The American Wisdom Series


1 Corinthians
Chapter 5

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
 published at 

 and now edited by people at The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

 Now here is our revised study of:
1 Corinthians

Chapter 5

"The Fornication and Things Heard by Paul."

Paul is going to point out in this chapter that there is a Spiritual line that every Christian must determine, for there is no set rule, but each of us has to determine that line of association. Then once we establish that line within our own conscience it should direct us as to what is right or against God's laws.

I Corinthians 5:1 "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."

Paul is telling these Christians of the church of Corinth that he doesn't have to spell out the details of the incest that is going on amongst them, for it is common knowledge to all in that church. There is a commonly known incestuous affair going on in your church, so great that even the Gentiles world look down on such a thing. It is going on right in your church house.

I Corinthians 5:2 "And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you."

You are "puffed up", or in the Greek tongue it is "phusioo", meaning inflated to where you are boastful. This is where discernment must come into your congregation, so that you do not over-rule those amongst you. This has to do with association. The Corinthians are allowing this man that is taking advantage of his own father's wife, his mother and the church continues to associate with him in their church. The Corinthians are carrying on like there is nothing happening in that relationship. They are living in a self-righteous mode, and turning their heads to the evil that is in their midst.

Everybody sins and falls short from time to time, but this is not in reference to those types of sins that are committed in ignorance or when one loses his self control. That is covered by the freedom that we have in Christ when we repent in Jesus name for those sins and get our selves right before the Lord. However this is going on and there is no sign of repentance, or that it is even recognized as being a sin.

Paul has just told us that we should not judge anyone, and that judging was in reference to those out of the church, for they don't know any better. However, when it comes to those that are within the church body itself, then it is a different matter. The line of discipline is at the church house door, for those that cross that line and come into the church and claim the name of Jesus and declare themselves to be of Christ, it becomes a matter of responsibility to the body of Christ.

This man taking part in the incest has crossed that line, he has declared himself to be of Christ, and yet he is carrying on in an incestuous affair with his own mother or step mother. He has over stepped the bounds of the body of Christ; now what should be done with him?

I Corinthians 5:3 "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,"

Paul is telling the Corinthians that even though he is not there with them, this is what should be done with this incestuous person. I don't have to be there to see it for myself to know what should be done, for common sense should dictate to you what you must do.

I Corinthians 5:4 "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

When you are gathered together in the congregation, and it is obvious that God is with me, and His Spirit is guiding me;

I Corinthians 5:5 "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." 

This person and the sins that he is committing could be enough to take down the entire church. There are two ways that we sin, by Satan tempting us, and by our own choices. When we fall into those traps of sin it is time for our repentance for those sins. However, when one desires to continue in their sins, it is time to make the separation of them from the main congregation. This is one of the most serious laws of all the commandments, and even Satan's children know the affects of sexual relations within the immediate blood family. When it happens it needs to be dealt with immediately for the example to be set and a standard within the entire congregation.

This man needs help, and Paul is saying to the Corinthians that the church should put him out of the congregation. Turn him over to Satan and don't protect him within the congregation. In today's terms, it is letting him go until he reaches the bottom of the gutter, then he may see his error, repent for his sins in Jesus name, and seek to get right with God. The man won't change until he has hit the bottom, and surrendered himself from those sins. He must reach the point of wanting to straighten his own life out before it will happen. At the same time it is important that he does not contaminate the entire church while he is playing church. Sure you can shield the man and his mother and pretend that the problem doesn't exist, but no one can be helped until they desire it for themselves. Then when they ask, the help will come for them.

The reason that Paul is telling them to turn him over to Satan, is that the man hast to learn for himself the depths of his sin, and he must want to be saved before he can be helped.

I Corinthians 5:6 "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"

The Corinthians don't have anything that they can boast about within themselves. Paul is asking them: Don't you know that even a little leaven or unclean sins amongst you can spread amongst the entire congregation? Paul is using the baking of a loaf of bread here to give us an example of just how sin can spread. When you mix up the dough to make a loaf of bread, and add the yeast to the dough it spreads completely through the entire loaf, and the lump of dough rises. The entire loaf is contaminated with even a little leaven. When a church has allowed even one of these acts of iniquity and evil to go on in their midst, and they condone the act, every member of that congregation will feel the recourse of the sinful act.

I Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:"

Paul is telling the Corinthians to get rid of that man that is taking part in this evil act, and don't let him come into your midst. He is not of Christ, and don't you coddle him and put up with him any longer. When he is removed from the church then Christ, who is our Passover, can come into the congregation and His Spirit can start to mend the hearts and minds of the rest of the people, and cleanse them from those old thoughts.

"Passover" is the most high day in Christianity. That is the day that Christ became our Passover, when He died on the cross for the sins of all those that would believe on His name and repent of their sins in Jesus name. Today most Christians call Passover "Easter", after the heathen feast festival of Ishtar, and they just don't know the difference. The only time that the word "Easter" is mentioned in the Word of God is when it was mistranslated in Acts 12:4; "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

The number in the Strong's Greek dictionary for Easter is # 3957; "Pascha, pas'-khah; The Passover, (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it): Passover." We read from the secular history books that Easter is a heathen term, derived from the Saxon goddess Eastre, the same as Astarte, the Syrian Venus, also called Ashtoreth in the Old Testament. Ashtoreth is the female sex counterpart of Baal worship, and dates back to the ancient Sumerian religions, and to the wife of Nimrud named Semiremis. There were a pantheon of god's formed in that ancient Babylon, over 4000 gods and goddesses, however there were six of these gods that would carry on down through the ages as being of importance.

The goddess known as "Nintude" was believed to be Semiremis reincarnated in the form of a goddess, and she became the mother goddess of fertility. She became known by many other names down through the ages, such as "Ishtar, and the "Diana" of the city of Corinth of Paul's day. It was said of Semiremis that she had a virgin born son, because Nimrud her husband had passed away before he could have fathered the child. That son's name was "Tammuz" to the Sumerians, Persians, Babylonians, and Egyptians. and it was Tammuz birthday that was celebrated on December 25.

It was in the early years of the first Babylonian empire that many of these myths were formed which paralleled the story of creation, the acts of demons and of the virgin birth of Tammuz (known later as Murduk), as well as the record of the flood of Genesis in the eighth and nineth chapters.

So what is important in trying to understand the why the use of Easter is so wrong in Christians celebrating the Passover? It is that it in the term "Easter" that Christians take their eyes off the Passover and focus in on heathen customs of the ancient Baal worship, such as Easter eggs, the bunny symbol of fertility, the bonnets, and all the other things that go along with that heathen worship. The "feast of Ishtar", or "Easter" was a time of religious sex orgies. Christians should be focusing on the great sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God giving his life for the sins of the world and not mixing those heathen customs. This is why it is not just a shame on Christians but outright blasphemy to Jesus Christ when we name His Passover after the most heathen festival in existence in all humanity. So then what is the "Passover"?

The "Passover" is symbolic of the events of that day in Egypt when the death angel passed over the Israelites. On that day back in Egypt, the death angel took the life of the first born in all the land. God instructed Moses to have the Children place the blood of an innocent lamb over the door post of their home, and roast and eat the rest of the lamb for strength, for on the next day the Children of Israel would be freed from the bonds of the Pharaoh and leave Egypt. Passover was remembered from that day forth because it also was the promise of a Messiah that would come and free them from their bonds of sin, and their need of animal sacrifices.

When Jesus Christ went to the cross on the day of Passover, he was in the tomb for exactly three days and three nights, as this would be the only sign that Jesus would give the Jews of His resurrection. This is why we are to remember the "Passover", for on that day God's people not only were freed from the bonds of Egypt, but also the bonds of sin that Satan had all mankind bound in, through the blood of Jesus Christ that each of us must place over the door posts of our minds/hearts.

We do this to show that we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the promised Messiah that was born of the virgin Mary. We believe that Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God and born in a flesh body and He suffered all the temptations that you or I go through, only He was perfect in all his life. Then that He was tried and put to death by the Kenite leaders at the hands of the Roman government as was prophesied throughout the Old Testament.

However, just as the children of Israel came out of Egypt and their bondage, we can come out of our bondage when we place the blood of Christ over the door post of our hearts. That is what we are doing in our prayers when we say "IN JESUS NAME", when we ask forgiveness for our sins. When we pray the sinners prayer for forgiveness, we know absolutely that our sins are forgiven in the only place that matters, and that is at the throne of our Heavenly Father in heaven.

I John 1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"

I John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."

You are the one that has to place that blood of Christ on the doorpost of your heart, and you do that by confessing your sins in Jesus name.

