The Nature of True Apostleship

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants(A) of Christ and as those entrusted(B) with the mysteries(C) God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience(D) is clear, but that does not make me innocent.(E) It is the Lord who judges me.(F) Therefore judge nothing(G) before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.(H) He will bring to light(I) what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.(J)

Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.”(K) Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.(L) For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?(M) And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich!(N) You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die(O) in the arena. We have been made a spectacle(P) to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ,(Q) but you are so wise in Christ!(R) We are weak, but you are strong!(S) You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.(T) 12 We work hard with our own hands.(U) When we are cursed, we bless;(V) when we are persecuted,(W) we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage(X) of the world—right up to this moment.

Paul’s Appeal and Warning

14 I am writing this not to shame you(Y) but to warn you as my dear children.(Z) 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father(AA) through the gospel.(AB) 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.(AC) 17 For this reason I have sent to you(AD) Timothy,(AE) my son(AF) whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.(AG)

18 Some of you have become arrogant,(AH) as if I were not coming to you.(AI) 19 But I will come to you very soon,(AJ) if the Lord is willing,(AK) and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of(AL) talk but of power.(AM) 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline,(AN) or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

Dealing With a Case of Incest

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.(AO) And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning(AP) and have put out of your fellowship(AQ) the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit.(AR) As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus(AS) on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over(AT) to Satan(AU) for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.(AV)

Your boasting is not good.(AW) Don’t you know that a little yeast(AX) leavens the whole batch of dough?(AY) Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.(AZ) Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread(BA) of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate(BB) with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world(BC) who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c](BD) but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater(BE) or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.(BF)

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside(BG) the church? Are you not to judge those inside?(BH) 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d](BI)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 5:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:5 Or of his body
  3. 1 Corinthians 5:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in 8:11, 13.
  4. 1 Corinthians 5:13 Deut. 13:5; 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7