But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
Paul graciously does not name this man that caused « grief » in the Corinthians assembly.
I was taught that this refered to a particular man who was mentioned sleeping with his step mother.
1 Corinthiens 5.1 (NASB95)
1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.
But it is not clear, and could be a greater sin of causing rebeliion and dividing Paul from teaching his flocl. It could also have been certain « false teachers or apostles »
If you are teaching error and dividing the Body of Christ you can see all sorts of bad fruit or works of the flesh. Including incest and sexual immorality. So I am looking at the general thrust of the correction of Paul in His letters to Corinth and thinking it probably was not the man caught in sin and accepted. I am thinking now it very well could be those who demeaned Paul in his absense and tried to divide the Body of Christ with false doctrine.
The following verses seem to show that Pauls correction in 1 Corinthians worked and the man was punished. Probably by simply being ostracized and not allowed to teach. Or it could have been the man committing incest. However in every case we are to forgive. Not accept the sin in the church Not allow impure leaven to spread its tendrils but call it our with the truth.
We hate the sin but love the sinner.
And when a sinner allows us to love them by changing their thinking. Metanoia is often misunderstood as the English word « repent » carries two thousand years of religious baggage. When the man « repented » or changed his tune, he should have be welcomed back as soon as possible to save him from further sin and temptation outside the fellowship. It was not the type or kind of sin that was important. It was that they stopped doing it that was necessary before they could receive the love of Christ.
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
One of the worst attacks on the body of Christ is internal division. It is like cancer. The Body is one and to follow one Lord. When we interpret the Word of God without the guide of the Lord Jesus Christ we fall into error. When we reject the teaching of his apostles and gift minitries the Body of Christ is hurt and cannot mature. Division, heresies and false teachers can cause more grief to the whole Body of Christ that one person performing shameful acts.
Paul was mostly correcting those causing division by dismissing Paul as a weak apostle.
But here we see that one of the best ways to divide the Body of Christ is to cause different denominations or heresies. SO that the Body itself will attach other parts. Over history we have seen Christians literally killing other Christians, Protestants and Catholic wars to the death. This is a greater grief to the witness of CHirst than a few druggies of prostitutes. The leaven of religion or the leaven of the Pharisees needs to be addressed. But it seems it has affected the first century church right from the start.
It would have been avoided if people only would forgive each other. Unforgiveness and hate has fueled all the wars that have cut the Body of Chirst into « us » and « them » when we are really all one Body.
When we cannot forgive our fellow Christians after they do something that we consider a sin, we have a bigger problem than the sin. We have to not fight to purify the temple until we first purifiy our own hearts. We must no critisize the « the other’s » sin until we take the log out of our own eye. And like the Pharisees it was unforgiveness. It was easy for the wicked Pharisees to be religious and condemn the Woman taken in the « very act » of adultery. But it was right that Jesus forgave her and helped her find her way.
We should have the same spirit of the Love of Christ, if we are followers of Christ. We should be able to forgive those sexual perverts, pedophiles and homosexuals. We should forgive those Muslims and Satanists. We should forgive our wife who refuses to believe and always complains. We should forgive every one even our enemies, because Christ in his last words said
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots
And he showed a sinner how to repent and be forgiven even with his last breath.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
All the sinner had to do was turn to Jesus and ask.
And so if we follow the example of our Big Brother we should pray for our enemies. If they continue to reject the light and hang on to their destruction, we are limited and so is God. But as soon as the have a change of heart we are there for them. We can show them the way to Paradise as well. But not until we get rid of the spirit of anger and forgive.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
When we look at the cross and really appreciate how much love Christ had to forgive we can be filled with the same compassion for all the world. Even the worst enemies. We should pray not for the death of our enemies but that they may turn to Christ Jesus. We can pray that Jesus Christ himself will knock them off of their high horse as He did with Saul the Christian killer.
We may pray for the most evil dictators like Stalin, Hitler, Trudeau or Biden. We can pray that Fauci, Herr Schwab and all the chiefs of the world economic forum will have a visit and become apostles like Paul.. Then they too can be on ours ide and what a victory that would be for GODA GRACE! Ask the great Apostle Paul.
However I see that it takes the opposite to carve the body of Christ in to pieces. Looking at Church history with Calvin burning Serverus because he rejected the trinity. And all the killing and wars in the reformation. Where was the love? The world looks and is not impressed who has the best « word of God » and no love.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
We should treat all sinners even the ones doing that which « we would never do » with love.
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
And forgive all our enemies, in the church or outside. Who are we to judge. Only God knows who really are His people.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Our enemy Satan has take advantage of « unforgiveness » and that is one of his chief strategies.
We should never be ignorant how our enemy works. It does not good to deny reality. We are in a spiritual battle and we need to know our weapons of love. And know how our enemy works.
We are not to be ignorant of the enemy’s strategies. Our battle is with spirits and their words not with flesh and blood.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Here the word for « thought » noema is the same Greek word for « devices, plans » and in context of a battle it would be the plans of the enemy or strategy.
We must not be blind to the enemies plans by keep our eye burried in the sand like an ostrich.
We will still be attacked the is reality and closing our eyes to it does not make it go away.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The god of this world system is expert in keep our plans and mind blind to him and his methods. When we are in a fight denying it is real will not make it go away. Even if we are blind this enemy will be not be merciful or have any compassion. He will take advantage and steal any Light we may have so as to kill us.
In a physical war there is a war of propaganda and information. There is espionage to cover or uncover the enemies plans. There is no way to defend if you are not aware of the plans of the enemy. If President Kennedy never saw the U-2 spy plane photos of the Soviet missiles 90 mi (140 km) from Florida pointed at our nation, how would our country have reacted. If we continued to be ignorant and invade we could have been bombed with nuclear force.
I think we should not be afraid of looking very closely at Satan’s plans and see what he has been up to through history. The major advantage we have given to him is not immorality among a Godless culture. It is unforgiveness over doctrinal issues in the Church! It is all the denominations that think they have the only Word of God and own Jesus. This has been a terrible witness. If the Body of Christ cannot forgive and love its own members, how will a Godless culture come to Christ??