The Truth comes to Corinth
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Paul Commands Righteous Judgment
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. KJV
Paul in closing this section of his letter to these Corinthian believers concludes his discourse by commanding them to judge this man in their fellowship. Paul’s purpose for their judgment is not that they would condemn him or damn him for that is reserved for our Lord Jesus Christ only who knows the secrets of men’s heart, but Paul was commanding their judgment for the purpose of them keeping their fellowship pure, righteous, and holy as the fellowship of every group of true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ should be. This is why Paul said this to them earlier, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). No matter how someone may try and gloss over or twist the truth, Paul has declared to them and to us that sincere worship and true worship of our Lord Jesus Christ does not manifest itself in the unrepentant indulgence in sexual impurity or sexual immorality of any kind at all.
Paul concludes by asking them two piercing and penetrating questions with the expressed purpose in them to startle their consciences or awaken them out of spiritual sleep, Paul asked, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?” (1 Corinthians 5:12). Paul wrote in this manner to the believers in Rome detailing for them what sincere and true love does and does not do, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:8-14).
People will often say, “Didn’t Jesus say ‘Judge Not’” whether they are saved or lost most people know that our Lord Jesus made this statement. However, our Lord Jesus used that word “judge” in the context of what we said earlier and that is we are not to condemn or damn others, but even Paul wrote these words in his benediction of this first letter to these Corinthians, “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha” (1 Corinthians 16:22). Paul meant let the person who does not love our Lord Jesus Christ be “Divinely Judged” for rejecting or resisting Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul wants them to exercise righteous judgment among one another discerning the difference between good behavior and evil behavior. Paul declares that God is the judge of the unbelievers in Corinth and elsewhere on the earth, but the One True God commands and demands them and us today to judge one another by the fruit bearing in our lives whether it be according to the “will of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) or whether it be not according to the “will of God” (1 John 3:10). Paul commands them to “put away” or the Greek word exairo which means to remove or to lift up or take away out of a place. Paul also refers to this man (according to his actions, his fruit bearing in his life) as “that wicked person” and this English phrase is translated by the Greek word poneros which means that hurtful or evil person in the effect and influence (negatively) on others, causing pain and trouble.
As we conclude our commentary on this very difficult chapter in Paul’s letter to these beloved brothers and sisters to Paul, we know by virtue of his second letter we have that he wrote to them how painful and difficult it was for him to write these things to them, but Paul knew they must hear the truth and he prayed that they would receive it as the truth and that repentance, restoration, and reconciliation would be the result and to the Glory of God it was for this man and for Paul whose prayers were answered by our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote these words to them in his second letter pouring out his heart to them, “For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it--for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while--I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 7:8-12).
“Paul compares the Corinthian church to the Children of Israel, who, after sprinkling the blood, kept the feast of joy within closed doors-a careful search having been made for any atom of leaven that had hitherto escaped scrutiny. So we should put away from our lives, homes, and churches everything that would offend the gracious Paraclete. Since Christ has been slain for us, we must daily feed on Him with festal joy. Our loins must be girded as becomes those about to depart at a moment’s notice. We must be ever on the alert to detect the summons for an exodus out of this dark Egyptian world into the world that is to come.” F. B. Meyer
“Paul declares that to judge each other who are “in Christ” is the normal thing to do for every true believer that desires every person “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13), for this is the fulfillment of the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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