1 Corinthians 5
1 Corinthians 5:1-5-Paul says that he is aware that there is a man who is in a sexual relationship with his own step-mother...and the church, instead of holding him accountable, has become "arrogant" (:2).
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5448&t=NASB
φυσιόω physióō, foo-see-o'-o; from G5449 in the primary sense of blowing; to inflate, i.e. (figuratively) make proud (haughty):—puff up.
Strong’s Definitions, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5448&t=NASB
In other words, they just ignore it, thinking that they have the authority to over-ride what God has said about such a sin. The man should have been removed from fellowship with the church. Paul says that he has already done so in his spirit...and that when he arrives, he will deliver this man over to the "destruction of the flesh" (:5) by Satan...in hopes that he will yet repent and be saved.
5:5 (Ryrie) to deliver such a one to Satan for destruction of his flesh. This evidently means that the church was to discipline this sinning brother by committing him to Satan’s domain, the world (1 John 5:19) and to Satan’s chastisement, the destruction or ruin of his body (flesh means “body” here) through sickness or even death. destruction does not mean annihilation, but ruin. Persistent sin often leads to physical punishment (1 Cor. 11:30; 1 John 5:16-17).
1 Corinthians 5:6-8-Paul says that this is not only for the good of the man...but for the good of the whole church...because his sin will negatively affect others. They should not allow sin to stay in the body.
5:7 (Ryrie) leaven. A symbol of impurity…By position they were unleavened; Paul urges that their practice correspond. Passover. See Ex. 12:1-28. Christ was already sacrificed, and, just as Passover was followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so should the Corinthians, who were already cleansed, now walk in holiness.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13-Paul mentions a letter that he had previously written to them...in which he told them to not “associate” (to keep company with; literally-“to mix up with”) with a believer who lives in sin and refuses to repent. He refers to this person as a “so-called brother”. The word “so-called” (literally-“to be the name of a person or thing”) means that this person claims to be a brother, a fellow believer in Christ…but his behavior makes it suspect if he really is. Notice the list of sins that Paul says should not be practiced by a believer…
immoral person (same word in 5:9 and 5:11, “fornicators” in 6:9)
- a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire
- a male prostitute
III. a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator
πόρνος pórnos, por'-nos; from πέρνημι pérnēmi (to sell; akin to the base of G4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine):—fornicator, whoremonger.
- one eager to have more, esp. what belongs to others
- greedy of gain, covetous
- a worshipper of false gods, a idolater
- used of any one even Christian, participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp. one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims
- a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon
Blaspheme, Blasphemy, Blasphemer, Blasphemous:
either from blax, "sluggish, stupid," or, probably, from blapto, "to injure," and pheme, "speech," (Eng. "blasphemy") is so translated thirteen times in the RV, but "railing" in Mat 15:19; Mar 7:22; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; 1Ti 6:4; Jud 1:9. The word "blasphemy" is practically confined to speech defamatory of the Divine Majesty…
"to blaspheme, rail at or revile," is used
(b) of those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things, e.g., Mat 9:3; Mar 3:28; Rom 2:24; 1Ti 1:20; 6:1; Rev 13:6; 16:9, 11, 21; "hath spoken blasphemy," Mat 26:65; "rail at," 2Pe 2:10; Jud 1:8, 10; "railing," 2Pe 2:12; "slanderously reported," Rom 3:8; "be evil spoken of," Rom 14:16; 1Cr 10:30; 2Pe 2:2; "speak evil of," Tts 3:2; 1Pe 4:4; "being defamed," 1Cr 4:13. The verb (in the present participial form) is translated "blasphemers" in Act 19:37; in Mar 2:7, "blasphemeth," RV, for AV, "speaketh blasphemies."
There is no noun in the original representing the English "blasphemer." This is expressed either by the verb, or by the adjective blasphemos.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words,
- drunken, intoxicated
- a extortioner, a robber
They are to take responsibility to judge the members of the body...and remove the wicked from their fellowship. Paul lumps together people who practice such behavior into one category and speaks of them as being “wicked” (:13). The word infers not just the evil nature of their behavior, but also the affect that it has on others…it is contagious.
connected with ponos, "labor," expresses especially the "active form of evil," and is practically the same in meaning as (b), under No. 1. It is used, e.g., of thoughts, Mat 15:19 (cp. kakos, in Mar 7:21); of speech, Mat 5:11 (cp. kakos, in 1Pe 3:10); of acts, 2Ti 4:18. Where kakos and poneros are put together, kakos is always put first and signifies "bad in character, base," poneros, "bad in effect, malignant:" see 1Cr 5:8, and Rev 16:2. Kakos has a wider meaning, poneros a stronger meaning. Poneros alone is used of Satan and might well be translated "the malignant one," e.g., Mat 5:37 and five times in 1 John ( 1Jo 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18, 19, RV); of demons, e.g., Luk 7:21. Once it is translated "bad," Mat 22:10.
It is this infectious nature of such behavior that is part of Paul’s reasoning for removing such people from fellowship and interaction with other believers. How many times have we heard someone say, “The Bible says, ‘Judge not.’” In so doing, they have only partially quoted that verse…and wholly distorted it. It actually says…
Matthew 7:1-2 (NASV)
- “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
It doesn’t say that we are not to judge others. But, that when we do so we must be ready for the same standard of judgment to be used on us. Here, Paul makes it clear that we are to judge other believers…to keep each other accountable for our attitudes and behavior. There are four reasons. One, so that our lives might truly be a reflection of the holy character of Christ and bring honor to God. Two, so that we will not become self-deceived and not see sin in our own life. Three, so that sin will not have the appearance of being acceptable and deceive others into also sinning. And four, so that we will maintain a viable witness to the lost world.
Prayer: Father, I confess to You that I struggle holding others accountable for their sins…because I feel so unworthy myself. Help me to know how to approach those that are continually practicing sinful behavior…for their good, and for the good of the church. But first, please let the Holy Spirit hold me accountable for my own sin. Help me to be pure, holy, and righteous.