1 Corinthians 5

1Corinthians 5:1 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.

It is generally understood that this would be his step-mother as opposed to his own mother. Fornication of anyone should never be an action of a born-again believer in Christ for we are to be saved from sin, not to return to the bondage of sin. To return to the sin we were saved from kind of undermines the effort Jesus went through to save us in the first place. To ignore repentance, could result in the loss of one's soul for eternity since sin is what causes us to be separated from God, surely sin would result in a lost condition after we have accepted Christ if it is a continuing sin that goes unrepented of year after year. In spite of what so many teach, holiness is taught in New Testament scriptures. Why would Jesus preach, "Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand," if we didn't need to repent.

Repent means to change our direction and return to go in the direction given to us by God.

1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Sin should cause us to mourn and weep, not rejoice that we can get by with sin and still be saved. That is the wrong thinking. If we love God, we love what He has to say to us. If we love His word, we will hate sin.

1Co 5:3 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.

1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

We have to be careful here. First of all it is better for someone to suffer in the flesh than to lose his soul for eternity but this is not a license for us to do any harm to the person ourselves. This is where so many leaders in the Middle Age church went wrong. They began to put people to death by burning them at the stake. The people put to death were not those that sinned in this manner but they merely wanted to print the word of God in a common language for all to read. Some of the church leaders and popes that condemned others to torture and death were the ones committing the sexual sins of the type mentioned in this book.

To deliver one to the destruction of Satan is to allow a person be get sick and not pray for their recovery until they repent and stop sinning. We are not to harm anyone but leave that type of judgment to God. Some have taken this verse the wrong way which is the only reason I mention these things at this point. This destruction of the flesh refers to sickness and disease, not to physical harm caused by anyone. Notice also that this type of shunning is not to be done on our own as individuals but a decision made by the leadership and backing of the whole church body.  We don't go around shunning people if they do something we disagree with and this type of shunning also is not over little non essential things like how a person dresses or what kind of music he likes.

They were to deliver this one to Satan by allowing God's protection to be removed from him for a season.  They were turning the person over to God.  That way if the person is innocent he or she is in the hands of God and nothing will happen that is not for their good. 

Another teaching on this subject is that this merely meant that the person is to be excommunicated from the church. If he is excommunicated that is a way of turning him over to Satan. The belief is that Satan has no authority inside the church.

However, I question that because the church are those who have been born again by the spirit of God and they may or may not be part of a physical body of believers which we call the church. Seems like only God could excommunicate someone from the real church.

To me the idea would be to correct the person in word and if he rejects that correction, then we are to allow Satan to destroy his flesh without our prayers stopping the destruction.  Paul seems to feel that the prayers of a praying church has a lot of weight.  That is something to really think about.  We should not dismiss the power of praying in one accord for a certain need.  Remember this is for serious sin, not just disagreements over church doctrine.

These verses really seem to indicate the power of prayer. We should be very careful how we pray and learn to pray in the Lord's will. I don't think I have ever prayed for someone to get sick.

In all this we must remember that the apostle ordered this and it wasn't just a body of people that took it upon themselves to judge someone on their own. The sin was serious enough to warrant this kind of judgment.

1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

The main message we are to get is that sin defiles the church. Sin in one confessing Christ as Lord, brings reproach upon the church. This is talking of real sin here. Its talking of fornication, not making a slight mistake or publishing bibles in the English language. This is not talking of having a difference of opinion and disagreeing with those in authority. Its talking about open unrepented sexual sin.

There are some that think they can put curses on those that come against their ministry. Since there are so many ministries and opinions on the bible, how can poor souls discern and know who is false and who is real? Of course they should ask questions and compare scriptures to determine who is telling the truth. Why should we ever just take the word of someone claiming to be a spokesman for God. We owe it to ourselves and our families to ask questions, search and discern.

Back in the days of the Corinthians, there was most probably only one body of believers in a given city. Today there are thousands and we have to have discernment and search the scriptures. To condemn everyone that disagrees with our train of thought would be unfair.

1Co 5:7 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:

This has to be at a local level. If we attempt to have a body of believers who meet together to pray and study God's word, we can't allow someone to teach and usurp authority who is living in open sin that has never been renounced.

1Co 5:8 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.

Old things pass away when we come to Christ. All things are to become new and we are changed from an old sinner to a new creation in Christ Jesus. Even though Paul is speaking of the state of our relationship with God and to avoid the leaven of sin, malice and wickedness we can see also that the Lord's supper which is held at Passover should be taken with unleavened bread.  Leaven represents sin.  When Christ ate the Passover with His disciples it would have been with unleavened bread because that is the only way the Jewish people would have celebrated Passover.  At the time just before the crucifixion, Jesus and the disciples would have kept the Passover like the other Jews did in memory of the time they escaped from the bondage of the Egyptians and didn't have time to let bread rise with leaven.  They had to make bread in haste and escape at the appointed time without leaven.  All Passover feasts since that time are served with unleavened bread.

1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

1Co 5:10 Yet not altogether the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

1Co 5:11 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 idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.

We have to work among, go to school with and be around fornicators of this world. We are not, however, to eat with or keep constant company with a brother or sister who we know for sure are living in open sexual sin and still claiming Christ as Lord if by doing so we would be seen as agreeing with their lifestyle or sin. If we go to them to try to turn them back to the way of truth that is one thing but to run around with them and be in their constant company may be a sign of agreeing with their sin.

1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Put away here means to remove them from your company and fellowship, not put them to death.

1 Corinthians should be read along with second Corinthians so that we see that this person was restored to fellowship. This person was brought to repentance and Paul urged for his forgiveness. This had a happy ending.

1 Corinthians 6

 

 
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