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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's FIRST letter to the Corinthians

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Corinthians 5

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Corinthians 5: Dealing With a Case of Incest


[Chapter Synopsis: Paul has heard about sexual immorality in the church and so in this and the next chapter, he challenges them over this. He confronts the sin, shares what he feels about it, warns them about letting sin grow in the church, and says have nothing to do with such Christians.]



v.1,2 The Sin

v.1 (we've heard there is sex sin in the church there) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife.

v. 2 (you should have been grieving over this and put the man out) And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?


v.3-5 Paul's Role

v.3 (as your father figure you know what my judgment is in this matter) For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this.

v.4,5 (so put this man out of the church that he may be vulnerable to Satan and receive God's dicisplining through him to bring him to his senses) So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, [In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.] so that his spirit [or body] may be saved on the day of the Lord.


v.6-8 Their failure as a church

v.6 (your indifference is worrying, don't you realise that once sin is acceptable it spreads) Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

v.7 (so get rid of the sin so you may be a pure church as Christ's death has made possible) Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

v.8 (let's celebrate the new life by getting rid of wickedness and relishing truth) Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


v.9-13 Paul's directions to them

v.9,10 (when I wrote previously [one of several references to a previous, now lost, letter] about not meeting with immoral people, I obviously didn't mean unbelievers) I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 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.

v.11 (but I am now referring to Christians who are ‘off the rails') But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister [The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here simply to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God's family; also in 8:11, 13.] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

v.12 (our role is to sort people out inside the church, not outside it) What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

v.13 (we leave the Lord to sort out non-believers ) God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” [Deut. 13:5; 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7]


[Passage Synopsis: The word has got back to Paul of immorality in the church since he left. Although he's not able to be with them for the moment he is in the Spirit and they know what he feels about this. Their casual approach to it is foolishness because if you tolerate one obvious sin you open the door for more sin to become acceptable, so they need to rid themselves of it. His previous references to not associating with immoral people didn't mean people of the world but those within the church. God will judge those outside the church, we're to do it inside the church.]



Continue to Chapter 6