5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 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.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 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. 11 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. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
St. Paul wrote to the church of Corinth that the unrepentant sinner should be cast out and excluded for the sinner’s sake: “deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”, and so that he must face God and His judgment.
Christians today (including us) abhor this idea. We favor of the idea that we must preserve a sinner’s flesh and pretend his soul will be saved. We’d rather they don’t suffer, perhaps never meet God, die, and go to Hell. We think its better if we keep them in our hands than deliver them to the wisdom, justice, and (yes) mercy of God’s hands.
We celebrate the festival of Christ’s resurrection with the old leaven of malice and evil by making those the weights against which we measure our words and actions instead of choosing words and actions which have been measured according to their truth and sincerity. If someone asked us we’d deny it, but when we make decisions based on what won’t upset the other guests, or won’t cause someone hurt feelings, or won’t make us look like judgmental hypocrites, then guess what? That is the measure of the old leaven of malice and evil.
God, have mercy on me.