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5
The sin of Corinth denounced
1And something else clings close to this spirit of self-righteousness. Have you yourselves, you who belong to the Spirit and not to the flesh, have you rid yourselves of the sin which disgraces your ancient city and makes her a by-word, and the shameful traffic in immorality for which she is so notorious? Are you spotless? Is fornication a thing unknown in your midst, amongst your members? Or is the old leaven still at work in you too, who belong to the Church of God in Corinth, amongst the saints as well as in the gentile streets of the city? 2You know that it has not yet been cast out. Why have you not “put away the evil from among you” as Moses decrees in the law. (Deut. xxii. 24). In you this leaven has culminated in a manifestation of evil worse than anything heard of among the Gentiles, a scandal wherein a son has sinned against his own father and his father's wife. 3-8And all the time you believe yourselves to have achieved something! Under the law such offenders were taken out of the city by the whole congregation and stoned without the gate. In our spiritual church of faith this type and example should have taught you for ever to reject from your midst the spirit that works this evil and the persons who do it. But this sin has not been hidden from me. Absent in body, I have been present in spirit, and in that spirit I have already, as in your presence, as in the midst of the whole congregation, searched out and judged and given over to the devil from which it springs this old leaven of fornication and hell, thereby abandoning it to the doom that is coming on all flesh. For God is judging the flesh.
Separate yourselves
9Therefore I wrote to you in a former Epistle to separate yourselves utterly from the fornication of the world, 10to have nothing to do with its traffic and merchandise and all the robbery and greed and superstition and idolatry which centre round it, bidding you to come out of the world and be separate. 11But now I write to bid you beware of its presence in your very midst, beware of those so-called “brothers” in whom the spirit of the world still works, who though they be called brethren are still the fools of lust, of greed, of drunkenness, superstition and rage. 12-13God judges the world, and His judgment comes apace; but now see that you judge the saints. “Put away the evil from your midst.” Let not the old leaven find its way back again. You had purged it out, your Church was like the new paschal loaf, eaten with the passion, eaten with the lamb of the sacrifice, in which no leaven is used. Now, our sacrifice is the paschal lamb and the unleavened bread, and the feast wherein they are partaken of is the spiritual Christ, crucified by the world, and the purity and freedom from the spirit of the world which accompany this sacrifice. Let us enjoy that feast, my brethren, untainted by the fermenting liquors of the world — the feast of sincerity and truth.
5
Throw the Evil Person Out!
1It is actually reported that there is sexual sin among you. I'm told that a man is living with his father's wife and is having sex with her. Even people who do not know God don't commit that sin. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you be filled with sadness instead? Shouldn't you have put the man who did that out of your church?
3Even though I am not right there with you, I am with you in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did that, just as if I were there.
4When you come together in the name of our Lord Jesus, I will be with you in spirit. The power of our Lord Jesus will also be with you. 5When you come together like that, hand that man over to Satan. Then his sinful nature will be destroyed. His spirit will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
6Your bragging is not good. It is like yeast. Don't you know that just a little yeast works its way through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast. Be like a new batch of dough without yeast. That is what you really are, because Christ has been offered up for us. He is our Passover lamb.
8So let us keep the Feast, but not with the old yeast. I'm talking about yeast that is full of hatred and evil. Let us keep the Feast with bread made without yeast. Let us do it with bread that is honest and true.
9I wrote a letter to you to tell you to stay away from people who commit sexual sins. 10I didn't mean the people of this world who sin that way or who always want more and more. I didn't mean those who cheat or who worship statues of gods. In that case you would have to leave this world!
11But here is what I am writing to you. You must stay away from anyone who claims to be a believer but who does those things. Stay away from anyone who commits sexual sins or who always wants more and more things. Stay away from a person who worships statues of gods or who tells lies about others. Stay away from anyone who gets drunk or who cheats. Don't even eat with a person like that.
12Is it my business to judge those outside the church? Aren't you supposed to judge those inside the church? 13God will judge those outside. Scripture says, "Get rid of that evil person!" (Deuteronomy 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7)