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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament
1 Corinthians 5

 

 

Verse 1

That there is sexual immorality. Immorality [fornication] was the normal way of life among the Gentiles. The temple of Venus at Corinth had 1,000 prostitutes who served as "priestesses" in worship which we would describe as a sex-orgy. Immorality was always a serious problem in the church, because of the need to live a holy life. See notes on Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:20. That not even the heathen. Even the Gentiles who permitted almost anything, would not allow this to happen! MacKnight thinks this man was living with his stepmother in the incestuous relationship during the lifetime of his father.


Verse 2

How then, can you be proud? This implies the false teacher influenced them to permit this to continue. See note on 1 Corinthians 3:13; and compare Romans 6:1-2. You should be filled with sadness. Compare 2 Corinthians 7:10. Put out of your group. To remove this source of bad influence from the group. The woman is not mentioned. She likely was not a believer, therefore not subject to their discipline.


Verse 3

Even though I am far away. Distance separated them, yet he was there with them in spirit through his interest in them and his knowledge of their actions. I have already passed judgment. As an apostle, he could do this. The Prayer of Manasseh, however, had already judged himself by his sin.


Verse 4

As you meet together. This was to be a solemn act of the whole community of believers. Compare Matthew 18:15-17. And I meet with you. Paul, by his authority, had commanded what they were about to do. Of our Lord Jesus. Christ, as the head of the church, is the source of authority.


Verse 5

Over to Satan. This means to expel him from the messianic community. For his body to be destroyed. The shame of being put out of the church would cause the man to repent. His pride would be destroyed. MacKnight thinks the language implies a painful physical disease was part of the judgment which Paul placed on the man. Johnson argues that when Paul tells them to take the man back into the church (2 Corinthians 2:7), nothing is said about any physical disease. But 1 Corinthians 4:21; 2 Corinthians 13:1-2; 2 Corinthians 13:10 are good reasons to adopt MacKnight's thinking. So that his spirit. This is the reason for discipline in the church. Compare Jude 1:22-23; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.


Verse 6

It is not right. They were proud of their (false) teacher, and though he understood the gospel better than Paul; and were (perhaps) proud of the way this man defended the incestuous relationship. You know the saying. This man's example would poison the whole community of believers.


Verse 7

You must take out. The church as a group must act to remove this source of "bad example." A new batch of dough. Paul uses the "unleavened bread" of Passover as a symbol of purity. During Passover week, Jews got rid of every trace of yeast from their houses, so that the Passover bread would be completely without leaven. Our Passover lamb. The Jewish day began at 6 P.M. (see note on Acts 20:7). In Jewish practice, all the yeast would have been carefully removed before the Passover lamb was killed. Paul is saying: "Our Passover lamb is already killed, but you have not removed the leaven (yeast) of sin from your lives. This is a contradiction!" Three symbolic realities were in each Passover: (1) the blood of the lamb (compare Matthew 26:28); (2) the flesh of the lamb (compare Hebrews 10:20); (3) the continued feast, an act of fellowship (compare 1 Corinthians 10:16-22).


Verse 8

Let us celebrate our feast. The Greek implies continuous action. Paul's intention is to show the Corinthians (and us) that the Christian's "Passover feast" includes the whole Christian conduct of life! The yeast of sin and wickedness. It is always our obligation to take out the old yeast. In being sacrificed once and for all, we ALWAYS see "Christ on the cross" (see note on 1 Corinthians 1:23).


Verse 9

In the letter. He had written a short letter, which we do not have. Not to associate with Immoral people. The Corinthians thought he meant the people of the world only, and they did associate with the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1.


Verse 10

Now I did mean pagans. "I say this plainly, so that you cannot misunderstand me." It would be impossible to make a living at Corinth (or any other place) without daily contact with such sinners. Yet see Paul's warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14. To avoid them. "To get out of the world" would not agree with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16. Christians cannot take Christ to people they will not talk with!


Verse 11

What I meant. This points directly at the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1, and the false teacher. This man called himself a brother. To associate with him is to show approval of his sins. Business transactions are not a sign of friendliness, but eating together is! [This implies the false teacher was saying it was all right for a Christian to be immoral, greedy, and worship idols. See notes on 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14-17.]


Verse 12-13

To judge outsiders. It is none of Paul's business, or ours, to judge those outside the messianic community. They are in the hands of God. Of your own fellowship. The church is a voluntary group, and its discipline is for those who are part of the group. Take the evil man out of your group. Paul paraphrases Deuteronomy 19:19, Deuteronomy 22:21; Deuteronomy 22:24; Deuteronomy 24:7. This is his decree of punishment on the incestuous man. Compare note on 1 Corinthians 5:2.

 


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Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 5:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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