How terrible that you should boast about your spirituality, and yet you let this sort of thing go on. Don’t you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected?
—1 Corinthians 5:6
Ezra realized that if he tolerated the intermarriage of Israelites with foreign women, eventually the holy seed would become extinct and the Messiah would never come (Ezra 9:2). Just as Ezra was appalled at the Israelites’ terrible breach of God’s law, Paul was equally horrified that sin had crept into the church at Corinth. He ordered the excommunication of the one who was in open, unrepentant sin so that the Body of Christ could participate in a pure Passover feast.
Just a little bit of yeast will cause the dough to rise, and a little sin mixed into a church will cause it to be filled with the “bread of wickedness and evil” (1 Corinthians 5:8). We must separate ourselves from any so-called brother who continues to sin through immorality, greed, thievery, or idolatry.
Separating ourselves from unrepentant sin benefits not only us but also the whole Church. The end result? The Church will be protected, and perhaps the offender will repent and be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5).