By Not Known
By now, we would surely begin to see a better picture of what the Corinthians are
really like. It is so easy for us to point our fingers and say, "These people give
Christianity a bad name!" Before we point our accusing fingers, let us remember
Jesus’ words, "Let him who has no sin, cast the first stone." (Jn 8:7).
In 1 Cor 5:11, Paul told the Corinthians that they should not associate with one
who claims to be a brother (or Christian). This so-called (NASV) brother is really
not a brother at all.
It is interesting how the expression so-called in English conveys the strong
suggestion that the person so designated does not really deserve that description.
To identify someone as a so-called expert is to question their expertise. Likewise
to label someone as a so-called brother or as a so-called Christian is to cast doubt
on their salvation.
The Greek has no word which means so-colled. It however, has the root word of
name. The English derivation which means the formation or use of words which
sound like the action which they describe (e.g. buzz, plop, sizzle). In other
words, we are talking about fakes. They make claims but are really not genuine.
Who do Paul refer to here then? Those who claim to be Christians but who are not.
They are thought to be believers (or brothers) but are not. Especially in the light
of the passage, Paul is referring to those who are compulsive sinners, unrepentant
and have no shame of their wrongdoings. These continue to be involved in sexual
immorality, greed, swindling others, being idolaters, etc. These are the so-called
On the contrary, those who walk in the light (though are not perfect) are those
who have realised their evil ways and turned back to God for forgiveness. Even
though they may still face the consequences of their fallen ways. These are the
This is the difference between carnal, natural sinners; forgiven and redeemed
brothers in the Lord (1Cor 5:6-8). Which are you? As in 1 Cor 5:13, "God will judge
those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.’" It’s not just about those
outside the community of believers, each person within the community should
check our hearts on the inside. Are you one of the "so-called brothers"?