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1 Corinthians 5:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Purge out therefore the old leaven - As it is the custom of the Jews previously to the passover to search their houses in the most diligent manner for the old leaven, and throw it out, sweeping every part clean; so act with this incestuous person. I have already shown with what care the Jews purged their houses from all leaven previously to the passover; see the note on Exodus 12:8-19; (note), and on the term passover, and Christ as represented by this ancient Jewish sacrifice; see on Exodus 12:27; (note), and my Discourse on the Nature and Design of the Eucharist.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Purge out therefore … - Put away; free yourselves from.

The old leaven - The apostle here takes occasion, from the mention of leaven, to exhort the Corinthians to put away vice and sin. The figure is derived from the custom of the Jews in putting away leaven at the celebration of the passover. By the OLD leaven he means vice and sin; and also here the person who had committed the sin in their church. As the Jews, at the celebration of the passover, gave all diligence in removing leaven from their houses - searching every part of their dwellings with candles, that they might remove every particle of leavened bread from their habitations - so the apostle exhorts them to use all diligence to search out and remove all sin.

That ye may be a new lump - That you may be like a new mass of flour, or dough, before the leaven is put into it. That you may be pure, and free from the corrupting principle.

As ye are unleavened - That is, as ye are bound by your Christian profession to be unleavened, or to be pure. Your very profession implies this, and you ought, therefore, to remove all impurity, and to become holy. Let there be no impurity, and no mixture inconsistent with that holiness which the gospel teaches and requires. The apostle here does not refer merely to the case of the incestuous person, but he takes occasion to exhort them to put away all sin. Not only to remove this occasion of offence, but to remove all impurity, that they might become entirely and only holy. The doctrine is, that Christians are by their profession holy, and that therefore they ought to give all diligence to remove everything that is impure.

For even Christ … - As the Jews, when their paschal lamb was slain, gave great diligence to put away all leaven from their dwellings, so we Christians, since our passover is slain, ought to give the like diligence to remove all that is impure and corrupting from our hearts - There can be no doubt here that the paschal lamb was a type of the Messiah; and as little that the leaven was understood to be emblematic of impurity and sin, and that their being required to put it away was intended to be an emblematic action designed to denote that all sin was to be removed and forsaken.

Our passover - Our “paschal lamb,” for so the word πάσχα paschausually signifies. The sense is, “We Christians have a paschal lamb; and that lamb is the Messiah. And as the Jews, when their paschal lamb was slain, were required to put away all leaven from their dwellings, so we, when our paschal lamb is slain, should put away all sin from our hearts and from our churches.” This passage proves that Paul meant to teach that Christ had “taken the place” of the paschal lamb - that that lamb was designed to adumbrate or typify him - and that consequently when he was offered, the paschal offering was designed to cease. Christ is often in the Scriptures compared to a lamb. See Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6, Revelation 5:12.

Is sacrificed for us - Margin, Or “slain” ( ἐτυθη etuthē). The word θύω thuōmay mean simply to slay or kill; but it is also used often in the sense of making a sacrifice as an expiation for sin; Acts 14:13, Acts 14:18; 1 Corinthians 10:20; compare Genesis 31:54; Genesis 45:1; Exodus 3:18; Exodus 5:3, Exodus 5:8, Exodus 5:17; Exodus 8:8, Exodus 8:25-29; Exodus 13:15; Exodus 20:24; 2 Chronicles 15:16, where it is used as the translation of the word זבח zaabach“to sacrifice.” It is used as the translation of this word no less than 98 times in the Old Testament, and perhaps always in the sense of a “sacrifice,” or bloody offering. It is also used as the translation of the Hebrew word טבח Taabachand שׁחט shaachatto slay, to kill, etc. in Exodus 12:21; 1 Kings 11:19; 2 Kings 25:7; 2 Chronicles 29:22, etc.; in all in eleven places in the Old Testament. It is used in a similar sense in the New Testament, in Matthew 22:4; Luke 15:23, Luke 15:27, Luke 15:30; John 10:10; Acts 10:13; Acts 11:7. It occurs no where else in the New Testament than in the places which have been specified - The true sense of the word here is, therefore, to be found in the doctrine respecting the passover. That that was intended to be a sacrifice for sin is proved by the nature of the offering, and by the account which is everywhere given of it in the Old Testament. The paschal lamb was slain as a sacrifice. It was slain in the temple; its blood was poured out as an offering; it was sprinkled and offered by the priests in the same way as other sacrifices; see Exodus 23:18; Exodus 34:25; 2 Chronicles 30:15-16. And if so, then this passage means that Christ was offered “as a sacrifice for sin” - in accordance with the numerous passages of the New Testament, which speak of his death in this manner (see the note at Romans 3:25); and that his offering was designed to take the place of the paschal sacrifice, under the ancient economy.

