1 Corinthians 5:9-13
As the children of God and the disciples of Jesus Christ, we are compelled to carefully represent the name of Jesus and gospel of Christ to a godless society. We represent this name and gospel by our words and our actions; and both our words and actions are essential to our Christian testimony. But Christians have difficult choices to make in their relationships, because we are a righteous subset of a wicked world. How then should the Christian engage Christian culture, or Christian individuals, differently as opposed to pagan culture and pagan individuals?
In our text, Paul explains the necessary difference in behavior that we exhibit towards both sets of people, and also explains the rationale for this behavior. Paul is confirming what Jesus himself taught in Matthew 25- Christians do and must behave very differently towards their brothers and sisters in Christ than they do toward the heathen of society. There is a constant emphasis in the NT of the distinction between the Christian and the heathen; this distinction is one of faith, morality, behavior, and relationship. The whole concept of Christian and heathen culture being similar to one another is flagrantly godless and wrong and highly destructive to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So Christians hold themselves accountable to a far higher standard of morality and virtue than do the heathen of our society; and we keep each other accountable to these biblical standards in the assembly of saints, not tolerating blatant and unrepentant sin as the Corinthians did.