Friday, December 10, 2010

Hand Him Over To Satan... To Be Saved? (Part 2)

So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. 1 Cor 5:4,5

Yesterday’s post preluded to the idea that Satan could have been understood as a servant of God rather than an adversary against God. This would change the way we read many passages of scripture.

As with any texts, our “preunderstandings” may come into play when deciding what the text, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 in this case, is referring to. Most people always think of Satan as the Evil One and the very opposite of God. However, Satan has not always been view in this way, but instead as a servant of God used to “strengthen” and test humans via temptation. Satan is clearly presented as a servant in the book of Job and the same could be argued with the temptation of Jesus in the desert.

If Satan is viewed as someone/something or the process that cleanses/purifies/strengthens then the phrase Paul writes about being saved makes a little more sense.

Is it possible that this text has nothing to do with excommunication but rather with restoration?

I can not find anywhere in the text where excommunication is promoted, but rather is part of the old way of doing things. In the Kingdom of God, everyone is accepted and there is always room for restoration.

Your thoughts?

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