Swept Under The Blood

Swept Under The Blood
Robert Wurtz II

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV)

There is often a flippancy that exists in our times towards the Biblical doctrine of forgiveness that dishonors God and corrupts the churches. In fact, “get it under the blood” has become almost a catch phrase for blanket forgiveness whether genuine repentance is evident or not. At the risk of sacrilege, I wish to combine the phrase with a commonly known idiom in English, “swept under the rug.” In other words, we live in a time when many want to try and hide sin or keep sin secret instead of dealing with it.



Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 5:11, that some sins cannot simply be “swept under the blood of Christ,” they have to be repented of or there can be no forgiveness. In fact, to drive this point fully home Paul forbids Christians from having social contact with any professed believer that practices such sins. These are:

1. Sexual immorality
2. Covetousness 
3. Idolatry
4. Reviling (abusive slandering)
5. Drunkenness
6. Extorting (taking things that do not belong to you)

We live in a time when people are confused about the difference between sin the fruit and sin the root. Sins (the fruit) can be forgiven, but Sin the dynamic (the root) has to be dealt with by repentance and faith – leading to the New Birth. You simply cannot forgive the root – it has to be changed. When the root changes the fruit will change with it. Perpetual sinning as listed above is evidence of a sinful root. 

Sometimes a professed believer will commit one or more of the sins listed above and a chorus of people will rush to forgive the person without making sure they have stopped the sin. When we don’t join in, we are often labeled as “unforgiving” or some other slanderous adjective. However, obviously this is very serious business or Paul would not have issued this directive. You cant sweep the sins listed above under the blood. They have to be repented of and forsaken or we are not to fellowship with the person. 

A professed believer cannot resume fellowship with Christians so long as they continue in the sins listed above. It is not a matter of forgiving the person, it is a matter of their abandoning the sinful behavior. Some will say that the person ought to be forgiven and that everyone ought to receive them into fellowship; however, only if they have left off the sins listed above. If the same tell-tale signs exist that were present when they were found out, there is no reason to believe their has been change sufficient to suspend 1 Cor. 5:11. Paul goes on to explain why in 1 Cor. 6:9-11.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11 NKJV)

Clearly Paul issued the directive in 1 Cor. 5:11 by inspiration of the Holy Spirit because of the truth revealed in 1 Cor. 6:9-11. If a person continues in these sins they will not inherit the kingdom of God. To continue in fellowship with them is to give your sign of approval of their sinful actions. Can two walk together except they be agreed? If you go on socializing with a person who is unrepentant you risk granting approval to their actions by your mere presence in their life. Paul said, And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Notice he did not say, and such are some of you. He said, some were some of you. This is the power of the full Gospel. Their sin was not swept under the blood, but they were washed in the blood, sanctified and justified. Their has been a radical change of nature. And for them it is safe to forgive them and restore fellowship because their sinful fruit is no longer growing from a sinful root. 

Again, we live in a time when many want to try and hide sin or keep sin secret instead of dealing with it. This has never been God’s way. It allows the deadly sins listed above to destroy the churches while softly suggesting to the sinner that they are “OK” and have nothing to worry about – when they are in danger of missing the kingdom of God. In that way, reckless forgiveness when their is no repentance makes the one fellowshipping an “enabler.” In other words, your presence gives the person a green light to keep sinning. 

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV)




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