1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote to you in an letter not to company with fornicators:…
In a former letter, now lost, Paul had given the Corinthians instructions not to mix themselves up with persons of evil character. These instructions had been misunderstood, and the apostle now explains what his meaning was.
I. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT TO AVOID NECESSARY INTERCOURSE WITH THE WORLD, Society at Corinth was corrupt. Every law in both tables was habitually transgressed, and to avoid meeting such transgressors was impossible. And this is true of the world as it now is outside the Church. You have to do business in it. and to deal often with men whose character is immoral. You cannot help forming relationships with them, and being associated with them in many ways. But while this is a necessity of our situation in a wicked world, true Christians will not make companions of such sinners. Duty may take you into unpleasant and dangerous localities, but you do not remain there of choice. Whilst you are in the world, as the followers of Christ you are not of it.
II. PROFESSING CHRISTIANS OF EVIL CHARACTER ARE TO BE SHUNNED. Remembering the condition of Corinthian society, we are not astonished to find such sins as Paul here mentions appearing in the Church. A so called Christian living in the practice of these or similar iniquities, thereby proves himself to be no Christian at all. There must be no fellowship with such persons, no eating and drinking with them as if they belonged to the Church. They are to be put out of the Christian society. This applies, not only to the judicial act of the Church, but also to the conduct of individual members towards offenders. There must be a holy abhorrence of the sin as defiling the body of Christ, and a careful keeping of our garments clean. Not, however, with the mistaken aim of having a perfectly pure Church; for discipline can take cognizance only of open and scandalous sins. Nor are we to act in a censorious or Pharisaic spirit. Along with hatred of the sin let there be a Christ like compassion for the sinner. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: