Having been informed of sexual immoralities among the Corinthian church Paul now rebukes the believers in Corinth with firm words according to the word of God and the commands found therein.
“1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?” (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
Paul shares his knowledge of incestuous acts taking place in Corinth by someone within the church. Paul describes the heinous offenses to be beyond the lowest of the low. The apostle shares his discontentment not only with those involved in such disgraceful acts, but also those who knowingly allow it to continue. Paul suggest discipline for the offender which calls for shunning from the church.
“3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 5:3-5)
Paul calls on church members to collectively expose and expel the culprit from the church thereby handing him over to Satan where his sin would be burnt up. The hope behind excommunication is that the individuals will be enlightened and in turn, truly saved by grace.
“6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7)
Paul calls on believers in Corinth to rid themselves of the small, isolated sexual sin so to prevent it from spreading through the church. According to Passover tradition, the Jews would rid them houses of all yeast. To preserve its purity the Corinthian church would have to do the same.
“8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:8)
Again making reference to the festival of the Passover, Paul calls on the Corinthians to focus on what is good and make every effort to eliminate what is bad, abiding by God’s commands found in His word.
“9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)
Here the apostle calls on believers to distance ourselves from anyone shunned from a church as long as they are involved in any of the listed offenses. Christians should allow the gift of discernment to guide us when it comes to those we choose to align ourselves with. When in doubt, provoke in love according o the gospel.
“12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
Paul concludes this section of his letter to the Corinthians with a statement in tune with the word of God and His promise. We, the body of Christ should only love those in the church but judge them according to the word of God.
In this case Paul calls on believers in corinth to rid the church of the sexual offender, which was God’s will and came to fulfillment thereafter.
As we work out our salvation we may be asked to do the same, cutting out cancers within the church that can potentially affect the entire body. We should do so with love for the church rather than for the cancer, a deceiver out to destroy rather than heal. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre