Purging and Inviting

1 Corinthians 5:7
"purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened."

Where it is obvious that a member of the church has left the way of the Lord, the church is bound by duty to purge out the leaven.  There is a door, and Christ and God’s favor are inside, and judgment and wrath are outside.  There are only two kingdoms – light and darkness.  The kingdom of the Son and the kingdom of the dark Lord.  If we refuse and turn away from Christ, then we are delivered to Satan, no matter what lies we believe about living our own life.  This is sobering to consider at the table, and we often sing about it: “Lord, why am I a guest?  Why was I made to hear Your voice and enter while there’s room, when 1000s make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come.  The same love that spread the feast sweetly draws us in.”  Let us thank God all the more for bringing us to Him.

Even when the church excludes some from the table, she also calls all to enter the kingdom of God by repenting of their sins and trusting in Christ for forgiveness.  She points to that doorway as a doorkeeper for God’s house.  

We now sit in God’s house as His children, redeemed, cleansed, forgiven, loved and accepted.  

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 85
Q. How is the kingdom of heaven closed and opened by Christian discipline?
A. According to the command of Christ:
Those who, though called Christians,
profess unchristian teachings or live unchristian lives,
and who after repeated personal and loving admonitions,
refuse to abandon their errors and evil ways,
and who after being reported to the church, that is,
to those ordained by the church for that purpose,
fail to respond also to the church’s admonitions—
such persons the church excludes from the Christian community
by withholding the sacraments from them,
and God also excludes them from the kingdom of Christ.1

Such persons,
when promising and demonstrating genuine reform,
are received again as members of Christ and of his church.2

1 Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:3-5, 11-13; 2 Thess. 3:14-15
2 Luke 15:20-24; 2 Cor. 2:6-11


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