The sin of Corinth denounced
1And something else clings close to this spirit of self-righteousness. Have you yourselves, you who belong to the Spirit and not to the flesh, have you rid yourselves of the sin which disgraces your ancient city and makes her a by-word, and the shameful traffic in immorality for which she is so notorious? Are you spotless? Is fornication a thing unknown in your midst, amongst your members? Or is the old leaven still at work in you too, who belong to the Church of God in Corinth, amongst the saints as well as in the gentile streets of the city? 2You know that it has not yet been cast out. Why have you not “put away the evil from among you” as Moses decrees in the law. (Deut. 22:24). In you this leaven has culminated in a manifestation of evil worse than anything heard of among the Gentiles, a scandal wherein a son has sinned against his own father and his father’s wife. 3-8And all the time you believe yourselves to have achieved something! Under the law such offenders were taken out of the city by the whole congregation and stoned without the gate. In our spiritual church of faith this type and example should have taught you for ever to reject from your midst the spirit that works this evil and the persons who do it. But this sin has not been hidden from me. Absent in body, I have been present in spirit, and in that spirit I have already, as in your presence, as in the midst of the whole congregation, searched out and judged and given over to the devil from which it springs this old leaven of fornication and hell, thereby abandoning it to the doom that is coming on all flesh. For God is judging the flesh.
9Therefore I wrote to you in a former Epistle to separate yourselves utterly from the fornication of the world, 10to have nothing to do with its traffic and merchandise and all the robbery and greed and superstition and idolatry which centre round it, bidding you to come out of the world and be separate. 11But now I write to bid you beware of its presence in your very midst, beware of those so-called “brothers” in whom the spirit of the world still works, who though they be called brethren are still the fools of lust, of greed, of drunkenness, superstition and rage. 12-13God judges the world, and His judgment comes apace; but now see that you judge the saints. “Put away the evil from your midst.” Let not the old leaven find its way back again. You had purged it out, your Church was like the new paschal loaf, eaten with the passion, eaten with the lamb of the sacrifice, in which no leaven is used. Now, our sacrifice is the paschal lamb and the unleavened bread, and the feast wherein they are partaken of is the spiritual Christ, crucified by the world, and the purity and freedom from the spirit of the world which accompany this sacrifice. Let us enjoy that feast, my brethren, untainted by the fermenting liquors of the world — the feast of sincerity and truth.