5:9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 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.
12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
We struggle with tough love. Some would even say it isn't love but God says it is. God says "Those I love I rebuke and correct."
Paul's counsel regarding this man who is having sex with his father’s wife is to put him out of the church and have no relationship with him. Can that be right? It is critically important to understand that this treatment is unique to a person who is in the body of Christ and professes to be a full brother. This does not apply to someone coming into the faith or not in a relationship with Christ of any kind.
Because it seems so harsh we must ask if there is any evidence from Jesus Himself that such a course of action is wise. Consider the prodigal son. He was home. He was a full brother. However he well knew he couldn't be home while behaving as a hellian. A hospital is a place of healing not a place to celebrate disease. The father loved his son. He did not want him to go but he knew if he was to ever have him back as a son who was happy to be home he must let him go. The separation was absolute. Did the father weep and pray for his wayward son? Of course! But what he did not do was permit him to live as a hellian at home or pursue him to the far country. why is this course of action necessary and safe? Because the son knows everything he needs to know. He already knows his father's love. He knows where Home is. He knows the way. The only thing that son was missing was a deep appreciation for how much better Home was than anywhere else. The only way he was going to figure that out was to lose what he had and replace it with something that could never equal it.
That’s what Paul meant when he said earlier to hand him over to Satan so that in the end his spirit may be saved in the Day of Christ. It worked with the prodigal son. He came to his senses. He remembered the heart and home of his father and he returned.
Love does what is necessary, not what is easy. Love works for the end goal, rather than living in the moment. Love is tough. Tough love is excruciating. Love has boundaries. It must. The line between sin and wholeness must be clearly drawn. Adam and Eve were loved but they were also put out of their home. We can't only follow Jesus when it suits us. We must follow Him in all ways if we are to be truly His and have the same impact He had on those who truly want healing.
God does not rebuke and correct because He is mean or cold. He does it because He knows it is critically necessary. He does it because "God is love."