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CHAPTER 5.
1IT is absolutely heard, that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as the like is not among the heathens; that one should have his father's wife.
2And you are puffed up; and have not rather mourned, that he might be taken away from among you, that hath done this deed.
3I indeed, absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him that hath so done,
4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus;
5To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump?
7Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed.
8Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators.
10I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world.
11But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat.
12For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within?
13For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.
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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.