Commentary on Paul’s Letters to the Corinthian Church
ARC Guide Level 1
Ideal for those getting acquainted with our thought process at Ammi Ruhama Community.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[b] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”1 Corinthians 5:9-13 English Standard Version
Over the past 5 chapters Paul has repeatedly reminded the people of God in Corinth and everywhere His letter was to be read that we have nothing to boast about, ourselves, as everything that we have has been given to us by God. In that mind consider Paul’s focus on sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, reviling, drunkenness, or swindling as the collective means of excess and boasting in the flesh. He says, in effect, that the body has become a proverbial locker room where we slap each other on the back for our respective scores and revile anyone who would oppose us. We love a good reviling. If I had to guess, I would say that it’s our favourite form of entertainment today–even within the church. To attribute all the social ills of society to those outside of us and to parade ourselves as having a righteousness coming from ourselves. To turn outsider’s names into pejoratives in an act of supreme self-righteousness, self-aggrandizing judgement. Paul says that if we are to judge anyone, we ought to judge those who claim to be controlled by the Spirit of God and yet continue in this way of life. The message that is communicated by these pretenders is, “I am a Christian, full of the Spirit of God; I do what He tells me to do, go where He tells me to go, and say what He tells me to say and what He has told me to do is to take advantage of the poor and socially disenfranchised–to take my Father’s wife into my bed, to revile anyone who would disagree with what I say God has told me to do, and say and where God has told me to go. ” It is the height of taking the Lord’s name in vain. As believers we cannot help but to make the first claim; it is the essence of our calling in the Spirit, but to boast in our sin as being commanded by God and to not associate with the non-believer, judging them for sins we ourselves commit in the body and sometimes boast about is a darkness and wickedness that needs, as Paul says, ‘purged,’ from among us.