“Remove the Evil Person”

13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

1 Cor. 5:9-13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Get Rid of the Old Yeast”

7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. – 1 Cor. 5:7 NLT

1 Cor. 5:6-8 NLT

Paul continues to emphasize the necessity of having a humble mindset. We must live our lives with humility and the attitude of a servant. Jesus is our example of serving others in our daily lifestyle. The leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is their teaching of the necessity to keep the Law. In the Old Testament law, the Jewish people could eat no leavened bread during the Feast of the Passover. They were even required to get all the leaven out of their houses so nothing could be tainted with the leaven. They had to celebrate the Passover each year. This required them to kill a sacrificial lamb each time. But Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb and he was sacrificed once for all sin of all times. He does not need to return to the cross each year. Jesus is the bread of Life and because of this, we are not required to follow the old ways. In fact, to do so is to add to the plan of salvation things that God does not require of us. The leaven that we need to avoid in our life is pride and the desires of the flesh. We replace those things with the fruit of the Holy Spirit who now lives in us. We are”new creations” in Christ Jesus and He has fulfilled the law for us.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.–Matt.5:17 NIV

“Not Just A Lot of Talk”

20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. – 1 Cor.4:20 NLT

1 Cor. 4:18-21 NLT

Paul is really concerned about the puffed up and arrogant attitude some of the Christians at Corinth have developed. This example of the things happening at Corinth is a great reminder for us not to bring people to Jesus and then leave them as “babes in Christ”. It is very important that we take the time to mentor and disciple them in a Holy lifestyle. New converts do not understand the dangers of following the flesh any more than a newborn understands what he/she needs. They just know they are hungry and they need a parent to give them the right food. So do new converts. They need someone to make sure they are getting the right message until they get past the “milk of the Word’. The Kingdom of God is not just a matter of talking and walking but it is a matter of the power of God and that power must be understood and used properly.

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.—1 Cor. 2 :4-5 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“For I Became Your Father”

15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. – 1 Cor. 4:15 NLT

1 Cor. 4:14-17 NLT

Paul has not been trying to shame the Christians at Corinth, but rather his intention is to teach them as a Father would teach his children. He wants them to have a closer relationship with Christ and to do this, they are going to have to have a change of attitude. He tells them that although they may have legions of angels watching over them, they have only one Spiritual Father and that is himself. Spiritual parents are the people who prayed for us and brought us to repentance through the preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel. They have, as it were, birthed us into the Gospel. Then as our spiritual parents, they feel a great responsibility to teach us how to live a Holy lifestyle. So, Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate his lifestyle of humility and obedience. Paul has sent to them Timothy, who is his Spiritual son, to help them to stay on course. Paul is reminding them that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. Again, it is a message, not only to the Corinthians but to us today.

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy​.​”​​​-​– 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“When We Are Cursed, We Bless”

11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands.When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. –1 Cor. 4:11-1​3​ NIV

Paul expands on the difference in attitude and lifestyle that he, Apollo, and Peter have as compared to the Christians in Corinth. They have given up all their earthly possessions and now they do not have an extra set of clothes nor a home of their own here on earth. They work hard physically so that they will not be a financial burden on the new converts. They respond to cursing, persecution and slandering with blessings, kindness and patient endurance. They are willing to be treated as the lowest form of life here on earth so that God might be glorified. Is it necessary for all of us to go through this kind of treatment? No, but we must have the attitude and the willingness to do it, if that is what Jesus calls us to do.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.—Romans 5:3-5 NIV

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Think”

