What happens when sin goes unaddressed
From 1 Corinthians: A 35-Day Devotional
God created the church to serve as light to the world. The church should be a place where love is abundant, God’s truth is displayed, and biblical values are upheld. Ephesians 5:27 says the church is to be presented radiant, holy, and blameless.
To present the church unstained, we have to be serious about removing sin from our own lives, then helping others do the same. If we're raising our hands in worship on Sunday, then using those same hands to steal, cheat and inflict pain without remorse, something is wrong. We cannot proclaim the Bible as truth and ignore sin. When we do, the church becomes far from spotless, stained by our sin and the sin we're too afraid to address.
We cannot proclaim the Bible as truth and ignore sin in the church.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is confronting sexual immorality and tells the church to expel an unrepentant sinner from fellowship. The man was proud and boasting of his sin. His public sin in the church affects the reputation of the entire church and jeopardizes the spiritual health of the church. To restore the offender to fellowship, Paul compares sin to yeast in bread (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). We must remove the yeast and create a new batch, or put our old selves to death and be made anew in Christ’s image. Confronting sin is difficult and often met by resistance, or in some cases, denial and defiance. If a person remains unwilling to repent, the church must remove the person from the fellowship — both for their good and the good of the church.
Expelling someone from church membership is a last resort, and even then is done with the hope that their repentance would lead to eventual restoration. After all, the best place to learn what it means to follow Jesus is among His people. If we take seriously the command to love others and we truly want what's best for them, we'll brave the uncomfortable conversations, knowing that sometimes the hard thing is the best thing.
- Is there a secret sin in your life that, if exposed, would damage the ministry of the church? Will you take time today to confess your sin to God?
- Who in your life holds you accountable to live in a way that represents Jesus well?
- Is there anyone you know you need to have a tough conversation with this week?