Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1 Corinthians 5:6
This verse is a portion of Paul's answer to a report that there was a man in the church of Corinth sleeping with his step mother (1 Corinthians 5:1). Rather than dealing with the sin of this believer the members were bragging about their liberty in Christ to do such things. It was as if they believed that forgiveness and grace were a license to sin. Paul's response was much different. He called for the man to be put out of the church until there was genuine repentance. However, this was not an action of legalistic hate. His purpose was clearly redemptive. The church needed to sorrow over sin and not parade it around in such a way that the name of Christ was blasphemed by the world (see Romans 2). This man needed to repent of his sin and be healed of it. Only a tough stance would bring this about. It is believed by many, including me, that Paul addresses this same situation again in 2 Corinthians 2. There it seems that the man took this sin to the cross but was not restored to fellowship with the now embarrassed church. Again, when God is harsh it is always with a view of redemptive love in mind. This is why those who are spiritual are supposed to help one caught in sin with a spirit of meekness lest hate sets in under the guise of religious zeal (Galatians 6:1).
In Galatians Paul uses this very statement again. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9)." Here he is addressing legalism. Wow! The same concept for extreme ideas--rampant sin and excessive religiosity. Both are deadly! Truly, sin unchecked and unaddressed mars a church or a society no matter what form it takes! That is why God gives us the fruit of His Holy Spirit. Just Sunday, I shared the significance of the number nine in relation to these fruit. Nine is a biblical number symbolic of giftedness and fruitfulness, but it is also symbolic of judgment. God has judged your fleshy attempts to love and such as worthless; therefore, you need to learn to rely on the fruit of Christ's Spirit. What a thought! However, I don't have time to elaborate.
We can clearly see this concept in some of the things that are happening today. Here is a paragraph from a recent post "What Ever Happened to Men Like William Wilberforce?" My point then was that the law to teach children about homosexuality and the law to allow sodomite marriage would eventually lead to other wicked acts as being normal. It is clearly happening. Here is the paragraph. "In the last few weeks we have seen the passage of laws that tear down society and enslave men, women, and children to wretched sinful practices. We have seen another state enact laws against traditional marriage under the banner of "freedom" with mantras like "who is it going to hurt"? It hurts everyone! How many sins did it take in the Garden of Eden to cause us all of this trouble still today? Since the passage of this abomination there are those who will now seek to adopt children and twist their minds with sinful practice--and we think this does not hurt society? Gay marriage raises prospect of NY adoption boom - US news - Life - msnbc.com"
This is proving to be true to a greater degree even now. Currently, there is a conference in Baltimore where a group of mental health professionals are considering the thought that pedophilia is not an abhorrent practice but normal behavior. It seems that the words of Paul are proving true today! A little leaven does leaven the whole lump!
A Little Leaven