8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you.– 1 Cor. 4:8 NKJV

1 Cor. 4:8-10 NLT

Paul continues to admonish the Christians at Corinth about their attitude. They are boastful of their salvation as if they had done something to earn it. They have made assumptions and “gone beyond what is written”, even though they have no way of having knowledge that Paul, Apollo, and Peter would not have access to. They mistakenly think that because they are saved, they are already rich and powerful here on earth. Paul contrasts their attitude to the way he, Apollo and Peter think and act. They are mistreated, abused, imprisoned and “made spectacles” for the world and the angels to look upon. They have become fools for Christ’s sake, but the Corinthians are “puffed up”, thinking they are wise. Paul, Apollo, and Peter have become weak so that Jesus might show His strength through their weakness.  They have given up their honor for the sake of the glory of God.
They have come to understand what John the Baptist meant when he said:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”–John 3:30 NIV

And we need to have that same attitude. We can do nothing of heavenly value without Christ but we can do all things through Christ.

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.–Phil. 4:13 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Why Do You Boast?”

6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?—1 Cor. 4:6-7 NASB

”Do not go beyond what is written” is an excellent admonition for us today as well. God is omnipotent and doesn’t need anyone to add anything to His written word. In fact, He warns us against doing just that.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;–Rev. 22:18 NASB

God also warns us against adding any other requirement for receiving salvation.

10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”—Acts 15:10-11 NASB

These instructions are so all of us will be preaching and teaching the same message. The message is that when Jesus died for our sins and said “it is finished”, there wasn’t and still isn’t anything else needed. We are all the same in that we were all born in sin and need a Savior. We received salvation by grace through faith, not by anything we did or could do. Since all we did was receive a gift, what reason could we possibly have for boasting?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“My Conscience Is Clear”

4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. – 1 Cor.4:4 NLT

1 Cor. 4:1-5 NLT

Paul is instructing the Corinthians in what their attitude toward Paul should be. But it is also instructions to us in how we should regard those in Spiritual authority over us. They have been placed over us at God’s direction and they have been entrusted with messages that we need to hear and obey. Those over us are required to be faithful in delivering the truth to us. Paul is so concerned about being faithful and obedient to His calling in Christ Jesus that it makes it appear as if he has no regard for others’ opinions of him. He can do this with a clear conscience since he is being judged by the Lord. Not judging someone does not mean that we throw away all reason and discernment. We are still responsible for deciding to whom and to what message we listen and adhere to. We must be very humble in assessing the value of another person since we know that we will be measured by the same standards we use.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“All Things Belong To Him”

21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,​ ​22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God—1 Cor. 3:21-23 NASB

All things in heaven and earth belong to God the Father. Jesus Christ the Son belongs to the Father. Since Christ gave His life on the cross to purchase us, we who have accepted Him as our Savior belong to Him and therefore we belong to the Father. God sees eternity without beginning and without end. With Him, there is no past or future and it all belongs to Him. He is gracious enough to let us be stewards of the earth and everything in it, but it all still belongs to Him. We have nothing in and of ourselves, what wisdom we have is as foolishness to God. What righteousness we may think we have is like dirty rags to God. So, what does man have that he could possibly boast about? Absolutely nothing!

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.—Col. 1:15-17 NASB


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“The Wisdom of This World”

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.– 1 Cor 3:19a NLT

1 Cor. 3: 18-20 NLT

Compared to the wisdom of God, anything that we call wisdom here on earth is nothing but foolishness. Divine wisdom far exceeds anything we can think or imagine, not only in quality, but also in quantity. Men who think themselves wise and try to deceive others will be dealt with by God.

12 He ruins the plans of those who trick others so they have no success. 13 He catches the wise in their own clever traps and sweeps away the plans of those who try to trick others.—Job 5:12 NCV

 Admitting that our wisdom is useless for getting into heaven is part of the humbling process. It is also one of the objections that worldly wise people have to becoming a Christian. That is why so many of us do not accept Jesus until He has allowed us to get to the end of our resources, then we will turn to Him. We can see Job as an example of this. He lost everything here on earth and was advised by His wife to curse God and die, Job refused and his “wise” friends tried to counsel him. but it took a confrontation with God himself for Job to humble himself and be redeemed.

25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” -Job 19:25 NASB

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous