1 Corinthians 5:13


Monday, 16 June 2014

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13

There is a difference between “judgments” and “judging.” We as Christians are to continuously make right “judgments.” We are to abstain from evil, recognize evil, identify that which is evil, and work against evil. However, as a body we are not given authority over those outside the church. Though we may make judgments on their conduct, we are not the judges over their conduct. Societies come and go and moral perversion is an inevitable part of them, usually increasing as the society ages.

Because the church is not the judge of societal wickedness, Paul begins with the word “But.” This is given in contrast to what he just said in 1 Corinthians 5:12 –

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

Those outside are excluded from church judgment, but they are not free from judgment! Instead, “those who are outside God judges.” There is no pass for wickedness and perversion. Instead, it will be handled in a separate manner by the ultimate Judge of all men. On the other hand, we are given authority over matters of disobedience within the church. It is the responsibility of the church to make judgments and then to pass judgment on those who violate the precepts laid out in Scripture.

To confirm this, Paul says “therefore.” Because the church is given this authority, it must use it properly and exercise it without fail. For those in Corinth, the decision is rendered by Paul – “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

The most severe judgment of the church is directed. The offender is to be put out of the fellowship and regarded as a pagan to those in the church. He has no rights within the body at all. He has been delivered over “to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” as Paul noted in verse 5.

Unfortunately, a consequence of living in a society where there are many churches and denominations in any given town is that the offender in the world today can simply cross the street and sit in a different church. However, the sentence if properly imposed on him should hopefully be of such weight that he would repent and turn from his wickedness.

Life application: The church has a moral responsibility to uphold God’s word, to keep the body pure, and to expel those who flagrantly disobey what God expects. Let us endeavor to stand boldly on the principles of Scripture and be strong in our moral convictions lest we be found wanting in our adherence to what the Lord expects.

Lord God, chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians instructs the church to stand firm on the moral principles laid out in Scripture. Those who flagrantly abuse Your guidance are to be removed from the fellowship. In today’s world, this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the immense amount of moral perversion within society and even within the church. This is especially true when our national leaders have grown so corrupt. Help us to look not to their example, but to Yours. Help us to stand fast on what is morally right and to act in accordance with Your will. Amen.



1 Corinthians 5:12


Sunday, 15 June 2014

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 1 Corinthians 5:12

Pay close heed to Paul’s words in this verse and remember them as you conduct your daily affairs. In all analyses of the Bible, context is of paramount importance and it is the one aspect which is most disregarded by those who are either not Christians or who are biblically uninformed Christians who use the Bible as a tool to set their own personal agenda concerning any given issue. Today’s verse is an exemplary response to the misuse of Matthew 7:1,2 which says –

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

What is the context of Jesus’ words? Who was He speaking to? Under what dispensation was He speaking? And just as notable, what does He then ask His audience to do just four verses later? He asks them to make right moral judgments. Here are His words –

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” Matthew 7:6

Almost every time Matthew 7:1, 2 is cited, it is ripped out of its context in an attempt to silence vocal Christians who make moral judgments against perversion within society, government, or even in the church. None of these apply to what Jesus intended and understanding this will allow the Christian to feel secure in their proper, healthy, and God-honoring moral judgments.

In confirmation of this approach, we have Paul’s words which begin with, “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?” His words are showing that he is not the arbiter of the conduct of those outside the church, nor does he sit in judgment of them. This does not mean that what he says about their conduct is not valid, but that he is not the one who will decide their fate for their conduct. If Paul speaks of a non-believer as a licentious or perverted person, he is within his rights as a Christian. But he will not be the one to either forgive them or to cast them into hell. That right belongs to the Lord.

On the other hand, there are these types of people within the church. They act out perversion, they are divisive, vulgar, contentious, slanderous, etc (such as he has already mentioned). In those cases, he not only has a right to make a moral judgment about them (as Jesus indicated in Matthew 7:6), but he also has a right to make a punitive judgment as well. And this right extends to the church as a whole. This is made clear by the words, “Do you not judge those who are inside?”

It is a rhetorical question which demands a positive answer. If not they, then who? Unfortunately, in our society, Christians are trapped into believing that they are somehow to be silent over the ever-increasing moral wickedness displayed by those in society – from school teachers and college professors, to actors and musicians, and all the way up to congressmen, senators and, even as becomes ever more prevalent, the President of the United States.

