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 1 Corinthians Chapter Five

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter Five   Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:05 am

1 Corinthians Chapter 5
1 Corinthians 5:1

Disorders in the Church
In the spirit of love but with the need for their discipline in mind, Paul turned in his letter to deal with certain disorders in the church, including their failures to discipline an immoral brother (1Co_5:1-13), to resolve personal disputes in a godly manner (1Co_6:1-11), and to maintain sexual purity (1Co_6:12-20).
Failure to discipline a sinner
Pride is the opposite of love because it produces self-concern, while love responds to the needs of others. Corinthian pride had produced not only disunity but also indifference and an unwillingness to exercise discipline within the church.
The issue concerned a Corinthian Christian who was carrying on an incestuous affair with his stepmother, a relationship prohibited both in the Old Testament (Lev_18:8; Deu_22:22) and in Roman law (Cicero Cluentes 6. 15 and Gaius Institutis 1. 63). Fornication, in this particular Scripture, means harlotry. We notice first about this, that it seems to be common knowledge. This sin and incest {so prevalent in our day} are so bad that even the heathen, who do not know God and His laws, do not practice this sin. In the book of Leviticus, there are definite regulations about this very thing.
This sexual immorality was so vile that even the church’s pagan neighbors were doubtless scandalized by it. The Corinthians had rationalized or minimized this sin which was common knowledge, ever though Paul had written them before about it (see verse 9).
The Greek for “immorality” is the root of the English word “pornography”. “His father’s wife” is referring to a stepmother, with whom having sexual relations bore the same sinful stigma as if between him and his natural mother. Incest was punishable by death in the Old Testament and was both uncommon and illegal under Roman law.
The fact that Paul said nothing about disciplining the woman suggests that she was not a Christian.
1 Corinthians 5:2

The shameful situation did not seem to faze the Corinthians in the least. If anything, the affair may have even bloated their arrogant spirits. The godly response would have been grief for this brother (cf. 1Co_12:26; Gal_6:1-2), leading to discipline which would exclude him from intimacy with the congregation until he would repent (cf. Mat_18:15-17). These Christians know about this and have done nothing about it. Some were so arrogant and carnal as to excuse even that extreme wickedness.
This is like so many in our day, who believe if you have been baptized, you are not guilty of sins you commit. “Taken away”: Paul is saying, why have you not forcibly removed him from your group? It is as if you approve of what he is doing.
This could give this church a very bad name in the community. The fact that they have not dealt with this within the church would make it even worse. They are puffed up with pride that they are Christians and are not dealing with the sin that is in the church.
Eph. 5:11“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].”
Reprove is better translated “expose”. The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not to indulge in the sins of the unsaved. Positively, he is to “expose” (reprove) these sins, that is, bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.
So what are Christians to do? Let’s take a look at this scripture from Matthew.
Matthew 18:15-17 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." "But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."
If the violator of God’s Word will not listen after the things in Matthew 18:15-17 are done in a lovingly manner, pursuant to v.17 they are to be regarded by the church as “a heathen and a tax collector”.
The idea is not merely to punish the offender, or to shun him completely, but to remove him as a detrimental influence from the fellowship of the church, and henceforth to regard him as an evangelistic prospect rather than as a brother. Ultimately, the sin for which he is excommunicated is a hard-hearted impenitence.
1 Corinthians 5:3-5

