Paul addresses a specific issue within the Corinthian church – a case of sexual immorality that has occurred among them. He recounts that a man has engaged in a relationship with his stepmother, a situation that even the surrounding pagan culture would find unacceptable.
Paul expresses his concern and sorrow regarding this situation. He admonishes the Corinthians for their tolerance of such behavior and emphasizes that they should have taken action and removed the offender from their midst.
Paul instructs the Corinthians to deliver this individual to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, not meaning physical harm, but a removal from the protective community of the church. The purpose is to allow him to realize the gravity of his sin and hopefully lead him to turn away from this unhealthy relationship.
Paul highlights the importance of maintaining a standard of moral purity within the church. He uses the analogy of leaven to describe how a little bit of sinful behavior can permeate and corrupt the entire community.
Paul then clarifies that he is not referring to unbelievers in his previous instructions but specifically to those who claim to be followers of Christ. He encourages the Corinthians to associate with unbelievers in their everyday lives while maintaining a distinction and purity within the church community.