In First Corinthians chapter five, the inspired apostle Paul calls out the sin happening in the congregation at Corinth.
The Christians were even bragging and nothing was being done about the sinful behavior. A man had taken his father’s wife.
1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
The apostle explains that this should not be tolerated at all. It was high time that they clean this up and not allow the man to continue living this way and have any association with him.
1 Corinthians 5:3-6 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?
The idea was that this would greatly limit the influence of the church in the city and not allow them to be the positive force they should be, let alone the affect this had on the man’s soul. Something had to be done and soon.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore 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.
Many lessons can be learned from this passage, but one of the most important is that Christians have a responsibility to help those brethren that become entangled in sin. The idea is to point out the sin with the hope of restoring them to the church. It is not to point out faults for the sake of pointing out faults. Instead, with a loving attitude, help them see the error in their lives and penitently return.
The other lesson is to realize that even a little influence can go a long way. Let us all examine ourselves and strive to bring glory and honor to the Lord’s church.