DEFILEMENT THEN AND NOW
“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolator, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not to even eat with such a person.” 1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV
Since our upcoming feature-length film is titled unDEFILED, it occurs to me that perhaps we should define precisely what the Bible means by defilement. After all, how can one become undefiled unless they come to an understanding of what defilement is in God’s eyes? So here goes:
To defile (Greek “koinoo”) – To make common’; hence in a ceremonial sense, “to render unholy, unclean, impure, polluted.”
Let’s expand on that bookish definition. There are two major categories for defilement in the Bible. Those are idolatry and sexual immorality. In the Old Testament, God made it very clear how the house that was called by His Name was to be kept ceremonially pure. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God told Israel that “they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.” (Jer. 32:34)
However, under the New Covenant, individual believers are the temple, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, he was dealing with a church that had conformed to the local culture, which included the temple of Venus and its 1,000 temple prostitutes. Paul was painfully aware that the church he founded during his second missionary journey had become a commingling of spiritual values and worldly sensuality. All of which brings us to the state of the local church today.
When at a crime scene, the police and their investigators use certain chemicals and lights to expose or illuminate incriminating evidence. By applying those chemicals, substances such as blood begin to luminesce. Now imagine the Holy Spirit showed up in your church next Sunday and sprayed a fine mist over the entire congregation that caused those defiled by unconfessed and ongoing sin to emit a reddish glow.
What would your congregation look like? What would your fellowship meal look like in reference to our key verse above? Would some of your pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, or worship leaders suddenly stand out? Is it possible that these contaminants are keeping the Church from fulfilling the Great Commission?
Whenever we esteem anyone or anything more highly than Christ, we commit idolatry. That is why the Apostle John succinctly stated, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21) Christ wants His bride, the Church, to be pure. Mercifully, God has also provided a way to become unDEFILED. But until the Church embraces and applies that remedy, it will remain powerless to stand out in an increasingly dark culture. That is why Jesus said to the Laodicean church, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19)
Love not the world,