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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : 1st Corinthians Index : Chapter 5

1st Corinthians, Chapter 5
Chapter 4 | Chapter 6
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5:1 It is 1 reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

    (1) They are greatly to be reprehended who by allowing wickedness, set forth the Church of God to be mocked and scorned by infidels.
5:2 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
    (2) There are none more proud than they that least know themselves.
5:3 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in a spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,
    (3) Excommunication ought not to be committed to one man's power, but must be done by the authority of the whole congregation, after the matter is diligently examined.
    (a) In mind, thought, and will.
5:4 In the b name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, 4 with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    (b) Calling upon Christ's name.
    (4) There is no doubt that the judgment is ratified in heaven, in which Christ himself sits as Judge.
5:5 5 To c deliver such an one unto Satan for the 6 destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
    (5) The one who is excommunicated is delivered to the power of Satan, in that he is cast out of the house of God.
    (c) What it is to be delivered to Satan the Lord himself declares when he says, "Let him be unto thee as a heathen and publican"; (Mt 18:17). That is to say, to be disfranchised and put out of the right and privileges of the city of Christ, which is the Church, outside of which Satan is lord and master.
    (6) The goal of excommunication is not to cast away the excommunicate that he should utterly perish, but that he may be saved, that is, that by this means his flesh may be tamed, that he may learn to live to the Spirit.
5:6 7 Your glorying d [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
    (7) Another goal of excommunication is that others are not infected, and therefore it must of necessity be retained in the Church, so that one is not infected by the other.
    (d) Is nothing and not grounded upon good reason, as though you were excellent, and yet there is such wickedness found among you.

5:7 8 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new e lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our f passover is sacrificed for us:

    (8) By alluding to the ceremony of the passover, he exhorts them to cast out that unclean person from among them. In times past, he says, it was not lawful for those who celebrated the passover to eat unleavened bread, insomuch that he was held as unclean and unworthy to eat the passover, whoever had but tasted of leaven. Now our whole life must be as it were the feast of unleavened bread, in which all they that are partakers of that immaculate lamb which is slain, must cast out both of themselves, and also out of their houses and congregations, all impurity.
    (e) By lump he means the whole body of the Church, every member of which must be unleavened bread, that is, be renewed in spirit, by plucking away the old corruption.
    (f) The Lamb of our passover.
5:8 Therefore let us keep the g feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.
    (g) Let us lead our whole life as it were a continual feast, honestly and uprightly.
5:9 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
    (9) Now he speaks more generally: and that which he spoke before of the incestuous person he shows that it pertains to others, who are known to be wicked and those who through their wicked life are a slander to the Church, who ought also by lawful order be cast out of the community of the Church. And making mention of eating meals, either he means that feast of love at which the supper of the Lord was received, or else their common usage and manner of life. And this is to be properly understood, lest any man should think that either matrimony was broken by excommunication, or such duties hindered and cut off by it, as we owe one to another: children to their parents, subjects to their rulers, servants to their masters, and neighbour to neighbour, to win one another to God.
5:10 Yet not h altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    (h) If you should utterly abstain from such men's company, you should go out of the world. Therefore I speak of those who are in the very bosom of the Church, who must be brought back into order by discipline, and not of those who are outside of the Church, with whom we must labour by all means possible, to bring them to Christ.
5:12 10 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    (10) Those who are false brethren ought to be cast out of the congregation. As for those who are outside of it, they must be left to the judgment of God.

Chapter 4 | Chapter 6
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