In chapter 5, Paul addresses reports of sexual immorality among the church members at Corinth. Paul tells them in verse 1 that word has reached him of one among them who is engaged in incest with what is presumably his step-mother (Paul would simply have said “his mother” if that were the case). They were in the midst of, and converted to Christianity from, a pagan society that tolerated – even celebrated sexual immorality and idolatry. Yet Paul states that immorality of this nature is “not tolerated even among pagans” (both Greek and Roman cultures condemned incest).
Paul finds it amazing that the church there has problems with people full of pride (verse 2), and that many are boasting (verse 6) about their gifts and their capable teachers, while they tolerate and say nothing about one of their own being involved in such scandalous immorality! Verse 5 simply means that instead of acting as if everything is normal with such a man in their midst, they must distance themselves from him in the proper manner. The key phrase is “so that his spirit may be saved.” By not correcting him and behaving as if he is doing no wrong, the church there is neglecting his very soul (not to mention the fact that the public nature of his sin is known to others outside the congregation, thus harming the church).
He continues emphasis on sexual immorality in chapter six, reminding them that they were different from the worldly people they once were, saying:
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person osins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.