1 Corinthians 5

Talks for Growing Christians

Discipline for Immorality within the Church

1 Corinthians 5

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Lesson Number 6

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Churches should put out of fellowship believers who continue in sin.
  2. Christians should not have fellowship with believers who continue in sin.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s clean out the old leaven.


  1. What terrible sin was being practiced by one of the Corinthian believers?
  2. What was the Corinthian church’s response to this sin in their midst?
  3. What is the highest form of church discipline?
  4. What is the purpose of church discipline?
  5. Explain 1 Corinthians 5:5.
  6. Should we separate ourselves from all Christians who sin?


  1. One of the Christian men was living in incest with his stepmother. Such a sin was prohibited in Old Testament Law as well as Roman law.
  2. The Corinthian church was wrongly taking not only a tolerant attitude toward the whole situation, but an arrogant attitude as well.
  3. Excommunication, or putting someone out of fellowship with the church
  4. Discipline from the church is meant to help the believer, just as good parents discipline their children in love. The ultimate goal of church discipline is always restoration.
  5. When a person is put out of fellowship, he is put out into the realm of the world which is Satan’s domain. As a result, the sinner reaps what he sows.
  6. Of course not, because we all sin. But we should break fellowship with believers who are living a life of flagrant sin, and are unwilling to repent of their sin.


  1. Church discipline is not a popular subject, nor a practice often followed today. Yet the process is biblical and is crucial for the health of the church. Discuss whether your thinking has changed in the area of church discipline.
  2. Christians should not have fellowship with believers who continue in sin. The act of breaking fellowship with an unrepentant believer is very difficult, but it is an act of love. Have you ever had cause to make such a decision? What was the result?


  1. We must clean out of our lives and churches all known sin which will spread like leaven and corrupt the body of Christ. Let’s live our lives as holy people.

Key Verses

  • “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:2
  • “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” 1 Corinthians 5:6
  • “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” 1 Corinthians 5:11

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