1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER FIVE

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic  which limits the observer to the content offered by the letter of 1 Corinthians especially the previous chapters. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture utilizing the same normative rules of reading / interpretation.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

Manuscript Evidence from The New Testament And Translation Commentary, Philip W. Comfort, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., 2008.

In this chapter the manuscript differences are nominal:

5:1 "As [is] not even among the Gentiles" vs "as is not even named among the Gentiles"

5:4a "the name of our Lord Jesus" vs "the name of the Lord Jesus" vs "the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" vs "the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"

5:4b "power of our Lord Jesus" vs "power of the Lord Jesus" vs "power of the Lord" vs "power of our Lord Jesus Christ"

5:5 "the day of the Lord" vs "the day of the Lord Jesus" vs "the day of the Lord Jesus Christ" vs "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ"

5:6 "leavens" vs "adulterates / falsifies" 

5:7 "Christ was sacrificed" vs "Christ was sacrificed on our behalf" 

5:10 "greedy ones and swindlers" vs "greedy ones or swindlers"

5:13 ""will judge" vs "judges"

****** EXCERPT FROM 1 COR CHAPTER 4 ******

OR MOVE TO FIRST VERSE OF CHAPTER FIVE 

[(1 Cor 4:14-21) Commentary On 1 Cor 4:14-21]:

(1 Cor 4:14 NASB) "I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

(1 Cor 4:15 NASB) For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

(1 Cor 4:16 NASB) Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

(1 Cor 4:17 NASB) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

(1 Cor 4:18 NASB) Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.

(1 Cor 4:19 NASB) But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.

(1 Cor 4:20 NASB) For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

(1 Cor 4:21 NASB) What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?"

So in 1 Cor 4:14-15 Paul wrote, "(1 Cor 4:14 NASB) I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. (1 Cor 4:15 NASB) For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel." After having composed the last section, 1 Cor 4:6-13, where Paul admonishes the believers at Corinth for their lack of maturity, even their arrogance in claiming to be superior to himself and Apollos and Peter in spiritual maturity as opposed to the dire circumstances that he, Apollos and Peter have been and will be subjected to, he writes that his intention was not to shame them, but to admonish them as his beloved children referring to their salvation unto eternal life occuring solely as a result of his preaching the gospel to them, in the sense of being their spiritual father. For Paul stated that should countless tutors / teachers in Christ were to come along and teach them, they would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus in the sense of solely through the teaching of Christ to them by Paul, it was Paul alone who became their father through his preaching to them of the gospel.

Then in the next two verses, Paul wrote, (1 Cor 4:16 NASB) "Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. (1 Cor 4:17 NASB) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church." Notice that Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers to be imitators of himself! This might have been a startling thing to write down in light of the Corinthian believers personal opinion about their "grandiose ans mature" status in the Christian faith and life as opposed to their indication of the lowly status of Paul compared to theirs which Paul sarcastically addressed in 1 Cor 4:7-13. And Paul wrote that he sent Timothy, who Paul declared was his beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind the believers of Paul's ways which he declared and wrote "are in Christ," adding "[they are in Christ] just as I teach everywhere in every church." So Paul was to be their example to learn by and look up to. Paul was not to be looked down upon as one who lacked the spiritual maturity and grandeur as some of the Corinthian believers claimed themselves to have.

[(1 Cor 4:14-17) BKC On 1 Cor 4:14-17]:

(1 Cor 4:14 NASB) "I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

(1 Cor 4:15 NASB) For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

(1 Cor 4:16 NASB) Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

(1 Cor 4:17 NASB) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church."

"4:14-17. Prompted by love, Paul issued a warning. His purpose in writing the biting irony of the preceding verses was not simply to shame the Corinthians. But if it did not shame them, they were calloused indeed. His goal was to bring about a change of heart and manner of life in them. His motivation was love like that of a father for his children. Many ministers might address, advise, and instruct the Corinthians, but only one had planted the seed that brought them life. More than any guardian (Gal. 3:24) Paul had their interests at heart. For that reason he urged them to imitate him (1 Cor. 4:16; cf. vv. 9-13). He had one spiritual child who did just that, namely, Timothy (Phil. 2:20). Timothy could remind them by precept and example of Paul's way of life in Christ Jesus, which was in turn an imitation of their Lord."

[(1 Cor 4:14-17) Expositor's Bible Commentary On 1 Cor 4:14-17]:

(1 Cor 4:14 NASB) "I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

[14 With ἀλλά (alla, "but"), the position of the participles ἐντρέπων (entrepon, "shame") and νουθετῶν (noutheton, "warn") at opposite ends of the sentence emphasizes the contrast by putting stress on the second participle ("warn" or "admonish") as the result the apostle really desires.]

