5:1-8 The apostle notices a flagrant abuse, winked at by the Corinthians. Party spirit, and a false notion of Christian liberty, seem to have saved the offender from censure. Grievous indeed is it that crimes should sometimes be committed by professors of the gospel, of which even heathens would be ashamed. Spiritual pride and false doctrines tend to bring in, and to spread such scandals. How dreadful the effects of sin! The devil reigns where Christ does not. And a man is in his kingdom, and under his power, when not in Christ. The bad example of a man of influence is very mischievous; it spreads far and wide. Corrupt principles and examples, if not corrected, would hurt the whole church. Believers must have new hearts, and lead new lives. Their common conversation and religious deeds must be holy. So far is the sacrifice of Christ our Passover for us, from rendering personal and public holiness unnecessary, that it furnishes powerful reasons and motives for it. Without holiness we can neither live by faith in him, nor join in his ordinances with comfort and profit.
2. puffed up—with your own wisdom and knowledge, and the eloquence of your favorite teachers: at a time when ye ought to be "mourning" at the scandal caused to religion by the incest. Paul mourned because they did not mourn (2Co 2:4). We ought to mourn over the transgressions of others, and repent of our own (2Co 12:21) [Bengel].
that—ye have not felt such mourning as would lead to the result that, &c.
taken away from among you—by excommunication. The incestuous person was hereby brought to bitter repentance, in the interval between the sending of the first and second Epistles (2Co 2:5-10). Excommunication in the Christian Church corresponded to that in the Jewish synagogue, in there being a lighter and heavier form: the latter an utter separation from church fellowship and the Lord's house, the former exclusion from the Lord's Supper only but not from the Church.