Notes from Pastor Don Moore’s Friday Bible study.
1 Corinthians 5 by Pastor Don Moore
Taught on March 16, 2012
This is a famous but confusing part of the Gospel. The church has used this chapter to beat up on people. But this passage should be used to help heal sexual immorality.
1 Corinthians 5:1 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!
Most probably this woman was divorced or her wife died. This is probably not incest.
At the time of this writing, Corinth was a wealthy town and had high culture. It is a beautiful port with ships going in and out. It was a favored place to visit.
Great wealth and money paved the way for sexual immorality, there were many teachers, educated people, and a multitude of foreign gods being worshipped.
The Christian church in Corinth was wealthy and gifted in spiritual gifts. Sleeping with a father’s wife is something even the heathens would not do, even though the culture is one of anything goes.
1 Corinthians 5:2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
The church at Corinth is soft on sexual and unethical behavior. Paul told them that they should have mourned this, and done something about the behavior.
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.
Paul was not physically present at Corinth, but spiritually present, he is able to judge this situation. He judges according to the Word of God, the Laws of Moses, the Commandments of God that this behavior is unacceptable.
If we throw people out of church because of sin there would be no bodies in church. But sexual sin is contagious and spreads. If you permit sexual sin in one person and tolerate it, then others will feel that they too can commit this sin.
One rotten apple in a barrel speeds up the rotting of the other apples.
1 Corinthians 5:4-6 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Levin is sin and it takes a little sin to affect the whole. If there is sin, thief, murder, fornication, and the person is willing to hear the Gospel and make a decision to go into counseling, and change their behavior that is one thing. But this sexual sin in Corinth has gone on for a long time without being addressed. The decision to push a person out of the church for their sin is based on their actions.
Paul discerns a lack of repentance even though this man has heard the Gospel, he is still practicing this lustful behavior. A little Levin can spread to the whole congregation and tolerance of sin is being interpreted in culture as permission of sin. Others are also observing this man’s behavior and drawing wrong conclusions because the behavior is not being dealt with.
If this sin is permitted, it will spread. The protection and covering of God is to protect you. The Corinthians, because of this man’s sin, need to stop asking for mercy of God in this situation, stop protecting this man. They are to do it spiritually and remove him from any covering. They are to release him to his own devices. If he doesn’t quit sinning, it would be better that he has an early death so he doesn’t increase the sins he has committed.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Paul instructed them to purge out the old leaven. In church gatherings there are times when the power of God is present and there are other times when a church meeting is just a church meeting. The presence and power of God can disturb a service, they think it’s one thing but God busts it up and shows something else. Make sure the leaven is purged when prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and the presence of God is there, then the proper things are said and done. You don’t want the flesh to take over. You want what is said to be thus says the Lord. In the flesh we could let popular people slide.
In the book of Acts, Paul is in a town. Philip’s daughters prophesied and in walks Agabus. Agabus says, thus says the Holy Ghost and binds up Paul. Acts 21:11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, “So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.””
Paul knew this young guy sleeping with his father’s wife was unrepentant. He confessed Jesus as Lord, but was lost in sin. Jesus figures if the devil beats up on him, he may repent and come back. If not he dies and his soul is still saved. They are hoping that, if satan destroys the flesh, maybe the young man will come to his senses.
Someone asked about suicide being a sin. Pastor said it is not a mortal sin, if a person under pressure, pain of depression, losing confidence and then they take their life, God would know that they were sick and hurting. The flesh is destroyed by the work of the devil, but the spirit is still saved. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord is saved. We don’t know what happens at the moment of death, it only takes a split second to repent.
We will continue this study during our next Friday Bible study. I hope this has blessed you and clarified the tough passage.
God bless you.