(1 Cor 4:15 NASB) For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

[15 The ἐάν (ean, "if") condition is to be taken here with ἀλλά (alla, "but") in the conclusion: "If you should have [were to have].. " to mean, "Even though you have... you certainly do not have many fathers." The contrast is strong between πατέρας (pateras, "the many fathers") and ἐγέννησα (egennesa, "I have fathered [you]").]

(1 Cor 4:16 NASB) Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

[16 Μιμηταί (mimetai), from which we get our word "mimic" simply means "imitators," a fitting description of the role of little children who naturally imitate the actions and attitudes of their fathers and mothers. The present form of the dynamic verb γίνεσθε (ginesthe, "become") here is graphic: "continue to become in practice [imitators]."

(1 Cor 4:17 NASB) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church."

[17 Grammatically, the expression "in the Lord" can go with both "beloved" and "faithful": "my child beloved and faithful in the Lord."]

Paul concludes this section (4:1-21) with a challenge for the Corinthian Christians to be spiritually humble, and to this end he says that he has sent Timothy to help them and that he himself will come, too.

"14-17 Paul now explains that his seeming harshness in writing this to the Corinthians was not to shame them but to warn them of the seriousness and perverseness of their actions and their pride. He grants that they have countless guides or guardians but denies that they have spiritual fathers to advise them. But since he has begotten (egennesa) them in Christ (i.e., by Christ's atoning work) through the gospel and is therefore their spiritual father, he feels he has a right to advise them. In speaking of the leaders of the Corinthians as paidagogoi ("guardians"), the apostle is calling attention to the distinction between himself, their spiritual father, and those leaders, many of whom could be called "guardians," or "guides." In the ancient Roman Empire, paidagogoi indicated "slave-guides," who escorted the boys to and from school and were in charge of their general conduct. So, in a sense, they could be called instructors (cf. Gal 3:24). Hodge has well said that there are three agencies used by God for the conversion of men "The efficiency is in Christ by his Spirit; the administrative agency is in preachers; the instrumental agency is in the word" (in loc.).

Since Paul could rightfully claim to be their spiritual father, he feels he can ask them to become imitators of him (cf. 1 Cor 11:1; Gal 4:12; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thess 1:6; 2 Thess 3:9). In the light of this request, he says he has sent Timothy to them to help them in their progress. Timothy, too, was Paul's beloved child, "begotten" through the gospel, and faithful in the Lord—i.e., in his service for Christ.

Though Paul mentions having sent Timothy, the latter was evidently not the messenger who brought the 1 Corinthians letter. It is true that epempsa ("I have sent") can well be taken to mean, "I have sent [him and he has just arrived with 1 Corinthians]" (an epistolary aorist). But epempsa could just as well be interpreted, "I sent [him before I sent this letter to you]" (a common definitive past-tense use of the aorist). Supporting this latter interpretation is the fact that Timothy is not mentioned in the greetings either at the beginning or at the end of this letter, indicating he was not with Paul in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. Further, Acts 19:22 states that Paul had sent Timothy from Ephesus to Macedonia, also the implication from 1 Corinthians 16:10 is that he was to continue on to Corinth and was still on his way there when this first letter to the Corinthians had reached the city. It is more likely that Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, who are indicated as being from Corinth and who are said to be with Paul (1 Cor 16:17), were the bearers of the letter. In 1 Corinthians 16:18 they are commended and respect is asked for them. So Paul implies that these three were to return to Corinth. Paul expects that when Timothy arrives at Corinth he will cause the saints there to reflect on all Paul's work and actions, which correspond to his teaching in all the churches. As should be true of every Christian, Paul practiced what he preached."

[(1 Cor 4:14-21) Commentary On 1 Cor 4:14-21 (cont)]:

(1 Cor 4:14 NASB) I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

(1 Cor 4:15 NASB) For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

(1 Cor 4:16 NASB) Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

(1 Cor 4:17 NASB) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

(1 Cor 4:18 NASB) Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.

(1 Cor 4:19 NASB) But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.

[19 The verb γινώσκω (ginosko) here conveys more than simply to know a fact. It means "ascertain, find out" the inner working of the arrogant Corinthians. The perfect participle γινώσκω (pephysiomenon) indicates that those who had become arrogant are still in that state.]

(1 Cor 4:20 NASB) For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

(1 Cor 4:21 NASB) What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?"

After exhorting the Corinthian believers to imitate Paul, especially through the teaching of Timothy, Paul wrote in 1 Cor 4:19 about some of the Corinthian believers having become arrogant, remarking, "as though I were not coming to you," evidently in order to hold them accountable for their arrogant behavior. But Paul wrote that he would come to them soon, if the Lord wills, and he will find out not that the words of those who are arrogant but he will find out their power. For Paul stated, "For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power," as Paul had so carefully explained before.

[Compare 1 Cor 2:2-5]:

(1 Cor 2:2 NASB) "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

(1 Cor 2:3 NASB) I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,

(1 Cor 2:4 NASB) and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

(1 Cor 2:5 NASB) so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."

