Corinth and Athens were "the seat of most of the immorality (IN THE ANCIENT WORLD). They, according to historians, were the two most immoral cities. Even their worship was immoral. They had prostitutes in their temples where the people went to worship."
- Corinth was known and identified far and wide as a city of evil & immorality. (Corinthian-ize, i.e., practice immorality). [A liberal town, a port city in Greece]
- They had their temple dedicated to Aphrodite, w/some 1000 female priests, or religious prostitutes.
Grecians considered by many to be the intellectually elite - "The Greeks’ view of life was that sex was a biological urge, as much as taking a drink of water or getting sleep or exercise or (God values both man and women equally and puts the restraints of sex within marriage on both genders)
(household of Chloe reports this widely known indiscretion…eating…. Yet women were ‘not allowed to have sex outside of marriage?
Imagine….A culture that thinks it's second to none in intelligence… and ‘deep thinking’ which celebrates ‘success’, the ‘arts’ celebrates open sexuality.. Has no understanding that there is God.(a) and only one of them (b) who created us © and has moral absolutes’ for us to live by - says there is a right and a wrong way to live. There is a thing called sin… (‘mis-using’ how we were designed to enjoy life - hurting ourselves God.. and others)
and there is a thing called ‘walking in the grace’ and 'forgiveness’ of God..
There is a thing called ‘walking in the power of God.
And one day.. The apostle Paul arrives in town. Paul… who has experienced a ‘living God’ of moral absolutes.. Who.. also.. By the way.. Came in the person of Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself to a horrible torture and death - to redeem us from sin and restore us t peace with God
The new Corinthian church.. like all others, has to start learning how to ‘apply’ what Christ offers with a child-like’ understanding.. it's only in its 1st 3 - 5 years of growth?
So how much do we think a ‘big city’ group of new ‘gentile’ believers has to ‘re-learn’ if they have ‘never known’ ‘God’ or His ways…. Or experienced the life and teaching of Jesus?
Basically? Everything has to be re-learned. The same as it is for a new believer in our culture.
Thank God.. He says.. Behold.. I make all things new” 🙂and it is the joy of our redeeming God to see that happen..
Here’s Paul’s approach - review with me
The 1st two chapters remind then who they are in Christ:
An apostle of Christ Jesus[b] by the will of God,
2 to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord J3 Grace and peace to you[d] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
You were made rich[e] in every way in him, 8 He[h] will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord. To end your divisions,[k] and to be united by the same mind and purpose.[l]
18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
”12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God
Then something sober to think about:...
3 So, brothers and sisters,[a] I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh,[b] as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you milk,[c] not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 for you are still influenced by the flesh.[d
And he calls them to the higher calling:
9 We are coworkers belonging to God.[k] You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation,
(He starts talking about how to live as a community of faith-filled believers in a church…)
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple[q] and that God’s Spirit lives in you?......
For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
18 Guard against self-deception, each of you.[r]
And he encourages again:
Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God….
In Chapters 1 & 2, how many of these statements are encouraging, accepting?
1- I.e we must think rightly about who God is… who we are to be in the grace of God in Christ, who we are to be under the instruction of the apostles of Christ…
You have been set apart, given access to rich resources, He will help you become blameless at HIs return 🙂If! You’ll recognize his words as not ‘foolishness’ but His power to change a life for the better.
2- We cannot imagine the good things he has planned for us… without His spirit entering our hearts. It is 1st In Yielding to His Spirit living in us ‘that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God’
3- then the basic observation the need correcting: You're living just for your own satisfaction. Is spiritually immature… it. won’t lead to peace with God in Christ.. In living for Christ we become satisfied ‘in Him’.. In ‘serving Him’; that mindset will only lead to building anything with him for him that will be rewarded as done in faith’ done ‘faithfully’
So to summarize -
It will take 16 chapters to properly address the needs of the Corinthian church..
Problems in the congregation, personal problems in the worship service, problems properly understanding the resurrection..
So in Chapter 4 Paul wisely begins clearing up any ‘authority questions’ regarding a messenger of God to us - for the purpose of correcting us in the Spirit’ - ‘I have a clear conscience. God is my judge who I will have to answer to. so will you, be careful you only make time for ‘‘judging me or others, and boast your opinions, while avoiding hearing the Spirit to ‘judging and convicting you
I am also writing to you to correct you as a spiritual father, stop being arrogant, Imitate what you learned from me, I care enough about you that I am sending someone to model humility and righteousness to you, and I will come to you as well as the Lord allows it in His timing..
