1 Corinthians 5: A Case Study in Church Discipline

Lesson 2001
Tags: Church discipline; Sin; Holiness; 1 Corinthians 5
Excerpted from Sin in the Church


  • To lead participants to a greater understanding of God’s holiness and the holiness which He requires of the local church.
  • To warn participants concerning the destructive impact of sin.
  • To prepare participants to deal with sin in the church in a biblical manner.


1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 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:
8 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.
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Discussion Points

How should church members respond to sin in the congregation?

  • Not in pride, but in grief (v. 2)
  • Turning offender over to Satan (vv. 3-5)
  • Refraining from company with offender (vv. 9-11, 13)

Why is sin in the church so serious a matter?

  • Sin can spread quickly throughout the church body (vv. 6-7).
  • Sin among Christians denies the reality of redemption (vv. 7-8).
  • Sin makes the church indistinguishable from the world (vv. 9-13).

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