And at the end of this section, Paul therefore asked in 1 Cor 4:21 NASB "What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?" Paul was asking his beloved albeit arrogant children whether he should come with a purpose of disciplining them or with fatherly love and a spirit of gentleness.

[(1 Cor 4:18-21) Expositor's Bible Commentary On 1 Cor 4:18-21]:

(1 Cor 4:18 NASB) "Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.

(1 Cor 4:19 NASB) But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.

[19 The verb γινώσκω (ginosko) here conveys more than simply to know a fact. It means "ascertain, find out" the inner working of the arrogant Corinthians. The perfect participle γινώσκω (pephysiomenon) indicates that those who had become arrogant are still in that state.]

(1 Cor 4:20 NASB) For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

(1 Cor 4:21 NASB) What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?"

"18-21 Now concerning his own proposed trip to Corinth, Paul addresses some in the church who had acted arrogantly as though he were not going to come and did not dare to do so. These were the false teachers who were trying to undermine his authority (cf. 1Cor 9:1-3; 2Cor 12:12) by saying he was unstable (2 Cor 1:17) and weak and that his message was of no importance (2 Cor 10:10).

The relative adverb [in verse 18] ὡς (hos) here denotes the idea of "on the assumption that," the entire statement then reading, "some have been arrogant on the assumption that I am not going to visit you."

Paul replies that, the Lord willing, he will come without delay, and then will find out the real power of the arrogant persons who are doing all the talking against him (v. 19). 

Alla ("but") emphasizes the contrast: Talk is cheap! What real power do these people have to promote their unscriptural and derogatory ideas? Paul uses the expression "kingdom of God" in v. 20, not in its future eschatological sense, but, as the reference to the arrogant Corinthians here shows, in a present spiritual sense of God reigning over his people and demonstrating his power in their lives. The apostle is talking about the life that comes from Christ (2 Cor 5:17), the new birth and its power (cf. John 3:3-8).

Paul climaxes his thought with the question, "What do you prefer?" (v. 21). He poses two alternatives: Do you want me to come "with punishment or in love and with a gentle spirit?" So Paul has answered their charge that he is afraid.

The expression "a spirit of gentleness" is certainly not to be taken as referring to the Holy Spirit, but to Paul's own spirit. Coupled as it is with "in love," it means that Paul wants to come in a manner expressing gentleness; [i.e., "a spirit of gentleness]."

[(1 Cor 4:18-21) BKC On 1 Cor 4:18-21]:

"4:18-21. Paul anticipated that not all would be moved by his appeal. Some, probably the unnamed party leaders (v. 5) or guardians (v. 15), were arrogant, which was the cause of the Corinthians' division problem. They might not be swayed by exhortation. They required action. And that, Paul knew, he was capable of meting out in the power of the Spirit (Acts 13:9-11). When he had preached to the Corinthians, he had not depended on his own ability but on the power of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:4-5). He would rely on this same power for discipline (2 Cor. 10:4-6). This was the authority of God's rule (cf. Acts 5:3-11). Though Paul loved the Corinthians he knew that a loving father did not shy away from discipline (cf. Heb. 12:7). If it were needed, he would wield a whip (rabdos, a "rod"). From the Greco-Roman point of view this "rod" was a symbol of discipline executed by one in authority. Paul himself had been punished by rods more than once (Acts 16:22-23; 2 Cor. 11:25). But he preferred a visit characterized by love and... a gentle spirit."

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM 1 COR CHAPTER 4 ******

I) [1 Cor 5:1-13]:

(1 Cor 5:1 NKJV) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!

(1 Cor 5:2 NKJV) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

(1 Cor 5:3 NASB) For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.

(1 Cor 5:4 NASB) In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

(1 Cor 5:5 NASB) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 

(1 Cor 5:6 NASB) Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

(1 Cor 5:7 NASB) Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

(1 Cor 5:8 NASB) Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

(1 Cor 5:9 NKJV) I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

(1 Cor 5:10 NASB) I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 

(1 Cor 5:11 NKJV) But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person.

(1 Cor 5:12 NASB) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

(1 Cor 5:13 NASB) But those who are outside, God judges. 'Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.' "

A) [(1 Cor 5:1-2) Commentary On 1 Cor 5:1-2]:

(1 Cor 5:1 NKJV) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!

(1 Cor 5:2 NKJV) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you."

Paul indicated that he had received reports that there was sexual immorality going on amongst the believers at Corinth, such that - to such an outrageous extent it was not even named among the Gentiles: namely that a man was having sexual relations with his father's wife! Note that the Greek word rendered "sexual immorality" indicates here that a man had married his stepmother - an "unheard of" thing in that time even amongst the Gentiles / Greeks who were known for their illicit sexual proclivities.