5 It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with[a].... his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud![b] Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this[c] from among you?
NKJV:5:2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. (‘Done’ =prasso’ = habitual effort)
3 For even though I am absent physically,[d] I am present in spirit. And I have already ‘judged’ the one who did this, just as though I were present.[e] (judged -The word krino meant originally to separate, then to distinguish, to pick out, to be of opinion, and finally, to judge The act of judgment was therefore that of forming an accurate and honest opinion of someone, thus, appraising his character, and placing him in a certain position with respect to the law of God. righteously -applying same to himself - not hypocritically)
4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus,[f] and I am with you in spirit,[g] (Paul in Ephesus) along with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved[h] in the day of the Lord.[i]
(3_church -apostle - Jesus’ power)
(Jesus(20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”)
Mt 18:15ESV (3 strikes) private with other brothers before the church.. Paul is calling the local church to tend to its own - pastor, elders, before the congregation to remove the unrepentant member. Here, it seems, if the body was unwilling to confront him alone, or then with 2 or 3 brothers.. And the sin. David’s sin: one of the consequences of his sin was that the name of the one true God was ‘blasphemed by God’s enemies’ (2 Samuel 12:14).
The ‘deliver’ over examples: Romans 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper?
(paradidomi) in the context of discipline in 1 Tim 1:20 Paul writes "Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme." So in this passage the delivering over is intended to have a restorative or remedial effect which is similar to Paul's intent of the deliverance in 1 Cor 5:5 "so that his spirit may be saved." (God means whatever damage Satan does him - for good)
‘ for the destruction of the flesh’.. This destruction will not be a loss of being but rather a loss of well-being. T?? Ananias and Saphira? Believers lives taken? actual physical decay? The breaking down of the zeal compulsion taken over him - that he might be free and have mastery over his body with self control) punishment that leads to repentance (that "his spirit may be saved").
Paul does does not say "will be saved" (NLT paraphrases it "will be saved" but that is not what the literal Greek says) but "may be saved." (he may have repented? And restored to fellowship - more later - 2 Cor 2:5-8 ‘And all judgment ends at repentance; all discipline ceases when repentance occurs’
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast[j] affects[k] the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough—you are, in fact, without yeast.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.[l] (Nothing to lie about, done believing lies about God) ?? How many relationships do selfish ’vices’ destroy..
How many vices lead to evil? those who have refused to acknowledge God and are given over by God to a depraved mind as "being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips. (Ro 1:29-+). (the life without sin - is the life of serenity and truth) serenity’= shining of sun + krino = judge) literally means judged by sunlight, and then figuratively to that is tested as genuine, pure, sincere, uncontaminated, unmixed by seductive influences of world, the flesh, devil. 🙂 (cracks filled with wax revealed by sun)
Job who "was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil." (Job 1:1
Free from the The leaven of ‘boasting? The leaven of ‘boasting? The leaven of sexual sin.. ‘leaven’ =Yeast -permeates the dough and causes it to rise
Wiersbe - leaven always “puffs up” whatever it infects.
What causes yeast not to activate? Anyone? Salt
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Macarthur points out for God’s people in Israel
bread represented sustenance of life, and the Passover and Exodus represented deliverance from the old life (in Egypt) and entrance into the new life (in the Promised Land). The leaven represented the old life—the way of Egypt, the way of the world—which was to be left entirely behind.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. (that letter was lost?) associate’ = intimate close company
10 In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian[m] who is sexually immoral, or greedy, "Thou shalt not covet" or an idolater, (worship of the creation rather than the Creator)
or verbally abusive,[n] or a drunkard, or a swindler.
(Eph no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, (HE IS SPEAKING OF THOSE WHO MAKE THIS THEIR LIFESTYLE) has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
(lot pitched his tent toward Sodom - ended up there) "let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).
Do not even eat with such a person. (again - unrepentant in these areas)
(we continue to love-pray for, open to encourage, restore, accept back into fellowship - ‘remember heaven may have us together’) put the holiness of the church must be free from sin affecting it. -challenging picture - God gives his word and holy spirit to order the church (grateful for Dave, Bruce)
12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.[o]
??How had this church mis-handled this?? Lost its way?? Pride? Of what?? A growing church? With important people? Paul doesn’t say.. But if it was ambition driving them, and Not love of the lord the story may apply.