I John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

The Word of God states very clearly that we all have sinned and come short of the standards of perfection that God has set, and when we tell ourselves that we have not, we are only fooling ourselves.

I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to for-give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

We confess our sins to our Father "in Jesus name", and God the Father takes those sins and blots them out of His record, for the blood of Christ has covered them for all time. You are not under the condemnation of your act of sin that you have repented of, and this gives you the free conscience that would bind you to the gilt of sin that would be in your mind. This is the freedom that we have as a Christian under the shed blood of Christ. Then to remember this time when Jesus went to the cross for the sacrifice for you and I, Jesus gave us a way to continually bring this to our remembrance.

There is only one way that Christians celebrate Passover and that is in the taking of Communion. The breaking of the bread and the taking of the cup started with Jesus Christ Himself, when he took it with his disciples after Judas had left to betray Christ.

Matthew 26:26 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

Matthew 26:27 "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it;"

Matthew 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Matthew 26:29 "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforeth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

After the taking of that first communion, Jesus and His disciples departed that upper room and went to the mount of Olives where He was betrayed by Judas and turned over to the Kenite priests and leaders of the temple to be tried and crucified. Was this a tragedy? No, because, If it had not taken place, there would be no salvation, there would be no forgiveness of sin and the Word of God would not have been true. It is important that we remember the Passover as it ought to be remembered through the communion, the breaking of the bread and with the cup, for in that act we do remember our Lord and Savior until His coming.

Christ became our "Passover", and His body was the bread. The "Holy Communion" is that which we partake of on the highest of all holy days of Christianity, the Passover. When you take Christ within your mind and self, and though we all sin and fall short, it helps us to do better, and it helps the congregation to do better also. Even after we are saved we still have the temptations that we had before. When we yield to those temptations, we are required to repent and confess those sins to the Father in Jesus name, and those sins are blotted out. It doesn't mean that you are saved again for you are only saved once, the first time is the only time, and from that point on you need to repent daily of those things that creep in your life. The loss of your temper, words spoken out of order, the breaking of the health laws, or anything else that you have done that goes against God's Word must be repented when immediately after it is done.

This is why we must confess our sins daily to Him as we commit them, for then we can live our lives with a clear conscience. Jesus became the blood sacrifice for our sins, because he was without sin, He was perfect in all ways. It is for your sins that he died and not for anything that He did, and that is why through His death He fulfilled the requirement of the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament. The sheep and goat sacrifices of the Old Testament never forgave one sin, but it was an act of obedience that God required to show their love for him. It became the covering for their sin until the true sacrifice Jesus Christ would come which would forgive those sins.

If you are going out to do God's work, it is important that you get all those hidden sins in your own life cleaned up through your repentance before you try to clean up the sins of others. Remember from the Book of Judges when the Israelites were going to battle against the men of Gibeah because of the Sodomy and filth that was going on in that city. God allowed the Benjamites to slaughter thousands of men of the other tribes that were going to make the Benjamites repent. However, these other tribes had many sins of their own also that they were trying to cover over. But until they made themselves right before God, God turned them over to be slaughtered and did not give them the victory. When repentance came to all the other tribes, then they were allowed to represent the Lord in battle.

This is what Christianity is all about, that we all repent when we sin and then get on with His Work.

I Corinthians 5:8 "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

"The feast" is "the Passover", and Christ is our Passover. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith that we build our Hope upon. With in our Passover there is no room for the leaven of impurities of the things of the world, not even in the divisions of denominationalism that is going on today. Paul is telling the Corinthians at least be honest and truthful in your worship and lives. You find that truth and honesty in the Passover, which is the body of Christ, when we repent of our sins.

I Corinthians 5:9 "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:"

Paul is reminding them that he had written to them before not to keep company with immoral persons. Now here is where the fine line is in establishing where that line is. Are we suppose to go amongst sinners and be their judges? This is where the divisions come in to divide the churches. The mind of many Christians is that they have placed themselves on a very high platform, and they authorize themselves to be the judges of all mankind. They play the role of a self-righteous, puffed up, holier than thou Christian.

Then they use this verse to verify the fact that they just are not to be in the midst of any sinners. They use their very attitude of self-righteousness to show their own ignorance. "To Company with" means "To socialize with". There is nothing wrong in going amongst the sinners, for that is what we were sent to do our mission for, to help those that sin. We were sent here to help those that practice fornication. Though we have been sinners ourselves, we are here to help direct other sinners to find the way to Christ. You have to be able to go among them to help them.

