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1 Corinthians 5:1-5

by Don Costello  
6/22/2008 / Bible Studies

1 Corinthians 5:1
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.
1. "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you"
a. fornication [4202 * porneia] [Zodhiates: Fornication, lewdness, sexual sin of any kind.
b. Amplified Bible: "It is actually reported that there
is sexual immorality among you"

c. commonly [3654 * holos] [Zodhiates: Wholly,

d. This was common knowledge all over the area.

2. "and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."

a. Under the Old Covenant this sin would have
demanded the death penalty for both the man and the woman.

1). Leviticus 20:11"And the man that lieth with
his father's wife hath uncovered his father's
nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to
death; their blood shall be upon them."

b. Here we will see some of the stark differences between the Old Covenant and the New.

1 Corinthians 5:2

And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

a. Amplified Bible: "And you are proud and arrogant!
And you ought rather to mourn, bow in sorrow and in shame until the person who has done this shameful thing is removed from your fellowship and your midst!

b. NIV: "And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?"

c. There is no mention of putting to death, the only things Paul mentions that should be present in these circumstances is that of grief on the part of the congregation and for them to put this person out of their fellowship.

1 Corinthians 5:3

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.

1. "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit,.."

a. I have always heard this phrase used in a very
common usage in the sense of, I won't be there
physically but my heart and feelings are with you. I am with you in spirit. I don't think that is what is meant here. There are scriptural instances of saints being translated over large distances in their physical bodies by the Spirit of God.

1). Elijah: 2 Kings 2:1, 3, 5, 7, 16.

2). Phillip: Acts 8:39, 40.

b. When the Apostle Paul was caught up to heaven he did not know if he was in his physical body or out of it.

1). 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 "I knew a man in Christ Above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter."

c. John was physically in the Isle of Patmos, but in
his spirit he was given a vision that is the book of

1). "I John, who also am your brother, and
companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard Behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet"

d. Ezekiel had an out of body experience while he
was in exile in Babylon [Chaldea]. Ezekiel 11:1- 25.

e. What is meant by "absent in body, present in
spirit is he was having an out of body experience by the Spirit of God. His spirit left his body and went in the Spirit to Corinth, while his body physically stayed where it was.

2. "have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed."

a. judged [2919 * krino] [Zodhiates: To separate,
distinguish, discriminate between good and evil,
select, choose out the good. In the NT, it means
to judge, to from or give an opinion after
separating and considering the particulars of a

b. After considering the particulars of this case the Apostle Paul discriminated between the good and evil and came to a judgment. But some may say, "Didn't Jesus say in Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.? Yes he did, and it is the same Greek word, but what Jesus was referring to and what Paul was dealing with are two different things. Jesus was referring to judging a brother or sister who has a spec in their eye. He is talking about knit picking, and he condemned it. There is a big difference between a spec in my brother's eye and my brother sleeping with his father's wife. Later in this study we will show how Jesus spoke on church discipline that deals with more serious matters than a spec in my brother's eye.

1 Corinthians 5:4

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

a. Paul begins his authorative direction by saying basically, "You need to gather together in the name and in power and authority of Jesus Christ." Paul says he will be there in spirit.

b. I am fully persuaded that the woman who was this man's stepmother was not a member of this church, and is the reason she is not mentioned in the punishment.

1 Corinthians 5:5

To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1."To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh"
a. deliver [3860 * paradidomi; para-to the side of; didomi-to give]. [Zodhiates: To deliver over or up to the power of someonefor trial or condemnation, Mark 15:1; to soldiers, Matthew 18:34; of persons, Delivered over to suffer something, Romans 1:24, 26, 28;] [Thayer: The phrase seems to have originated from the Jewish formulas of excommunication because a person banished from the theocratic assembly was regarded as deprived of the protection of God and
delivered up to the power of the devil.]

c. destruction [3639 * olethros] [Zodhiates: Ruin,

d. This phrase is used only one other time by Paul, 1 Timothy 1:20.

1). 1 Timothy 1:20 "Of whom is Hymenaeus
and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto
Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."

2). Part of my theory on this verse is that both
of these men, because they are mentioned in other places in Scripture in very bad light were the leaders in their particular heresy, and they are mentioned together here to convey that they both were "delivered over to Satan", however for different reasons.

endThis destruction did not kill the man. 3). Dake: "The purpose of delivering him to Satan was to destroy the flesh. This required members to withdraw all fellowship and spiritual influence from him, and to quit praying for him, so as to permit Satan to afflict his body thus perhaps bringing him to repentance, that his spirit might be saved in the What ever it was, it was capable of bringing him to repentance."

4). Unger's Bible Dictionary: "The formula of delivering or handing over to Satan, admits of difference of interpretation. Some interpret it as being merely a symbol of excommunication, which involves "exclusion from all Christian fellowship and consequently banishment to the society from which the offender had publicly severed himself" (Dr. David Brown). This "handing over to Satan was an apostolic act, a supernatural infliction of bodily infirmity, or disease, or death, as a penalty for grievious sin. It is scarcely doubtful that St. Paul delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan, in order that Satan might have power to afflict their bodies, with a view to their spiritual amelioration" (Dr. Alfred Plummer).

5). There is no doubt in my mind that this was an apostolic act, but I believe it can be a local congregational act as well, and even an act between two or three believers. What must be in mind is that this action was taken with repentance as the goal.

e. Steps of Excommunication from Jesus.

1). Matthew 18:15-17 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a plubican.

f. Jesus said that whatever decision is come to in a righteous manner will be backed up by God.
1). Matthew 18:18-20 "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."

g. The added revelation of the handing over
to Satan was given to Paul by God.

1). The end result was to be repentance, which
was accomplished as related in 2 Corinthians 2:4- 8 and 2 Corinthians 7:8-11.

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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