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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.”


9. I wrote to you in an epistle. The epistle of which he speaks is not at this day extant. Nor is there any doubt that many others are lost. It is enough, however, that those have been preserved to us which the Lord foresaw would suffice. But this passage, in consequence of its obscurity, has been twisted to a variety of interpretations, which I do not think it necessary for me to take up time in setting aside, but will simply bring forward what appears to me to be its true meaning. He reminds the Corinthians of what he had already enjoined upon them — that they should refrain from intercourse with the wicked. For the word rendered to keep company with, means to be on terms of familiarity with any one, and to be in habits of close intimacy with him. 294294     The original word, συναναμίγνυσθαι, literally means to be mixed up together with It is the rendering of the Septuagint for the Hebrew word יתבולל, in Hosea 7:8 Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people. — Ed Now, his reminding them of this tends to expose their remissness, inasmuch as they had been admonished, and yet had remained inactive.

He adds an exception, that they may the better understand that this refers particularly to those that belong to the Church, as they did not require to be admonished 295295     “Ce seroit vne chose superflue de les admonester,” etc.; — “It were a superfluous thing to admonish them,” etc. to avoid the society of the world. In short, then, he prohibits the Corinthians from holding intercourse with those who, while professing to be believers, do, nevertheless, live wickedly and to the dishonor of God. “Let all that wish to be reckoned brethren, either live holily and becomingly, or be excommunicated from the society of the pious, and let all the good refrain from intercourse and familiarity with them. It were superfluous to speak as to the openly wicked, for you ought of your own accord to shun them, without any admonition from me.” This exception, however, increases the criminality of remissness, inasmuch as they cherished in the bosom of the Church an openly wicked person; for it is more disgraceful to neglect those of your own household than to neglect strangers.

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