Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
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Just as the sin of one person contaminates many, if it is not dealt with once it is known, so also does the sin of the many who know what is happening and either do not turn away from it or pretend that they have not noticed it. Sin does not look like sin if it is not corrected or avoided by anybody. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
Your glorying is not good. Your boasting yourselves in your worldly Wisdom of Solomon , which makes you say, "I am of Paul," "I of Apollos," is evil and out of place. It were better for you to cast down the eyes of your mind, since you allow so great a wickedness to exist among you. So Anselm; Theophylact adds from Chrysostom: "He implies obscurely and in a homely way that the Corinthians themselves prevented this fornicator from coming to a better mind, by glorying in his name; for he was one of their wise teachers."
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. As yeast penetrates every part of a mass of dough with its taste and sharpness, so does this one taint of the fornicator penetrate and stain all of you: firstly, because for the sake of one man the wrath of God may be kindled against you all, and against the whole Church which suffers him, as Ambrose and Anselm say; and secondly, if this man go unpunished, others may follow his example, and this one may cause many to stumble. So ...
Your glorying is not good, when you suffer such a scandal among you: you have little reason to boast of your masters, or even of the gifts and graces you received. A little leaven corrupteth the whole mass; a public scandal, when not punished, is of dangerous consequence.
Purge out the old leaven. He alludes to the precept given to the Jews of having no leaven in their houses during the seven days of the Paschal feast. For our Pasch, i.e. Paschal lamb, Christ is sacrificed: and Christians, says St. Chrysostom, must keep this feast continually, by always abstaining from the leaven of sin. (Witham)
Paul says that the Corinthians are to blame, because by taking pride in this man they have hindered him from repenting. Here he indicates that the problem is one for the whole church, not just for an individual. This is why he uses the symbol of the leaven, which, although a small thing in itself, transforms the whole lump into its own nature. This man will do the same thing if he is allowed to go unpunished.
Your glorying is not good: signifying that it was they up to the present time who had hindered him from repenting, by taking pride in him. Next he shows that he is taking this step in order to spare not that person only, but also those to whom he writes. To which effect he adds,
Do you not know, that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? For, says he, though the offense be his, yet if neglected it has power to waste the rest of the body of the Church also. For when the first transgressor escapes punishment, speedily will others also commit the same faults.
In these words he indicates moreover that their struggle and their danger is for the whole Church, not for any one person. For which purpose he needs also the similitude of the leaven. For as that, says he, though it be but little, transforms unto its own nature the whole lump; so also this man, if he be let go unpunished and this sin turn out unavenged, will corrupt likewise all the rest.
Also, to augment that (beauty) when (naturally) given them, and to strive after it when not (thus) given? Some one will say, "Why, then, if voluptuousness be shut out and chastity let in, may (we) not enjoy the praise of beauty alone, and glory in a bodily good? "Let whoever finds pleasure in "glorying in the flesh".
Must be presented "saved "that is, untainted by the contagion of impurities in the day of the Lord, by the ejection of the incestuous fornicator; if, that is, he subjoins: "Know ye not, that a little leaven spoileth the savour of the whole lump? "