Today we’re combining chapters 5 and 6 of 1 Corinthians and I have to give fair warning — this is PG13 — and we’ll be covering sensitive and what may be offensive content for some people. Nevertheless, this is a topic that many progressive and Catholic churches skip over because of those reasons. It makes you wonder why “good Catholic girls” get into trouble or why so many parishioners are disgusted with the Catholic Church and its obvious toleration of sexual immorality among both priests and nuns.
Let’s see what Paul has to say to the church in Corinth that is very applicable to our churches today...
1 Corinthians 5
I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. 2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”1 Corinthians 5 NLT
1 Corinthians 6
When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! 2 Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Avoiding Sexual Sin — Pay Attention!
12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.1 Corinthians 6 NLT
Judging and Rebuking is OK — Sin is NOT!
What was going on in Corinth in the first century is exactly what is going on in today’s culture. Many churches condone sexual immorality and they are not supposed to. This includes:
- Fornication – having sex before marriage
- Adultery – a married person having sex with someone who is not their spouse
- Homosexuality – sex with a person of the same gender
- Other heinous acts that we won’t mention here
A church that considers themselves Christian should not tolerate such sin among their congregants. That is hypocrisy pure and simple! All Christians should confront blatant sin in the house of God.
Sex creates a spiritual bond between a man and a woman. God created sex to be between a husband and wife so that it’s sacred and holy under the bond of marriage.
“The only “safe sex” is between a husband and wife.”Pastor Sandy Adams in the ThroughTheWord free bible study app
Chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians continues Paul’s discussion on sex and marriage. Not being married, I’ll let you read it for yourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal its truth to you.
Paul called out other sinners:
- Swindlers and cheaters
- Idolaters — those that worship anything besides Jesus — statues, Mary, saints, crucifixes, pagan rituals
- Greedy people
- Abusers — both physical and verbal
If a church allows such evil, they are allowing the “leaven” or sin to spread throughout the church. Don’t give the devil a foothold! That’s all he needs to take over. We see that way back in the history of the Christian Church…
But There is Good News!
The blood of Christ cleanses us all!
All we have to do is…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died once and for all taking our sins — past, present and future — away for good.
- Repent of your sins! Stop sinning! Do a complete 180 turn in your life.
- Be Baptized! Yes, you need to get dunked! That shows you and the world that you are dying to your old self and are rising to a new life in Jesus Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit into your heart. Your body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit who will guide you to keep you sanctified until you die or the rapture happens and you go directly to heaven (BTW, purgatory does not exist!).
No matter how horrendous your sin is, through Jesus and only through JESUS, you can be cleansed and made new!
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!