1 Corinthians 5:5
To deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
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To deliver - This is the sentence which is to be executed. You are to deliver him to Satan, etc.

Unto Satan - Beza, and the Latin fathers, suppose that this is only an expression of excommunication. They say, that in the Scriptures there are but two kingdoms recognized - the kingdom of God, or the church, and the kingdom of the world, which is regarded as under the control of Satan; and that to exclude a man from one is to subject him to the dominion of the other. There is some foundation for this opinion; and there can be no doubt that excommunication is here intended, and that, by excommunication, the offender was in some sense placed under the control of Satan. It is further evident that it is here supposed that by being thus placed under him the offender would be subject to corporal inflictions by the agency of Satan, which are here called the "destruction of the flesh." Satan is elsewhere referred to as the author of bodily diseases. Thus, in the case of Job, Job 2:7. A similar instance is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20, where Paul says he had delivered Hymeneus and Alexander to "Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme." It may be observed here that though this was to be done by the concurrence of the church, as having a right to administer discipline, yet it was directed by apostolic authority; and there is no evidence that this was the usual form of excommunication, nor ought it now to be used. There was evidently miraculous power evinced in this case, and that power has long since ceased in the church.

For the destruction of the flesh - We may observe here:

(1) That this does not mean that the man was to die under the infliction of the censure, for the object was to recover him; and it is evident that, whatever he suffered as the consequence of this, he survived it, and Paul again instructed the Corinthians to admit him to their fellowship, 2 Corinthians 2:7.

(2) it was designed to punish him for licentiousness of life - often called in the Scriptures one of the sins, or works of the flesh Galatians 5:19, and the design was that the punishment should follow "in the line of the offence," or be a just retribution - as punishment often does. Many have supposed that by the "destruction of the flesh" Paul meant only the destruction of his fleshly appetites or carnal affections; and that he supposed that this would be effected by the act of excommunication. But it is very evident from the Scriptures that the apostles were imbued with the power of inflicting diseases or bodily calamities for crimes. See Acts 13:11; 1 Corinthians 11:30. What this bodily malady was we have no means of knowing. It is evident that it was not of very long duration, since when the apostle exhorts them 2 Corinthians 2:7 again to receive him, there is no mention made of his suffering then under it - This was an extraordinary and miraculous power. It was designed for the government of the church in its infancy, when everything was suited to show the direct agency of God; and it ceased, doubtless, with the apostles. The church now has no such power. It cannot now work miracles; and all its discipline now is to be moral discipline, designed not to inflict bodily pain and penalties, but to work a moral reformation in the offender.

That the spirit may be saved - That his soul might be saved; that he might be corrected, humbled, and reformed by these sufferings, and recalled to the paths of piety and virtue. This expresses the true design of the discipline of the church, and it ought never to be inflicted but with a direct intention to benefit the offender, and to save the soul. Even when he is cut off and disowned, the design should not be vengeance, or punishment merely, but it should be to recover him and save him from ruin.

In the day of the Lord Jesus - The Day of Judgment when the Lord Jesus shall come, and shall collect his people to himself.

To deliver such a one unto Satan - There is no evidence that delivering to Satan was any form of excommunication known either among the Jews or the Christians. Lightfoot, Selden, and Schoettgen, who have searched all the Jewish records, have found nothing that answers to this: it was a species of punishment administered in extraordinary cases, in which the body and the mind of an incorrigible transgressor were delivered by the authority of God into the power of Satan, to be tortured with diseases and terrors as a warning to all; but while the body and mind were thus tormented, the immortal spirit was under the influence of the Divine mercy; and the affliction, in all probability, was in general only for a season; though sometimes it was evidently unto death, as the destruction of the flesh seems to imply. But the soul found mercy at the hand of God; for such a most extraordinary interference of God's power and justice, and of Satan's influence, could not fail to bring the person to a state of the deepest humiliation and contrition; and thus, while the flesh was destroyed, the spirit was saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. No such power as this remains in the Church of God; none such should be assumed; the pretensions to it are as wicked as they are vain. It was the same power by which Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, and Elymas the sorcerer struck blind. Apostles alone were intrusted with it. To deliver such an one unto Satan,.... This, as before observed, is to be read in connection with 1 Corinthians 5:3 and is what the apostle there determined to do with this incestuous person; namely, to deliver him unto Satan; by which is meant, not the act of excommunication, or the removing of him from the communion of the church, which is an act of the whole church, and not of any single person; whereas this was what the church had nothing to do with; it was not what they were to do, or ought to do, but what the apostle had resolved to do; and which was an act of his own, and peculiar to him as an apostle, see 1 Timothy 1:20. Nor is this a form of excommunication; nor was this phrase ever used in excommunicating persons by the primitive churches; nor ought it ever to be used; it is what no man, or set of men, have power to do now, since the ceasing of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, which the apostles were endowed with; who, as they had a power over Satan to dispossess him from the bodies of men, so to deliver up the bodies of men into his hands, as the apostle did this man's:

