1 Corinthians 5:3
Although I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, and I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present.
Absent in Body, But Present in SpiritJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 5:3
Excision of a Flagrant Offender from the ChurchC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 5:1-5
Church DisciplineH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 5:1-6
Church DisciplineE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 5:1-7
Absent in Body, But Present in SpiritProf. J. R. Thomson.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Christians Ought to be Solicitous About the Spiritual Condition of Others1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Church DisciplineJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Church not to be Judged by Her HypocritesC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Discipline in the Corinthian ChurchJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Ecclesiastical ExcommunicationF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Exclusion from Christian Fellowship Where Duly InflictedJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Gross ScandalsJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
That Wicked PersonS. Cox, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
The Deplorable and the Commendable in a ChurchJ. W. Burn.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
The Duty of the Church in Cases of Open ImmoralityJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
The Extreme Penalty of the ChurchJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
The Power of Excommunication Must be ExercisedJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
The Socially Immoral in ChurchesD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Want of Discipline in a ChurchJ. Lyth, DD.1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Right Feeling Towards Erring BrethrenR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 5:2-5

Much as Paul loved his converts in the city of Corinth, he could not, at the period when he wrote this Epistle, think of visiting them. Their conduct in the matter treated in this chapter so distressed his pure and affectionate heart, so disappointed his expectations, that he felt constrained to remain absent from them. But in so doing he was not showing any lack of interest in their Christian life or their Church proceedings. Quite the contrary; he was content to stay away because, as the text makes evident, he knew there was a sense in which he was really with them.

I. THE SPECIAL INSTANCE OF THIS PRINCIPLE FURNISHED IN THE CASE OF PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS. In what senses could the apostle deem himself to be with these Corinthian Christians "in spirit"?

1. By his teaching. He had long laboured in word and doctrine in this great centre of Greek commerce and literature, and amongst this company, of whom not many were wise or noble, but many were called and washed and sanctified by the gospel of Christ and by the Spirit of God. His teaching laid the foundation upon which Apollos and others had built. And we know enough of that teaching to be sure that it included many precepts and motives to holiness. This instruction had sunk into the hearts of the spiritually susceptible, and by it the apostle yet spake of this society, summoning them to a holy life, and bidding them maintain a standard of social purity.

2. By his authority. Paul never forgot that he was an inspired apostle of the Lord. He spake by the Spirit of the Lord, and his counsels were not those of human wisdom merely, but of celestial authority. What the Corinthians were directed to do they were to do in his name, and with the assurance that their action would be sanctioned by the Divine Head of the Church. In vindicating the purity of Christian communion, in cleansing the Bride of Christ from any stain of the world that had fallen upon her white robe, the Corinthians were to feel that the apostle was with them, inspiring and corroborating their lawful necessary action.


1. The great Saviour and Founder of the Church is absent in body, but present in spirit. He himself assured his disciples that it was good for them that he should go away, for that thus the Comforter should come. And the spiritual and universal and perpetual presence of the great Head of the Church is thus delightfully and graciously secured.

2. The action of Christ's Church, when in accordance with the express and plain instructions of our Lord and of his inspired apostles, must be recognized as prompted by his Spirit and sanctioned by his authority. In the application of this principle there are and will be many differences among the people of Christ, but with regard to the principle itself there should be no diversity or hesitation. We do not see his form or hear his voice; but we cannot question his spiritual presence. And he is at hand, not only to teach the disciple, to comfort the sufferer, to counsel those perplexed but to impart a Divine authority to the actions and to the discipline of who rely upon his Word and do his will. - T.

For what have I to do to Judge them also that are without?

1. Have no share in Church privileges.

2. Are exempt from Church jurisdiction.

3. Are liable to the judgment of God.


1. May be unworthy of fellowship.

2. Are subject to discipline.

3. Must be excluded when their wickedness is proven.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

1. The one is limited, the other universal.

2. The one is partial, the other absolute.

3. The one is disciplinary, the other infallible.

4. The one is provisional, the other will be final.

5. The effects of the one are temporary, of the other eternal.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

1. Even in that age of Divine intuitions and preternatural visitations Paul limits the subjects of expulsion from the Christian society to gross and definite vices. No encouragement is given to pry into the secret state of the heart and conscience, or to denounce mere errors of opinion or judgment.

2. Even when insisting most strongly on entire separation from heathen vices, he still allows unrestricted social intercourse with the heathen. He forbears to push his principle to an utopian extravagance: he acknowledges the impracticability of entire separation as a decisive reason against it, and regards the ultimate solution of the problem as belonging not to man, but to God.

3. Whilst strongly condemning the Christian quarrels as in themselves unchristian (chap 6.) he yet does not leave them without a remedy, and so drive them to the objectionable course of going before heathen judges. He recognises the fact, and appeals to their own self- respect to induce them to appoint judges of their own, thus giving the first apostolic sanction to Christian courts of law; in other words, departing from the highest ideal of a Christian Church in order to secure the purity of its actual condition.

4. He lays down the general truth that between all other outward acts and the sin of sensuality there is an essential difference; that the liberty which Christianity concedes to the former, it altogether withholds from the latter; that those sins are utterly inconsistent not merely with any particular relation existing between Christianity and heathenism, but with the very idea of Christianity itself.

(Dean Stanley.)

Corinthians, Paul
Absent, Acted, Already, Although, Body, Certainly, Committed, Decision, Deed, Indeed, Judged, Judgment, Myself, Passed, Physically, Present, Pronounced, Spirit, Though, Verily, Wrought
1. The sexual immorality person,
6. is cause rather of shame unto them than of rejoicing.
7. The old leaven is to be purged out.
10. Heinous offenders are to be shamed and avoided.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Corinthians 5:1-5

     5217   authority, in church
     5681   family, nature of
     5897   judging others
     8353   tolerance

1 Corinthians 5:1-6

     6237   sexual sin, nature of

1 Corinthians 5:1-7

     8231   discipline, divine

1 Corinthians 5:1-8

     4432   dough
     8703   antinomianism

1 Corinthians 5:1-13

     6026   sin, judgment on
     8466   reformation

1 Corinthians 5:3-5

     5063   spirit, nature of
     7709   apostles, authority

Easter Sunday
Text: First Corinthians 5, 6-8. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ: 8 wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. EXHORTATION TO WALK AS CHRISTIANS.[1] [Footnote 1: This and all the following sermons
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

March the Fifth the Tent and the Building
2 CORINTHIANS v. 1-9. At present we live in a tent--"the earthly house of this tabernacle." And often the tent is very rickety. There are rents through which the rain enters, and it trembles ominously in the great storm. Some tents are frail from the very beginning, half-rotten when they are put up, and they have no defence even against the breeze. But even the strongest tent becomes weather-worn and threadbare, and in the long run it "falls in a heap!" And what then? We shall exchange the frail
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

July the Twenty-Eighth all Things New!
2 CORINTHIANS v. 14-21. Here is a new constraint! "The love of Christ constraineth me." The love of Christ carries me along like a crowd. I am taken up in its mighty movement and swept along the appointed road! Or it arrests me, and makes me its willing prisoner. It lays a strong hand upon me, and I have no option but to go. A gracious "necessity is laid upon me." I must! And here is a new world. "Old things are passed away." The man who is the prisoner of the Lord's love will find himself
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Of the Nature of Regeneration, and Particularly of the Change it Produces in Men's Apprehensions.
2 COR. v. 17. 2 COR. v. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. THE knowledge of our true state in religion, is at once a matter of so great importance, and so great difficulty that, in order to obtain it, it is necessary we should have line upon line and precept upon precept. The plain discourse, which you before heard, was intended to lead you into it; and I question not but I then said enough to convince many, that they were
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Of the Nature of Regeneration, with Respect to the Change it Produces in Men's Affections, Resolutions, Labors, Enjoyments and Hopes.
2 Cor. v. 17. 2 Cor. v. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. AMONG the various subjects, which exercise the thoughts and tongues of men, few are more talked of than Religion. But it is melancholy to think how little it is understood; and how much it is mistaken and misrepresented in the world. The text before us gives us a very instructive view of it: such a view, that I am sure, an experimental knowledge of its sense would
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

The Festal Life
'Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven ... but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.'--1 COR. v. 8. There had been hideous immorality in the Corinthian Church. Paul had struck at it with heat and force, sternly commanding the exclusion of the sinner. He did so on the ground of the diabolical power of infection possessed by evil, and illustrated that by the very obvious metaphor of leaven, a morsel of which, as he says, 'will leaven the whole lump,' or, as we say, 'batch.'
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Christ Our Passover
Israel was in Egypt, in extreme bondage; the severity of their slavery had continually increased till it was so oppressive that their incessant groans went up to heaven. God who avenges his own elect, though they cry day and night unto him, at last, determined that he would direct a fearful blow against Egypt's king and Egypt's nation, and deliver his own people. We can picture the anxieties and the anticipations of Israel, but we can scarcely sympathize with them, unless we as Christians have had
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

2 Corinthians v. 17, 18
Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new: and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. I have, from time to time, spoken of that foolish misuse of the Scriptures, by which any one opening the volume of the Bible at random, and taking the first words which he finds, straightway applies them either to himself or to his neighbour; and then boasts that he has the word of God on his side, and that whosoever differs from him, is disputing and despising
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life

The Education of the World.
IN a world of mere phenomena, where all events are bound to one another by a rigid law of cause and effect, it is possible to imagine the course of a long period bringing all things at the end of it into exactly the same relations as they occupied at the beginning. We should, then, obviously have a succession of cycles rigidly similar to one another, both in events and in the sequence of them. The universe would eternally repeat the same changes in a fixed order of recurrence, though each cycle might
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

We are Ambassadors for Christ 2 Cor 5:20
We are ambassadors for CHRIST 2 Cor 5:20 Thy message, by the preacher, seal, And let thy pow'r be known; That every sinner here, may feel The word is not his own. Amongst the foremost of the throng Who dare thee to thy face, He in rebellion stood too long, And fought against thy grace. But grace prevailed, he mercy found, And now by thee is sent, To tell his fellow-rebels round, And call them to repent. In Jesus, God is reconciled, The worst may be forgiv'n; Come, and he'll own you as a child,
John Newton—Olney Hymns

The Second State of Prayer. Its Supernatural Character.
1. Having spoken of the toilsome efforts and of the strength required for watering the garden when we have to draw the water out of the well, let us now speak of the second manner of drawing the water, which the Lord of the vineyard has ordained; of the machine of wheel and buckets whereby the gardener may draw more water with less labour, and be able to take some rest without being continually at work. This, then, is what I am now going to describe; and I apply it to the prayer called the prayer
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

How did the Church Arrive at a Second Authoritative Canon in Addition to the Old Testament?
From the standpoint of the Apostolic Epoch it would be perfectly intelligible if the Church, in regard to written authorities, had decided to be satisfied with the possession of the Old Testament. I need not trouble to prove this. We should, however, have been to a certain extent prepared if, as time went on, the Church had added some other writings to this book to which it held fast. Indeed, in the first century, even among the Jews, the Old Testament was not yet quite rigidly closed, its third
Adolf Harnack—The Origin of the New Testament

the Nature of this Oversight
Having showed you, What it is to take heed to ourselves, I am to show you, next, What it is to take heed to all the flock. It was first necessary to take into consideration, what we must be, and what we must do for our own souls, before we come to that which must be done for others: He cannot succeed in healing the wounds of others who is himself unhealed by reason of neglecting himself. He neither benefits his neighbors nor himself. He does not raise up others, but himself falls.' Yea, lest all
Richard Baxter—The Reformed Pastor

