Paul wrote in an earlier letter to the church in Corinth to be careful and not associate with sinful individuals, and become unequally yoked with them. However he clarified in another letter that he was speaking not of everyone, but rather those in the church that called themselves a brother yet hung on to some sins; especially those sins that pull you and others away from the Cross. It was a critical time for the church as foundations were being laid, and if those foundations were not in Christ the church itself would quickly be pulled away from the Gospel that Christ preached and turn itself into a cultural club. The church needed to remain pure and recognize sin. He wrote:
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.What was convicting to me however was that as I read through this passage my mind started drifting towards others, and how it applied to them; but not me. I needed to stop thinking about whom I shouldn't associate with, but instead start thinking about my walk. Should others not associate with me because of the path I am choosing? It was a powerful reminder to me that I need to continually abide in Him to continue my ongoing sanctification. The minute I take my eyes off my walk, and concern myself with others, I am risking a lot.
(1 Corinthians 5:9-11 ESV)
Loving Christ and feeling renewed daily!