Jeb Stuart McGruder was one of the figures involved in Watergate. He was a promising young politician with a good background and a great future. But he became confused about the distinction between right and wrong, and was caught up in the Watergate cover-up. When he was sentenced to prison, someone asked him why he did it. He said, "My ambition obscured my judgment. Somewhere between my ambition and my ideals I lost my compass."
--background from bible scholars note:
-------------------------Our security against sin lies in our being shocked at it.”-- William Barclay yet..
Paul's teaching in the yeast may not only be for the Corinthian church’s health - but all churches if news of accepting this behavior in the church was spreading to other church…
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications (porneia), thefts, murders, adulteries...All these evil things proceed from within and defile (koinoo in present tense - continually pollute) the man.” (Mk. 7:21, 23+)
How gracious of God that through the apostles, he says - the sins of sexuality will get you the same place these other sins - outside the body - will get you - outside the fellowship of God…
Pornea - 6xs gospels 2 acts , 5xa Corinthian letters, mentioned 1 x in letters to 4 other churches, 7x's revelation
And this type of immorality - apparently condoned by the Corinthian church?
No mention of disciple of the women suggests she was not a believer of member of the church
Even ‘gentiles’ were convicted by in their conscience = “
‘ their conscience bearing witness ‘ as Paul's says (in romans)...
Paul taught that the Christian husband was to love one wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her .. being a part of her life to work as a help that there would be no spot or wrinkle in her character.. To hold her as precious - and treat her so.
Son with step mother a far cry from that. It was an ongoing relationship.. This appears to be a ‘believer’ living a fleshly life. ‘Incest’?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------6 ‘None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the Lord.
It was also against the laws of Rome at the time. Its Roman legal punishment was banishment to an island. Relations with stepmothers were treated like relations with mothers—as incestuous. ( IVPBBCNT)
We should not be surprised it happened in Corinth.. As people come out of the world into Christ.. Sanctification begins.. People stumble in the old nature.. People backslide… paul simply says - he has to be put out now in hopes he will become convicted and repent..
NOTE - Paul’s attitude - that he might repent…
Unlike the Scarlett Letter.. Jesus,,, when the adultering woman was brought to him said, ‘your sins are forgiven sin no more’..
Important to note:
Church disciple in NT (‘ bob Utley’s theological background to church disciple’)
Church discipline has three purposes.
- to maintain the reputation and integrity of the local church
- to help disciple and restore an erring covenant brother or sister (cf. 2 Cor. 2:5–11; 2 Thess. 3:14–15)
- to cause other Christians not to sin (cf. 1 Tim. 5:20)
- Discipline takes place in stages.
- first, private confrontation and, if not successful, personal disfellowship (cf. Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1; 2 Thess. 3:14–15; Titus 3:10)
- second, small group confrontation (cf. Matt. 18:16)
- third, public exclusion from the Christian fellowship (cf. Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Tim. 1:20)
Church discipline has three purposes.
- to maintain the reputation and integrity of the local church
Interesting verse from rev 2-20-22 - Jesus says of the church in Thyatira write the following:[a]
It encapsulates this idea of Jesus being Holy and pure…
Speaking himself of His presence being being patient. But also demanding repentance of sin to be a believer in fellowship with HIs holiness and those who want to be called ‘by the name of the Lord’.
He calls ius out of the culture of the ‘world’ into the holy, safe culture of the kingdom of God.
He too 1st encourages as Paul does.. But then corrects..
20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that[bn] woman[bo] Jezebel,[bp] who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives[bq] my servants[br] to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.[bs] 21 I[bt] have given her time to repent, but[bu] she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness,[bv] and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering,[bw] unless they repent of her deeds. 23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers[bx] with a deadly disease,[by] and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay[bz] each one of you[ca] what your deeds deserve.[cb] 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching[cc] (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets[cd] of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. 25 However, hold on to what you have until I come. 26 (he goes on to say how he will bless) ‘ the one who conquers[ce] and who continues in[cf] my deeds until the end, I…..
will ‘bless’..... 29 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
To the churches’
To the Christians to the body ‘of Christ’.
God cares about the state we are in… ‘Believers in Him’.. left here.. In this time in place.. With faith.. to glorify God.
he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone.[cj] 26 From one man[ck] he made every nation of the human race[cl] to inhabit the entire earth,[cm] determining their set times[cn] and the fixed limits of the places where they would live,[co] 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around[cp] for him and find him,....
