English Ministry

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  • Sermon Provided by  
    Pastor Ron Vandermey


  • I Continthians 5:1-5

  • Introduction
    The gloves come off at the end of chapter 5, and now Paul starts hitting the sins that have been reported from the Corinthian church. The Apostle does not treat these in generalities, but is very specific and methodical as he begins his opinions on these incidents.
    I. The sin of an unnamed Christian in Corinth (I Cor. 5:1)
    The term sexual immorality is the ancient Greek word porneia; it broadly refers to all types of sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage. Originally, porneia just referred to going to prostitutes; but before New Testament times, the Jewish community used the word to refer to any kind of extramarital sex, including homosexuality. This is its sense in the New Testament. Apparently, someone in the Corinthians church was having an on-going sexual relationship (either as married or living together) with his stepmother (his father’s wife). This kind of incestuous relationship would be considered taboo even among the pagans of their culture, yet the Corinthian Christians seem accepting of this behavior. It should have been enough that this is declared sin by the Bible in Leviticus 18:8 and Deuteronomy 22:30, and it should have been enough that it was considered a sin in the world's eyes. Yet, the Corinthian Christians didn’t seem bothered by it at all!

  • II. The Reaction of the Corinthian Church to the Sin (I Cor. 5:2)
    As bad as the sin itself was, Paul was more concerned that the Corinthian Christians seemed to take the sin lightly,and they were unconcerned (were not mourning) about this behavior. . Many today want a gospel that meets our personal standards of culture and comfort. They are like Thomas Jefferson who just took a scissors to verses that he felt were dealing with things outside the natural world. I have had arguments with Christians who trivialize passages where God condemns abortion, infanticide, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality or other sins. Yesterday, I heard people calling the Frank Sontag Talk Radio program on KKLA (Salem Communications Station) condemning Sontag in the harshest terms for his affirming that Christians should have voted for "pro-life" candidates who follow the tenets of the Bible.
    III. Paul's Judgment of the Case (I Cor. 5:3-5)
    Paul in verse 3 announces that he has already passed judgment on the sinner, and that the church needed to do the same thing. Thus, Paul in verse 4 calls for the church to have a public gathering, and take action against this unrepentant sinner. The Apostle claims that the "power" of our Lord Jesus Christ will be present at this occasion. In saying that, Paul is claiming that there is a divine authority in the decisions of church discipline. Verse 5 has been a subject of debate when it says to deliver this sinner to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. What is meant there is that the person is being excommunicated from the fellowship of believers. Therefore, he is out of the realm of the blessing of Christian worship and fellowship. This results in divine chastening for sin that can result in illness and even death. It is Paul's desire that this judgment of the one that was sinning will mean that the sinner repents so that he will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • IV. The Corinthian Church Needs to Clean House (I Cor. 5:6-8)
    Again, the Corinthian Christians were proud and pleased to be ignoring this man’s notorious sin! They thought it showed the whole world how “loving” they were. But you don’t show “love” to a body by being kind to a cancer! We can rightly say Paul is more concerned about the sin of the entire church (especially the leadership), than the sin of the individual man. Both are important, but the sin of the church is worse.If the church continues in sin, the sinning individual has no chance of repentance or reconciliation in the church. The leaven mentioned isn’t merely yeast, but a pinch of dough left over from the previous batch. In this light, the Passover command to purge the leaven had a health purpose. This method of fermentation, used week after week, increased the danger of infection or food poisoning, so at least once a year, the Israelites started from scratch. We are to live a perpetual Passover Feast. Jesus is in fact our Passover Lamb, whose blood was shed that the judgment of God might pass over us. So, we are to live in the purity that Passover spoke of. Our Christian lives are to be marked by the same things which characterized Passover: salvation, liberation, joy, plenty, and purity from leaven. Let us remember what our Lord has done for us, and get rid of the leaven out of our lives.
    I Corinthians 5:1-5 NKJV
    1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even [a]named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!
    2 And you are [b]puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
    3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.
    4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord [c]Jesus.