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Carnal thinking leads to carnal living. Such was the case with the church in Corinth. Paul has dealt extensively and forcefully with their carnal thinking. Now, we will examine how Paul handled their problem of carnal living.

Fornication and lawsuits were two problems that manifested the Corinthians’ carnality. Paul first addressed a specific case of fornication emphasizing their wrong in not disciplining a fornicating brother (5:1-13). He then condemns the brethren for going to law against one another before the pagan judges (6:1-11). Finally, Paul addresses the sin of fornication by emphasizing the need for sexual purity (6:11-20).


A. The Problem of Fornication in the church (5:1)

1. The sin was well known.

2. The sin specified: “…one hath his father’s wife.”

B. The Attitude of the Church toward the Sin (5:2)

1. Boastful pride

2. Lack of mourning

3. Lack of church discipline

C. The Attitude of Paul toward the Sin (5:3-5)

1. Made judgment though absent

2. Action to be taken: deliver sinner unto Satan

D. The Appeal of Paul (5:6-13)

1. Do not glory

2. Purge out the old leaven – keep the feast

3. Have no company with the fornicating brother

4. Put away the wicked brother

E. The Problem of law suits in the church (6:1)

1. Brother going to law against another brother

2. Doing so before pagan judges

F. Ignorance Exposed (6:2-6)

1. Saints shall judge the world.

2. Saints will judge angels.

3. Saints should judge themselves.

G. The Solution Expressed (6:7-11)

1. Eliminate the “get even” spirit

2. Recognize the condition of the unrighteous

3. Understand the condition of the Christian

H. Paul Calls For Sexual Purity (6:12-20)

1. False assumptions exposed

2. Our bodies are members of Christ.

3. One joined to a harlot has become one body with the harlot – One joined to the Lord has become one spirit with the Lord.

4. Flee fornication.

5. The body is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.

6. Glorify God in your body.


1. Define: Fornication.

2. What two statements in this lesson describe the actions of “withdrawing”?

3. In this lesson, give all the purposes for withdrawing from the sinning brother:

4. What is the background for Paul’s comments in verses 7-8?

5. Was this the first time Paul admonished the Corinthians to have no company with the fornicator?

6. What action did Paul encourage the church to take that manifests “judging”?

7. What two points does Paul stress, showing that Christians should be able to make equitable judgments among themselves?

8. What statement shows that the life of the Christian demands a change from that of the world?

9. Is it ever right to appeal to the courts of the land over a dispute with brethren?   Explain your answer:

10. What two points does Paul make in 6:12-14 that expose the Corinthians’ false assumption regarding sexual impurity?

11. Give three reasons why we should keep our bodies sexually pure?