Delivering Someone to Satan

1 Corinthians Bible Background

New Testament: 1Co 5.2–5

To read the Bible in a year, read First Corinthians 5 on August 23, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

The Corinthian church not only had a member who was living in fornication, but the church boasted of allowing such a member to be among them:

And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

– First Corinthians 5.2

Rather than bragging of who they would allow to be members there, Paul said they should have taken that member away, something that Paul had already done in the spirit (First Corinthians 5.3). Therefore, he commanded them:

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

– First Corinthians 5.4–5

Turning that person over to Satan was simply putting that person back into the world, Satan’s realm, not to hurt that member of the church, but that he might be ashamed of what he had been doing and then repent. By doing such that member would be saved.

The church’s goal is not to save people in their sins, but to save them from their sins.

Questions:

  • How would turning a member over to Satan make that member ashamed of what he was doing?
  • What did Paul mean by “the destruction of the flesh”?

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