1) [(1 Cor 5:1) Expositor's Bible Commentary On 1 Cor 5:1]:

'''1 "Fornication," used in KJV for porneia, does not communicate today. Porneia conveys the idea of extramarital sexual relations of any kind, so the NIV translation, "sexual immorality," is accurate. The word holos, translated "commonly" in KJV, is better rendered "actually." This may mean, "generally speaking it is reported," or "it is really reported"; the present tense of the verb akouetai helps convey the idea that the report is continually spreading. The use of gunaika, literally "woman," graphically shows that it was the man's stepmother he had married. The NT expression "to have a woman" means to marry her (cf. Matt 14:4; 22:28 [Greek]; 1Cor 7:2, 29). 

The sin of incest, Paul says, is not even practiced among the non-Christians. Cicero (pro Cluent 5, 6) states it was an incredible crime and practically unheard of. Such a marriage was strictly forbidden according to Leviticus 18:8 and Deuteronomy 22:30 and carried with it a curse (Deut 27:20). Rabbinic law in the main seems to have allowed such a marriage when a proselyte married his stepmother, since his becoming a proselyte broke all bonds of relationship. (See Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum N.T. aus Talmud und Midrasch [Munich: Beck, 1922-1961], 3:343-358.) It is possible that some in the Corinthian church who may have come from the synagogue there could have known of this allowance. Part of an inscription indicating the presence of such a synagogue has been found. (See J. Finegan, Light From the Ancient Past [Princeton, NJ., Princeton University Press, 1959], pp. 361, 362; see also page 177 above in this commentary.) Though as a Pharisee (cf. Philippians 3:5), Paul knew the system of Jewish law with its varying interpretations, he applies the OT law and the teaching on marriage quite strictly."

A cont.) [(1 Cor 5:1-2) Commentary On 1 Cor 5:1-2 cont.]:

(1 Cor 5:1 NKJV) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!

(1 Cor 5:2 NKJV) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you."

Furthermore, Paul turns to others in the congregation declaring that those of the Corinth congregation who were evidently so "puffed up" with their arrogant self-absorbed point of view about their church as so called "mature" Christians that they did not even mourn such immoral activity going on amongst their own congregation. For Paul indicated that they had not taken the steps to remove the one who has committed such incest from their fellowship. Their personal concerns about who was to be followed and who was in charge in the congregation, they passed over the dire situation whereby sexual immorality was going on in the congregation right under their noses.

2) [(1 Cor 5:1-2) Commentary By BKC on 1 Cor 5:1-2]:

(1 Cor 5:1 NKJV) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!

(1 Cor 5:2 NKJV) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you."

"5:1. The issue concerned a Corinthian Christian who was carrying on an incestuous affair with his stepmother, a relationship prohibited both in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:8; Deut. 22:22) and in Roman law (Cicero Cluentes 6. 15 and Gaius Institutis 1. 63).

5:2. The shameful situation did not seem to faze the Corinthians in the least. If anything, the affair may have even bloated their arrogant spirits. The godly response would have been grief for this brother (cf. 12:26; Gal. 6:1-2), leading to discipline which would exclude him from intimacy with the congregation until he would repent (cf. Matt. 18:15-17)."

3) [(1 Cor 5:2 Expositor's Bible Commentary on 1 Cor 5:2]:

(1 Cor 5:1 NKJV) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!

(1 Cor 5:2 NKJV) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you."

"Paul again alludes to the pride of the Corinthians. This time it was a pride that, rather than cause them to mourn over the shocking sin, allowed them to tolerate such a sinner in the congregation."

******

B) [(1 Cor 5:3-5) Commentary On 1 Cor 5:3-5]:

(1 Cor 5:3 NASB) "For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.

(1 Cor 5:4 NASB) In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

(1 Cor 5:5 NASB) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

[So 1 Cor 5:3 reads "For I, [Paul] on my part, though absent in body" in the sense though not being physically present, "but present in spirit" in the sense of being of the mindset and presence of mind to take action by taking upon himself the responsibility for the Corinthian congregation relative to the matter of the sexually immoral behavior and to address the situation of that immorality as stipulated in the next two verses. So Paul indicates that he has already passed judgment on this issue and is going to take some kind of action:

Hence Paul continues in 1 Cor 5:4-5, evidently acting for those in the congregation who themselves had not taken any action which he declared he would take in these verses which read as follows: (1 Cor 5:4 NASB) "In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, (1 Cor 5:5 NASB) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

So Paul declares in the name of our Lord Jesus, for when the believers would be assembled in Corinth; and as a result of his positive and spiritual mental attitude toward them of always being with them in spirit - Paul declares that he indeed will be assembled with them in spirit, albeit not physically present with them. And Paul further declares that with the power of our Lord Jesus to fulfill what he [Paul] had determined to do - implying that Paul is in accord with the Sovereignty of our Lord Jesus on this issue - Paul has decided to deliver the man to Satan - evidently by his being banned from fellowship with the believers in Corinth resulting in his being vulnerable to satanic attack, unprotected - this because he was continually committing the sin of incest with his father's wife! Note that this implies that believers who are in fellowship with God and accepted within the congregation are evidently protected from satanic attacks when they are in good standing in that fellowship with God and fellow believers. Thus they would not be vulnerable to attacks from satan as a result of being banned from the fellowship with the congregation in Corinth. An important letter on this subject is John's first epistle which provides the means by which a believer may have his fellowship with God restored and not be vulnerable to discipline from God even Satanic attack even if the sin(s) are egregious and ongoing up to that point of confession:

