From Today in God’s Word
1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5
Today in 1 Corinthians 5 we read how Paul directed the Corinthians to excommunicate a professed believer from the congregation due to his unrepentant sin. This judgment was not of an outsider but of a professing brother. Paul refers to their tolerance of this sin in their midst as arrogant, which might be counter-intuitive.
We sometimes might think the humble thing is to simply hold back judgment and to tolerate sin in our midst out of a desire to not be a “plank-eye” and not wanting to “judge…lest we be judged”. However, it would be good to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and gain the perspective that however one would interpret Matthew 7:1-5 it must be understood in light of 1 Cor 5:3-5.
Paul makes it clear that there is no place for judging outsiders (who do not have the power of God to change their stripes) but he expects us to judge those within the church for the sake of their souls (cf. Heb 3:12-14) and it is implied that it is also for the purity of the church and the protection of those who would be influenced toward wickedness within the church. The professing Christian who remains in willful sin is in a different, and more precarious, category than the lost person in their sin and this must be recognized (cf. Matt 7:21-23).
Paul agrees with James that saving faith is active faith and he expects that we will treat as unregenerate the one who evidences dead faith. The arrogant and presumptuous expectation that the kindness of God will simply forgive unrepentant sin must not be be found among us (cf. Rom 2:4-5). May the Lord give us the humility to obey his command in this and may we be broken before him over our sin rather than proud about our supposed standing in a “cheap” grace that is not found in the Bible. Saving grace is transforming grace (Titus 2:11-15), and this I declare emphatically with the authority of God’s unbreakable word.Let us not tolerate unrepentant sin… but let us restore our brother, removing the speck with gentleness, humility, and love (Gal 6:1-2).
Soli Deo Gloria!