1 Corinthians 5

1Paul reproveth a scandalous incest committed and protected from censure in the church at Corinth; 3and by his authority in Christ excommunicateth the offender. 6The necessity of purging out the old leaven. 9Christians guilty of notorious crimes are not to be consorted with.

1IT is reported 1commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is 2not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have 3hisa father’s wife.

1 That is, not as an uncertain report, but as a certain thing.

2 Namely, without detestation or abomination. For, though here and there in the Greek, Roman and other histories such examples are found, yet notwithstanding, they are always condemned by them as improper and unlawful.

3 That is, his stepmother, as she is also so called in God’s Word, Lev. 18:8.

a Lev. 18:8; Deut. 27:20.

2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather 4mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away 5from among you.

4 Namely, as men do when there is cause of common sorrow; for, although such sins are sins of particular persons, yet nevertheless they concern the entire congregation, because God’s Name is blasphemed for it, and His wrath kindled thereby against the entire congregation, if they are not duly punished.

5 That is, by christian excommunication cast out of your gathering, as hereafter is explained in verses 7, 11.

3Forb I verily, as absent in body, but present 6in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

b Col. 2:5.

6 That is, with my thoughts, will and power of the spirit. See the like, 2 Kings 5:26; Col. 2:5.

47In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, 8with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

7 That is, according to the command and charge of Christ, and with calling upon His Name, Mat. 18:15.

8 That is, the powerful working of Christ in the hearts of those amongst whom and against whom this punishment is lawfully used. See Mat. 18:18, 19, 20.

59To deliver such an onec unto Satan 10for the destruction of the flesh, that 11the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

9 That is, to banish him out of your communion, or as Christ speaks Mat. 18:17, to account him as an heathen and a publican. For, Satan has his kingdom outside the congregation of Christ. See 2 Tim. 2:25, 26.

c 1 Tim. 1:20.

10 That is, for the mortifying and abolishing of the old man, that is, of the corrupt nature, which is everywhere called flesh. See Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24.

11 That is, the new man, which by these fleshly desires and sins seemed, as it were, dead and buried, may be raised up again, and obtain the upper hand, until, in the day of Christ’s coming, that it shall only and totally reign in us.

612Your glorying is not good. Knowd ye not that 13a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

12 Namely, whereby you glory as if you and your congregation were altogether perfect.

d Gal. 5:9.

13 Gr. a small leaven. By this similitude the apostle declares that a scandalous person, if he be not punished in the congregation, easily draws others to imitate him.

714Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ 15our passovere is sacrificed for us:

14 This may either be particularly understood of the purging out or casting out of this scandalous person, in order that the entire congregation might be beyond infamy and danger of further infection, seeing they were in a great part already delivered by the Spirit of God from the leaven of natural corruption; or, in general for an universal exhortation by occasion of the previous similitude, namely, that each one in particular should more and more purge out of himself the old leaven of sin, as they were already delivered from the dominion thereof. See Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:5, 9, 10.

15 Or, our passover is offered for us, that is, the Passover, Which is offered for us for the reconciliation of our sins. Christ is here called the Passover by an impropriety of speech, which is often used of the sacraments (as the bread in the Lord’s Supper is called the body of Christ, and the communion of the body of Christ) because the paschal lamb was a sign and figure of Christ and His sacrifice. See John 19:36.

e Isa. 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:3.

816Therefore let us keep the feast,f not 17with oldg leaven, neither 18with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but 19with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

16 Which the Israelites were to do in the type, after the killing of the outward passover, on the preparation of the passover, by the purging out of all leaven, and by abstaining from leavened bread for seven days, according to God’s command, Exod. 12:15, this the apostle commands Christians to do in the thing signified all their life long, namely, to walk holily and righteously before God and men, and for this cause also to avert all offenses from among them, since they are reconciled unto God by the sacrifice and sprinkling of the blood of Christ.

f Exod. 12:3, 15.

17 That is, in the defilement of natural corruption in which we are born.

g Deut. 16:3.

18 That is, nor in other willful sins and wickedness, which natural men yet daily heap thereunto.

19 That is, in a pure and undefiled walk.

9I wrote unto you 20in an epistle noth21to company with fornicators:

20 This some understand of another epistle which the apostle, before this one, could have written to the congregation of Corinth, because the words which follow are not before expressed in so many letters, but seeing the sense of these words is related previously in the second and seventh verses, therefore this may suitably be understood of this same epistle of Paul.

h Deut. 7:2; Mat. 18:17; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thes. 3:14.

21 That is, admit them into the communion of your congregation and converse ordinarily with them as brethren. See verse 11.

1022Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go 23out of the world.

22 That is, this I understand not in general of all such scandalous persons, which dwell among you or with you.

23 Namely, seeing the world is full of such men with whom ye daily have to do, whose footsteps you must not follow, but whom you must seek to win to Christ, Mat. 5:16; Eph. 5:11. And although this agrees to all ages, yet notwithstanding it agrees most of all to that age in which heathendom prevailed, who were all idolaters, whereupon these other sins commonly follow.

1124But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called 25a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or 26an idolater, or a railer,i or a drunkard, or an extortioner; withj such an one no 27not to eat.

24 That is, I thought it needful to write unto you, that ye may understand me well.

25 Namely, be held and acknowledged for a member of the congregation, as Christians everywhere in the Acts of the Apostles, and the epistles of the same, are called brethren; as Christ also speaks thus of this ecclesiastical discipline, Mat. 18:15.

26 That the Christians sometimes behaved themselves incorrectly at that time concerning idolatry, appears in 1 Cor. 10:20; Rev. 2:14, 20.

i abusive person.

j Num. 12:14; Mat. 18:17; 2 Thes. 3:14; 2 John verse 10.

27 That is, shall keep no familiar and public mutual friendship with such persons, that they may be ashamed. See 2 Thes. 3:14; 2 John verse 10. Otherwise the apostle does not forbid that by man and wife, parents and children, and the like, even civil communion itself (whereunto the law of nature and manners of men oblige us) is maintained with such persons, seeing ecclesiastical discipline does but deprive such of communion which is proper to Christians as Christians, in the spiritual (realm) as well as in the secular; not wherewith they are obliged one to another as men or citizens in general.

12For what have I to do to judge them also 28that are without? do not ye judge them 29that are within?

28 Namely, yet estranged from the congregation of Christ and from the faith, Eph. 2:12.

29 That is, those who are accounted as members of the congregation, whom in verse 11 he calls brethren.

13But them that are without God 30judgeth. Thereforek put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

30 That is, reserves them to His own judgment, to punish or convert them. Whereby he shows that albeit such are outside the discipline of the church, yet they are not therefore free from the judgment of God. See similar phrase, 1 Cor. 11:32.

k Deut. 13:5.