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1 Corinthians 5:1-8

1 Corinthians 5:1-8


Series: 1 Corinthians
Sermon: Believers’ Attitude toward Sin
Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8

There was an ugly situation that plagued the Corinthian church

I. A Christian man was having sexual/improper relationship with his father’s wife (verse 1)

1. What kind of testimony Corinthian Christians would have had among the non-Christians Corinthians?
2. Where is the missional presence in a terribly sin-ridden city?
3. Has he misunderstood his Christian freedom? Or, did Corinthian Christians endorse such sin in the faith-family?

II. Paul uses the word pornea which is translated as “unchastity” (verse 1)

1. Sexual behavior outside of the lifelong covenant boundary
2. This includes pre-marital physical relationship, post-marital unfaithfulness, same-sex, incest, etc. (Lev 18:6-13, particularly verse 8)
III. The church knew about this matter, but they did not address it (verse 2)

IV. According to Paul, their silence about this matter is as good as endorsement (verse 2)

1. Paul interprets the silence of the congregation as being “proud” of such behavior (verse 2)
2. In other words, the congregation was proud of such deviant behavior
3. Paul was concerned about the easy-going attitude towards sin in the camp
4. Paul seems to be upset about their idea of Christian freedom
5. Paul is not saying that they should condemn or judge (which is secondary), but he is saying that they should have been shocked, grief-stricken
6. Either they are condoning the sin, or they are careless about the person, which is not possible in a faith-family

V. According the Paul, such matter should have brought pain in the congregation (verse 2)

1. The person who was found to be in this deviant behavior should have been removed from the congregation (verse 2) (church discipline)
2. It was not just to punish the perpetrator, but to give him an opportunity to be redeemed (cf. 2 Cor 2:5-10)

VI. If sin is not addressed in a church-family, it will bring corruption to the entire faith-family just as a little leaven influences the whole batch (5:6-8; cf. Gal 5:9)

1. In the analogy of the leaven, the old leaven refers to “life before a person becoming a Christian” and “new batch of dough” refers to new life in Christ in a Christian context
2. The believers of the Corinthian church became unleavened when they believed in Jesus and were baptized
3. Paul’s exhortation of cleansing the un-leaven-evil has direct parallel with the celebration of Passover
4. Paul reiterates the role of Jesus as God’s Passover Lamb that provided Christians freedom from sin and slavery
5. Now, Christians do not celebrate the Passover only ones a year ritually, but they live out throughout their life-time
6. In other words, it should be celebrated without the leaven—purity and holiness

VII. Church discipline is necessary for the health of a church

1. Spiritual and moral health of a member affects the entire church
2. Discipline is not for the satisfaction of the one who administers it, but it is for the benefit of the individual concerned and the health of the church
3. Church discipline is important in an accountable relationship


Take sin of any form seriously

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at