for the destruction of the flesh; that is, that his body might be shook, buffeted, afflicted, and tortured in a terrible manner; that by this means he might be brought to a sense of his sin, to repentance for it, and make an humble acknowledgment of it:

that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; that he might be renewed in the spirit of his mind, be restored by repentance, and his soul be saved in the day of Christ; either at death, when soul and body would be separated, or at the day of the resurrection, when both should be reunited; for the flesh here means, not the corruption of nature, in opposition to the spirit, as a principle of grace, but the body, in distinction from the soul: nor was the soul of this man, only his body, delivered for a time unto Satan; the end of which was, that his soul might be saved, which could never be done by delivering it up to Satan: and very wrongfully is this applied to excommunication; when it is no part of excommunication, nor the end of it, to deliver souls to Satan, but rather to deliver them from him. The phrase seems to be Jewish, and to express that extraordinary power the apostles had in those days, as well in giving up the bodies to Satan, for a temporal chastisement, as in delivering them from him. The Jews say, that Solomon had such a power; of whom they tell the following story (e):

"one day he saw the angel of death grieving; he said to him, why grievest thou? he replied, these two Cushites have desired of me to sit here, "he delivered them to the devil"; the gloss is, these seek of me to ascend, for their time to die was come; but he could not take away their souls, because it was decreed concerning them, that they should not die but in the gate of Luz, "Solomon delivered them to the devils", for he was king over them, as it is written, 1 Chronicles 29:12 for he reigned over them, that are above, and them that are below.''

The phrase is much the same as here, and the power which they, without any foundation, ascribe to Solomon, the apostles had: this is their rod which they used, sometimes in striking persons dead, sometimes by inflicting diseases on them themselves; and at other times by delivering them up into the hands of Satan to be afflicted and terrified by him, which is the case here. And it may be observed, that the giving up of Job into the hands of Satan, by the Lord, is expressed in the Septuagint version by the same word as here; for where it is said, Job 2:6 "behold, he is in thine hand"; that version renders it, "behold, , I deliver him to thee", that is, to Satan; and which was done, that his body might be smote with sore boils by him, as it was; only his life was to be preserved, that he was not suffered to touch.

(e) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 53. 1.

{5} To {c} deliver such an one unto Satan for the {6} destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

(5) The one who is excommunicated is delivered to the power of Satan, in that he is cast out of the house of God.

(c) What it is to be delivered to Satan the Lord himself declares when he says, Let him be unto thee as a heathen and publican; Mt 18:17. That is to say, to be disfranchised and put out of the right and privileges of the city of Christ, which is the Church, outside of which Satan is lord and master.

(6) The goal of excommunication is not to cast away the excommunicate that he should utterly perish, but that he may be saved, that is, that by this means his flesh may be tamed, that he may learn to live to the Spirit.

5. Besides excommunication (of which the Corinthians themselves had the power), Paul delegates here to the Corinthian Church his own special power as an apostle, of inflicting corporeal disease or death in punishment for sin ("to deliver to Satan such an one," that is, so heinous a sinner). For instances of this power, see Ac 5:1-11; 13:11; 1Ti 1:20. As Satan receives power at times to try the godly, as Job (Job 2:4-7) and Paul (2Co 12:7; compare also as to Peter, Lu 22:31), much more the ungodly. Satan, the "accuser of the brethren" (Re 12:10) and the "adversary" (1Pe 5:8), demands the sinner for punishment on account of sin (Zec 3:1). When God lets Satan have his way, He is said to "deliver the sinner unto Satan" (compare Ps 109:6). Here it is not finally; but for the affliction of the body with disease, and even death (1Co 11:30, 32), so as to destroy fleshly lust. He does not say, "for the destruction of the body," for it shall share in redemption (Ro 8:23); but of the corrupt "flesh" which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and the lusts of which had prompted this offender to incest (Ro 7:5; 8:9, 10). The "destruction of the flesh" answers to "mortify the deeds of the body" (Ro 8:13), only that the latter is done by one's self, the former is effected by chastisement from God (compare 1Pe 4:6):

the spirit … saved—the spiritual part of man, in the believer the organ of the Holy Spirit. Temporary affliction often leads to permanent salvation (Ps 83:16).

5:1-8 The apostle notices a flagrant abuse, winked at by the Corinthians. Party spirit, and a false notion of Christian liberty, seem to have saved the offender from censure. Grievous indeed is it that crimes should sometimes be committed by professors of the gospel, of which even heathens would be ashamed. Spiritual pride and false doctrines tend to bring in, and to spread such scandals. How dreadful the effects of sin! The devil reigns where Christ does not. And a man is in his kingdom, and under his power, when not in Christ. The bad example of a man of influence is very mischievous; it spreads far and wide. Corrupt principles and examples, if not corrected, would hurt the whole church. Believers must have new hearts, and lead new lives. Their common conversation and religious deeds must be holy. So far is the sacrifice of Christ our Passover for us, from rendering personal and public holiness unnecessary, that it furnishes powerful reasons and motives for it. Without holiness we can neither live by faith in him, nor join in his ordinances with comfort and profit. 5:5 To deliver such one unto Satan. Not only this one, but all such persons. To deliver unto Satan is to excommunicate; to extradite from the kingdom of God to the prince of this world. The expression is used in 1Ti 1:20.

