Digging Deeper is a weekly Bible study usually available on Monday morning. We offer this unique spiritual formation tool to anyone who wants to receive it. Use Digging Deeper as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. Weekly lessons are based on the current sermon series at The Chapel.

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our March 17, 2019 message, Dealing with Unrepentant Sin in Christ's Church.


Don’t forget to listen to the sermon again as you work through this Sermon Based Study Guide. You can download the sermon through a variety of venue. The easiest way to listen to the sermon and get information about our church is on our church app. You can download our app by searching for The Chapel at Warren Valley in the App Store or get it on Google Play. Or you can always listen to our sermons on our church’s website http://www.thechapelnj.org/sermons

SUMMARY of the sermon

Pastor James’ message continued our series, entitled, “The Right-Side-Up Gospel for an Upside-Down Church” from 1 Corinthians. James preached from 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. From his message, we see:  

Rules - Paul speaks to a widely known problem that was happening in the church, and he gave them a procedure that must be followed to deal with the issue. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

  • Problem (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

    • Act - There was sexual immorality in the church. It was flagrant. It was ongoing. It was unrepentant.

    • Attitude - There was indifference in the church over this flagrant act of sin. There was no mourning. There was a complacency.

  • Procedure (1 Corinthians 5:3-5)

    • Authority - The Apostle Paul acting in the name of and under the power of the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced judgment on this unrepentant man.

    • Action required - The church acting in the name of and power of the Lord Jesus Christ was to

      • Assemble together

      • Deliver this man to Satan (remove him from the fellowship of the church and send him to the world, the realm of Satan) for the destruction of his flesh (this could be the sinful nature, or this could be physical).

      • This procedure is prayerfully going to result in the man’s willingness to repent and leave a life of sin and move on to holiness. However, if he does not, it removes a malignancy from the church and sends a clear message that unrepentant sin is so serious that it must be dealt with strongly

Reasons - Paul uses the Old Testament image of leaven and the Passover as a metaphor for dealing with this problem of unrepentant sin in the church. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

  • Cleanse the church (1 Corinthians 5:6) - Paul used the image of leaven (which was a type of yeast that was used in baking). The leaven would spread through a lump of dough until it permeated every area.

    • During the Jewish people’s enslavement in Egypt, God sent Moses to lead them out of bondage. A series of plagues were given by God to urge Pharaoh to let God’s people go. The Pharaoh would not relent.

    • On the night of the final judgment (the death of the firstborn) the Jews were to purge all of the leaven from their homes and make unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) and kill a lamb and put its blood on the doorpost (Exodus 12:6-7). The angel of death would pass over any house that had this sign on the doorpost.

    • Leaven was a metaphor for sin. As Israel had been set free from bondage in Egypt by the blood of the lamb, those of you who are in Christ, have been set free from the enslavement to sin by the precious blood of the Lamb (Romans 6:17-18).

    • Leaven was a metaphor of hypocrisy (Matthew 16:5-12; Matthew 23)

    • Leaven was a metaphor for disobedience and rebellion (Galatians 5:7-10)

  • Continue under the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

    • The Israelite were to celebrate the the Festival of Passover yearly (the Passover - Leviticus 23:5, the Feast of Unleavened Bread - Leviticus 23:6-8, and the Feast of Firstfruits - Leviticus 23:9-14).

    • You are to continue under the person and work of your Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to do that daily not simply yearly.

    • Remember who you are. You are a new creation. You are a child of God. You are forgiven. You are free from sin.

  • Celebrate your salvation. (1 Corinthians 5:8) Worship is a great deterrent to sin. In fact, you cannot correctly worship and at the same time be desiring to sin.

Relationships - Paul seeks to correct a misunderstanding the church had about how to associate with those who are involved in unrepentant sin. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

  • Relationships with those who are unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11) You are to look for opportunities to proclaim the gospel. But more importantly, you are to demonstrate the gospel in the way you live. You are to be in the world but not acting like the world.

  • Relationship with those who are in unrepentant sin but are professed believers. (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) You are to proclaim the gospel. You are to demonstrate the gospel. You are to hold each other accountable for we are a family. You are to encourage holiness of life.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The world is waiting to see such a church that takes sin so seriously, which enjoys forgiveness so completely, which in its gatherings has an awesome sense of God’s immediate presence to bless, shape and transform people, and loves and involves itself with the people of this world in costly compassionate service.”

Bringing It Home: (Reflect, request, respond)


  1. Paul as the Corinthian church’s spiritual father sought to admonish them, teach them, set an example for them and even to, if necessary, discipline them. Which of these is more difficult for you to do in your relationships with others?

  2. Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. Describe the problem as Paul defines it?

  3. Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. What was the Corinthians response to the problem? How did Paul say that they should respond instead?

  4. Read 1 Corinthians 5:3-5. This passage describes the procedure the church was to employ in this situation. What was the apostle’s judgment and what was the church’s decision to be in this matter?

  5. How is leaven defined? Consider looking up the word at https://biblehub.com/topical/l/leaven.htm and write down what you learn from your study.

  6. How does celebrating Christ in worship help to deal with sin in our lives?

  7. Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. Based on this passage, what is the difference in how we are to respond to non-believers in the world and believers in unrepentant sin?

request: PRAYer and praise

  • Ask God to help you to be more Cross-centered in your life

  • Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words or actions that are connected to habitual sin patterns in your life.

  • Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you leave a life of habitual sin and bask in the forgiveness and freedom of cross of Christ.

Respond: applying what you have learned

  • How can you love God more through what you have learned? (read, study, meditate, memorize, share)

  • How can you love others more through what you have learned?


  • Suggested Scripture Study: Read Matthew 18:15-18, Galatians 6:1-2; Ephesians 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Peter 4:17