The sermon below is all about the truths of immorality and how it affects the church.
Title: About Immorality
Text: 1 Corinthians 5
For the past few Sundays, I have talked about the works of a servant of Christ. We have also touched about one of the main problems of the Corinthian Church, the division inside the Church.
Today, we will be talking about another problem, Immorality. Immorality is one of the most common sins that we have in our time. There are lots of forms of immorality. We have incests, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc.
Adultery, one of the most common problems of our society. Instead of building up families, because of extra marital relationship, people tend to destroy their wonderful family. Before, most offenders are men, but now women has become equally aggressive when it comes to adultery.
Homosexuality. Before, homosexuality is a form of “disgrace” among the society. Today, it is now becoming a “norm”, a way of life, a choice. This is because of the mass media. Blockbuster hit movies now are about homosexuality. A pretty good example is the upcoming movie, “In My Life” , having a ground breaking record of Php20,000,000 gross sales for just a premier night.
How about abortion? Some other countries now are trying to eliminate the population problem through abortion. And the government itself is implenting this program.
In our passage today, we will be talking about truths about immorality.
Truths About Immorality
Immorality is something to be grieved about (v.1-5)
In the passage, the immorality committed was an incest. Such kind of immorality is completely not acceptable in the society. And such emphasis can be seen in the statement of Paul; “a kind that does not occur even among pagans”. The offense was that, a man has his father’s wife.
The passage is could possibly mean that a man had a relationship with his stepmother instead of the mother. This is because Paul used “father’s wife” instead of “his mother”. In any way, we are assured that it is still a form of incest.
What’s bothering in the situation was that, the audience or the people who knows it seems to be even proud of it. Probably the sinning man is boasting about it and the Corinthian Church is doing nothing to stop such an act. For this, Paul recommends that the Corinthian Church should not be proud of it, instead to grieve for it and that such man should be “put out” of the fellowship.
Then another radical statement that Paul gave. He is instructing the Corinthian Church on the next thing to do, that is if they have assembled together, and that Paul was with them in the spirit (because Paul has already passed judgement on that immorality in v.3), and that the Spirit of the Lord was with them, they are to “hand this man over” to Satan. This is to destroy its sinful nature and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
Let us note here that there is a purpose in handing the man over to Satan. That is to destroy the sinful nature, but to save the spirit on the day of the Lord. As I am trying to think about it, this could probably mean the intercessory prayer or something like an imprecatory prayer. And here, we can see some harsh statements of Paul.
Immorality is something that can affect others (v.6-8).
Now Paul uses here another metaphor here. He used the “yeast” in two sense. The first is that the sinning brother can affect the whole dough, “Get rid of the old yeast that you maybe a new batch without yeast.” To which could mean, to “hand over to Satan” the sinful man. In other words, to disfellowship the sinful man.
By reading the preceeding paragraph and the latter paragraph, Paul deal with his statements corporately, as a body. The first paragraph is an instruction about coming together of the congregation and handing over the sinful man to Satan.
The second interpretation is that the yeast is about the sin. “But just like the bread of the Pass Over, we need to put off the yeast of malice and wickedness so that we can be pure, without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.” Now we are seeing that the sin is referring to sinful things such as malice and wickedness.
This is an opportunity therefore to ask God for forgiveness and guidance. For us to be pure from malice and wickedness.
Immorality is something to be disassociated with (v.9-11)
In the first paragraph of chapter 5, we have discuss that Paul is telling us that we have to hand over to Satan this particular kind of a sinning brother. A sinning man who has no repentance, and instead proud of his sins.
Here in verses 9-11 we can see now the emphasis of Paul not to associate ourselves with the sexually immoral, or the greedy, or the swindlers, or idolaters. Evidently, Paul’s first letter has been misinterpreted. It does not mean to “cut-off” their contact with the unsave world. He simply means, not to “associate” with them where their names as “followers of Christ” can be connected to the world.
In the previous letter, Paul made mention about those in the world. In here, we will see that Paul is also referring now even to those who are “inside the fellowship”. Paul is writing this not to keep company with anyone named a “brother” , who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner/swindler. And then Paul gave the final emphatic words, “With such man, do not even eat.”
Immorality is something to be dealt with (v.12-13)
Should we not deal with the people who is committing sin? No! The passage that we have here strongly emphasize that we have to deal with the sin.
Paul statements in the last couple of verses is all about exercising his authority to judge inside the Church. Here we see that Paul claims to be judging those that are inside the Church (v.13, 3).
Here we might question, why does Paul judge when he teaches not to judge. Please do note that Paul is one of the leaders of the Church, a church planter, a missionary. Being a spiritual father (v.4:14), he has the authority to guide the spiritual children, as if guiding our own children. He simply says that immorality is wrong, an ungodly act. And therefore, we need to “Expel” the wicked man from among us.