Oh, Way Too Much For My Brain
Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 5
1Co 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
1Ti 1:19 …………Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
I wish I could tell you that I understand the concept of “handing someone over to Satan.” I don’t! Nevertheless, let us explore some ideas about it. We can certainly say that it is something which is not a good thing. In both of these examples, it is quite obvious that the man from Corinth and the two men mentioned in 1 Timothy will not enjoy the things which happen to them after they have been given over to our arch enemy.
Another thing I believe we can agree upon is that those men had done something which was harmful to the cause of Christ, and/or harmful to the cause of Christians or Christianity. Something about the actions and attitudes of these three men was a very serious matter. Paul would not have written in that way if the cause of action were not extremely harmful to the community and cause of believers.
There is a third idea. In the example from 1 Corinthians Paul had some harsh words for those within the church in Corinth because they had tolerated obvious sinful activity within the body of believers. This should give us pause, as we think about how prone we are to remain silent when we see similar circumstances among believers.
Because of the serious nature of Paul’s actions, it is also a serious thing for us to think about. Some would say that the church must be careful to not allow known sin to be ignored in the church. I lean toward that idea, but would opine that it should only be considered when the accused is unrepentant. To expel a brother from fellowship when he is repentant is fully unbiblical. Others would say that those within the fellowship who are dabbling in sin should be ‘loved’ and just let the Holy Spirit take care of the problem. I understand that viewpoint, and might consider it as a short-term approach; but not something which should be allowed to continue for a long period of time.
We’ve a lot to think about so far, but we are not through. The SSA man or woman who is willfully continuing to ignore the biblical viewpoint about same-sex actions has become a serious problem within our current Christian community. To allow those who believe this way and to continue to display such beliefs, thereby misleading others down that same path, would not be acceptable according to Paul’s way to thinking. Feel free to disagree, but I cannot imagine that Paul would have allowed a gay couple to join the fellowship of believers in Corinth and remain in good standing with the congregation, unless they were truly repentant.
After all that, my head is spinning. Now our heads can go just a little further and explode. What happens when a man or woman is “handed over to Satan?” I haven’t a clue. But there have been some times in my life when I felt like Satan was throwing me around like a rag doll. It wasn’t fun, and I hope to never experience that again.
Prayer: Lord, there is so much we don’t understand, and so much to think about. All we can ask is that You guide our ways of thinking, so that we will do the right thing at the right time and refrain from doing the wrong thing anytime. Thank You for not allowing Your children to stray from Your will and purpose.