PASSOVER UNDERSTANDINGS Part Nine(B) THE TRUTH ABOUT 1 COR.5:7,8. Paul had written to the church at Corinth concerning what action they should take in regards to a man practicing INCEST within the very congregation. They all KNEW it was happening, even took some pride in being kind and merciful to the man. Probably thought if they took no action but showed how patient they were towards him and his open sin, he would come to see he should not be doing such evil, and withdraw from it all by himself. Paul thought no such thing, and was very open to show them their error on the matter. He told them he had judged the situation as if he was right there with them. He told them that with the power of Jesus Christ and in His very name, together with Paul in spirit among them, they should disfellowship the un-repentant sinner from their congregation(1 Cor.5:1-5). To glory in doing it any other way he told them was NOT GOOD(verse 6). It was the days of Unleavened Bread. They had put physical leaven out of their homes. They were unleavened in that area and sense of their lives. Now they were to get out the spiritual UNleavened bread of open sin that was taking place among them, and that would IF NOT CORRECT eventually spread like a cancer until the whole was leavened with sin and wickedness. He reminds them that Christ the Passover was sacrificed. That sacrifice was not taken upon Himself so we could wilfully, casually, openly, with a care free attitude, just sin to our hearts content, so God's grace could be further magnified and glorified(Rom.6:1-6). Christ did not come and die as the Passover Lamb so we could continue in sin. He died to save us FROM sin, to put away sin, to have us live not after sin but after righteousness. Yet here they were allowing open un- repentant sin to be practiced within their fellowship. The very feast they were observing was to teach them that sin MUST BE PUT AWAY, CLEARED OUT OF OUR LIVES, AND TRUTH AND SINCERITY WAS TO ENTER. Paul said to them: "Therefore(because Christ is our Passover, and what that means) LET US KEEP THE FEAST........" The Greek TENSE for the words "let us keep" is FIRST PERSON, PLURAL, PRESENT, SUBJUNCTIVE. You can find this on page 148 of the ANALYTICAL GREEK LEXICON. The FIRST PERSON PLURAL is readily seen in the words "let us" - very personal and plural. He was telling them as a group of persons, as Christians, THEY, US, should do something. They were actually at the very time of his writing DOING SOMETHING. They were observing the feast of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. They had put away physical leaven, now it was time for THEM(plural) to put away the spiritual leaven of open sin. Then we have the PRESENT TENSE. From the book ESSENTIALS OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK, Lesson three, page 11, by Summers, we read: "The present tense indicates PROGRESSIVE action at the PRESENT time - 'he is loosing' ........." They were at the time Paul was writing PROGRESSIVELY DOING OR OBSERVING the feast of Unleavened Bread. Yet this PRESENT tense is also SUBJUNCTIVE. This will take a little more study and investigation, but the time and trouble will pay off in fully understanding the thoughts and wishes of Paul for the church at Corinth. Lesson 26 in the book ESSENTIALS OF NT GREEK, is called "The Subjunctive Mood: Conditional Sentences. Page 105, under Grammatical Study we read: "(1) The forms of the subjunctive mood: Except for some very rare occurrences in the perfect tense the subjunctive mood is used only in the present and the aorist in New Testament Greek................. Page 106,107 under: (2) The function of the subjunctive mood: In grammatical study mood is defined as the affirmation of the relation of action to reality. Is the action actually taking place, or is it only potential?........the real and the potential. In NT Greek there are FOUR TRUE mood; one expresses real action (indicative), THREE express potential action (subjunctive, optative, and imperative). IN OTHER WORDS, action which is viewed by the speaker as real is expressed by the indicative mood; action which is viewed by the speaker as POSSIBLE, contingent upon CERTAIN CONDITIONS, is expressed by ONE of the POTENTIAL moods.......four English sentences illustrate this principle: Indicative mood: THE CHILD RUNS. This expresses action which is really taking place. Subjunctive mood: IF THE CHILD RUN, he will escape. This expresses action which is not really taking place but which is objectively possible. The child has the ability to run. This of all the potential moods is nearest to reality. Optative mood: OH, THAT THE CHILD WOULD RUN!.........one step further away than the subjunctive. Imperative mood: RUN, CHILD..........It is the furthest removed from the real action of the indicative mood..........." Let's stop there for a moment. Our phrase "let us keep" is present progressive subjunctive. And subjunctive is action that is objectively possible, contingent upon certain conditions. It is the NEAREST to the actual reality of the thing in question(the action) taking place. Now