1) [Compare 1 Jn 1:9 ]:

"If we [believers to whom this letter is addressed, cf 1 Jn 2:2] confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The believer's response of confession of sins that they are made aware of by the Holy Spirit day by day, within their minds moment to moment will provide restoration of temporal fellowhip with God until the individual sins again. Paul indicated that the believer in Corinth was committing ongoing incest with his father's wife evidently without an attitude of repentance from committing that sin that would lead to that confession / restoration. And thereafter a believer is to take steps to curtail those things which he was doing - sinful things - which continue to break fellowship with God. Hence the believer in Corinth while he was committing incest was liable to be under God's discipline to the degree that his sins take him out of God's blessings and fellowship which was considerable. Continued sins might bring that individual who does not confess unto restoration of fellowship and repent thereafter from committing those sins, as the one in the Corinth congregation, to a point of severe discipline, even sin unto death as he continues to remain banished from the congregation and thereby continually exposed to the whims of Satan unprotected due to his persistent sin. And if he persists in his sins, i.e., if he does not confess and repent of those sins which caused his being removed from the congregation; the outcome will likely be early physical death - "the destruction of his flesh." But if he confesses / repents and is restored to fellowship of God and to fellowship in the congregation at Corinth - which is the implied intent of Paul, then Paul wrote, "his spirit," i.e.he himself, i.e., the value of his temporal life will be saved for eternal rewards in eternity - "in the day of the Lord Jesus," i.e., in the day of the yet future Judgment Seat of Christ which is a part of the Day of the Lord, the Day of Christ , (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10 ) to the extent and quality of his faithfulness that there will be gold, silver precious stones that he will be rewarded with commensurate with his faithfulness to God while in his temporal life should there be any moments of faithflness.

So the phrase in 1 Cor 5:5b which is underlined which reads: 1 Cor 5:5 NASB) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." indicates that the individual when he gets to be before Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ  will be judged for whatever faithful service(s) he performed for to the Lord while in his temporal life. So he will be rewarded commensurate with the value of his temporal life relative to faithfulness to God for eternal rewards. And if he was not faithful at all he will suffer great loss of those rewards that could have been due him had he been faithful. But he himself will be saved unto eternal life as one escaping from a burning building.

2) [Compare Pr 11:13]:

"He [he = "ruach"= spirit] who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he [he = "ruach"= spirit] who is trustworthy conceals a matter."

So it is a linguistic possibility and not an unusual one to refer to persons who are living or dead as souls or spirits.

3) [Compare 1 Pet 3:19-20]:

(v. 19) "through Whom[the Spirit] also He [Jesus Christ] having gone [to earth in the times of Noah] proclaimed [the gospel of salvation] to the spirits [i.e., to the condemned unbelievers who are NOW in spirit form] in [the] prison [of Hades as a result of their disbelief in the gospel]

(v. 20) who [the unbelieving people of Noah's day] disobeyed [i.e., disbelieved in the message of Noah- the proclaimed gospel] long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through [the floating on top of, not the immersion into] water,"

"to the spirits" ="tois pneumasin," neuter. The word "spirits" refers to those unbelievers who rejected the gospel that Christ preached in Noah's time through God the Holy Spirit through the witness of Noah.

What Peter is saying in 1 Pet 3:19 is, 'Christ died for the sins of all people to bring all people to God, (v.18). And in Noah's time the preincarnate Jesus Christ proclaimed the gospel through the Holy Spirit through the witness of Noah himself to those [the spirits = individuals] who are now in Hades, they having disbelieved, (v. 19).

4) [(1 Cor 5:4-5) Expositor's Bible Commentary On 1 Cor 5:4-5]:

