Studies In The Book Of I Corinthians

(I Corinthians 5:1-13)


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1. What was commonly reported about the church of Christ in Corinth?

That fornication was among them: “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” (I Corinthians 5:1).


Š     This was not the only sin reported about in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:11 and I Corinthians 11:18).

Š     Paul will keep teaching them about fornication (I Corinthians 6:9, I Corinthians 6:13, and I Corinthians 6:18).

Š     Yet, the problem will not fully be resolved (II Corinthians 12:21).

Š     This man took his father’s wife (Deuteronomy 22:30).


2. What was the attitude of those in Corinth about the sin among them?

They were puffed up and did nothing: “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you” (I Corinthians 5:2).


Š     As we discussed in chapter four, they are puffed up (I Corinthians 4:18).

Š     They needed to mourn for their errors (Ezra 10:1-6, Job 42:6, Lamentations 3:40-54, and James 4:9-10).


3. Though Paul was not physically with those in Corinth, what did he say needed to be done?

Discipline: “(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, (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, (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” (I Corinthians 5:3-5).


Š     Paul did not need to be somewhere physically to know what was going on (Colossians 2:5) and to be concerned (I Thessalonians 2:17).

Š     Paul wrote what the Lord authorized, “in the name of our Lord…” (Colossians 3:17; cf. I Corinthians 14:37).

Š     They needed to deliver such a one to Satan to destroy the flesh, but possibly save the soul (I Timothy 1:20).

Š     Later we find that they did execute this punishment and it worked (II Corinthians 2:1-10).

Š     Scriptural discipline is a command that needs to be obeyed (Matthew 18:15-17, Romans 16:17-18, and II Thessalonians 3:6) when sin is not repented of (Luke 17:1-4).


4. What can a little sin do?

Spread to the whole: “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (I Corinthians 5:6)?


Š     Proverbs 13:20, I Corinthians 15:33, Galatians 5:7-9, and II Timothy 2:16-18.


5. Rather than being the leavened bread of sin, what kind of lump were the people in Corinth expected to be?

Unleavened bread of sincerity and truth: “(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: (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” (I Corinthians 5:7-8).


Š     The body of Christ is one bread, spiritually speaking (I Corinthians 10:17).

Š     Can’t keep the old ways, the ways of sin, the old leaven amongst them (Colossians 3:5-15).

Š     Sincerity and truth (Joshua 24:14, Ephesians 6:24, II John 4, and III John 4).


6. Is there a different rule for the company we keep if we are talking about brethren than if we are talking about people of the world?

Yes: “(9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: (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.  (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 an one no not to eat” (I Corinthians 5:9-11).


Š     Paul is not saying that we should embrace worldly friendships (James 4:4; cf. John 15:19).

Š     What he is saying is that we must withdraw from erring brethren, but cannot escape the fact that we will have to be around worldly people lest we leave the world (Matthew 5:14-16, John 17:15, I Corinthians 10:27-33, and Philippians 2:14-16).

Š     If a brother or sister errs, we must remove ourselves from them spiritually and socially (I Timothy 6:3-5 and II Thessalonians 3:14-15).


7. Should our focus be on judging those within the body of Christ or those without?

Those within: “(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” (I Corinthians 5:12-13).


Š     We deal with brethren now, God deals with sinners in the Judgment (Job 21:30, Nahum 1:2, and II Peter 2:9).





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