1 Corinthians 5
1. I can hardly believe it but everybody knows about the immorality going on among you, something that even unbelievers do not do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother.
If you have cancer growing inside of you, would you rather not know, or would you think it is better for the doctor to tell you about it? The church was busy arguing about who their favorite church leader was instead of doing surgery on the cancer in the church. See Leviticus 18:8.
2. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
Grieving is the first step in dealing with sin. We want to rebuild a brother who is trapped in sin. If he will not listen then we need to ask him to leave. (Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15)
The Corinthians were proud of how they were so open-minded towards evil. When we go along with sin we become partners with it. It would be like saying, “We do not use drugs but we allow drug addicts to use their drugs in the church.”
3. Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man.
Paul says, “You are there and doing nothing about the problem. I am not there but I am going to do something about the problem.”
4. In the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus.
When something is done publicly, it has to be corrected publicly. Do not act alone on this, the whole church has to agree.
5. Then you must ask this man to leave and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
The devil has no power unless someone turns himself over to him. He chose to follow demons so let him have the demons until he cries out for God to save him.
When a person is sent out of the church they no longer have the spiritual covering of the church and the devil can attack them. The important thing is that the spirit is saved even if they destroy their own body in the process.
6. Your boasting about this is very bad. Do you not see that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through all the dough?
The devil says, "It is only a little sin. Please leave it. If you leave it, I will hide it so that no one can see it and then you will not need to worry about it." Paul warned them about the same trick of the devil in Galatians 5:9.
7. Get rid of the old yeast by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.
The Jews got rid of every bit of yeast in the house before the Passover feast. Exodus 12:15
Paul is saying, ”You are new creatures, all the old things should be gone from your lives.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
8. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
Leaving old yeast in your life means that you are giving territory for the devil to stand on in your home.
9. When I wrote to you before, I told you not to be close friends with people who live in sexual sin.
Paul is talking about a letter that he had already written to them. We hate the sin but we love the sinner. We cannot change the world if we live just like the world. We do not want them to get the idea that what they are doing is good.
10. But I was not talking about unbelievers who live in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to stay away from people like that.
We are in the world but not of the world. God does not want us to live in a monastery. He wants us to be the salt of the earth. He wants the world to see us living the way Christ said to live.
I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.
They do not belong to this world any more than I do. John 17:15 – 16
11. I meant that you are not to have a close friendship with anyone who claims to be a believer but lives in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is a mocker, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
He needs to feel the difference between himself and those who are following Christ. Do not let him come to the church dinner or communion. Eating together with a person is to become one with that person.
12 – 13
It is not my job to judge outsiders, but it is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as Moses says, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Paul is saying, "I cannot do anything for the stepmother, but we need to protect the church from evil.” Unbelievers must not be allowed to push their lifestyle onto the church.