For the destruction of the flesh. Fleshly desires had caused the sin. These must be destroyed. The humiliation of excommunication, the sense of one's lost condition, was well adapted to bring a repentance. Some have held that this meant to send some painful disease miraculously. I believe that the Latin fathers and Beza are right in understanding that it refers to the mortification of the offender, cast out, shunned by the church as a dead body. This person is ordered to be restored, having repented, and no mention is made of disease, in 2Co 2:7.

That the spirit may be saved. This is the object of all true discipline. If carried out, as in the early church, it was well calculated to bring to repentance. It was effective in this instance, as we learn from 2Co 2:6.

Verse 5. - To deliver such a one unto Satan. Scripture nowhere defines the character and limits of such a sentence as this. By cutting off an offender from Church communion (2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15), that is, from all the visible means of grace, he was for the time separated from spiritual influences, and was, therefore, so far handed over to Satan. The phrase is also applied to Hymenaeus and Alexander, in 1 Timothy 1:20. It is very doubtful whether it was necessarily meant to involve such physical inflictions as fell on Ananias, Sapphira, or Elymas. It is, however, important to observe that the intention of the sentence, like the true intention of excommunication, when exercised in a right spirit (see Hooker, 'Eccl. Pol.,' 3:1, § 13), was not wrathful, but merciful. It was, as Calvin says, "medicinale remedium" - "not for destruction, but for edification" (2 Corinthians 10:8). Hymenaeus and Alexander were handed to Satan, not for their final ruin and damnation, but with a kind and remedial purpose, "that they may learn not to blaspheme" (1 Timothy 1:20), and this offender with the express object ', that his spirit may be saved." Had these facts been more deeply studied, there would have been a very different tone and spirit in many of the mediaeval anathemas. Such a one (setup. 2 Corinthians 2:7). He seems to hold aloof from the man's very name. So "such as she" (τὰς τοιαύτας) is used of the adulteress in John 8:7. For the destruction of the flesh; i.e. that all carnal influences in him might be destroyed. It is not his "body" which is to be destroyed, but the , "flesh," the jetzer hara, or "evil impulse," as the Jews called it. When this was destroyed, the body might once more become a temple of the Holy Ghost. That the spirit may be saved. The destruction of the lowest element of our human nature is the salvation of the highest; it is the cutting away of the dead corpse from the living soul. In the day of the Lord; when the Lord should judge the quick and the dead. The merciful intention of St. Paul is clearly developed in 2 Corinthians 2:6-11. He looked on God's judgments as remedial, not as solely retributive (1 Corinthians 11:29-32). Here, as Chrysostom finely says, the apostle lays down, as it were, his laws to the devil, telling him how far, and how far only, he can proceed. The object of excommunication is to save the offender, and not to do the devil's work by ensuring his eternal ruin. We can imagine how awful would be the solemnity of these words when they were first read aloud to the little Christian communities of Corinth. It was natural that they should produce an overwhelming excitement. [1] destruction

Gr. olethros, used elsewhere, 1Th 5:3 2Th 1:9 1Tim 6:9. never means annihilation.

Margin saved

See Scofield Note: "Rom 1:16".

Margin Jesus

Some ancient authorities omit "Jesus."

deliver.

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judges. Therefore put away from among …

Job 2:6 And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.

Psalm 109:6 Set you a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

2 Corinthians 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your …

2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I …

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and …

1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered to Satan, …

that.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should …

2 Corinthians 2:7 So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him…

Galatians 6:1,2 Brothers, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, …

2 Thessalonians 3:14,15 And if any man obey not our word by this letter, note that man, and …

James 5:19,20 Brothers, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him…

1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not to death, he shall …

Jude 1:22,23 And of some have compassion, making a difference…

the day.

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless …

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good …

2 Timothy 1:18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that …

2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein …

To deliver - unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh. On this very obscure and much controverted passage it may be observed: 1. That it implies excommunication from the Church. 2. That it implies something more, the nature of which is not clearly known. 3. That casting the offender out of the Church involved casting him back into the heathen world, which Paul habitually conceives as under the power of Satan. 4. That Paul has in view the reformation of the offender: "that the spirit may be saved," etc. This reformation is to be through affliction, disease, pain, or loss, which also he is wont to conceive as Satan's work. See 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 12:7. Compare Luke 13:16. Hence in delivering him over to these he uses the phrase deliver unto Satan. Compare 1 Timothy 1:20. 5:5 To deliver such an one - This was the highest degree of punishment in the Christian church; and we may observe, the passing this sentence was the act of the apostle, not of the Corinthians. To Satan - Who was usually permitted, in such cases, to inflict pain or sickness on the offender. For the destruction - Though slowly and gradually. Of the flesh - Unless prevented by speedy repentance.
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