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Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 5

Study notes for 1 Corinthians chapter 5. This church had a LOT of problems but they were still saved believers that needed correction.


1 Corinthians 5

Deals with a specific situation but something churches today can certainly learn from and apply.

1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

Fornication a broad word covering all kinds of sexual immorality. Now Paul is about to address a specific fornication that’s occurring in Corinth. Not named among the Gentiles = in other words, not accepted or allowed among the Gentiles. (The father was still living 2 Co. 7:12)

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Rather than being embarrassed or ashamed that this is going on in their church, they’re puffed up!

We all stumble into sin, but it’s something much different to make excuses for sin or as in this case, to brag about it as if it’s no big deal.

3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

Paul’s not there, obviously that’s why he’s writing a letter, but he’s aware of the situation has the spiritual discernment to JUDGE the matter. Both the sinner in question and the church allowing it have messed up.

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

In the name of Jesus, who is the head of every church (or should be) just as the man is head of every wife (see Ephesians 5)….

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

So per verse 2 above, the dude living in this sinful relationship should have been taken away from the church. Booted out. Not allowed in for services.

So this is an important verse: Give the dude over to the world, let him have his punishment which may include death, BUT his spirit is still saved. Great verse on eternal security.

Sin can lead to death for believers but our spirit is secure in the Lord.

James 1:14-15 & Hebrews 12:6-7

The hope is that the guy might be corrected and humbled by suffering, so that he could be brought back to the church which is what happened (2 Cor. 2:7-8).

People can be enablers and think they’re being loving, but you’re actually doing them wrong by tolerating their sin.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Open continuous sin being allowed in the church can spread. It can ruin the whole congregation.

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Get rid of the sin from among you. The Passover lamb in the OT was a “type” of the Messiah; and leaven was understood to be symbolic of impurity and sin, so OT Israel was required to remove all leaven from their homes. This was a shadow or sign that pointed towards Jesus to show that Jesus as the Passover lamb removed all sin for us that would believe on Him. Christ took the place once and for all of the Passover lamb.

Exodus 12:12-15

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

So the feast of unleavened bread is applied in the NT spiritually toward removing sin from within your churches. Now keep in mind that the kind of sin used for our example is not just fornication but a very severe and repugnant form of fornication that the church was boasting in. Therefore church discipline like this needs to be applied very carefully I think.

9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

What we call 1 Corinthians was not the first letter to the Corinthians. There are at least 4 letters that Paul wrote to this church but only two did God decide to preserve for us.

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

So it’s impossible to have nothing to do with these kinds of people or else we’d have to leave the world altogether!

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

So if a Christian brother is doing these things, separate them from you. Don’t eat with them. Don’t have them as part of your church. Besides v 6 above, it can make the church look bad, look “fake” to outsiders.

Covetous = Someone that’s showing greed regularly. Also can mean someone “who defrauds for the sake of gain.” First of course talk to that person. Help them be content.

Railer = Someone of harsh, mean, bitter, abusive words

Also read 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

[that wicked person – the dude mentioned in this chapter]

Those outside of the church fellowship will be disciplined by God, but for those within the church it is the church and the pastor’s job to judge and discipline. Hebrews 13:17

This is also why our evangelism isn’t to get people to stop stealing or to stop lying. Our job is to get people saved. Getting a thief to stop stealing is no victory, without Christ he’s still headed for hell. Getting someone saved is a victory. A saved person can be corrected in the local church as well as guided by the Holy Spirit.


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