Keith Hunt - Passover Study #14 Restitution of All Things


                     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.

                 ..........................

Written April 1997
by
Keith Hunt

 
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