May 22, 2022
“In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, along with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh...”
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1 Corinthians 5
“In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, along with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For Messiah our Passover has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast, or with the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:4-8
The church in Corinth did not lack any spiritual gift. Being gifted is sometimes both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that the gifted person is divinely enabled to accomplish more than any average individual could dream of. But they are cursed in that there is a higher potential for gifted ones to fall into pride. The gifted tend to crave glory for their masterful accomplishments while denying God His glory for having gifted them in the first place!
The church leaders in Corinth were so proud of their congregation’s reputation of giftedness they chose to defend their reputation rather than treat their reality. By boasting of their giftedness and ignoring sin issues, they ceased being shepherds and took up the mantle of “publicists.” In doing this, they chose to offend God rather than damaging their reputations by exposing sin.
I have heard it said by some preachers that Gentiles are not allowed to celebrate the Passover Seder. That is simply not true. Not only does the Torah allow for Gentiles to observe the Seder, given certain criteria (in which all believers in Jesus meet), but Paul also indicates that Gentile believers in the early church observed the Seder.
“Therefore, let us observe the feast…with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8
Those who have seen me lead the Seder Passover remember the tradition of “clearing their house of leaven” before the Seder. That is precisely the image Paul uses to rebuke the Corinthian believers…which indicates the Corinthians were familiar with the Seder imagery.
Something special about the Passover Seder is how it is to be observed in homes. It is all at once personal and national. Paul is telling us that we must personally purge our sinful ways, and then, collectively, we are to purge “leaven” from our communities. Communities should come together to purge sin nationally and (ultimately) globally.
Sin is spread inversely. That is, if we are not personally accountable, we won’t be accountable to a local body of believers, our churches will not rally together to take a stand against national sin, and we will lose our effectiveness in the world at large.