THE KING’S BUSINESS
Saturday, October 13 . 1 Corinthians 5 : 9 - 13 .
ent in body, judged the man who had wrought this outrageous thing. What was more important “the power of our Lord Jesus” would also be with them in carrying out this stern but necessary duty of cutting the offender off from the protecting care of the church. The disciplining of the offender in the church, according to the Word of God, is a matter in which we may have the presence and fellowship of our Lord Jesus as truly as in the matter of winning souls to Himself. Friday, October 12 . 1 Corinthians 5 : 6 - 8 . There was need, not only for the offend er’s sake, that he be cut off from the fel lowship of the church, hut also for the sake of the church. In the church he was like leaven, and “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” If tolerated this vile offender would corrupt the whole body, he must therefore be purged out. These words of Paul in vs. 6 and 7 are an inspired commentary on our Lord’s parable in Matt. 13:33. It is contended by many that the “leaven” in this parable is the leaven of the Gospel, which spreads until the whole world is Gospelized or saved; but in the light of the passage before us, and in the light of the universal usage of leaven in the Bible, it typifies corruption. If it is important that the offending member of the church should be dealt with and sternly dealt with, and, if he will not repent, be eliminated from the fellowship of the church in order that the whole church be not corrupted, much more is it important that we purge out the leaven of sin and false doctrine which is in our own hearts, lest “a little leaven, leaven the whole lump.” The Jews always kept the passover with all leaven put out of their houses, but Christ is our Passover and when God sees the blood of Christ He passes over us, (cf. Ex. 12:13, 23), therefore if we would feed on Christ, we must put away all the “leaven of malice and wickedness” and feed on Christ with “the unleavened bread of sin cerity and truth.”
Paul had already written a letter to the church in Corinth. They probably had written asking him certain questions to which he had replied. This early letter is not now extant. As the present Epistle doubtless deals much more fully with the same questions, God, who providentially watched over the apostolic writings and guided in the formation of the canon of Scripture, had permitted that Epistle to be lost. God’s hand was as much in what was not preserved in the Apostolic writing as in what was preserved. In the Bible we have all that we need and nothing superfluous. In that former epistle the question had come up as to what attitude a Christian should take to those who had been found in the sins of impurity. Paul had bidden them to “have no company” with them, but here Paul is careful to guard the applica tion of this commandment. The Holy Spirit speaking through him does not for bid all association with impure men and women, but association with impure men and women who profess to be believers, anyone “that is named a brother.” It is the business of Christians to save the lost (Luke 19:10; Mark 16:15) and to save them we must mingle with them; but if a man profess to know Christ and be saved, and still is guilty of these sins, the best way to save him is to sever all fellowship with him, having told him why we do so. So filled with impurity was the Corinthian world, and so filled with the vilest impur ity is the modern world that, if we attempted to have any company whatever with the covetous, etc;, we would need to get out of the world altogether, but this is not Christ’s will regarding His church (John 17:15; Matt. 5:13, 14). There have been those who have made the vain attempt to keep themselves pure by avoiding all contact with evil. This is what led to Monasticism. This attempt is contrary to the explicit teaching of the Bible and must always end, as it always has ended, in
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