Paul Rebukes the Immorality being overlooked and even approved in the Corinthian Church Part 2
1 Corinthians 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. NKJV
Paul now writes what was the most difficult part of this letter to these believers, because Paul knows that he has been commissioned by our Lord Jesus Christ to “speak the truth in love” and often times that means saying and doing some tough and hard things to the ones you love praying that it will turn out for their repentance or change of mind or turning away from that which is evil to receive cleansing from the hands of our Lord Jesus. Paul was at all times and on every occasion concerned for the souls of men and women and this is why he subjected himself to the abuse, beatings, mocking, and ridicule so that some might be saved. Paul wanted people to turn to our Lord Jesus Christ and then exhibit or manifest or make visible fruit in their lives or transformation that could clearly be seen as only coming from God’s Power working in them to will and do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Paul had already earlier in this epistle or letter said this same thing to them but in this manner, “Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:18-20).
Therefore, Paul commands these believers to turn this man over to satan or in other words treat him as an unbeliever (Matthew 18:15-17) and remove him from their fellowship until he has been battered and beaten down by the devil and brought to the point of repentance. All of this Paul declares is the loving thing to do for him that his soul might be saved on the day of Judgment and that he would no longer be allowed to continue in the fellowship of the body contaminating and infecting it with unrepentant sin. Paul is not commanding them to do something that he himself has not painfully also had to do himself as he explained to brother Timothy, as it is written here, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:18-20).
Now sadly in the case of Alexander we learn also from Paul (as he wrote Timothy a second letter) that he apparently never repented and only proved that his profession of faith was never real or never was the work of God the Holy Spirit upon his soul in regeneration and new birth, for this is what Paul said of him later to Timothy, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching” (2 Timothy 4:14-15). Paul not only loved these brothers in sisters in Corinth deeply, but he did so to the point where he wanted to protect them from lies, falsehood, false brethren, and every device or plot worked out by satan orchestrated to trip these believers up and cause them to stumble and bring reproach to the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul uses the English word “destruction” and this word is translated by the Greek word olethros which means to destroy or to ruin or to punish or to put to death the external ills and troubles by which the lusts of the flesh are subdued and destroyed.
Paul wrote these words to the believers in Colossi, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). The fact that Paul in every one of his letters reveals God’s will for the believers to be sexual purity is why he here is so stern with his words and this is not without anguish of soul for Paul, but he knew that it was necessary in order that the truth would be discovered about this man and that is whether he was a genuine regenerated born again son of God or a hypocrite, pretender, or an actor. If he were a true son, then he could not continue in this willful, wicked, and wanton lifestyle but he would repent or change his mind and turn from that sin to our Lord Jesus for cleansing (1 John 1:9).
“Satan can make men dance upon the brink of hell as though they were on the verge of Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon
“Christ and satan divide the world: and those that live in sin, when they profess relation to Christ, belong to another master, and by excommunication should be delivered up to him; and this in the Name of Christ.” Matthew Henry
“Paul was so moved with righteous anger that he would allow nothing or no one to contaminate the sanctity of the true love feast of the believers and so he even delivered men over to satan, not from vengeance but instead from love praying that would bring them to repentance and keep them from eternal hell.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…