Paul Condemns Immorality: 5:1-8.
(Read 1 Cor 5: 1-8)
In this chapter, Paul confronts the Corinthian church for tolerating sexual immorality. It is the sin of incest. This was forbidden in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:8). The Jerusalem Church council also forbidden Christians from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20). This is a sin even the pagan don’t tolerate. This detestable sin should have provoked the strongest response from the church. But because of their pride and carnality the church failed to deal with this problem in their midst. They haven’t removed this man from their fellowship. Paul though absent in person wants that this sin must be condemned and the offender should be excommunicated from the church. So he instructs that in the authority of Lord Jesus the church must deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the last day (1 Cor 5:5). It does not mean this man be killed but be restored from his sin. God always desires the restoration of the backslider (Mat 18:15; Gal 6:1). Paul also has the restoration of this man ultimately in view (2 Cor 2:6-8). The gospel offers hope that all who put their faith in Christ will be ultimately restored in the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:5). No sin is an isolated sin, it affect others (Josh 7:11). If one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon it will affect the testimony of the whole church. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”. Grace forgives disobedience but it does not provide permission to sin. Holiness adorns the church (Psalms 93:5). Paul uses the illustration of Passover to show the importance of maintaining purity in the church. The feast of the unleavened bread accompanied in the Passover is a picture of Christ’s vicarious death on the cross (5:7; John 1:29). During that period, for seven days, no leaven should be found in the home. Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us. The Christians are called to honor God by living in holiness and devotion towards Christ.
Immorality must be judged: 5:9-13.
(Read 1 Cor 5:9-13)
Paul wrote a letter before telling Corinthians not to associate with those who engage in sexual sin (1 Cor 5:9). This letter somehow got lost. The intent of this letter was misunderstood by the church. So, Paul finds it necessary to clarify it
(1 Cor 5:9-11). As long as believers live in this world they have to mingle with people around them. This truth is made clear in our Lord’s High priestly prayer for his disciples (John 17:15-18). “I do not ask to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one”. What Paul meant was that they should not fellowship with anyone who claims to be a Christian, yet living in sin (1 Cor 5:10). It is not our responsibility to judge outsiders but certainly those inside the church. Paul wished Corinthians should have understood this truth (1 Cor 5:12). God will judge those who are outside (Rom 1:18). Our responsibility is to proclaim the gospel to them and remain faithful to His Word. Paul wants that the person who is committing the sexual sin should be removed from the church. The believers should not have any further fellowship with him (1 Cor 5:13). The most severe form of discipline involves being cut off from the church fellowship. The ultimate purpose of discipline is the restoration of the backslider. It should be done without partiality, care and with sorrow. Christian faith produces Christian life. Pray for God's help to live in obedience to Christ.