WFW: Purge Out the Sin
1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 6-8 "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.... Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
The Corinthians were proud of their sins; they had probably grown to tolerate the sins, so when one said that they were doing wrong, they would become arrogant -- probably the way that we do it today: "What sin? I don't see it! I can't hear you!" playing dumb! Either that, or they just ignored it: "So John Doe is sinning; so what?" Or maybe they just simply said, "Who cares what Paul says; Why should I listen to Him? He's not perfect either." Paul told them to purge out the sin to become a new lump. Verses later (vs 17) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Purge means "to cleanse thoroughly; to cleanse, i.e. (specially) to prune; figuratively, to expiate:--purge; clean (literally or figuratively):--clean, clear, pure." 2 Timothy 2:19-22 states, "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone *cleanses* himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a *pure* heart." Notice that it says, "if anyone CLEANSES himself from the latter," and Paul was telling the Corinthians to purge out the old leaven.
So how do we purge out the sin? Well, remember that "purge" also means "clean, clear, pure"? The Scriptures state, "Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it" (Psalm 119:140). Also in Psalm12:6 in says, "The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times." Therefore, we see that we make ourselves clean through the Word of God. David says in Psalm 119 ( vs 18, 34, 169), "Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.... Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart... Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word." David said that he would observe the Lord's commandments "with my whole heart." So it follows that David was not proud; he was humble because he meditated on the Lord's precepts "all the day," and he even asked the Lord to "Give me understanding" so that he could keep His commandments. This meditating on the Word of God is what purges out the sin if we apply it to our lives like David did. It will do no good for us read the Bible and then not apply what we learned... or worse: read it and then merely pass it off as unimportant or forget about it. Did you know that the Bible says that this too is pride? Psalm 50:15-21 states, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And *cast My words behind you*? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; You thought that I was altogether like you; But I will rebuke you, And set them in order before your eyes." In other words, these people -- like we sometimes do -- thought they had a better way than God; they changed the rules to fit their ideology.
Many times, our mouths can get us into trouble in every day life, but what about in our relationship with God? Did you know that pride has something to do with that mouth? Yup.... Psalm 12:2-4 "They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?"
1 Samuel 2:3 "Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."
Proverbs 6:17-19 "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
Ps 31:18, 23 "Let the lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person."
So we see that the being proud entails sympathizing with the wicked and casting God's Words behind our backs; the Corinthians were sympathizing with the sinner instead of severely reproving him. Also, remember, we said that they probably just ignored the sin or said that it wasn't bad; well, we've seen that saying things contrary to the Scriptures makes us proud, too. The reason is that if God says something and we proceed to say the opposite, we are basically stating that we have a better way than God; if God says, "This is bad," and we say, "It's not all THAT bad," we are lying and being proud. That's why some of the Scriptures which I have included entail lying and pride in the same passage; for example, Proverbs says that a proud look is an abomination to the Lord and then it immediately says that lying is the next thing on the list.
So how does all of this go back to the Word of God being the purger of our sins? Well, Psalm 17:10 says, "They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly." Also, Proverbs 28:25 states, "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat." I ask, "fat with what?" Those who trust the Lord are full of His Word! David said, "Their heart is as fat as grease; *but I delight in thy law*" (Ps 119: 70) Psalm 119:78 states, "Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: *but I will meditate in thy precepts.*" The proud are "full of themselves" to the point that they don't meditate on God's precepts. Again Psalm 119 (vs. 21) states, "Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments."
Meditating on the Word of God is the way to keep from being prideful; if we apply what we learn through our relationship with God, we can purge out each piece of junk as soon as we realize that it is occupying our lives and we will "be a new lump."
Psalm 19:7-14 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer." Romans 6:22 "But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."
"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble... Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:6-7).
Come back next week for Part 2!