1Co 5:1 What sin was found in the midst of the Corinthian believers? What made it particularly grievous? Note: the father’s wife was likely not the guilty one’s mother, and it is entirely possible the father had died, so that these Corinthians, like so many today, were justifying their sin as being “different” from that commanded against in Scripture. See Gen 35:22, 49:4, Lev 20:11, Deut 27:20, 2 Sam 16:22, 20:3.
1Co 5:2 How did the Corinthian’s tolerance for sin demonstrate they had become arrogant? What does this teach us about many churches today who also tolerate sin in their midst? See Rev 3:17-18. What personal response should sin in the midst of a congregation elicit among sincere and devout Christians? See 2 Kings 22:19, Ezra 9:2-6, 10:1-6, Ez 9:4. What practical response should such sin result in for the offender?
1Co 5:3 Much is spoken of in Scripture about not judging our brothers (see 1Co 4:5, Mat 7:1-5, Luke 6:37, Rom 14:10, James 4:11). And yet here, Paul is quick to judge this brother and recommends the church do the same (see 1Co 5:12-13). What is the difference? See John 7:24. What does Paul mean that he is “present in spirit”? See Col 2:5, 1 Thess 2:17.
1Co 5:4-5 Is church discipline exercised by individuals or the body as a whole? Was the exercise of church discipline Paul proposed limited to putting the offender out of the church (1Co 5:2 & 13)? What does Paul mean by delivering him to Satan for the destruction of his flesh? See 1 Tim 1:20, Job 2:6-7, Is 14:3-6,8,13-15, Jer 25:8-11, 51:20-23, Mat 3:10, 7:19, Luke 13:6-9, John 15:1-2,6, Mat 5:25-26, 18:23-35. Was such discipline punitive or remedial? See Deut 8:5, Prov 13:24, 1 Cor 11:32.
1Co 5:6 What was the boasting of the Corinthians that Paul refers to here? What is the great danger to a body of believers to not exercise church discipline, or worse, to tolerate sin with an attitude of arrogance? What does “little” mean?
1Co 5:7-8 What feast from the Old Testament does Paul refer to in exhorting the Corinthians to “clean out the old leaven”? See Ex 12:15-20, 13:6-10, Eph 4:22. What is the great significance to Christians of the Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately following the Feast of Passover?
1Co 5:9-11 Note: “wrote” may refer to a previous letter not preserved, or it may also be translated “have written” (see the NIV) and refer to 1Co 5:1 and 2 above. The latter seems more likely (see NASB text note on 1Co 5:11). How does Paul say true Christians should behave toward someone who calls himself a Christian but is immoral? How is this different from the way they should behave toward those who may be immoral but do not call themselves Christians? Isn’t this being judgmental? See 1Co 5:12. What was the purpose of not associating with a “so-called brother” who was sinful? See 2 Thess 3:14. Does Paul limit such treatment to those who are guilty of sexual immorality? What do the sins that he mentions have in common? See James 4:4, 1 Jn 2:15-17, and then read again 1Co 5:10.
1Co 5:12-13 Are Christians to judge those outside the church? Why? Are they to judge those inside the church? Why? See Deut 13:5, 17:7, 21:21, 22:21-24, 24:7, Eccl 9:18. How is the judging of a brother here in these verses different from the judging of a brother spoken against in James 4:11-12? See 1Co 5:4, Deut 19:15, Mat 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1 and John 7:24.