When Jesus was here on earth teaching, He was accused of all sorts of things because He went amongst the sinners. He was accused fo being a wine bibber because He went to the place of the wine bibbers to bring them the gospel of Christ. You go where the sick are if you want to heal the sick, and you go to where the sick spiritually are to help heal their spiritual sickness. Understand that fine line spoken of here as to where we are to go, and what we are to do when we are there. There is a difference between who you socialize with and bring into your home, and have the confidence of your private life. You just don't become best friends of people that are involved with incestuous affairs, and immoral people, without strict discipline.

So Paul is saying in our modern day terms, "Don't party with immoral people."

I Corinthians 5:10 "Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs to go out of this world."

Paul is saying that while you are in this world you can't get away from them completely for they are all around you where ever you go. If you were to stay away from them completely you would have to either die, or go to some remote part of the earth where no human exists. It is just not possible. Again, that is why Christians are sent, to go amongst them and preach the Word of the blood of Christ. We are to teach them and set the example for them.

Remember, the subject of this chapter is the separation of this evil person that is in the congregation of the Corinthians that is practicing incest. The entire church had accepted both him and those sins as being something common. As Paul wrote above, this person should be put out of the church, and separated from the congregation until the man has repented of his sins and changed his life. Though this man is separated from the body of Christ, Paul is saying that it doesn't mean that the people of the church can't go amongst other sinners of the world. But when you are amongst them just don't party with them, but keep your life disciplined.

I Corinthians 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."

Paul is telling them that he wrote this before to you, and now I am writing to you again concerning your keeping company with those that call or claim to be a Christian, and continue to do wicked things. We are to set ourselves apart from those people that do those wicked things and claim to be Christians yet find pleasure in their sinful acts.

I Corinthains 5:12 "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?"

This is a very important point to understand. You don't try to preach a moral code to those that are unbelievers, for they will not add people into your church. But teach those in the world the beauty of the Jesus Christ and His forgiveness, His blessings and in His overall plan just how they fit into that plan. Why would you even try to teach them the deeper spiritual things that are in the Word, when their spiritual eyes are closed and their mind is blinded to any understanding of those spiritual truths.

There is a difference here, for we are not to judge and teach discipline from immorality as the first priority to the unbeliever, but you are to require discipline to those that are of the body of Christ. When they take on the name of Jesus Christ and call themselves Christians, then when they overstep the bounds of God's Word it is time to speak out and draw the line at the church door. That is where the difference comes in, it hinges on what that person claims himself to be. Though you go out into the midst of those in the world that do sinful acts, they do not claim to be Christians. But don't keep company with those that claim to be Christians and act like the world does.

I Corinthians 5:13 "But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

This then is a reminder of what Paul has said above. If you allow a little wickedness to remain within your congregation, that sin will quickly spread throughout the entire body of believers. "A little leaven leaveneth the entire loaf." If one man is practicing incest in the body of Christ and it is allowed to continue unchecked, it will soon spread to where many other sinful acts are committed and they also will go unchecked. Before long the entire church will be allowing all sorts of wickedness to go on, and all those wicked acts will destroy the influence of the entire church.

The important thing is not to draw a line and focus on the line, but study the Word of God, and when those teachings are violated, then at that moment call it to the attention and deal with it immediately. It is not a matter of setting up a list of dos and don'ts, but that each member of the body of Christ be sensitive and obedient to the Word of God. Then the matter can be straightened out before it can get out of hand. There is a simple reason for this; each member of the congregation must be able to discern what is right and what is wrong in the eyes of God, and be willing to discipline their own lives. When an action is pointed out to them, and documented from the Word of God, if the individual is not willing to discipline their life and repent and change their ways, then they must be removed from the body of Christ, the main congregation.

This is called "spiritual discernment" and the Holy Spirit will always guide you through these times. In that we all fall short of God's standards, we must make an allowance for that also, so that we do not run around acting like little judges over our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We must be supportive of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and help them through their weakness, so as not to destroy them and drive them away from the body of Christ. Lets use a little spiritual discernment in helping others through their problems, so that our harsh brash words will not turn them away from us right at the start. You as a Christian know how you can slip from time to time, so we must be careful how we judge others. When we see others drifting off into evil ways, and they refuse to make corrections in their lives, then it is time to separate ourselves from them.

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