The Body And Its Parts
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleans out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. – 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Paul rebukes the church of Corinth for engaging in sexually immoral activities, a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans (1 Corinthians 5:1).
The church is like a body, and while not all have the same function, everyone functions together (Romans 12). If one part of the body goes bad, that affects the entire body. And it needs to be addressed.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. – 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
To be clear, Paul isn't saying to ignore disassociate with everyone who is sexually immoral. I believe Paul is holding his brothers in the church to a higher standard than those in the world. He means well and wants the best for his brothers.
And it would make sense that Christians are held to a higher standard because we have Christ and no longer need to indulge in the flesh. But I am a bit uncomfortable with the suggestion that sexual immorality is a "bigger" sin than any other sin. It's not explicit here, but it could be interpreted that way.
The danger with viewing sexual immorality as a "bigger" sin is that non-believers who engage in sexual immorality may feel that their sin is "too big" to be forgiven or "too big" for Christ to save them from. But that's simply not true.
I am not in anyway justifying sexual immorality. Along with all sin, it's considered wrong in the eyes of God. And as believers in Jesus, we should all strive to rely on the Spirit to help us combat the temptations of the flesh so we can ultimately be free from sin.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.