Monday, November 28, 2016

1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) The Church “Lump”

1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)
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:
Here is a term we don’t often use when speaking of our church. It is common for us to use terms like:
  • body, 
  • building, 
  • bride and 
  • family 
We use words like:
  • fellowship, 
  • assembly and 
  • congregation 
to refer to our church. Here the church is referred to as a lump.
Probably not the most glamorous term we’ve heard.
The word is a reference to a lump of dough being yeasted and kneaded for bread. The lump is a living thing. Though the grains that have been ground to flour are no longer living, the flour is organic. The yeast that has been added to cause the bread to rise is alive. It is a bacterium that feasts itself on the flour, giving off gasses as it does so, and so causing the rising of the lump. These healthy bacteria are found in a number of processes in food; cheese, yogurt, butter milk, sour kraut, kimchi, pickles and etc.
But the process must be precise or else other types of bacteria enter in, bacteria that are harmful to the health of the one eating. This is so much the case that these days almost all these food are pasteurized to kill the bacteria (including the good) before going on the market.
The local church is too a living thing. It grows through the process of reaching into the lost world and winning those who are dead in trespasses and sins to Christ and introducing them into the church. The process is:
  • necessary, 
  • healthy and 
  • right 
But it does involve risks. Unless care is taken, people can be introduced into the church who do not have the church’s best interest at heart. The lump must then be purged of this “old leaven” and a “new lump” made. It’s a process of constant refreshing. The old is removed and new is introduced so the lump remains healthy.
God has given us three tools for the care of the lump:
Baptism – this is the gate into the church and should not be administered lightly.Modern Baptists must return to the model of John the Baptist and insist that those who are baptized first bring fruits meet for repentance.
The Lord’s Supper-a reference to which is made in this chapter and will become an increasingly dominant theme until chapter eleven.The Lord’s Supper is to be restricted to those who are saved, properly baptized, members of the church observing (because only the church we are members of can know whether the following is true) and in good fellowship with the Lord and His church.
Discipline – which is the theme of this chapter.Discipline would involve first rebuke, then accountability and finally removal from the church for the destruction of the flesh.
A living lump has to be cared for. Introducing new life into it is essential but removing that which is old and spoiled is equally necessary.

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1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) The Church “Lump”

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