10 “Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But 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.”
Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world,
Paul clarifies verse ten by indicating that he did not mean that Christians are not to associate with non-Christians who live immoral lives.
Or with the covetous,
A covetous person is a person who seeks more than belongs to him. This is a culturally accepted sin, even in churches.
An “extortioner” is someone who takes advantage of another person’s property. In the case of the Corinthian church, it was a son taking advantage of his father by committing adultery with his stepmother. However, Paul speaks of non-Christians here. Extortion is any form of fraud.
An idolater is someone who worships something other than God. This is religious activity counter to God’s norms.
since then you would need to go out of the world.
Separation is not isolation. Paul challenges the Corinthian church in his second epistle to the Corinthians to separate themselves from intimate fellowship with non-Christians. He did not mean by separation to forgo any contact with non-Christians. Paul is more concerned with insulation from sin than isolation from the world.
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
Paul now adds two more sins to his list of the previous verse – those of reviler and drunkard. A “reviler” is a railer; he uses abusive language against someone. A “drunkard” is an intemperate person who cannot control himself. Christians like to limit church discipline to sexual sins, but Paul’s list includes something more extensive.
— not even to eat with such a person.
Paul says to the Corinthian church not to invite people who commit such sins over to dinner. “Treat them like they are expelled from the believing community.” Going to dinner is a sign of friendliness and acceptance.
Christians are not to have social intercourse with other Christians who blatantly violate Christian standards because this gives the impression that they accept the sin as normative.
There are Christians who live like non-Christians but profess to be Christians. Nothing gives the church a black eye more than Christians who live like non-Christians. We expect the lost to live like the lost because they have no relation to God. Christians do have a relation to God, so other Christians have a responsibility to judge their objective behavior. It is not our responsibility to judge the world, but it is our responsibility to judge fellow Christians.