Thursday, 5 June 2014
And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:2
Paul in this verse is referring to the sexual immorality which exists within the church from the previous verse. He now begins with “and” which is used to demonstrate the absurdity of the state of things within their ranks. In essence he says, “You act in this manner, but shouldn’t it rather be the opposite!”
And the words are, “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned.” Instead of their “puffed up” attitude which was mentioned in 4:19, they should be in a state of mourning and anguish over what is occurring right there among them. To be fair, they could be “puffed up” in one of two ways.
1) They were puffed up and filled with conceit and pride despite the wickedness which was among them, or
2) They were puffed up and filled with conceit because of the wickedness which was among them.
The first is probably the true case. They were acting arrogantly and dividing over petty allegiances even though there were greater issues which needed to be considered. However, the wickedness of the heart (Jeremiah 17:9) is never to be dismissed, even among a group, and so it could be that despite being divided over which leader was best, they were united in an antinomian attitude towards sin; accepting that which was forbidden.
Which is the case cannot be determined, but both show a negligence towards proper conduct within the church. Instead of accepting how things were with this person, Paul notes “that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.” Instead of fellowshipping with such a person, they should have already excommunicated him. But rather than facing the problem from this perspective, they have either avoided it or openly condoned it. Paul shows them that this is the wrong attitude; mourning, not acceptance, was needed.
Life application: It sure is easy to overlook things which might otherwise cause us to have to act in a manner which seems “judgmental” or “intolerant.” However, in such cases, it is not we who actually decide the course of action to take, it is God who has given His word for our Christian walk. If we can remember this, then we will remember that we are honoring Him by adhering to His word.
Lord God, Your word mandates certain actions are to be taken to keep the church pure. Too often we overlook faults which are to be censured, but we do this in disobedience to what You have instructed, thus two wrongs exist. Help us to think clearly on the sanctity of Your word, to adhere to its admonitions, and to be resolute in standing on its principles. In this, I know You will be glorified. Amen.