Monday, October 17, 2011

Give Them Over To Satan... To Be Saved

Satan is often thought of as an Evil being and in complete opposition of God, and the scriptures to seem to paint Satan in this light... Sometimes.

Other times, it appears that "Satan" acts more as a servant of God rather than his enemy, and other times it appears that "Satan" is more of a process rather than some kind of being. Take the book of Job for example (which I plan to come back to later). In Job, one of the oldest books of the Bible, Satan is clearly depicted as a servant of God, and not an enemy.

It doesn't take too much research on the history of Satan to see that the idea of Satan has progressed through time and cultures.

In the next couple of post I want to merely look at a few scriptures where Satan is found and look at what it is exactly Satan is doing.

One of the first ones I want to look at, and one of the more odd texts concerning Satan, comes from Paul in 1 Corinthians.

Paul says,

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 sinful nature so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. [Read the entire Chapter]

Paul is instructing his readers about how they should have handled a particular person caught in sin, and his solution? "Give him over to Satan." At first it sounds like Paul is saying to give up on the individual, they they should be done with him, however, Paul goes on to say that by turning him over to Satan, there is hope of salvation.

How is turning someone over to Satan (at least in the way Satan is usually thought of) a saving act?

The "Satan" is not usually thought of as a process one goes through or experiences in which one is made better, and yet that seems to be, in some ways, what Paul is suggesting here.

Your thoughts?


JustinGaynor said...
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JustinGaynor said...

the satan is evil, but God...because he's sovereign over the satan...just as a judge is sovereign over the prosecution in any court...there is a 'process' where one sits in the 'hot seat' and undergoes prosecution, make no mistake though there is an entity doing the prosecuting, the chief prosecutor, the satan.

Of course Job presents the satan as a servant of God, all created things that exist, do so in service to God. That does not mean the satan is not an enemy, the chief prosecutor is the enemy of the defendant, you, me...all creation. The very reason he wants to prosecute is because he desires to destroy God's good creation, because he has been against it from the beginning, and because of that he sets himself up as an enemy of God.

As you point out, and what Paul understands in that text, is that Christ has been raised and we have been seated with Him in the heavens, above all authorities...including angels and demons, they are subject to us in Christ, and so we have the authority to granted us by Christ to wield that which has been entrusted to us for the upbuilding of the Kingdom, using even what the devil and his demons mean for evil, and turning it around for good children, imitating God our Father. These little bastards are viscous though and you had better be holy and faithful yourself before you even think about using this kind of church discipline, having given that person every chance to repent. And repentance is a much better way...but there are always the 'whips of the wicked' if they must be used in Christ, that we may present every member holy and blameless before Christ.

wrote a little something along these lines as regards christian leadership yesterday if you haven't had a chance to check it out...(shameless plug...:-))