Have you ever wondered WHY the Corinthians gloried? WHAT it was they did that they thought was worth being proud? Let’s read the story, just to get it clear…
1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
These people were puffed up – they were PROUD that this was happening! Had you ever thought about that? WHY were they puffed up? And did you know that YOU are probably guilty of the same thing?
Verse 6-7 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
These people were GLORYING, downright THRILLED with themselves for having this vile sin in their midst! Why??
To be honest, I didn’t understand it, myself, until I had an experience with a church in Arkansas. Actually, a similar, but separate, problem in three different small churches. Each had a member who was living with someone of the opposite gender, and who was, of course, not married.
And these churches were PROUD of this! Oh, don’t misunderstand; they didn’t like the sin! They weren’t proud of that. Neither were the Corinthians! No, they were proud of THEIR OWN ABILITY TO TOLERATE IT! They were glorying in their “love” of this person!
If you’re a regular reader of this website, you know that it is your responsibility to REBUKE and correct your brother, when you see him sinning. You also know that TRULY loving your brother is to tell him the TRUTH. Because SIN separates you – and your brother – from God. And what can you POSSIBLY do for your brother, that can compare with helping him – in whatever way necessary – to become closer to God? Anything? I think not.
1 Corinthians 5:3-5, 13 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. … Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
This was Paul’s instruction of how to LOVINGLY handle this man, this sinner who refused to repent and who was sullying the church by his presence. But why hadn’t the church already done this? Because they “LOVED” him too much!
And yet, Paul said that their so-called “love”, this toleration of sin in their midst was something for which they should hang their heads in SHAME, and MOURN! Instead, they were glorying in that they were more “loving” than others, in that THEY were spiritual enough to tolerate this sin, and love this sinner who was “coming along”.
“After all,” they’d say, “Nobody’s perfect; and who are YOU to judge this man? You haven’t walked in his shoes!”
And they GLORIED in this attitude! So how do YOU feel about it? Do YOU tolerate sin around you, and never judge anyone, and feel good about yourself because you are more loving than others? Do you go even farther and condemn anyone who DOES correct sin, all the while glorying in your tolerance, and your “love” for this adulterer?
All the while, rather than showing LOVE for the sinner, you show HATE for him, and allow him to STAY blocked off from God by his sin through YOUR moral cowardice!
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
If you tolerate your brother’s sin, without rebuking him, you aren’t showing him love – you’re showing him HATE! Toleration of sin IS called love by the world, but it is called HATE by God! Whom will you believe?
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
The KJV margin gives the alternative translation:
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, THAT THOU BEAR NOT SIN FOR HIM
You shall NOT hate your brother, but instead you must REBUKE him when you see him sinning, and causing a rift to form between him and God!
It is the height of repugnance to God to see someone disobeying His command to rebuke a sinner, and not only disobeying it, but GLORYING in their tolerance, and downright PROUD of themselves for HATING their brother!