Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS 5\\

In this chapter the apostle blames the Corinthians for conniving at a
sin committed by one of their members; declares what he was
determined to do, and what should be done by them in this case; and
in general advises to shun conversation with wicked men; in \\#1Co 5:1\\
mention is made of the sin committed by one among themselves, and
which was publicly known, and commonly talked of; and which in
general was fornication, and particularly incest, a man lying with
his father's wife; and which is aggravated by its being what was not
named, or could not be named among any virtuous persons among the
Gentiles without offence: and yet the members of this church, at
least the majority of them, were unconcerned at it, and were so far
from mourning over it, and taking any step to remove the person from
them that had done it, that they were swelled with pride, and gloried
on account of their gifts, and perhaps on account of this man, who
had committed the iniquity, \\#1Co 5:2\\. This affair being related
to the apostle, though at a distance; and he well knowing all things
concerning it, as though he was present, resolved what should be done
in this case by himself, \\#1Co 5:3\\ and that was to deliver the man
to Satan, in the name, and with the power and authority of Christ,
when the members of this church were gathered together, and his
Spirit with them; the end of which was for the destruction of the
man's body, and the salvation of his soul, \\#1Co 5:4,5\\ and then
the apostle returns to blame them for their glorying in men, and in
external gifts, and pleading these as a reason why the man should be
continued, and not removed from them; not considering the danger they
were exposed to, and which he illustrates by the simile of leaven, a
little of which affects the whole lump: suggesting thereby the danger
they were in by continuing such a wicked person among them, \\#1Co 5:6\\
wherefore pursuing, the same metaphor, taken from the Jewish
passover, he exhorts to remove from them the man that had sinned, as
the Jews at the passover removed the leaven out of their houses; that
so they might appear to be a church renewed, and purged, and clear of
leaven, keeping the true and spiritual passover, which they were
under obligation to do, since Christ, the antitype of the passover,
was sacrificed for them, \\#1Co 5:7\\ wherefore it became them to
keep the feast of the Lord's supper; and indeed, to have the whole
course of their conversation so ordered, as to avoid sin and sinners,
and to behave in truth and uprightness, \\#1Co 5:8\\ when the apostle
goes on to put them in mind of what he had formerly written unto
them, as suitable to the present case, which was, that they should
not keep company with wicked men, particularly with fornicators, such
as this man, though in a more heinous manner, \\#1Co 5:9\\ and
explains what was his meaning; not that they were to have no manner
of conversation with persons of such a character, and of such like
evil characters, in things of a civil nature, for then there would be
no living in the world, \\#1Co 5:10\\. But his sense was, that they
should keep no company with persons guilty of the sins mentioned, who
bore the name of Christian brethren, and were members of the same
church state with them, from whose communion they ought to be
removed; and indeed, so much familiarity with them should not be
indulged, as even to eat with them, \\#1Co 5:11\\. The reason of
this difference, which he made between wicked men, who were not
members of the church, and those that were, is because he had nothing
to do, nor they neither, with them that were without the church, as
it was their business only to take cognizance of them that were
within, \\#1Co 5:12\\ but neither of them had anything to do, to
judge and censure those that did not belong to the church, but should
leave them to God, the righteous Judge; and then closes all, \\#1Co 5:13\\
with what he had chiefly in view throughout the whole chapter, and
that is, that they would remove from their communion the wicked
person who had been guilty of the sin first mentioned.