1 Corinthians 5
Verses 1-5, "It is actually reported that there is sexual
immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans:
A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather
have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man
who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you
in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this,
just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our
Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus
is present, hand over this man to Satan, so that the sinful nature [Or
margin: "that his body" or "that his flesh"] may be destroyed and his
spirit saved on the day of the Lord."
The book of Corinthians is about communion, which is another word for
fellowship. Practical issues of communion or fellowship with God and
with each other--what to have communion with and what not to have communion
with. We should not have intimate communion with the world corporately
or individually. [the great false church depicted in Revelation has intimate
communion with the world.] A healthy body rids itself of poison and likewise
the body of Christ needs to rid itself of poison. If a Church or individual
doesn't deal with spiritual poison, it gets sick spiritually. In verses
1-2, there is a serious issue of sin, spiritual poison, in this Church
at Corinth. It will destroy the body and you guys go along with it like
nothing is wrong, Paul says. Even the Gentiles of this sailortown don't
act like this. A morality issue is being brought up here. Just what was
God's standard for morality in the Old Testament? Let's have a look.
Leviticus 18:1-24. "'I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they
do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in
the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.
You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord
your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live
by them. I am the Lord.
No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I
am the Lord.
Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother.
She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor
your father. [this obviously refers to a step-mother, which is what applies
to what was going on with that man in I Corinthians 5.]
Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter
or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.
Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's
daughter; that would dishonor you.
Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife,
born to your father; she is your sister. [Half-sister.]
Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's
Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is
your mother's close relative.
Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to have
sexual relations; she is your aunt.
Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's
wife; do not have relations with her.
Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor
Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not
have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's
daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.
Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations
with her while your wife is living.
Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during her uncleanness
of her monthly period.
Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself
Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech [or to be
passed through the fire], for you must not profane the name of your God.
I am the Lord.
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. [i.e.
Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with
it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations
with it; that is a perversion.
Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the
nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled...'"
In Leviticus 20 God attached the death penalty to many of these laws
which were set in place to protect the nation of Israel from moral decay.
These laws made up what we would recognize today as the Constitution
of the theocratic nation of Israel. Leviticus 20:10-21 is a direct cross-reference
to what is stated in Leviticus 18, but with the penalties attached. These
penalties were set in place to safeguard the nation of Israel from internal
moral decay, and to be carried out by the judicial authorities set in
Do you think the new covenant does away with this standard just because
the old covenant is now obsolete [Hebrews 8:8-13]? Or did Jesus make
strict adherence to the morality of Leviticus even more binding on Christians
today? Matthew 5:27-30. "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit
adultery [Exodus 20:13]. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman
lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your
right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better
for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be
thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off
and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to go into hell." Obviously the old covenant
laws about sexual morality and purity have not only been transferred
to the new covenant by Jesus Christ, but strengthened. Paul states that
the penalty has also been transferred to the new covenant. But the penalty
is not to be exacted by man but by God himself in the judgment. It is
still a death penalty, but this time, eternal death in the lake of fire
[cf. Revelation 20:14-15]. I Corinthians 6:9-10. "Do you not know that
the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither
the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes
nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor
slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Paul has just
about repeated the majority of the ten commandments here, which Jesus
brought to their spiritual intent in Matthew 5. [The Holy Days and Sabbath
are missing in all the New Testament references to the Ten Commandments
because they have been transformed and the true intent and meaning which
the Holy Days foreshadowed is lived in us through the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit.] [Refer to the link titled "Jesus, Our Passover Lamb", secondary
title, "Jesus, Servant of God", section on Mark 2:23-3:7, at very end,
click on link titled
"Holy Day Shadows"]
Verses 3-5 shows how we are to address spiritual poison within the corporate
body, the congregation. Paul shows us in this instance that they were
to turn this one who was sleeping with his father's wife over to Satan.
This meant expel him from the congregation, from your fellowship. "The
flesh destroyed" means his fleshly desires. Jesus gives us a clue to
what Paul was talking about here in his story about the prodigal son.
Luke 15:11-24. "Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The
younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.'
So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger
son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there
squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything,
there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in
need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country,
who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach
with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men
have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! [The reality of
life comes home to roost.] I will set out and go back to my father and
say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am
no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired
men.' So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled
with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him
and kissed him.
The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against
you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. [Some early manuscripts
add, 'But make me like one of your hired men.']
But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and
put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring
the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For
this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'
So they began to celebrate."