To be a supporter of moral perversion has reached the height of fashion for the liberal left in our nation and it has grown to epidemic proportions. But Christians are continuously told to be silent based on Jesus’ words which have been torn out of context and held up as a banner for the need for “tolerance” against things that are wholly intolerable.

Life application: Right moral judgments do not stop as one exits the doors of the church. Instead, they are to be upheld at all times and against all forms of perversion. However, the punitive judgment for those perversions is not at the discretion of the church. God will judge the immoral and he will condemn them for their wickedness. He is not slack in this either, but is patient, allowing many to humble themselves and turn from their wickedness. Someday though, He will turn and fight against it when the sins have reached their fullness.

Heavenly Father, You have instilled in man a moral compass to know what is right and what is wrong. However, we suppress the truth in our unrighteousness and act out our will against You. Help Christians to realize that we are not to condone this, but to speak out against it, stand up for righteousness, and make right moral judgments which are in line with Your will and Your intent for the people You have created. Help us to act with intestinal fortitude against immorality and perversion as You have laid out in Your word. Amen.

1 Corinthians 5:11


Saturday, 14 June 2014

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 Corinthians 5:11

This verse explicitly lays out what we need to know concerning our relationships with immoral people within the church. Though Paul had no problem with believers being with people who are morally deficient who are not believers, he explicitly states here what our relationship towards immoral believers should be. He says, “But now I have written to you…” This is his doctrine and this is his direction. What is leaving the tip of his pen is to be considered as from the Lord because he is the apostle to the Gentiles and is speaking on the Lord’s behalf.

And his words are that we are “not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who….” In other words, a person who claims to be a saved believer in Jesus Christ. If they are named among the roles of believers, we are to consider them in a separate category than non-believers. They are being held to a specific standard which he will now continue with as he notes “who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner.”

From his list in the previous verse, he adds in two new categories which should be defined –

1) Reviler – This is a person who is vulgar in his words. His speech is coarse, angry, defiant, and abusive. Such a person has no problem vilifying others in their character, hurting people’s feelings through speech, and demeaning those around them. Such an attitude is opposite to Christ who “when He was reviled, did not revile in return” (1 Peter 2:23).

2) Drunkard – A drunkard is a person addicted to alcohol; not specifically any person who drinks alcohol. A drunkard has no restraint over his drinking; it has conquered him and his allegiance is to it and not to Christ. Concerning the moderate drinking of alcohol, there is nothing wrong with doing so. The entire body of Scripture bears this out. However, like any other thing there are limits which must be exercised. These will be discussed in detail in the coming chapters of 1 Corinthians.

Paul says that of such a person as is named in his list, they are not to keep company with them, nor “even to eat with such a person.” By fellowshipping with someone in this category who claims to be a brother, you then implicitly condone their behavior. They will feel justified, and those around them who witness the fellowshipping will be left with the impression that what they are doing is acceptable to you and within the body of believers.

It should be noted though that Paul terms them “believers.” He never questions their salvation, but assumes that they are saved. Never in his writings does he say a person can “lose” their salvation. Instead, they may suffer great harms in this life and great loss at the judgment. But their status as believers is left between them and the Lord Jesus.

The purpose of Paul’s words is not condemnation, but purity and holiness within the body and an attempt to bring about remorse and a change in the offenders. This is what is expected and this is what we should always strive for.

Life application: Who are we exalting? At what cost are we willing to bring discredit upon the name of the Lord? We must always consider what our words, actions, and associations will do and how they will appear in the eyes of others. Above all, we should strive to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ.

Lord God, how very far short of “holiness” I feel from day to day. Without thinking, I say things or do things which I am sure are displeasing to You and which diminish You in the eyes of others. Help me to think, in advance, of how my actions will be perceived and judged. Give me wisdom to stay away from corrupt actions and to fix my heart and attitude on purity and that which is honorable. This I pray for Your glory, O God. Amen.


1 Corinthians 5:10


Friday, 13 June 2014

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. 1 Corinthians 5:10

In the previous verse, it was noted that it wasn’t a stand alone verse. Paul had said, ” I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.” If that were all he had said, one might be under the misguided impression that they had to hide themselves in a cave or go to a remote island with no people on it or some other place like that. Where else could one go to keep away from such people? And this is the false impression that is obtained when only that verse is cited.

