Paul started addressing specific incidents that deeply troubled him because of how sexual immorality was running rampant in the church of Corinth. He cites one particular incident of a congregation member who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife, perhaps a callback for us of how Reuben slept with his father’s wife.
In Jewish culture, such an act was seen as the son claiming his stake on his father’s property. Adonijah (Solomon’s half-brother) also tried to marry his father, David’s concubine in hopes of ruling the land one day.
But what was happening in Corinth was grotesque, as it was happening inside the church and the people were seemingly even proud of their ways. Rather than being partakers with Christ, the Corinthians thought of themselves as impermeable to the ways of this world. Such can be our fate too, if we don’t turn from our evil ways and allowing it to become the norm in our lives.
hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.1 Corinthians 5:5
Seemingly harsh instructions from Paul, which are not only in the interest of the church but also of the offender. Protecting and defending an alcoholic will we be of no benefit to him in the long run. He needs to go through the withdrawal on his own to actually overcome his addiction. Similarly sheltering the offenders under the ruse of fellowship will only enable them to continue in their ways. We need to purge the evil from among us before it purges us.
God is for everyone, for those within a church and those who have been purged out. Let God worry about such people, as with our human efforts, we will never be able to turn anyone from their evil ways.
When they experience the withdrawal of God’s protection around them, in other words when they are handed over to the prince of this world, only then will they realise the need for God in their lives. By continuing to keep such people in the church even after there are no signs of improvement, we are responsible for keeping them from entering God’s kingdom.
Corrupting our Bodies
The Corinthians were boasting about their deeds, not realising that when unchecked, sin will penetrate within our fellowships like yeast working its way through the entire dough. Sin will corrupt anyone it touches as there is no middle ground when it comes to purging it from our lives. Therefore we should not boast of our abilities to deflect from sin but depend on Christ to save us from our sinful desires.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?1 Corinthians 5:12
As people saved by Christ, we have a greater responsibility to not only walk in the Way but also not let our actions falter someone else’s walk with Christ. Simon the Magician, fooled even the disciples but when Peter realised what was in his heart, he rebuked him immediately and did not let him spread his cancer among the believers in Samaria.
It is not our business to judge anyone outside the Church, as all are God’s people but the one who pretends to know God and is like the yeast corrupting our fellowships, we must distance ourselves from such people.
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!1 Corinthians 6:3
Jesus wants us to rule the world with Him and surely the angels will also fall in that jurisdiction. We must set our sights on things beyond this world and not let these distractions hinder our growth in Christ.
Misusing our Freedom in Christ
As Christians, we do have freedom in Christ but do we really understand the freedom we have? We want the freedom to do anything our heart desires and then we expect to reach heaven, regardless of our actions.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.1 Corinthians 6:17
The freedom that we have is that the age-old restrictions to approach God, have been removed by the blood of Christ and we can be in union with our Creator while choosing our paths.
The New Temple
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit1 Corinthians 6:19
We were created in the image of God to have regular communion with Him. The sole purpose of our existence was to praise and honour God. God gave Adam a companion so that they became one and together fulfilled their purpose.
Because of the distraction-filled sideshow that satan has created for us, we have forgotten that purpose. We must remember to whom we belong and give Him every part of our lives. When we invite Jesus in our hearts, do we not realise that His Spirit starts residing in us? So let us forget about honouring man-made buildings and altars, and start honouring God in the new temple He has built within us.