I Cor. 5:6 How terrible that you 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 we be affected?
There was a terrible sin going on in the church at Corinth. One of the church members was having an affair with his, mother. It evidently was going on in public and no one in the church seemed to care too much about it. The sinning parties were a part of the church. They were not held accountable for their sinful actions.
Yet, the church was testifying to their godliness. They were professing faith in Christ and encouraging others to do so. They didn't seem to believe that what one of them was doing mattered as far as their witness was concerned.
The church is a community. The lives of the community are intertwined. What is done in the community affects the whole community. When sin rears its ugly head in the church, it cannot be ignored. The witness of the life-changing Gospel is directly affected. The standards of the Gospel have no value if they don't change the living of those who profess to live by them. When godliness is compromised, the body is weakened and soon many parts of the body are infected. When sin is allowed to be displayed in public, the church loses her right to proclaim the Gospel. It is hypocrisy to preach one thing and then to blatantly live another.
We need to be careful that we don't go on a witch hunt and make public every sin that is committed in the body. Some sin affects the integrity of the body and some don't. We all sin and all sin should not be made public. Some sin should only be dealt with between individuals and God. Others may be between two individuals. There should be great caution used when sin is exposed and dealt with publicly. Great harm to lives and the cause of Christ can happen when we don't.
It's a terrible thing to ignore sin in the church. It is equally terrible to bring to public light every known sin in the body. Let us be wise in how we deal with sin. Let us be certain that our actions are directed by the Lord and not us.