For us - For us who are Christians. He died in our stead; and as the Jews, when celebrating their paschal feast, put away all leaven, so we, as Christians, should put away all evil from our hearts, since that sacrifice has now been made once for all.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle notices a flagrant abuse, winked at by the Corinthians. Party spirit, and a false notion of Christian liberty, seem to have saved the offender from censure. Grievous indeed is it that crimes should sometimes be committed by professors of the gospel, of which even heathens would be ashamed. Spiritual pride and false doctrines tend to bring in, and to spread such scandals. How dreadful the effects of sin! The devil reigns where Christ does not. And a man is in his kingdom, and under his power, when not in Christ. The bad example of a man of influence is very mischievous; it spreads far and wide. Corrupt principles and examples, if not corrected, would hurt the whole church. Believers must have new hearts, and lead new lives. Their common conversation and religious deeds must be holy. So far is the sacrifice of Christ our Passover for us, from rendering personal and public holiness unnecessary, that it furnishes powerful reasons and motives for it. Without holiness we can neither live by faith in him, nor join in his ordinances with comfort and profit.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 642

This chapter is based on Luke 22:7-18, 24; John 13:1-17.

In the upper chamber of a dwelling at Jerusalem, Christ was sitting at table with His disciples. They had gathered to celebrate the Passover. The Saviour desired to keep this feast alone with the twelve. He knew that His hour was come; He Himself was the true paschal lamb, and on the day the Passover was eaten He was to be sacrificed. He was about to drink the cup of wrath; He must soon receive the final baptism of suffering. But a few quiet hours yet remained to Him, and these were to be spent for the benefit of His beloved disciples. DA 642.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 399

Arguments drawn from the Old Testament types also pointed to the autumn as the time when the event represented by the “cleansing of the sanctuary” must take place. This was made very clear as attention was given to the manner in which the types relating to the first advent of Christ had been fulfilled. GC 399.1

The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ. Says Paul: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7. The sheaf of first fruits, which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking of the resurrection of the Lord and of all His people: “Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:23. Like the wave sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest, Christ is the first fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into the garner of God. GC 399.2

These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, “the first fruits of them that slept,” a sample of all the resurrected just, whose “vile body” shall be changed, and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Verse 20; Philippians 3:21. GC 399.3

In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. Under the Mosaic system the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29-34), when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord's coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible. GC 399.4

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 388-9

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” Through the beloved John, who listened to these words, the Holy Spirit declared to the churches, “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:11, 12. And Jesus said, “I will raise him up at the last day.” Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal. DA 388.1

The people had referred Christ to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness, as if the furnishing of that food was a greater miracle than Jesus had performed; but He shows how meager was that gift when compared with the blessings He had come to bestow. The manna could sustain only this earthly existence; it did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortality; but the bread of heaven would nourish the soul unto everlasting life. The Saviour said, “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” To this figure Christ now adds another. Only through dying could He impart life to men, and in the words that follow He points to His death as the means of salvation. He says, “The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” DA 388.2

The Jews were about to celebrate the Passover at Jerusalem, in commemoration of the night of Israel's deliverance, when the destroying angel smote the homes of Egypt. In the paschal lamb God desired them to behold the Lamb of God, and through the symbol receive Him who gave Himself for the life of the world. But the Jews had come to make the symbol all-important, while its significance was unnoticed. They discerned not the Lord's body. The same truth that was symbolized in the paschal service was taught in the words of Christ. But it was still undiscerned. DA 388.3

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