1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has ahis father’s wife.

2   1You ahave become 2arrogant and 1have not bmourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be cremoved from your midst.

3 For I, on my part, though aabsent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.

4   aIn the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and 1I with you in spirit, bwith the power of our Lord Jesus,

5   I have decided to adeliver such a one to bSatan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in cthe day of the Lord 1Jesus.

6 aYour boasting is not good. bDo you not know that ca little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

7   Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our aPassover also has been sacrificed.

8   Therefore let us celebrate the feast, anot with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9 I wrote you in my letter anot to associate with immoral people;

10   I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with aidolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.

11   But 1actually, I wrote to you not to associate 2with any so-called abrother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or ban idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

12   For what have I to do with judging aoutsiders? bDo you not judge those who are within the church?

13   But those who are outside, God 1judges. aRemove the wicked man from among yourselves.[1]

I want to focus on verse 10 before I go comment about anything else contained in this passage of Scripture. This verse does not give us liberty to partake in worldly culture that conflicts with God’s commandments about not loving the world. We live in the world, therefore we meet people of the world. We are to be kind to them and be an example of the power of the Christ. We are to be the light of difference that these people without Christ see as we walk in this world. Jesus said in Matthew 9:11-13 ,”It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” Therefore we are to go out and witness to these people. We are not to treat these people as if they are some sub-standard human being; we are to treat them like Jesus would have treated them because we are commanded to love them. Again, this does not give us liberty to actively partake in things that are sinful and cause us to put Jesus Christ on the back burner. Lost people without Christ are lost, therefore they act as lost people. How can we judge the lost and expect the lost to act godly when they are without Christ?

The hard teaching found in 1 Cor 5:1-13 is dealing with our fellow Christians who fall prey to sin and the lure of the world. These people are the ones who know better yet forsake the Bible’s commandments about not partaking and loving the world’s sinful offerings. I’ll break this down in very simple terms. What this passage describes is called church discipline. This is a very unpopular subject today because it holds Christians accountable to the church for their open sin. Yes, we all are sinners. Yes we all sin, but this does not pardon open sin.

I know this is an unpopular teaching today, but it is one that needs to be practiced. If we love our fellow Christians like we profess we do, then we should be willing to reach out and help them even when that means using the Scriptures to correct them. We are to admonish them in love. When they repent and turn back to Jesus, we are to faithfully restore them back into our fellowship as if nothing had ever happened. Since our Father forgives and forgets our sins, we are to strive to be like Him when our fallen brothers/sisters repent. Although it is an unpopular part, church discipline is an important part of teaching the whole council of God.


aLev 18:8; Deut 22:30; 27:20

1Or have you…?

a1 Cor 4:6

2Lit puffed up

b2 Cor 7:7–10

c1 Cor 5:13

aCol 2:5; 1 Thess 2:17

a2 Thess 3:6

1Lit my spirit, with the power

bJohn 20:23; 2 Cor 2:10; 13:3, 10

aProv 23:14; Luke 22:31; 1 Tim 1:20

bMatt 4:10

c1 Cor 1:8

1Two early mss do not contain Jesus

a1 Cor 5:2; James 4:16

bRom 6:16

cHos 7:4; Matt 16:6, 12; Gal 5:9

aMark 14:12; 1 Pet 1:19

aEx 12:19; 13:7; Deut 16:3

a2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:11; 2 Thess 3:6

a1 Cor 10:27

1Lit now

2Lit together if any man called a brother is

aActs 1:15; 2 Thess 3:6

b1 Cor 10:7, 14, 20f

aMark 4:11

b1 Cor 5:3–5; 6:1–4

1Or will judge

aDeut 13:5; 17:7, 12; 21:21; 22:21; 1 Cor 5:2

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Co 5:1-13). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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