1 Corinthians 5: 1 – 13


I want to take an overview of the Corinthian church for a moment before we continue.


Paul spent a lot of time talking about their loss of the importance of the message of the cross, but what does that mean for us here today?


“The believers in Corinth lost sight of the path God had called them to follow, rendering them almost entirely unable to hear what the Lord was speaking to them through the apostle Paul. The result? Powerlessness. Eventually? Loss of calling.”


They were really oblivious to the danger in which they were standing.


The message of the cross became foolishness to them.  According to 1 Corinthians 1: 18 the cross is suppose to be foolishness to the pagans not the believers.


  1. They only go after one side of the cross
    1. This is salvation with no Lordship
    2. No taking up the cross daily and following after Jesus (See Luke 9: 23)
  2. They are solely pursuing Jesus for what they can get from Him. (John 3: 23, 24 because of the miraculous signs Jesus did…many began to put their trust  in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature.  No one needed to tell him what mankind was like.


The focus of the Corinthian church became living for a life of ease and to better their place in society and the church.


  1. Focused on the elevation of man  1 Corinthians 3: 3, 4
    1. See the Example of Elijah and Mount Carmel  1 Kings 18: 38, 39 When all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord–He is God! yes the Lord is God.”
    2. John the Baptist Mark 1; 7 someone is coming soon who is greater than I am–so much greater that I’m not worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.
  2. Went after carnal leaders who exploited them. 2 Corinthians 11: 19, 20
    1. Come to get all the money they can from them
    2. Allows the leaders to slap them in the face.
  3. This ruined their ability to hear and receive truth. 1 Corinthians 3: 1, 2
    1. Again this is not two gospels
    2. This is an appetite for what is being shared with the people.
    3. They begin to major in the minors of the gospel
      1. When is Jesus coming back rather than preparing our hearts for the return.
      2. Will we fly in heaven?
  4. False identity 1 Corinthians 4: 8 – 10
    1. believe they have attained a spiritual place that is high up but they are really poor and empty
  5. They have lost their heart for the poor. 1 Corinthians 11: 20 – 22
  6. They become tolerant of sinful practices 1 Corinthians 5: 1, 2
    1. This was more than just a passing fantasy or a one night stand.  This was a “live in” situation.
    2. Not only condemned in the Old Testament
    3. It was frowned on in pagan culture


1. Sexual sin in the camp. 1 Corinthians 5: 1 – 5


  1. The woman was probably not a christian because she is not rebuked.  (See Verse 13)
  2. The greater issue is the churches response
    1. How where they responding?
      1. They should have been mourning as one at a funeral.
    2. They were blinded to it.
  3. Here is where there is a direct conflict between their lives and the preaching of the cross.
    1. Jude 4 some have wormed their way into your churches saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives…Their condemnation was recorded long ago for they have denied our only Master and Lord jesus Christ.
  4. The removal of this man is a settled matter Vs 3 – 5
    1. You must deal with the man
    2. The Holy Spirit will be present in the meeting like it was with Paul
  5. Turn them over to satan
    1. Excommunication carried a lot of weight back then
    2. There were no other churches down the street for them to go to
    3. They were excluded from the “Love Feasts” or “Communion”
    4. They only had the pagans to live with.
    5. The end result is the destruction of their flesh.  The natural consequences of the actions that he is taking about
      1. Paul also did this to two people in 1 Timothy 1: 20
      2. Again we are not praying that satan would get them, but that the natural results of living and pursuing the flesh would happen.
    6. The redemptive work is for the salvation of his soul.


2. The analogy of the Passover Vs 6 – 8


  1. They were proud when they should have been ashamed.
    1. We think of modern day yeast but this is not accurate.
    2. They would put aside a lump of dough and allow the yeast to “leaven” the whole batch so that it could be used in the next baking period.
    3. The idea that the influence of this never stops.
  2. Get rid of that lump of dough that wants to influence the next batch.
  3. Relates it to cleansing the house of yeast for the passover meal (See Exodus 12: 15)
  4. God intended you to be anew lump so become that
    1. Sin is to be what leaven is to the Jew at passover.
  5. The Passover lamb has been slain and that is our only hope.  We can’t just promise to be better people.
  6. Come before Jesus in celebration of His redemptive work in our lives. (Again the Cross)


3. Letter not preserved for us 9 – 13


  1. Previous letter “Don’t associate with sexually immoral people”
  2. There are no vocations where we do not associate with nonbelievers.
  3. Don’t associate with hypocrites who call themselves Christian, but do not live it.
  4. God will judge those with a world view outside so expel the person from inside the church.