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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 5

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) “It is reported commonly.” (Greek holos akoue tai) “it is actually heard” (circulated among you) common reports of sinful conduct hinder the influence of an individual or a church harboring such.

2) “That there is fornication among you.” (en humin porneia) “In the midst, or among you (is) fornication.” Waves of common reports were repeatedly heard that fornication was recurring in the Corinth church.

3) “And such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles.” The nature of the common, repeated reports of fornication were that a young unmarried man in the Corinth membership was having illicit carnal sex relations with a married woman in the church.

4) “That one should have his father’s wife.” Even the Gentiles, heathen, did not approve or sanction fornication of the nature existing in the Corinth church, which was that an unmarried young man should have, hold, or be engaging in illicit carnal sex relations with his own father’s wife, generally thought to be his step-mother.

It is always God’s holy will that His children abstain and flee from fornication of the flesh, Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

Verse 2

1) “And ye are puffed up.” (Greek kai humeis pephusiomenoi este) “you all are having been puckered up” - apparently taking the specific act of illicit carnal fornication as a joke, that the young man had used his father’s wife for carnal sex pleasure.

2) “And have not rather mourned.” Paul chided the Corinth church members who were contentious over Paul, Apollos, and Cephas to the extent they were neglecting more serious moral conduct among them.

3) “That he that hath done this deed.” No deep remorse, no outward shame, no real regret seemed to exist among the Corinthian brethren, such as should exist in a church so morally wrong.

4) “Might be taken away from among you. ‘ The structure of this entire verse appears to be a rhetoric question of reprimand that the church should consider so lightly the carnal fornication being, (Greek prakses) or having been practiced, or continued repeatedly for some time. Such was a breach of the Law of Moses and law of Christ and not even endorsed by the heathen; Revelation 18:6-8; Matthew 5:32; Matthew 15:19; Matthew 19:9.

Verse 3

1) “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in Spirit.” (Greek ego men gar) “For I at least, being away or absent in the physical body” (Greek paron) “but being alongside you or present in the spirit.”

2) “Have judged already, as though I were present.” The necessary inference and testamentary evidence of the common report that had reached Paul’s ears was sufficient and factual enough to satisfy his mind that he could make a valid judgment on what the church should do about the fornication problem.

3) “Concerning him that hath so done this deed.” Paul arrived at a judgment of what the church should do with the young man who had practiced fornication with his own step-mother until it had become a disgrace to the church, as reported to him by the household of Chloe, in a letter delivered by Fortunatus, Stephanus, and Achaicus, 1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 16:8.

Verse 4

1) “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This New Testament phrase always means “by the authority, or as authorized by Jesus Christ.” Paul was not advising the Corinth Church except as morally instructed and sanctioned by our Lord, 1 Corinthians 11:1-2; 1 Corinthians 14:37.

2) “When ye are gathered together.” Disciplinary action toward an erring church member or assembly member is to be taken when the assembly or church is “gathered together.” It is the church “ye” that is to take disciplinary action, not the pastor or a committee.

3) “And my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The spirit (attitude) of Paul was reflected in this letter, with (Greek sun) “in close association with” the (Greek dunamis) “dynamic” “energetic” or “active power” of Jesus Christ. The church of Jesus Christ has the active spirit, vice-gerency power of Jesus Christ in her disciplinary action over members who walk in moral wrong. Matthew 18:17-18; Matthew 28:18-20. It is the church “ye” (assembly) that is 1) to make 2) to baptize, and 3) to teach observance of the all things commanded of our Lord; and it is the church “ye” (assembly) that has God’s power to discipline those who walk disorderly to the hurt of the testimony of the church assembly of their own membership, see?

Verse 5

1) “To deliver such an one unto Satan.” (Greek paradounai) “to deliver or turn over, alongside” (ton tiouton) “such a person” (to Satana) “to Satan, the devil,” and his fellowship. One can not fellowship with the Lord and the devil at the same time, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

2) “For the destruction of the flesh.” That the flesh (old nature) might be chastened, disciplined, humbled, brought under control. For an erring church member, a child of God, that Ac like a goat, to be turned out of the fellowship of the sheep, to live with the goats, is Divinely ordained both for the good of the church and her influence and the recovery of the morally erring child of God.


3) “That the spirit may be saved.” (hina to pneuma). “in order that the spirit may be saved, liberated, delivered, or free” - publicly known sin of grave immoral nature restrains the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit in one’s personal or church life,

4) “In the day of the Lord Jesus.” The term “Jesus” is omitted by some ancient manuscripts -the phrase “in or on the day of the Lord,” refers to the day of assembly worship. For the Spirit of the Lord would be restrained in any assembly harboring gross, immorality of the nature that then existed in the Corinth Church, Psalms 51:11-13.

Verse 6

1) “Your glorying is not good." (ou Kalon to kauchema humon) “not even outwardly good is your boasting, gloating.” Remember that contentions and gloatings prevailed among these Corinth brethren over who was the greatest minister.

2) “Know ye not.” (Greek ouk oidate) “Do you all not perceive, recognize, or comprehend?” Paul was appalled that these brethren had not recognized the inconsistency in their ministerial gloating while treating immorality so lightly.

3) “That a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” “That a (Greek mikra) very minute amount of leaven (putrefication) leavens or putrefies the whole lump?” Can’t you recognize this? Paul chided! Leaven is used in the Bible, as it relates to moral and religious conduct, to immorality, false doctrine, or heresy. Matthew 16:6; Matthew 16:11-12; Galatians 1:6-9.

