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1 Corinthians 5:12,13 – nevertheless judging?

19-02-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

For what is it to me to be judging those outside? You are not judging those within! Now those outside, God is judging. Expel the wicked one from among yourselves.

This verse seems conflicting with what Paul wrote in the previous chapter about judging. “Be not judging anything before the season, till the Lord should be coming…” (4: 5). Indeed, God takes care for those “outside”. That is not our job. But why should we judge “those within”?

Judging those within means: judging whether they should be inside or not. Fortunately, it’s not our task to measure each other. Unfortunately, most of the believers in Corinth were ‘fleshly’ (3: 1), but undeniable they belonged ‘within’, i.e. to the community of believers. But if someone is a criminal (for example a swindler or an extortioner; : 11) and persists, he shouldn’t be inside. The direct reason in this chapter was a man who was guilty of incest (5: 1). There is no valid excuse to turn a blind eye. The person involved may be a ‘brother’, a crime remains a crime. Bearing something like that is leaven. And that spoils the feast…