(1 Cor 5:4 NASB) In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

(1 Cor 5:5 NASB) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

"4, 5 These two expressions amplify each other: church discipline is to be exercised carefully on the authority of Jesus' name and the verdict given is accompanied by the spiritual power of the Lord Jesus. By saying, "Hand this man over to Satan, so that his sinful nature [or body] may be destroyed," Paul means to include the man's excommunication (at least by implication; cf. v. 2) and his suffering physically in some way, even as far as death (cf. 1Tim 1:20). The word sarx (flesh, v. 5) can mean the "sinful nature" (NIV), but since "flesh" in this verse is in contrast to "spirit," the reference seems to be to the body. That Satan had power to afflict the body is evident from frequent NT references to the effects of demon possession (cf. Matt 9:32, 33; Luke 9:39-42) and to satanic activity in causing affliction or limitation (2 Cor 12:7; 1 Thes 2:18). This bodily punishment by Satan, Paul hoped, would have the effect of causing the man to repent so that his spirit (his person) might be saved in the day of the Lord ... [which evidently has in view the time when believers' lives will be judged relative to the preservation / salvation of the value of their lives unto eternal rewards or to suffer loss of them for leading sinful, unfaithful temporal lives at the Judgment Seat of Christ (cf 1 Cor 3:10-15  as might be the case with the one in view in Corinth]. For though Paul teaches church excommunication here and a deliverance to Satan for physical punishment with a view to repentance, he does not say that the man should divorce his stepmother. This would be in accord with the scriptural teaching that marriage is an indissoluble bond (Gen 2:24). He does imply that the man should repent so that his spirit would be saved. 

Some have held the interpretation that 2 Corinthians 2:6, 7 and 7:9-12 refer to this man and that he repented. If true, such an interpretation implies that the man was to be allowed to come back into fellowship in spite of his incestuous marriage."

C) [(1 Cor 5:6-8) Commentary On 1 Cor 5:6-8]:

(1 Cor 5:6 NASB) "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

(1 Cor 5:7 NASB) Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

(1 Cor 5:8 NASB) Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Whereupon, Paul wrote in (1 Cor 5:6 NASB) "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?" referring to the sinful actions in the congregation at Corinth which might influence the entire body in the congregation and others who were influenced by them; and which sinful activities were largely ignored while factions argued and boasted to one another about who was in charge - who were the better teachers and leaders. For was it not their responsibility to deal with sinful behavior that was so evident in that congregation? Paul's point is that to ignore this outrageous activity is like putting a little leaven (yeast) in a lump of dough which contaminates it / ruins it for the purpose of making unleavened bread for the Passover feast to commemorate the Lord's sacrifice for sins. The word rendered leaven here conveys the figurative idea of evil / sin when applied to the context at hand such as in Mt 16:6 when the Pharisees and Sadducees were manupulating the Law of Moses to their own and evil ends:

1) [Compare Mt 16:6]:

 (Mt 16:6 NASB) "And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

So what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 5:6 is that if the leaders of the church at Corinth did not address the outrageous sinfulness of some in the congregation it would effect the attitudes of the entire congregation tempting them to fall into sin as well.

So then Paul continued this point in the next two verses as follows:

(1 Cor 5:7 NASB) "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

[Paul says to clean out the old leaven referring to the sin in the congregation which has in view the fellow believers in Christ who are now part of His body and who comprise that congregation and have a mandate to lead faithful / holy lives and are therefore to clean out the old leaven, the sin in their lives and to see to it that sin does not contaminate their fellowship with others in their congregation or elsewhere. For it is implied that the believing community is as an unleavened batch of dough, and declared by God to be a new creature / new creation in Christ, . And Paul writes that it is Christ Who has been sacrificed as our Passover lamb - for our sins for which all have been forgiven us past / present / future as commemorated by the unleavened bread at the Passover commemoration every year. For the body of Christ is to conduct themselves as the unleavened bread at the Passover symbolizes - uncontaminated by sin. For just as Christ is without sin, so we believers are now in Christ / in His body, declared to have the Righteousness of Christ; and thus should likewise strive to be like Him in our daily lives. So the church should not allow such sin as reported by Paul in the Corinthian church to go undisciplined, for it would affect the attitude of the entire Christian community toward sin.

And Paul continued to write in that same vein in 1 Cor 5:8 NASB, "Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." So the Christian life is to be conducted not characterized by malice and wickedness, but by sincerity and truth - especially truths from God's Word. Therefore the egregious sinful behavior currently evident in the congregation must be dealt with.

2) [(1 Cor 5:6-8) Expositor's Bible Commentary]:

(1 Cor 5:6 NASB) "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

(1 Cor 5:7 NASB) Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

(1 Cor 5:8 NASB) Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

"6-8 Paul illustrates Christian holiness and discipline by the OT teaching that no leaven was allowed in the bread eaten at the Passover feast. "Leaven," or "yeast," in Scripture generally conveys the idea of evil or sin (cf. Matt 16:6). That the church should allow such sin as that in the Corinthian church to go undisciplined would affect the attitude of the entire Christian community toward sin—"a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." The church is to get rid of the old yeast—"the sin that so easily entangles" (Heb 12:1). So the command is to get rid of such sin individually and in the church, for the believing community is an unleavened batch of dough, a new creation in Christ, who has been sacrificed as our Passover lamb.
Christ, "our Passover lamb," died at the time of the Jewish Passover celebration. Actually he died on the next day following the sacrifice of the Passover lambs. This Passover day, which began the evening before when they [the passover lambs] were sacrificed...

So Paul concludes in v. 8, "Let us keep the Festival" - that is, let us live the Christian life in holy consecration to God (cf. Rom 12:2; 1 Pet 2:5). This means, he says, that we are to live not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness, but on the basis of the unleavened principles of sincerity and truth. Therefore, such sins as incestuous marriage and the like cannot be tolerated or left undisciplined in the church."

D) [(1 Cor 5:9-13) Commentary On 1 Cor 5:9-13]:

(1 Cor 5:9 NKJV) "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

(1 Cor 5:10 NASB) I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 

(1 Cor 5:11 NKJV) But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person.

(1 Cor 5:12 NASB) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

(1 Cor 5:13 NASB) But those who are outside, God judges. 'Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.' "

In 1 Cor 5:9, Paul continues with the subject of sexual immorality, which reads "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people." Evidently Paul had written to the Corinthian believers in an earlier letter - before this letter was written which is entitled 1 Corinthians by Bible translators. Paul stipulated that fellow believers in Corinth [and by implication all believers] were not to hang out with sexually immoral people. Note that this implies that there are other letters and communications which are not included in the Bible that we have for this age - even for other ages. But a careful examination of what God has provided us indicates that many communications / letters were evidently not chosen to be part of God's Word yet were evidently useful for His purposes in other ways. A careful examination of what we do have to study about God and our responsibilities to Him gives one confidence that the 66 books are sufficient for this age - no contradictions, perfect harmony Old and New Testaments, perfect fulfillment of many prophecies so far into this age with more to come . Keep in mind that the prior ages from the beginning of creation evidently only had at first word of mouth and Christ's preincarnate appearances and communications through certain people such as Adam & Eve, Noah, etc.; and mankind evidently had far greater capacities then and the availability to communicate God's revelation to fellow man; and thereafter God inspired men to write the "Old Testament" which was sufficient for Israel to follow and relate to the rest of the world - evidently for the rest of mankind through the ministry of Israel to the world, especially aided by God's appearances to mankind - those preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ such as to Abraham  and through Israel. But now we in the church age which has for it the direct revelation of Jesus Christ and we have a lot more for which we are held responsible in this age to relate to the rest of mankind. The "New Testament" books of the Greek bible are largely confirmation and details which corroborate what the Old Testament is speaking of and so much more with the revelation of Jesus Christ. And we have a wonderful set of instructions on how to conduct the Christian life in this age like no other.

So in 1 Cor 5:9, Paul indicates by
referring to other categories of sinners besides the sexually immoral, Paul shows that in having referred to the "pornoi" rendered fornicator oor  immoral person which he referred to in a previous letter, he meant only that believers within the congregation who continue to sin, should not be a present  part of the church community while they continue in sin. Exclusion / ostracism / separation from fellow brethren was needed in the hope of their repentence from their sinful lifestyle to one which is more faithful - led by the Holy Spirit within them via a careful study of God's Word. So the purpose of their separation was so that they might repent and thereby be permitted to return to fellowship within the congregation. Paul had not meant that contact or even acquaintance with all sinners was to cease throughout the area or any human society. For then Christians could not live at all in human society. So in Paul's letter to the Corinthians which we are examining here, Paul again states that they were not to keep company with sexually immoral people within the congregation not from everyone in their society. This implied that they had not been heeding his instructions. His instructions were being misunderstood. For the believers at Corinth evidently kept themselves separate from outsiders of the church, i.e., unbelievers: all those outside of the congregation - all those in their local society and everywhere else! Ironically, those in the Corinthian church ignored the sinful actions of those within the Church! Notice the extent of Paul's authority wherein he addresses such personal things in the body of Christ / local congregations as this. Note that the society surrounding the church at Corinth was often morally / sexually promiscuous, and sinful in many other ways. So becoming a believer was an adjustment in Corinth relative to the sinful society in which they lived. Yet they were not to avoid contact with their society and thus not participate in sharing the gospel with others outside of their congregation.

Then in 1 Cor 5:10 NASB, which reads,
"I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world." [in the sense of not being in the world but somewhere where there is no sin = a heavenly destiny] This indicates that one should not conclude that Paul was writing that a believer in the congregation must not have contact with any immoral people of this world, which would be not having contact with anyone. So they should not conclude from what Paul wrote earlier and in this letter that they must become like hermits outside of their fellowhip with the congregation. For that would not be possible in their world in the first century and even as it exists today, because everyone is to a degree immoral / sinful especially unbelievers who predominate in the world. That would beg the question of how one could share the gospel and minister to others in the world if they isolated themselves from it? And how would they have contact with family members, business & social acquaintances which often are a necessary thing to do in order function properly within their society. For one could hardly consider only having contact with sinless believers because there are none, (cf. 1 Jn 1:8-10). For all believers have an active sin nature in this temporal life. Paul now proceeds to correct their misunderstanding. By referring to other categories of sinners besides the sexually immoral, he shows that in having referred to the "pornoi" in his previous letter, he meant only that those that committed "pornoi" should not be a part of the church community. If Paul had meant that contact or even acquaintance with all sinners was to cease, then Christians could not live at all in human society.

