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When Immorality Comes To Church      1 Cor. 5:1-2, 9-13; 6::15-20       March 14, 2010



 1.   When Immorality Comes To Church; Does It Shock Us? 5:1-2

1 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!

2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.


 Ryrie        5:1 immorality. I.e., incest, forbidden by both OT and Roman law (Lev 18:8; Deut 22:22). has. Suggesting some sort of permanent relationship. his father's wife. Not the offender's mother, but a stepmother, possibly divorced from his father. That nothing is said about disciplining the woman seems to indicate that she was not a Christian.

           5:2 removed refers to church discipline and excommunication. (Ryrie Study Bible.)


Dake Verse     1 [father's wife] It seems from 2 Cor 7:12 that the father was alive, for it

            refers to the one "that suffered wrong" as well as the one who had "done the wrong."

           Verse 2 puffed up] See note, 1 Cor 4:6. You are puffed up over your gifts and powers

           and so full of strife and contention related to your parties and favorite teachers, you have

           neglected the discipline of the church. Had you considered the greatness of the crime you

           would have mourned and acted to put away the fornicator.

           b [taken away] Greek: airo (NT:142), to put away or excommunicate the fornicator from

           the church (1 Cor 5:2,13).   (Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)



Wiersbe    Discipline in the church is not like a policeman arresting a culprit; rather, it is like a father chastening his son. The first motive is to help the sinner, to show Christian love in seeking to bring him to repentance. For us to allow church members to live in open sin hurts them as well as Christ and the church. What a terrible thing for a Christian to live in sin with an unsaved person while the church does nothing about it!

           (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament.)


Life        The church must discipline flagrant sin among its members. Such sins left unchecked can polarize and paralyze a church. The correction, however, should never be vengeful. Instead, it should be given to help bring about a cure. The Corinthian believers had refused to deal with a specific sin in the church: Paul was saying that it had a responsibility to maintain the standards of morality found in God's commandments. God tells us not to judge others. But he also tells us not to tolerate flagrant sin because allowing such sin to go undisciplined will have a dangerous effect on other believers (5:6).   (Life Application Study Bible)


2.   When Immorality Comes To Church; How Should We Respond? 5:9-13

9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 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.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."* NKJV

Ryrie 5:9 to associate. I.e., have familiar fellowship. It is impossible not to have some contact with the evil people of the world in the daily pursuits of life (v. 10). But, Paul says, it is improper to have fellowship with a Christian who is under discipline (v. 11). 5:11 To have familiar fellowship with someone under discipline might indicate approval of what he did. So do not even eat with such—an obvious act of fellowship.

5:12-13 The church should leave the judgment of unbelievers to God and concentrate on setting its own house in order.        (Ryrie Study Bible)


Wiersbe The church cannot change the world, if the church is like the world. Read these verses carefully and note that Paul makes a distinction between sin in the lives of Christians and sin in the life of unbelievers. Sin in the lives of believers is worse! One reason the church today has so little influence in the world is because the world has too much sin in the church.

Faithful Christians are not even to eat with church members who have ruined their testimony by open sin and have never made things right with the church and the Lord.(Wiersbe's Outlines)

Willmington 9-13 The habitually sinning saint. Any Christian who willfully persists in sin should be avoided until he or she repents. While the church is not called to police society, it is responsible to judge and deal strongly with its own members. (Willmington's Bible Handbook)


Life       5:9 Paul is referring to an earlier letter to the Corinthian church, often called the lost letter because it has not been preserved. 5:10, 11 Paul makes it clear that we should not disassociate ourselves from unbelievers—otherwise we could not carry out Christ's command to tell them about salvation (Matt 28:18-20). But we are to distance ourselves from the person who claims to be a Christian, yet indulges in sins explicitly forbidden in Scripture by rationalizing his or her actions.

5:12 These verses are instructions for dealing with open sin in the church by a person who claims to be a Christian and yet who sins without remorse. The church is to confront and discipline such a person in love. (Life Application Study Bible)


3.   When Immorality Comes To Church; We Need To Decide What Is Wrong. 6:15-20

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh."* 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body* and in your spirit, which are God's. NKJV


Dake      Verse 18 but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body] All sins destroy, but he who commits fornication sins against his entire constitution, even his body, soul and spirit. Verse 20 As the slave is the sole property of his master, so we, having been bought by the precious blood of Christ, are not our own (1 Cor 6:19-20; 7:23; 1 Peter 1:18-23). (Dake Annotated Reference Bible)

(Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament.      C. "Can I not use my body as I please?" (vv. 15-20)

Of course not! To begin with, it is no longer your body; it belongs to Christ. He purchased you with His own blood. Back in Paul's day, a slave could set himself free by saving his money and depositing it with the priest at the local heathen temple. When he had enough money to purchase his freedom, he would take his master to the temple and the priest would give the master the money and declare that the slave now belonged to that particular god. Christ paid the price to set us free from sin, and we must use our bodies to please Him.

(Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament.)

(Ryrie Study Bible) Ryrie 6:16 Adultery creates a union but not a marriage.

6:18 Flee immorality. I.e., make it your habit to flee immorality. Joseph's reaction to the advances of Potiphar's wife (Gen 39:12) literally illustrates this principle.

6:19 your body is a temple. A sharp contrast to the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth where the priestesses were prostitutes.

6:20 glorify. Show God's character in our bodies.

 (Ryrie Study Bible)

(Life Application Study Bible)

6:15-17 This teaching about sexual immorality and prostitutes was especially important for the Corinthian church because the temple of the love goddess Aphrodite was in Corinth. This temple employed more than a thousand prostitutes as priestesses, and sex was part of the worship ritual. Paul clearly stated that Christians are to have no part in sexual immorality, even if it is acceptable and popular in our culture.

6:18 Christians are free to be all they can be for God, but they are not free from God. God created sex to be a beautiful and essential ingredient of marriage, but sexual sinsex outside the marriage relationship—always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we prefer following our own desires instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit. It hurts others because it violates the commitment so necessary to a relationship. It often brings disease to our bodies. And it deeply affects our personality, which responds in anguish when we harm ourselves physically and spiritually.

6:19, 20 What did Paul mean when he said that our body belongs to God? Many people say they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. Although they think that this is freedom, they are really enslaved to their own desires. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Therefore, we no longer own our bodies. That God bought us "with a high price" refers to slaves purchased at an auction. Christ's death freed us from sin but also obligates us to his service. If you live in a building owned by someone else, you try not to violate the building's rules. Because your body belongs to God, you must not violate his standards for living.

(Life Application Study Bible)