In view of the Corinthian indifference to the matter, Paul was compelled to act. By the authority vested in him as an apostle, he passed judgment on the offender which he asked the church to enact at their next meeting. Paul has just heard of this sin from afar, and he knows exactly what should be done about this matter. Those who were in the church in authority should have already handled this.
Paul had already passed judgment on the sinner and those of the church needed to also.
Here was an example of the power he had earlier referred to (1Co_4:20-21). What the exercise of this power accomplished is not certain. The translation of the Greek word sarkos by the sinful nature suggests the idea that the man’s fleshly appetites were to be annulled. However, several factors suggest a different discipline, namely corporeal affliction — with sarkos understood as “body”. (The result, of course, is the same — the man’s purification.) First, the latter is the usual meaning of the term when it is juxtaposed with spirit, which signifies the whole man in his inner and external being. “In the name of our Lord”: Consistent with His holy person and will. “Gathered together”: This action is to be done when the church meets publicly. “Power”: Authority is in view. Action against unrepentant sinning in the church carries the weight of the Lord’s authority.
The prescription for church discipline must be read in light of the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18 verses 12-14. The goal of this process is restoration. If successful, “you have gained your brother”. The first step is to tell him his fault privately.
Second, the word translated destroyed (olethron) is a strong term, the noun form of which (olethreutou) occurs elsewhere in this letter (1Co_10:10) where it is translated “the destroying angel” who killed men. Third, Paul also spoke in this letter about a discipline which leads to death (1Co_11:30) with the same end in view — the ultimate preservation of the person (1Co_11:32; cf. 1Ti_1:20; 1Jn_5:16). “Deliver ….. To Satan”: “Deliver” is a strong term, used of judicial sentencing. This is equal to excommunication the professed believer. It amounts to putting that person out of the blessing of Christian worship and fellowship by thrusting him into Satan’s realm, the world system.
“The destruction of the flesh”: This refers to divine chastening for sin that can result in illness and even death.
“Spirit …. Saved”: The unrepentant person may suffer greatly under God’s judgment, but will not be an evil influence in the church; and he will more likely be saved under that judgment than if tolerated and accepted in the church.
This is not saying that they would automatically be saved because of the suffering of the flesh. This is saying that the protection is removed from this person, and Satan can do with this sinner's body whatever he will. This is done to cause the sinner to repent. If you repent of sin, your spirit will be saved, even if your body is ravaged by that sin. Paul is saying also, in the verse above, that these are not his own personal wishes for this man, but the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 5:6

There was, of course, no excuse for the Corinthians’ pathetic behavior. Paul reminded them of a truth they already knew but were failing to practice — a little yeast soon permeates the whole batch of dough. A small sickness can eventually kill a body. Just the fact that a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior does not exempt them from punishment for their sin. Paul is saying here, if you let this go without taking care of this, the sin will spread in your church. You must remove the one who is infected with sin, so that this disease will not spread to the other members.
“Glorying” as in this case means “boasting”. It was not good because their proud sense of satisfaction blinded them to their duty in regard to blatant sin that devastated the church.
“Leaven” in scripture is used to represent influence, and in most cases, evil influence.
“Whole lump”: When tolerated, sin will permeate and corrupt the whole local church.
The need for church discipline is based on the same principle.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8

As the literal yeast was removed from the house during the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Exo_12:15-20; Exo_13:1-10), so that which it illustrated, sin, was to be removed from the house of God, the local church, during its “Festival of Unleavened Bread,” a continual observance for a Christian who has found in Christ’s death on the cross the once-for-all sacrifice of the Passover Lamb (cf. Joh_1:29; Heb_10:10, Heb_10:14). Leaven, in the verse above, is sin. Paul is saying, clean up your church, so that it will be without sin again. Purge, in this Scripture, means to cleanse thoroughly. Do not leave anything at all that is associated with this sin. Christ was the unleavened Bread. He was without sin. If we are truly followers of Him, we must be free of sin, as well. Jesus' sacrifice for us was to do away with the sin in our life. A person who sins must repent quickly and get forgiveness for that sin.
Including the influence of sinful church members “Keep the feast”: In contrast to the Old Testament Passover feast celebrated annually, believers constantly celebrate the “feast” of the new Passover, Jesus Christ. As the Jews who celebrate Passover do so with unleavened bread, so believers celebrate their continual Passover with unleavened lives.
The life of a Christian should be a continual remembrance of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Jesus {the perfect Lamb sacrifice} was our Substitute. We deserved the death on the cross, but He took our place. I see in this a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. In the Passover, the lamb was killed and the blood drawn of the animal, but had they not put the blood over the door, death would have come to that house.
We must not only believe that He gave His body at Calvary for our sin, but we must individually apply that precious blood to our life. He must be our personal Savior. We must desire to be like Jesus. This next Scripture tells it all.
Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Sin should not be tolerated in your life, if you are a Christian. Anyone proclaiming Christianity should have no desire in their heart to sin. We should constantly be sincere with the Lord. Truth should be our standard.
“Christ our Passover”: Just as unleavened bread symbolized being freed from Egypt by the Passover, so the church is to be unleavened, since it has been separated from the dominion of sin and death by the perfect Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is therefore, to remove everything sinful in order to be separate from the old life,
This was nowhere more truely than in the celebration which commemorated that sacrificial act, the Lord’s Supper, the quintessential act of fellowship for Christians. Probably Paul meant to exclude the unrepentant Christian from this meal in particular.
1 Corinthians 5:9-10