Then in 1 Cor 5:11, in order to clarify what he wrote in 1 Cor 5:10, Paul wrote, "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person," in the congregation. So Paul makes it clear by writing "with anyone named a brother," obviously those who are believers, i.e., who are a part of the body of Christ especially in the local congregation who are "sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner," it being implied that this list is not all inclusive. And fellow believers must distance themselves from believers like this not to punish them, but in order to encourage them to repent and then be enabled to rejoin fellowship with them. For such as these need to be restored to fellowship with fellow believers in the church / congregation should they indeed repent. Although Paul stipulates that that distancing includes eating meals with them, other kinds of social contact might also have been excluded as well. But it was unlikely, however, that the sanctioned individual was barred from all congregational meetings. For if a wayward believer is still permitted attend church in some functions albeit at a distance, the church's ministry might lead to his conviction and repentance better than if he were banished from all communication. Notice that this indeed is a personal judgment call, for all believers are sinful. All sin all the time in their mortal bodies which still has the inherent sin nature within them, 1 Jn 1:8 .

On the other hand, believers are not to try to totally distance themselves from unbelievers out in the world as they go about their daily lives in their society. For they really cannot avoid conversations with them in order to get the essentials of living such as food, shelter, clothing, exercise, going to school, work, church, etc. and especially not sharing the gospel with them. For this last thing is a mandate for all believers to do . Allowing yourself to be equally yoked with them is one thing; having essential / meaningful conversations especially about God, Jesus Christ, the gospel of eternal life is another.

In 1 Cor 5:12 which reads,
"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?" Paul asks two questions. The first one has to do with unbelievers - those who are outside of the congregation: "For what have I to do with judging outsiders?" The word rendered "outsiders" refers to unbelievers - those not part of the congregation of believers in Corinth. So Paul is affirming that believers are not to judge unbelievers relative to their sinfulness. So believers are not to stay isolaed from them because they judge them to be too sinful to associate with. On the other hand they are not to have a close, personal fellowship with them either . We are to minister to them about Christ and Him crucified without investigating / addressing details of their flaws before God, only that they need to have God's forgiveness and salvation unto eternal life because all men are sinners through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life.

On the other hand Paul poses the second question of 1 Cor 5:12b, namely, "
Do you not judge those who are within the church?" where he points to the believers' obligation to gauge whether or not one is to maintain fellowship with one believer or another depending upon their actions. Here Paul teaches that it is commanded that believers in the church are to exercise spiritual discipline over members who are overtly sinful. On the other hand, it is not for members of the church to judge the sinfulness of those who are in the unsaved society around them.

Finally, in 1 Cor 5:13, which reads, "
But those who are outside, God judges. 'Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.' " we have the conclusion to Paul's point about believers' obligation to gauge / to judge whether or not one within their fellowship / congregation of believers letting God judge those who are outside of the fellowship of a congregation / local church relative to sin; but inside that fellowship believers are to decide or not to maintain fellowship with one believer or another depending upon their actions to the extent of joining with others to remove the wicked believer from amongst themselves for the purpose of getting them to decide to repent of their evil and rejoin the fellowship of believers in the congregation. Throughout this chapter Paul has in view a particular individual who has 'married' his stepmother - his father's wife!

1) [1 Cor 3:12-13) Compare Expositor's On 1 Cor 5:12-13]:


(1 Cor 5:12 NASB) "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
(1 Cor 5:13 NASB) But those who are outside, God judges. 'Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.'

(1 Cor 5:13 NASB) But those who are outside, God judges. 'Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.' "

"Paul now concludes (v. 13) on the basis of the preceding argument that the wicked man who had married his stepmother must be put out of the church. This he commands by quoting somewhat loosely from Deuteronomy 22:24 (a context of adultery) and from Deuteronomy 24:7 (a context of stealing).

The strengthened form of the negative (ouchi, "not") used with the indicative verb in a question expects a positive response: "Are you not to judge those inside [the church]?" "Yes" is the expected reply.

There is a variation in the MSS as to whether κρινεῖ (krinei, "judge") is present or future (it is only a matter of the accent), and since the present tense of the verb can be interpreted as a futuristic present, there is no difference in meaning. The sense is "God will judge" as in NIV. The quotation from Deut 22:24 and 24:7 is exactly like the wording of LXX in those two passages, except that Paul has changed the LXX verb form ἐξαρεῖς (exareis) to the pl. ἐξάρατε (exarate) to fit his application to the Corinthians."

Those in the world God will judge (cf. Acts 17:31). But those within the Christian community who continue in sin with an unrepentant spirit, the church should discipline by expulsion.

Continue to 1 Cor chapter 6