1 Corinthians 5:8-13

1 Corinthians 5:8
Therefore 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.
Paul was telling them to spiritually keep the feast in true Christian fellowship and clip off the factious ways in which the Corinthian church was wallowing in. Paul speaks of the comparison of the old Passover to Christ the new and eternal Passover. Christians are not to be living in the old life, in other words, trying to live the Christian life in the flesh which only leads to the major dissension which this church has been experiencing. It goes back to what the Lord said when He spoke about putting new wine in old skins. (Mat 9:17 KJV) Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. The lifestyle of the old man or the unsaved man, is not compatible to the new life. When Paul speaks of the Feast, he is speaking of a Christian trying to live the new life according to the old ways. We also do not live the Christian life by trying to keep the ceremonial laws or the feasts, since they were all fulfilled in Christ.
Paul also says that we must never try to live the Christian life by either malice or wickedness, because these are traits of the unregenerate personality. The contrast is that we keep the feast in the purity and sincerity of the regenerated Christian walk. (Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The common denominator of the true Christians is that we must according to the Spirit which is the resurrected life. Walking according to the flesh yields much sin and discord in any congregation. A Christian gives good evidence of being a Christian by desiring to put away all sinful ways in their life.
1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
To company = mix together or associate with
Paul is now giving them counsel as to why they may be having the trouble they are having. Instead of disciplining this man, they have associated with him. If fornication is tolerated in a church, it will lead to the death of that assembly. There is also another aspect of fornication and that is spiritual fornication. When someone brings in a false Gospel into a church, they are spiritually fornicating. What Paul has in view here is that this fornicating man must be dealt with and that would be to either excommunicate him or to discipline him as Paul has already spoken of in the beginning of this chapter. (1 Cor 15:33 KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1 Corinthians 5:10
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
Covetous = One who desires more
Here Paul is explaining an important point. Paul is not telling these Corinthians that they must withdraw themselves from the world. The bottom line is that we must not be changed by the world. We must realize that we live in a sinful world, just like in Paul’s day. Paul is saying that we can expect the sinful world to be sinful but when a person becomes a Christian, they are to forsake the things of the world which they once found pleasure in. There is going to be no way that we can escape coming into contact with the tentacles of the sin system of this world, the question remains, how will we deal with it? Will we forsake the temptation or will we partake? Until the last day, sin is going to continue and with it the temptations.
1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
Railer - an abusive person or slanderer
Extortioner - One who is a swindler
Paul is laying down some serious warnings. This verse does not speak of unbelievers partaking in these sins, he is speaking about Christians who do these sins. Notice he says about a person being “called a brother.” This means that a person who gets involved in these sins, may not be a true Christian. If they are not, then they should be removed from the church assembly. The gathering of the church is for believers only and any unbelievers should only be permanent guests with no opinions nor status. Now if a Christian is committing any of these sins which Paul is enumerating, and these are representative sins, which means any type of sin, then that Christian is to be removed from the congregation. We are not to have fellowship with them either inside or outside the church. The Bible commands us to withdraw lest we get caught up in the sin. (2 Th 3:6 KJV) Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. Here is a hard one, what if the person is a relative? It doesn’t matter, they are to remain under discipline and are not to be treated differently because of relation. If you have a home Bible study, then they are to be excluded. What sense does it make that they are going to attend family Bible study and then right after go to the bar with their friends. Either they are in the Lord’s camp fully or they are not. You can’t have it both ways.
1 Corinthians 5:12
For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
Paul was not claiming any authority to bring any judgment on those who are sinners outside the confines of the church but those who are in the church must be disciplined. Our responsibility is to keep the local church as pure as possible. We do not have the authority to judge those in the world, yet we make must make judgments on their lifestyles every day so we may keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. Paul is straightly saying that those who are in the church are subject to church discipline.
(Heb 13:7 KJV) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
(Heb 13:17 KJV) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
In these two verses are two major principles of Christian living which should keep us disciplined. We are to remember that we have appointed rulers over us. That remembrance should always trigger a fear. Then after we remember that we have leaders appointed over us, we are to obey those leaders, even if they are absent from us. Why? (Num 32:23 KJV) But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. You can’t sin in private because sooner or later your sin will find you out. It will betray your confidence!
1 Corinthians 5:13
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Here we see a limitation of what the church can judge. When it comes to unbelievers it is better to expect nothing so your expectations are heartily fulfilled. God will judge all the wicked on judgment day. The reason that we do not judge those in the world, many of them may be the Elect of God but their day of salvation has not arrived yet. So the culmination of this discourse is that they are to remove that wicked, fornicating man from the congregation. It is not an option, he must be removed because his lifestyle is a temptation to others in the congregation. If you have a person that gambles in the church and nothing is done to discipline them, don’t be surprised in one year you may have ten gamblers. We remove the person who is violating the Scriptures like a surgeon removes a cancer with a scalpel. It is for the good of both, the sinning person, to bring them to their senses, and for the congregation, to build fear into them that they may be treated the same way. The end of all Christian discipline is to bring them back into fellowship with the Lord.