The Passover: an Expiation and a Feast, a Memorial and a Prophecy
'And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2. This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Atonement.
"How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures."-1 Cor. xv. 3. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."-2 Cor. v. 21. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."-Rom. v. 8. "The Lord is well pleased for his Righteousness' sake: he will magnify the law and make it honorable."-Isa. xlii. 21. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood,
Charles G. Finney—Sermons on Gospel Themes

That He who is About to Communicate with Christ Ought to Prepare Himself with Great Diligence
The Voice of the Beloved I am the Lover of purity, and Giver of sanctity. I seek a pure heart, and there is the place of My rest. Prepare for Me the larger upper room furnished, and I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.(1) If thou wilt that I come unto thee and abide with thee, purge out the old leaven,(2) and cleanse the habitation of thy heart. Shut out the whole world, and all the throng of sins; sit as a sparrow alone upon the house-top,(3) and think upon thy transgressions
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

'For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.' I Thess 4:4. The word sanctification signifies to consecrate and set apart to a holy use: thus they are sanctified persons who are separated from the world, and set apart for God's service. Sanctification has a privative and a positive part. I. A privative part, which lies in the purging out of sin. Sin is compared to leaven, which sours; and to leprosy, which defiles. Sanctification purges out the old leaven.' I Cor 5:5. Though it takes not
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

He Division of the Land.
T The Jewish writers divide the whole world into "The land of Israel," and "Without the land": that is, the countries of the heathen. Both which phrases the book of the gospel owns: "The land of Israel," Matthew 2:20: and it calls the heathens, "those that are without," 1 Corinthians 5:13; 1 Timothy 3:7, &c. And sometimes the unbelieving Jews themselves, as Mark 4:11. They distinguish all the people of the world into "Israelites," and "the nations of the world." The book of the gospel owns that phrase
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

I. (Deadly Sins, cap. ix., p. 356.) To maintain a modern and wholly uncatholic system of Penitence, the schoolmen invented a technical scheme of sins mortal and sins venial, which must not be read into the Fathers, who had no such technicalities in mind. By "deadly sins" they meant all such as St. John recognizes (1 John v. 16-17) and none other; that is to say sins of surprise and infirmity, sins having in them no malice or wilful disobedience, such as an impatient word, or a momentary neglect of
Tertullian—The Five Books Against Marcion

How the Forward and the Faint-Hearted are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 9.) Differently to be admonished are the forward and the faint-hearted. For the former, presuming on themselves too much, disdain all others when reproved by them; but the latter, while too conscious of their own infirmity, for the most part fall into despondency. Those count all they do to be singularly eminent; these think what they do to be exceedingly despised, and so are broken down to despondency. Therefore the works of the forward are to be finely sifted by the reprover, that
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Sunday after Ascension Day
Text: First Peter 4, 7-11.[1] 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer: 8 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves: for love covereth a multitude of sins: 9 using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; 11 if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The Leaven.
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."--MATT. xiii. 33. In the mustard-seed we saw the kingdom growing great by its inherent vitality; in the leaven we see it growing great by a contagious influence. There, the increase was attained by development from within; here, by acquisitions from without. It is not that there are two distinct ways in which the Gospel may gain complete
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

In discussing this subject I shall endeavor to show, I. What the true doctrine of reprobation is not. 1. It is not that the ultimate end of God in the creation of any was their damnation. Neither reason nor revelation confirms, but both contradict the assumption, that God has created or can create any being for the purpose of rendering him miserable as an ultimate end. God is love, or he is benevolent, and cannot therefore will the misery of any being as an ultimate end, or for its own sake. It is
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Christ is represented in the gospel as sustaining to men three classes of relations. 1. Those which are purely governmental. 2. Those which are purely spiritual. 3. Those which unite both these. We shall at present consider him as Christ our justification. I shall show,-- I. What gospel justification is not. There is scarcely any question in theology that has been encumbered with more injurious and technical mysticism than that of justification. Justification is the pronouncing of one just. It may
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

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