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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

“And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”


And you are puffed up,

The words “puffed up” indicate a spirit of pride in the Corinthian church. The Greek grammar indicates that this pride was an abiding condition with continuing results. They still loved to brag about their favorite teachers, all the while ignoring sin in the camp. This church was the most gifted in the New Testament, yet they developed a tolerant attitude about sin that injected an insidious leaven into their midst.

and have not rather mourned,

Corinthian pride kept them from seeing sin in the church. Pride made them insensitive to sin in the camp. They should have “mourned.” The word “mourn” means lament, bewail. They should have recognized God’s discipline on them. They should have grieved over Satan’s success in allowing incest to go unchecked in the church (5:1).

that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The person living in incest should have been excommunicated from the congregation, should he not repent. Interestingly, he did eventually repent after the writing of 1 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians 7:9 indicates the sequel of his repentance.

2 Co 7:8-9, 8For even if I made you sorry with my letter [1 Corinthians], I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle [1 Corinthians] made you sorry, though only for a while. 9Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.


Christians should grieve over Satan’s success in the lives of fellow believers rather than glorying in a pseudo tolerance.


Unconfessed social sin can place a pall over the local church. It also can give the local church a black eye. If it embeds itself in the assembly, it will eat the heart out of the church like cancer. The church should grieve over this kind of situation. Self-consuming pride will blind us to this kind of grief.

If the church does not take a serious view of sin, she will put herself in a perilous place. The issue is not about being a prig over other people’s sins. Stuffy self-righteousness never advances the cause of Christ. This is not a question of being critical and condemnatory of people in sin but of being wounded and grieved over their sin. Glory in pseudo tolerance is a distortion of biblical perspective. This kind of tolerance is not love or understanding but the warping of biblical norms. The true biblical attitude is one of grief.