stop and think about the context of 1 Cor.5:7,8. And the very context of verse 8 itself. Paul WANTED THEM TO TAKE ACTION AND PERFORM SOMETHING AS THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD WAS IN PROGRESS, AS THEY HAD UNLEAVENED THEMSELVES PHYSICALLY, THEY SHOULD(ACTION) UNLEAVEN THEMSELVES SPIRITUALLY FROM SIN AND WICKEDNESS(BY DOING A LITERAL ACT OF PUTTING AN UNREPENTANT OPEN SINNER OUT OF THEIR FELLOWSHIP). Action then that was POTENTIAL UPON THEM MEETING CERTAIN CONDITIONS. IF THEY WOULD START TO KEEP THE FEAST WITH SINCERITY AND TRUTH THEY WOULD PUT AWAY THE LEAVEN OF SIN(SPECIFICALLY THE MAN PRACTICING INCEST). Hold on to all that, we shall come back to it very shortly, but I want to give a little more from lesson 26 of Summers' book. Page 108. "1. The HORTATORY subjunctive is the use of the FIRST PERSON PLURAL to EXHORT OTHERS TO JOIN US IN AN ACTION......'Let us go into the house.'............" Remember our phrase in the Greek "LET US KEEP" is in the FIRST PERSON PLURAL, PRESENT. SUNJUNCTIVE. So first of all, Paul was EXHORTING OTHERS TO JOIN IN AN ACTION WITH HIMSELF. He had already told them he had judged the matter, and what they should do when they came together with him there in spirit, was what he personally had judged - the sinner was to be put out of their fellowship. In so doing they were being exhorted to CONTINUE PROGRESSIVELY(present tense) to unleaven themselves spiritually from sin and wickedness, as they had unleavened themselves physically from leaven. Yet them doing this was SUBJUNCTIVE action they had NOT REALLY YET actually done, but it was the closest to the reality. Hence Paul did not use the Present Indicative mood(action actually taking place), for they had not yet received his letter that was exhorting them to take the action he was encouraging them to take - disfellowship the open unrepentant sinner. Their action was not YET reality, but it was the closest to it. It was action viewed by the speaker Paul as POSSIBLE, contingent upon CERTAIN CONDITIONS. To progressively(present tense) continue keeping the feast of Unleavened Bread in the true spirit of no leaven of wickedness, but the unleavened of righteousness and truth, THEY would have to fulfil and meet the conditions of putting away this blatant sinner from their fellowship. When that was done then the present SUBJUNCTIVE, would become the present INDICATIVE - action on their part that was literally and actually taking place. Let me once more try to put it all into simple English. Paul had received news about MANY problems the church at Corinth was having. One was the problem of an open unrepentant sinner practicing incest within their midst. He had heard they were doing nothing about it, and even glorying in the mercy they were showing this person by saying and doing nothing to correct him. Paul did not agree with this kind of closed eye mercy or favor. He had judged the matter very differently. He tells them in his reply what they should be doing about this condition and the Godly discipline they should exercise, by disfellowshipping this man. As it was the feast of the days of Unleavened Bread, as they had physically unleavened themselves in their homes, as they knew that Christ was the Passover Lamb, and that He died to save us FROM sin not IN our sins, not so we could continue to sin freely and openly to our hearts content. As it was the feast that pictured PUTTING AWAY SIN, the old leaven of wickedness, and putting on the unleavened of truth and holiness and right acting, he then EXHORTS them to do as he would, to go forward in the progressiveness of the feast they were celebrating, by taking the right action, based upon meeting the conditions of demonstrating that right action, which was the judging of this man to be such a sinner that it was needful to put him out of their fellowship, until he had repented of his malodorous, gross, unmistakable open sin of incest. What was the outcome to all this some may ask? Ah, it was a good outcome for EVERYONE in the end. We find in Paul's second letter we have preserved for us ( 2 Corinthians) in the first number of chapters, the answer. The church did take action, the correct discipline on this matter. The sinner was put away from them, with much sorrow(for such action by a congregation should never be a joy to do in one sense). The sinner did in much grief come to heart felt repentance over his practice. And Paul tells them because of these good results from this action, to re-instate the man back to full brotherhood and fellowship (2 Cor.2:1-11, see such translations as the Amplified Bible). Oh, what great lessons we are given in the word of the Lord concerning His wonderful and meaningful FEASTS. What a BLESSING they are! What a GREAT PLAN of Salvation, Truth, Justice, Mercy, and Love, are ours through the knowledge of the Feasts of the Eternal. Let us never take them for granted, but let us REMEMBER them. Let us MEDITATE upon them. Let us CONTINUE TO OBSERVE them in SINCERITY AND IN TRUTH. In our next study we shall look at 1 Corinthians 11:20-34. ..........................