Not for his cause that had done the wrong - viz. the incestuous person.
Nor for his cause that suffered wrong - Some think the apostle means himself; others, that he means the Church at Corinth, the singular being put for the plural; others, the family of the incestuous person; and others, the father of the incestuous person. If this latter opinion be adopted, it would seem to intimate that the father of this person was yet alive, which would make the transgression more flagrant; but these words might be spoken in reference to the father, if dead, whose cause should be vindicated; as his injured honor might be considered, like Abel's blood, to be crying from the earth.
But that our care for you - might appear - It was not to get the delinquent punished, nor merely to do justice to those who had suffered in this business, that the apostle wrote his epistle to them, but that they might have the fullest proof of his fatherly affection for them, and his concern for the honor of God; and that they might thereby see how unnatural their opposition to him was, and what cause they had to prefer him, who was ready to give up his life in their service, to that false apostle or teacher who was corrupting their minds, leading them from the simplicity of the truth, and making a gain of them.
Wherefore, though I wrote unto you - In this verse Paul states the main reason why he had written to them on the subject. It was not principally on account of the man who had done the wrong, or of him who had been injured; but it was from tender anxiety for the whole church, and in order to show the deep interest which he had in their welfare.
Not for his cause that had done the wrong - Not mainly, or principally on account of the incestuous person; 1 Corinthians 5:1. It was not primarily with reference to him as an individual that I wrote, but from a regard to the whole church.
Nor for his cause that suffered wrong - Not merely that the wrong which he had suffered might be rectified, and that his rights might be restored, valuable and desirable as was that object. The offence was that a man had taken his father‘s wife as his own 1 Corinthians 5:1, and the person injured, therefore, was his father. It is evident from this passage, I think, that the father was living at the time when Paul wrote this Epistle.
But that our care - I wrote mainly that I might show the deep interest which I had in the church at large, and my anxiety that it might not suffer by the misconduct of any of its members. It is from a regard to the welfare of the whole earth that discipline should be administered, and not simply with reference to an individual who has done wrong, or an individual who is injured. In church discipline such private interests are absorbed in the general interest of the church at large.
“I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.” “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” “being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart.” “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” “Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” Verse 16, A.R.V.; Philippians 1:3-5; 1:6, 7, A.R.V.; 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8. MH 167.1
Paul wrote to these brethren as “saints in Christ Jesus;” but he was not writing to those who were perfect in character. He wrote to them as men and women who were striving against temptation and who were in danger of falling. He pointed them to “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep.” He assured them that “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” He will “make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:20, 21. MH 167.2
When one at fault becomes conscious of his error, be careful not to destroy his self-respect. Do not discourage him by indifference or distrust. Do not say, “Before giving him my confidence, I will wait to see whether he will hold out.” Often this very distrust causes the tempted one to stumble. MH 167.3Read in context »
You should study also the seventh chapter, but I will not take time to read it now. FE 534.1
There is constant danger among our people that those who engage in labor in our schools and sanitariums will entertain the idea that they must get in line with the world, study the things which the world studies, and become familiar with the things that the world becomes familiar with. This is one of the greatest mistakes that could be made. We shall make grave mistakes unless we give special attention to the searching of the word. FE 534.2
The question is asked, What is the higher education? There is no education higher than that contained in the principles laid down in the words I have read to you from this sixth chapter of Second Corinthians. Let our students study diligently to comprehend this. There is no higher education to be gained than that which was given to the early disciples, and which is given to us through the word. May the Holy Spirit of God impress your minds with the conviction that there is nothing in all the world in the line of education that is so exalted as the instruction contained in the sixth and seventh chapters of Second Corinthians. Let us advance in our work just as far as the word of God will lead us. Let us work intelligently for this higher education. Let our righteousness be the sign of our understanding of the will of God committed to us through His messengers. FE 534.3Read in context »