15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe[aw] from the evil one.[ax] 16 They do not belong to the world[ay] just as I do not belong to the world.[az] 17 Set them apart[ba] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.[bb] 19 And I set myself apart[bc] on their behalf,[bd] so that they too may be truly set apart.[be]
?? For what reason… ??
so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
"Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners…. “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men””
?? Difference “ one who CALLS himself/herself a Christian and refuses to repent
“It is essential to realize that in a true believer the flow of sin will not be uninterrupted, as in one who is unredeemed. There will be some fruit of righteousness, for the new nature must be manifest
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
Krell - When sinners sin, they are merely doing what they are supposed to do. Sin is a part of a sinner’s job description! The difference between a sinner and a saint is that a saint doesn’t have to sin anymore.
Its amazing the love God has for us. And its the forgiveness of sin that should casual the churches to be filled.. That’s how the man in sexual sin ends up in church… that’s how the ‘Jezebel’ Jesus speaks of - end’s up in church.
The church is to be a place of learning of the love of God.. of healing from the effects of deceptive sin… and growing in grace… which means growing in repentance…
If God’s requirements for going to church were holiness in all our thoughts and actions, the church would either be filled with hypocrites or it would be empty.
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
Christ is not intimidated by any sin. He bore the cross so the vilest of sinner could find grace at the cross.
However, once introduced to the grace of the cross.. Once introduced to how one’s life is out of line with God’s will for us… it gets to a point where the church is not to tolerate a lack of respect for what Jesus dies for… Holiness dominating in the church.. Repentance and changed lives being the star of the show. Not publicly known sinful behavior that mocks the holiness and grace of God.
And again… God is concerned about all sins.. And so are his apostles.. Laying foundations of the church:
He teaches the churches:
"immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named (present) among you, as is ‘proper among saints...5:11 Do not participate in the ‘unfruitful’ deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.
?? Can we imagine God has a more ‘fruitful’ life planned for the believer who is sleeping with His fathers wife?
?? A life that would invite that father.. And his wife.. To come and worship the living God of grace alongside their son? 🙂
Paul calls out the congregation for being arrogant’... deciding for themselves sin could be tolerated.. And it got to this level.
And what happens when sin goes unchecked in the church…??
We get this comment from Paul's follow-up letter:
"For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, (how?) and I may mourn (pentheo) over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced." (2 Cor 12:20-21)
(Pentheo denotes loud mourning such as the lament for the dead or for a severe, painful loss. It is grief and sorrow caused by profound loss, especially death.)
It seems they’re prideful in their church.. Perhaps that it was founded by Paul.. and followed by Apollos… btu they had become heerars of the word.. (and not doers)
Either they had stopped preaching about sexual purity or stopped listening to it.. Focusing on other areas that made them feel like Christians.
Here Paul’s disciple reminds of other Love of our faithful Father: For who the Lord loves he disciplines.
Does temptation have anything to do with it?
Interesting how God’s word is challenged and attacked by His enemy -
God says - you can eaty of anything in the garden except this tree…
Slither slither.. He goes to God’s newly created women..He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took off its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Rev: “ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world”
‘ taking God’s command and reshaping it’
?? If God made the body?... Does He have the right to say how it is to be used?
Satan brings our focus on what God says we are not designed to have… instead so the so many things he says we can have.
Some who study this wonder what would have happened if her response recognized God as a creator who had blessed her with so much… if her response was:
“This is Eden. God made it, and it’s very good. It’s unthinkable that we should even challenge him. If he says not to do something, then it is for our good. Get out of here!”
Satan invites us to judge God, to doubt His goodness to us.(easy to do now that we are out of the garden and in the fallen world on skin around us
(example of fleeing temptation - joseph.. Tempted for short term gain? How would that have worked out? Affair with the king's wife? Never found out
Even if it was what would have happened to God’s plan for his life?
Adapted from Christ in the Passover - Benjamin Galan
The Passover marked a new year and a new beginning for Israel.
Christ was closely inspected by:
Caiaphas (Mt 26:57)
They could find no fault for He was "a lamb unblemished and spotless"
Christ shed His blood to deliver sinners. One needs to be covered by the blood to be delivered from condemnation (Ro 3:25+; Ro 5:9+, Ro 8:1+). The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29+).
Roman soldiers came to break Jesus' legs, but He was already dead, so no bones were broken (Jn 19:32-33).
Salvation in Jesus 🙂
Jesus, then Paul invite us to take off the old garment
The old wineskins’
the old self, the old man..
Stepping pout of the old covenant and into the new 🙂
Lets pray :)