1 Corinthians 5: Pronouncing Judgment in the Church

Reposted from Pr. Stout:

(13 verses, 1:47 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Paul scolds the Corinthian congregation because they were boasting of their tolerance of a particular sin within the congregation and gives his pastoral authority to publicly condemn this sin when they assemble.


  • 1-5: Paul addresses a particular sin in the Corinthian church and flags a concern for how the church has handled this sin (they were “puffed up” – perhaps by bragging of their tolerance and openness), calls them to repent and mourn, to excommunicate him in order to hopefully save his soul, and gives his authority to do so even though he is not present in the body.
  • 6-8: Paul calls all to repentance and warns of the danger of even a little sin, and a little false teaching and calls them to cling to the sacrifice of Jesus.
  • 9-13: Judge those inside the Church and live in the world.


  • The authority to forgive and withhold forgiveness – Vs. 3 speaks of the office of the keys. Paul had Christ’s authority and the Corinthian congregation, when assembled, had Paul’s authority to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant.  Forgiveness proclaims we belong to Christ.  Sins bound due to unbelief proclaims we belong to Satan (vs. 4).
  • “…the true Christian excommunication, consists in this, that manifest and obstinate sinners are not admitted to the Sacrament and other communion of the Church until they amend their lives and avoid sin.” Smallcald Articles III IX.
  • There is no such thing as a little sin or a little false teaching.  “A little leaven…”  That little is still dangerous both to the congregation and to the individual.


  • “Christ our passover Lamb has been sacrificed.”  Meditate on the “our” aspect of this verse and this chapter and pray “Our Father…”  Christ places us in a Christian congregation and in this calls us to love, pray for, bear each others’ burdens, call to repentance those in unholy living, and correct false teaching.  We are to assemble with this Christian congregation, receive our judgment of “not guilty” in faith from the present Christ (4), and eat and drink of Christ who is our Passover Lamb and has been sacrificed to remove all sin (leaven can either mean sin or false teaching) in us.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Pastor Christopher Stout


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