Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

1 Corinthians Ch.5 / 16 Ch.s


* The apostle blames the Corinthians for connivance at an
incestuous person; (1-8) and directs their behaviour towards
those guilty of scandalous crimes. (9-13)

#1-8 The apostle notices a flagrant abuse, winked at by the
Corinthians. Party spirit, and a false notion of Christian
liberty, seem to have saved the offender from censure. Grievous
indeed is it that crimes should sometimes be committed by
professors of the gospel, of which even heathens would be
ashamed. Spiritual pride and false doctrines tend to bring in,
and to spread such scandals. How dreadful the effects of sin!
The devil reigns where Christ does not. And a man is in his
kingdom, and under his power, when not in Christ. The bad
example of a man of influence is very mischievous; it spreads
far and wide. Corrupt principles and examples, if not corrected,
would hurt the whole church. Believers must have new hearts, and
lead new lives. Their common conversation and religious deeds
must be holy. So far is the sacrifice of Christ our Passover for
us, from rendering personal and public holiness unnecessary,
that it furnishes powerful reasons and motives for it. Without
holiness we can neither live by faith in him, nor join in his
ordinances with comfort and profit.

#9-13 Christians are to avoid familiar converse with all who
disgrace the Christian name. Such are only fit companions for
their brethren in sin, and to such company they should be left,
whenever it is possible to do so. Alas, that there are many
called Christians, whose conversation is more dangerous than
that of heathens!