1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.
Sermons
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
Little SinsJ. Armstrong, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
Little Sins -- Their InjuriousnessI. C. Booth, LL. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
Purging Out the LeavenC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
Sin a Malignant LeavenJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
Supplementary Views and ExplanationsC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 5:6-13
The Evil of Self-ComplacencyJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
The Leaven of Sin WorksJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
The Purification of the ChurchJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
The True Church a FeastD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:6-13
The Limits of FellowshipJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
Avoid the Company of SinnersJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Converse with the UngodlyW. E. Hurndall, M. A.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Converse with the UngodlyE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Danger of Worldly Intercourse1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Christian Law of Association with EvilR. Tuck, B. A.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Christian Law of Association with EvilR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Company of Sinners to be AvoidedC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Intercourse of Christians with the WorldH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Limits of FellowshipProf. J. R. Thomson.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
The Snare of Worldly ConformityW. Landels, D. D.1 Corinthians 5:9-13
No man liveth unto himself. Attempts have been made to build a science of human nature and a scheme of human life upon the foundation of the individual existence, but such attempts have failed. Man is born into society and lives in society, and is inexplicable apart from society. For good or for evil we are with one another. "As iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend;" "Evil communications corrupt good manners; He that walketh with wise men shall be wise."

I. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE SOCIETY OF THEIR FELLOW CHRISTIANS. St. Paul possessed no small measure of what has been humorously called "sanctified common sense." He saw clearly and at once that if a man set out with the determination to have no intercourse with those of different principles and sentiments from himself, he would be driven in consistency to "go out of the world." So far from forbidding such intercourse, he permitted it, and even in some instances encouraged it.

1. The example of the Lord Jesus and of his apostles sanctions intercourse with general society. Jesus talked with persons of all sorts and conditions, accepted invitations to the houses of strangers, and even of enemies. And we find the apostles seeking introduction to Jews and Gentiles, to the virtuous and the vicious.

2. Such conduct exercises a power of attraction over all who are affected by it. The assumption of superior sanctity repels, whilst the kindly sympathy of neighbourhood, the good offices of social life, may lead to a desire to know and enjoy the blessings of the gospel.

3. Opportunities occur in social intercourse for introducing, either directly or indirectly, the truths of religion. It is not always the public proclamation of the truth which reaches the heart of the careless and ungodly. "A word spoken in season, how good it is!" Many have had reason for lifelong gratitude towards such as have in a casual way taken advantage of the opportunity to commend the gospel to their souls.

II. CHRISTIANS ARE RESTRAINED FROM FREE INTERCOURSE WITH FELLOW PROFESSORS WHOSE CONDUCT IS UNWORTHY OF THE NAME THEY BEAR.

1. It must not be supposed that we are confined to the fellowship of those whose character is mature and blameless. This would be to set up in the Church an aristocracy of the worst kind.

2. Those whose company is forbidden are such as, by manifest and flagrant violation of the moral law, prove the utter insincerity of their profession to be followers of Christ.

3. The reasons for this prohibition are obvious.

(1) It Could scarcely be other than injurious to our own moral nature to be intimate with those whose life belies their creed, whose hypocrisy is unmistakable.

(2) Such intimacy would be interpreted by the world as meaning that in our esteem it is of little consequence what a man is, if he only professes to be Christ's.

(3) And there can be no question that to cultivate the friendship of a hypocrite would tend to encourage him in his sinful course; whilst to withdraw from his society might lead him to repentance. - T.







I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators.
I. IS THIS PRACTICABLE?

1. Not absolutely: we must have intercourse with the world.

2. Yet practically: we need have no fellowship or familiarity with them.

II. IS IT NECESSARY?

1. Not indispensably, in reference to the world, whom we may not judge, but must leave to the judgment of God.

2. Yet positively in reference to false professors, who must be exposed and excluded.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

When a man is known to suffer from a sadly contagious disease none of his friends will come near the house. There is little need to warn them off, they are all too alarmed to come near. Why is it men are not so much afraid of the contagion of vice? How dare they run risks for themselves and children by allowing evil companions to frequent their house? Sin is as infectious and far more deadly than the small-pox or fever. Flee, then, from every one who might lead you into it.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. COMMON, EVERYDAY ASSOCIATIONS WITH EVIL HAVE TO BE MAINTAINED in —

1. Family.

2. Business.

3. Society. Yet in all these the earnest Christian need never find it difficult to make a firm witness for truth, righteousness, and charity.

II. SPECIAL RELATIONS WITH EVIL WE MAY NOT MAKE.

1. For our own sake.

2. For our friends' sake.

3. For the sake of others who may observe our friendship.

4. For Christ's sake, who said through His servant, "Come out from among them," &c.

(R. Tuck, B. A.)

— "No man liveth unto himself." Attempts have been made to build a science of human nature and a scheme of human life on individualism, but they have failed. Man is born into, lives in, and is inexplicable apart from society. For good or for evil we are with one another.

I. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE SOCIETY OF THEIR FELLOW-CHRISTIANS. Paul was full of "sanctified common sense." He saw clearly that if a man eschewed all intercourse with those who differed from him he would have to "go out of the world."

1. The example of Christ and His apostles sanctions intercourse with general society.

2. The assumption of superior sanctity repels, while such intercourse may lead to a desire for the gospel.

3. Opportunities occur in social intercourse for introducing directly or indirectly the truths of religion. "A word spoken in season," &c.

