1 Corinthians Chapter 5 and 6

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 1 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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1 Corinthians 5:1-13 (NIV)
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

1 Corinthians 6:1-20 (NIV)
1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12 “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

In Chapters 5 and 6 Paul is dealing with three problems in the church in Corinth. A failure to discipline an immoral brother. Resolving personal disputes in a Godly manner. The importance of maintaining sexual purity.

1 Corinthians 5:1-5

Apparently, someone in the church was in an immoral relationship with his stepmother. This relationship was not only a violation of OT law, but specific Roman law as well.

Leviticus 18:8 (NIV)
8 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

Paul says that this man needs to be disciplined. Paul does not say anything about the woman involved, which means she was probably not a believer.

A big part of the problem here was that not only were the Corinthians not troubled by the relationship, they were actually quite arrogant about it.

The goal of discipline was that the brother in the relationship would repent. That needs to always be the goal of discipline. It should produce a change of mind, purpose and life.

1 Corinthians 5:6-11

A little yeast soon permeates a whole batch of dough. Dealing with sin in the church. I am going to talk about this more in a minute when we look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Paul says it was not his business to judge those outside the church, (why he was silent on the woman in verse 1), and it wasn’t the business of the Corinthians either. That judgment is God’s. However, those in the church who continue to sin with an unrepentant spirit need to be dealt with.

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

People in the church need to be able to handle personal disputes between themselves. This problem is another example of the divisions that existed in the church in Corinth. Paul keeps using the phrase “do you not know” which is his way of telling them that they already know better. The problem with division is always pride. Paul was upset about this because it not only kept the divisions going, it was a bad witness to unbelievers.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

OK. Let’s talk about church discipline for a moment.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

There is something very important to note. The verse speaks of “idolaters” rather than idolatry. It says “adulterers” rather than adultery. The wording of the verse is important, because it indicates a person who has stopped struggling with sin and decided that it is OK even though it goes against the Word of God. Paul is not saying that an individual is to be disciplined by the fellowship for a single act or failure. Transformation is not instantaneous; we need to give each other room to grow.

But when a person decides that the issue is no longer an issue, than it needs to be approached by the church. They need to be disciplined so that they see their need to repent.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:17 to treat an unrepentant brother like a pagan or tax collector.

Matthew 18:17 (NIV)
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

There is a change in the level of intimacy that will hopefully lead to repentance. But, consider this, how does Jesus treat pagans and tax collectors?

1 Corinthians 6:9-20

Paul now deals with something that he had taught the Corinthians which they were using as a cover for sin.

The phrase:

Everything is permissible for me

This phrase had apparently become a slogan to cloak the immorality of some in Corinth.

This statement is true but it needs to qualified by the principle of loving God and loving others. If the action of liberty is detrimental to someone else, it is not loving. Also, if the liberty becomes slavery (I will not be mastered by anything) it is not loving but self hatred.

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