Verse 7


1) “Purge out therefore the old leaven.” (Greek ekkatharate) “cleanse out” or cleanse by putting out the old leaven or putrefaction of the old nature.

2) “That ye may be a new lump.” (hina) “in order that” “ye” the church may be a re-cleansed assembly.

3) “As ye are unleavened.” The church assembly of the Lord is a sanctified, cleansed, and unleavened assembly as it measures up to God’s standards. Matthew 5:48; John 17:10-23.

4) “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” The law of the passover sacrifice required that all leaven, leavened bread, be put away and only the unleavened bread used after the sacrifice of the passover observance or worship. The logic is that since Christ “is sacrificed as our passover,” it is improper to continue the form of worship with the particular leaven of known carnal fornication among church members; Exodus 12:14-15; Exodus 12:17-19; 1 Corinthians 11:25.

Verse 8


1) “Therefore let us keep the feast.” This is an exhortation for the Corinth Church to guard observance of the Lord’s table and worship.

2) “Not with the old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness.’.’ Negatively their worship, in public assembly and Lord’s Supper observance, was to be apart from their old immoral conduct. It was also to be with old grudges, malice and wicked desires of the heart put away, like laying aside an old soiled garment, Galatians 5:9.

3) “But with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (Greek all’ en azumois) “but( in contrast) with unleavened, un-putrefied, or uncontaminated loaves” of sincerity and truth. Public assembly worship, including observance of the Lord’s Supper, should be held by people of God in a covenanted local assembly who have upright moral conduct, and are in fellowship and doctrinal harmony; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:26-29.

Verse 9


1) “I wrote unto you in an epistle.” Paul had formerly, prior to this formal letter of 1 Corinthians, written the brethren and warned them regarding the heathen type of carnality to which they had since fallen victims.

2) “Not to company with fornicators.” (me sunanamignusthai) “not to associate intimately.” (pornois) “With fornicators.” To keep company or intimately associate with people guilty of repeated, known, carnal, fornication was to compromise the very principles of holiness of life to which the people of God are called, Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:48.

Verse 10


1) “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world.” The Bible describes as “fornication and “adultery,” not only illicit carnal, sexual relations, but also covetousness and acts of self will against a Christian pattern of conduct set forth by our Lord. Of this Jas included “friendship” of the present “world order” as enmity with God and spiritual adultery. James 4:4-5; 1 John 2:15;

2) Or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolators.” (Greek he tois pleonektais kai arpaksin he eidololatrais) “or with the covetous ones and rapacious or idolatrous ones” - to some extent each child of God may be guilty of these.

3) “For then must ye needs go out of the world.” It would be necessary to take ones self completely out of the midst of the present world order to be where no one was guilty of spiritual adultery or spiritual fornication. Paul desired the brethren to recognize that he was not teaching that sinless perfection was required before they could worship or observe the Lord’s Supper.

Verse 11


1) “But now I have written to you.” (Greek nun de) “but now as a continuing principle,” (egrapsa) “I wrote to you,” - as a matter of Divine, inspired instruction for moral conduct and deportment of Corinth Church members, this was written.

2) “Not to keep company.” (me sunanamignusthai) “not to be intimately associating with,” or keeping church company or fellowship with the following:

3) “If any man that is called a brother be.” (Greek ean tis adelphos anomazomenos) “if anyone being named a brother.” (Greek he) “is” or “lives in a state or condition as”

a) “a Fornicator.” (he pornos) “is a fornicator,” one that commits fornication.

b) “or covetous” (he pleonektes) “or is a covetous person,” one who lives a life of covetousness.

c) “or a railer” (he eidoloiatres) “or is a railer,” a racket raiser, an haranguing person.

d) “or a drunkard”. (he methusos) “or is a drunkard,- one who drinks to an excess of inebriation.

e) “or an extortioner,” (he harpaks) “or is a rapacious person,” one who seizes things by violence.

4) “With such an one no not to eat.” (Greek to toitouto mede sunesthein) “with such an one,” or this kind of person, “no not to eat with” or in fellowship with. The eating refers to observance of the Lord’s Supper, in church fellowship capacity of worship, when the church came together, 1 Corinthians 5:4.

Verse 12


1) “For what have I to do.” (ti gar moi) “for what (is it) to me?” What business of mine is it?

2) “To judge them also that are without?” (Greek tous ekso krinen) “to judge the ones without” - the ones without the church fellowship. A church cannot regulate the moral and social conduct, or even restrict the conduct, the manner of life of any, except her own members.

3) “Do not ye judge them that are within.” (ouchi tous eso humeis krinete;) “Do ye not judge the ones within?” meaning within their own company, assembly, or fellowship?

Verse 13


1) “But them that are without God judgeth” (tous de ekso ho theos krinei) “but the ones without or outside the church fellowship living in forbidden moral ways, ‘not members of the Lord’s church, God will judge,” Romans 2:16; Romans 3:6; Hebrews 12:23.

2) “Therefore put away from among yourselves” (Greek eksarate eks humon arton) “Remove ye,” or “lift up and put outside your fellowship, congregation, assembly or midst.” This certifies the right of a church to exclude erring members; See also 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10.

3) “That wicked person.” (Greek ton poneron) the wicked one,” the young man who was habitually having illicit sexual carnal relations with his own stepmother, his father’s wife – 1 Corinthians 5:1-2.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-corinthians-5.html. 1985.
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