1 Corinthians Essay
Next, Paul not being present but there in the spirit (1Cor 5:3) judges this man based on hearsay and hands down the sentence. He instructs the church to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that he may be saved (1Cor 5:5). Is Satan really an ministry agent that brings people back around for good and into a loving relationship with Christ? Not hardly. Satan is not a minister of light but of darkness. If the devil had it his way, no one would ever become saved. So when Paul speaks of Satan's salvation inducing actions it seems to me to be a figure of speech. Satan does not care about a Christians life with Christ beyond his desire to destroy. And Satan does not lead us back to Christ in any manner. He drags us away.
So what is Paul talking about? The importance of fellowship among Christians is seen in this event. When we have social interaction with other Christians, we grow stronger through that. By not having that avenue of strength, we become more susceptible to Satan. It isn't that Paul wants this person to be forced out of the church and sin even more. It's the consequences of sin without social support that is the evangelistic tool. James describes for us the process of