So turning one over to Satan was Pauls way of saying 'Put him out in
the world, at the mercy of Satan's evil world. When he comes to his senses,
just like the prodigal son, he'll be back. And then you will have gained
your brother back, and God will have gained a son back. As we will see
in II Corinthians this is just what happened! The sinner repented and
came back. Satan's world, without support from God and the brethren is
cruel. He could see the difference. He became aware of 'where it was
Spiritual poison affects the body like a tiny amount of leaven leavens
a whole lump of dough. Leaven overtakes the entire mass of dough in a
very short period of time, and if left alone and not baked in an oven,
the dough will soon begin to rot and smell. The leaven will destroy the
dough. Sin is the same working in a congregation or a nation. God's moral
purity laws were designed to protect his nation and any nation who would
apply them. Jesus transferred the same moral purity laws over into the
new covenant law of Christ, and brought it to the thought level in Matthew
5:27-30. A member living in a state of sin will leaven the whole
congregation of a church in a very short period of time. Time can work
for or against a pastor and a church. When we are looking to see how
an individual will work out in a particular leadership role, time is
on our side. Just wait and see how the person works out. But with one
who brings sin into the body, time is not on your side. Get rid of the
one who has a lifestyle of sin, and do it fast, before he leavens the
Spiritually Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us and we
are now spiritually de-leavened from sin. It does not have the same power
over us as it has over the world. We now possess the power within us
to overcome it. We are now to live de-leavened lives. The very meaning
of the Days of Unleavened Bread are being fulfilled within each and every
Christian who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him or her, whether the
actual Days of Unleavened Bread are observed or not. This is how this
set of Holy Days have been transformed by the Holy Spirit within us.
I Corinthians 5:6-8. "Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a
little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast
that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ,
our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread
without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth." [Paul may actually
have been exhorting them to keep the Festival of Passover and Days of Unleavened
Bread, but now as a new covenant observance with spiritual de-leavening.
And this spiritual de-leavening was to be a 365 day a year process now, not
just restricted to the Days of Unleavened Bread.]
Verses 9-11 give clarification on who to associate with and who not to.
Don't disassociate yourself from the sinners in this evil world--you're
their only source of true light and salt, as Jesus brought out in Matthew
5. But disassociate yourself from a brother in Christ who is practicing
gross sin without repentance. There needs to be an interaction between
non-believers and believers. But later on Paul brings out that we should
be extremely careful with this type of association with the world so
we don't get roped back into their evil lifestyles. Paul is saying, "Maintain
a moral code within the Church" (verses 12-13).
Verses 9-13. "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually
immoral people--not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral,
or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to
leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with
anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an
idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you
not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked
man from among you [Deut. 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7].""
1 Corinthians 6
LAWSUITS AMONG BELIEVERS: Lawsuits in the world's courts against other
believers were taking place in the Corinthian Church. Paul is saying 'Look
at the position you'll have later on in the kingdom of God. Look at the lousy
witness you're giving to the world about who you are when you take brothers
to court. You are destined to judge fallen angels and you're relying on the
world's court systems!?! We have supernatural wisdom from God to help us
decide matters, and you're relying on the world's imperfect judicial system.
James 1:5. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously
to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (Read also 1
Corinthians 2:9-12.) Paul says, 'Why not be wronged, so you can at least
be a witness to the world of how a Christian responds to wrongs.'
1 Corinthians 6:1-8. "If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he
take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do
you not know that the saints will judge the world? [cf. Rev. 2-3] And if
you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this
life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges
even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it
possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between
believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this
in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means
you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why
not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you
do this to your brothers."
The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God--ones who live an
unrighteous lifestyle. But God has washed you and sanctified you. Verses
9-11, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of
God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
the kingdom of God. [As I pointed out here, almost all the ten commandments
are covered in verses 9-10, with the exception of the fourth which covers
the Sabbath and Holy Days. In some cases, the new covenant law of Christ
is stricter than the letter. But through the power of the Holy Spirit
within us, all things are possible.] But you were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and
by the Spirit of our God."
Paul again drives the point home which he addressed in chapter 5. A person's
salvation is at stake who accepts a sexually immoral lifestyle. Your
body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Honor God with your body. Your
body is not your own, Jesus bought you with his blood. There is no fellowship
between Light and Darkness. Individually we are the temple for the Holy
Spirit (as well as corporately)--the inner sanctuary of the temple--the
Holy of Holies. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and ended up in Sodom. 1
Corinthians 6:12-20. "'Everything is permissible for me--but not everything
is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me--but I will not be mastered
by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food--but God will
destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for
the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord
from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies
are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ
and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who
unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said,
'The two will become one flesh [Genesis 2:24].' But he who unites himself
with the Lord is one with him in spirit [John 14].
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside
his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you
not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought
at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
Joseph and Potiphar's wife is a type of the Church and this sexually
immoral world. Genesis 39:1,4-15. "Now Joseph had been taken down to
Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaohs officials,
the captain of the guard [commanding general under Pharaoh of Pharaohs
army], bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there...Joseph
found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in
charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he
owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.
The blessing of the Lord was on everything he had; with Joseph in charge,
he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master's
wife took notice of Joseph and said, 'Come to bed with me!'
But he refused. 'With me in charge,' he told her, 'my master does not
concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has
entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master
has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How
then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?' And though
she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or
even be with her.
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the
household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said,
'Come to bed with me!' But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out
of the house." Now this is the Christian response God wants to see in
us. Joseph fled this tempting offer for sex. He literally ran out of