II. CHRISTIANS ARE RESTRAINED PEOPLE FREE INTERCOURSE WITH UNWORTHY FELLOW PROFESSORS.

1. It must not be supposed that we are confined to the fellowship of those whose character is mature and blameless. This would be to set up in the Church an aristocracy of the worst kind.

2. Those whose company is forbidden are such as by their violation of the moral law prove their insincerity.

3. The reasons for this prohibition are obvious. Intimacy with such would —

(1)Be injurious to our own moral nature.

(2)Be interpreted by the world as a condonation of sin.

(3)Encourage the sinner in his sin.

(Prof. J. R. Thomson.)

I. IN OUR ORDINARY LIFE WE MUST ASSOCIATE MORE OR LESS WITH THE UNGODLY. Our legitimate business and our duties as citizens leads us amongst such. If we kept ourselves apart we should have "to go out of the world."

1. Christianity is not designed to drive us out of the world. We are to live among men righteously. Here we have an argument against monasticism.

2. Christ mixed freely among men.

3. We have many opportunities for witnessing for Christ in the world. Private Christians may thus become missionaries, and reach classes beyond the ordinary means. Still any association with the ungodly has its perils, and we must not shut our eyes to them. When we go into the world we should go armed, and never without Christ.

II. WE ARE NOT TO ASSOCIATE WITH A PROFESSOR WHO WALKS DISORDERLY.

1. The case is here altered. Those outside are strangers, though we mix with them; this one we know and have been identified with. Those outside are left to the judgment of God; but we have jurisdiction in the case of our offending brother (vers. 4, 5). If this were not so —(1) The force of Church discipline would be seriously weakened.(2) The effect upon the offender would be lessened. Church discipline does not lose sight of his welfare: it is directed towards his recovery.(3) It would seem as though the evil were lightly esteemed, which would bring great scandal and contempt on Christianity.(4) There would be much peril to the other members of the Church —

(a)In the association. There is often more peril in the society of a false professor than in that of an open evildoer.

(b)In the conviction that they could sin with comparative impunity so far as the Church was concerned.

III. WHAT KINDS OF SIN INVOLVE SEPARATION. The apostle gives a list of transgressors.

1. Fornicators. The unclean: professing purity, practising impurity.

2. The covetous. Those who made a god of the things of sense. Heart idolatry.

3. Idolaters. Those who, being professing Christians, compromised like Naaman, and like those who now pay homage to "the god of this world."

4. Railers or revilers. Those who say they have a clean heart, but keep a foul mouth.

5. Drunkards.

6. Extortioners. Greedy souls who overreach others, but overreach themselves pre-eminently. We may not company with such, but we may pray and labour for them.

(W. E. Hurndall, M. A.)

There is something ominous in the good terms on which Christians are now able to live with their worldly neighbours, when they are not only tolerated in worldly circles, but can make bosom companions of, and even be united in marriage to, those who, knowing nothing of spiritual life, and being habitually and ostentatiously regardless of unseen realities, are still of the world, in the truest and strongest sense of these words. The cause of these amicable relations is not that the world has changed its character essentially; for that it will never do until it ceases to be the world, by being born of God. And must it not be, therefore, that in the Christians who live with it on such intimate terms, there is little or nothing of the spirit of Christ? I would utter no sweeping assertion. But there is in this new bearing of the world to the Church enough to awaken the gravest inquiry in all who are really disciples of Christ, and jealous for the honour of their Lord. Nor is it evident that such inquiry honestly conducted would not lead to the conclusion, that while Christian principles have somewhat influenced the world, the spirit of the world has far more powerfully influenced the Church; and that we have secured the world's favour, by compromising our Christian character in compliance with the world's demands. Good John Bunyan, were he now to visit Vanity Fair, would find it very different from what it was when he conducted his pilgrims through it, and described the cruel treatment they received. He would find its hostility to the pilgrims wonderfully abated, but he would also find the spirit of the pilgrims wonderfully changed; and that the truce between the two has been procured, not by the concessions of Vanity Fair only, but by the concessions of the pilgrims as well. He would find that while the inhabitants of Vanity Fair have little objection to going to church as the best place for displaying their vanities, many of the pilgrims have become much less like travellers through the town, than residents in it; that some of them do a very flourishing trade there, and can scarcely be distinguished from other traders except from their occasional use of a religious phraseology, not at all from the principles on which their trade is conducted; that they patronise their places of amusement, scarcely avoiding even the most disreputable, and appear there in the attire common to those who frequent them; that they build their villas and mansions there, and enjoy the good things of the place, and altogether seem more likely to spend their days in Vanity Fair, than to induce the inhabitants of Vanity Fair to accompany them in their journey to the celestial city. And though he might find it difficult to say how far the pilgrims ought or ought not to avail themselves of the altered feeling, and take their share of the good things which the place supplies, I fear he would not think the present an unqualified improvement on the time which he so graphically described.

(W. Landels, D. D.)

None can pretend to say how far you may intermix in worldly company, says the Rev. R. Cecil, and get no stain or soil. Situation, circumstances, &c., must all be taken into consideration. But this may be said, that he only mixes with the world with safety who does it not from inclination, but necessity. As to amusements, and what are called recreations, a really awakened Christian will neither find taste nor leisure for them. Religion furnishes the mind with objects sufficient to fill up every vacancy. Yet as you name them I would have you mark carefully everything that disposes or indisposes the mind to holy pursuits. Persons of tender health are very careful to avoid whatever is hurtful, such as damps, infectious rooms, blighting winds. They attend to the injunctions of their physicians, the cautions of their friends, &c. If people were but as careful about their spiritual health as they are of their bodily health, we should see much stronger and taller Christians.

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