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Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church


It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Should you not rather have mourned, so that he who has done this would have been removed from among you?

3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present I have already pronounced judgment 4in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

6 Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Sexual Immorality Must Be Judged

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons— 10not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”


13. Put away that wicked person. This is commonly explained as referring to the person who was guilty of an illicit connection with his mother-in-law. For as to those who understand the expression to mean — “Put away evil or wickedness,” they are refuted by the Greek words made use of by Paul, the article (τὸν) being in the masculine gender, But what if you should view it as referring to the devil, who, undoubtedly in the person of a wicked and unprincipled man, 309309     “Quand on supporte un homme meschant et mal-vivant;” — “When a wicked and unprincipled man is allowed to continue.” — Ed. is encouraged to establish his throne among us? For ὁ πονηρος (the wicked one) taken simply and without any addition, denotes the prince of all crimes, 310310     It is well observed by Witsius in his Dissertations on the Lord’s Prayer, (Biblical Cabinet, No. 24,) that the appellation of the evil One is properly applied to Satan, “because he does nothing but what is evil — because all the evil that exists in the universe originated with him — because in doing evil, and in persuading others to do evil, he finds his only delight, the wicked and malignant solace of his desperate misery.” — Ed. rather than some wicked man. If this meaning is approved of, Paul shows how important it is 311311     “Combien il est utile et necessaire;” — “How useful it is and necessary.” not to tolerate wicked persons, as by this means Satan is expelled from his kingdom which he keeps up among us, when indulgence is given to the wicked. 312312     “Quand il y a vne license de malfaire, et les meschans sont soufferts;” — “When there is a license to do evil, and the wicked are tolerated.” If any one, however, prefers to understand it as referring to a man, I do not oppose it. Chrysostom compares the rigor of the law with the mildness of the gospel, inasmuch as Paul was satisfied with excommunication in case of an offense for which the law required the punishment of death, but for this there is no just ground. For Paul is not here addressing judges that are armed with the sword, but an unarmed multitude 313313     “Desnuee de puissance externe;” — “Destitute of external power.” that was allowed merely to make use of brotherly correction.

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