i'm not sure i'm really there yet...so maybe this will help. These thoughts owe a lot to Joel Edwards.
The Corinthian church didn't care about sexual purity, they didn't care about being a church after Christ's heart. We can see this because they didn't deal sufficiently with the man caught in incest. Maybe they were worried about what the rest of the city would think if they started kicking people out. maybe this guy was a leader, maybe he was well supported by his faction. Paul calls them to remove him from membership (i guess thats what 'hand him over to satan so he might be saved). This was serious, this was purity. They didn't care.
I'm slightly obsessed by this at the moment. Perhaps providentially i was studying Exodus 12:1-29 earlier also for tomorrow. I've never been sure what to do with the middle bit about future dinner plans in the description of the narrative. Paul quotes it here and it's fairly clear he's talking about deal with sin, and the pervasiveness of sin. Get rid of the leaven, because it affects a whole lump. But that can't be a fair application from the Exodus passage can it? That can't be what the Israelites were thinking when they were told/read it at the time/years later. Text + context = meaning i guess.
Paul doesn't want the church to avoid all the immoral people of Corinth, that would mean hiding from all of them! God will judge the outsider, their conduct was outside the jurisdiction of the church. The insider, however, wasn't. The church needs to deal with this immoral behavior. They need to look different to the world for the sake of the world.
Grace isn't licence. It's not a chance to indulge in sinful passions knowing that it will be ok because of the blood. Christ bought us a new life on the cross, life to the full. Not a life doused in sexual immorality. The church is a group of sinners, so we need to look after eachother. To look out for eachothers sin. Not because some people are without sin, but because all are wary of it's consequences.
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