However, Paul continues with his thoughts here and he will further refine them in the coming verses. His intent was not for believers to refrain from being around sexually immoral people, or people with any other such vile habits. How could the gospel spread if such were the case? Even Jesus ate with “tax collectors and sinners.” Christianity isn’t supposed to be conducted in walled fortresses. Instead it is to be proclaimed to those in the fallen world, such as –

To the sexually immoral – people who practice sexual acts outside of the bonds of marriage. This includes any of a host of perverse acts as well. It includes the vast majority of people in any given society. It is true that there are people who are faithful as spouses in any given culture, but if there are no limits imposed by God on how to conduct one’s affairs, sexual immorality quickly becomes a predominate trait in most societies.

To the covetous – Coveting is desiring something that someone else possesses. It is the greed of the heart which is not content with what one rightfully owns. It also doesn’t consider taking the time to earn what is desired. Instead it is a lust of the eyes for that which one has not been worked for or which has been rightly received, such as a gift or inheritance. It is an avaricious attitude which will eventually be realized in hatred, theft, murder, etc. if not reigned in.

To extortioners – Such are those who take advantage of others for illicit gain. They may charge high rates of repayment on loans, forced payment for “protection” which if not paid will end in any sort of punishment, etc. In this type, there is little consideration for others, but rather a rapacious desire to profit off anyone for any reason.

To idolaters – An idolater is one who puts anything or anyone before a right relationship with God. It can be a mere devotion or service to idols, such as is authorized even by some “Christian” denominations. It can be realized in prayers to or through any other person – such as praying to Mary or the saints. People can make almost anything into an idol – sex, money, gems, artwork, cars, sport teams or sports figures, etc. Idolatry includes the unhealthy devotion to anything or anyone which causes our hearts and affections to be directed away from God.

Paul tells those at Corinth that although they are not to keep company with such people, he didn’t mean that it included the people of the world. This is because if so, it would mean that they “would need to go out of the world.” This is obviously impossible. And so he will continue to explain what he meant in the verses ahead.

Life application: How is the gospel going to be shared by you if you isolate yourself in a room away from the wicked world? Someone took the time to share it with you. Now it’s your turn. God has you exactly where He desires you. So step out and share what you know. It could change eternity for someone else.

O God, I know that the world is a wicked place
And that I would be so safe behind a locked door
But how will the lost ever come to see Your face
In You I am so rich, but others are so poor

Give me the heart to step out and share this word
To talk to those who are bound by the devil’s hand
Give me boldness to tell about Jesus my Lord
So that they too can be saved to an eternity so grand 

Yes Lord God, if Jesus’ words are true that He is the only way to be reconciled to the Father, then I know that what I share about Him is of eternal significance to them. Give me boldness of speech, right thinking in how I convey the message, and a heartfelt attitude to follow up as You direct. Let me not be slack in my sharing of this wonderful message of salvation. Amen.



1 Corinthians 5:9


Thursday, 12 June 2014

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 1 Corinthians 5:9

This verse is not a stand-alone verse. If one were to cite it as a stand alone, a false impression of what Paul intends will inevitably be the result. Unfortunately, it is often used in this way and thus it becomes a verse which is used as a tool to disgrace believers who have done nothing wrong. Context is always of paramount consideration when citing Scripture.

The words, “I wrote to you in my epistle” indicate that either he had written another letter to those in Corinth which is not included in the Bible, or that he is referring to what he just said in his previous thought in 5:4 and 5:5. Either way, in this he admonished them to send the sexually immoral offender out of the congregation.

What is important here concerning this not being a “stand alone” verse, is that Paul is reckoning the person who is to be expelled as a believer. Because he is a believer, keeping company with him would leave the perception that his actions were acceptable. These perceptions would be held by the offender and by those who saw the offender and who were unschooled in the Lord’s commands concerning sexual immorality.

As we will see, Paul will go on to make a distinction between socializing with believers and unbelievers and keeping “company with sexually immoral people.”

Life application: Context is king in interpreting the Bible. Anyone can form any doctrine by tearing verses out of their intended context. However, it takes study, care, and continued diligence to properly interpret and rightly divide the word of God based on context. Be approved! Considered context at all times.

Lord, Your word is a treasure and a most precious gem, but it takes care and study or it can be easily twisted to say anything anyone wishes. I would pray for wise discernment in order to ensure I am properly handling it, making certain that context is maintained, and for boldness to stand up for what is right and in accord with Your intent. Your Spirit has given it and so I know that I am accountable to it. Be with me as I read, study, teach, and preach this most precious gift. Amen.