Immorality Must Be Judged

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

— 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

Paul says that he has already told them not to keep company with sexually immoral people. He now amplifies that and points out that he is referring to compromised Christians engaging in obvious forms of wickedness, whether it be related to sex, coveting, idolatry, riotous living, drunkenness, or extortion. They must not even eat with such unrepentant Christians who openly practise sin. On the other hand, they need to have appropriate contact with unconverted people who practise the same sins, in order to influence them with the gospel.

Paul repeats that they must do the difficult thing and ‘put away from yourselves the evil person’. Though grasping the nettle is unpleasant, it is part of obeying our holy God. [Adapted from The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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