In an earlier letter Paul had given direction on this subject but the Corinthians had applied it only to those outside the church. Paul showed the absurdity of such a view by noting that such compliance would necessitate leaving this world. We become like those we keep company with. Paul had warned of the dangers of fellowshipping with sinners. Fornicator, in this particular Scripture, is taken from the word pornos, and can be translated male prostitute. This includes homosexuals. This leaves no doubt as to the danger of those who associate with those who are involved in sex sins. This is primarily speaking of unnatural acts in sex relations, but includes adultery between male and female, as well. One thing we must note in this, it is alright to go and witness to the lost, this is just speaking of not getting caught up in their sin.
Eph. 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]."
In Eph. 5:11 Paul’s instruction is plain and direct: Christians are to faithfully live in righteousness and purity and have nothing at all to do with the evil ways and works of Satan and the world. The two ways of living are unalterably opposed to each other and mutually exclusive. The Christian’s responsibility does not stop with his own rejection of evil. He is also responsible for exposing and opposing darkness wherever it is found, especially when it is found in the church. The statement, "not altogether" just means that he did not forbid casual association with these sinners, but continuous association, which might cause you to get involved in their sin. We are in this world with those who commit these sins, but we are not of this world. We are a holy people set aside for the purposes of God. We are not holy in our own right, but have put on righteousness which Jesus provided for us when He washed us in His precious blood. There would be no point in us staying in this world, except we have the opportunity to win people out of these sins to the living God.
Paul was certainly no advocate of monasticism (or its separatist kind in Protestantism).

1 Corinthians 5:11

What he called for was disciplinary action for anyone associated with the church, whether a brother or one in name only, who took part in the church while continuing a life of sin. The discipline demanded for such a one was exclusion from fellowship with other members. Certainly the prohibition extended to an exclusion from eating the communal meal, the Lord’s Supper. Paul clarifies his intention in the earlier letter. He expected them to disassociate with all who said they were brothers, but had a consistent pattern of sin. The meal was a sign of acceptance and fellowship in those days.
Notice the fact that Paul called him a brother here, which means they were of like persuasion. It seems it is much worse for a Christian to be caught up in these sins, than it is for those who have not repented and given their lives to the Lord. To sin in full knowledge is much worse than to sin and not be aware that you are sinning. It does not say, again, that you are not to come in casual contact with them, but not to eat with them. We are not to turn our head the other way when a brother or sister sins, and act as if it did not happen. When you fellowship by eating with them, it is as if you are condoning what they are doing.
Other social contact might also have been excluded. It was unlikely, however, that the sanctioned individual was barred from all congregational meetings, for the church’s ministry might lead to his conviction and repentance (1Co_14:24-25).
1 Corinthians 5:12-13

It was not Paul’s business to judge those outside the church (cf., e.g., his silence about the woman in 1Co_5:1); still less was it the business of the Corinthians. But discipline within the church was their responsibility. Paul is interested in keeping the converts that the Lord has given him. He cannot change the world, unless they want to be changed. His instructions are for those he claims as his own converts.
Those in the world God will judge (cf. Act_17:31). But those within the Christian community who continue in sin with an unrepentant spirit, the church should discipline by expulsion. There is a day of judgment coming when the Lord Jesus will judge the whole world. Paul is saying, here, we do not judge the world, Jesus does. If someone is determined to live in sin like the world, put them out there in the world with the rest of the sinners. Let God judge them on judgment day, just as He wills the rest of the sinners. Those who are determined to sin should not be left with the Christians to contaminate them.
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