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Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re: The destruction of the flesh

ATG, great discussion.

RobertW wrote:

Quote:
It is important to realize here that this event took place in a genuine New Testament meeting where folk were truly walking out the reality of Revelation 2-3 where Jesus Christ walks in the midst of the lampstands. This is not a liturgical meeting, but a 'prophetic' meeting in which the people were walking in the Spirit under their Head Jesus Christ. He is in their midst and they are conscious of that. They gather together and in unanimity pass upon this individual, with the authority given to then by Christ, judgment to place this man into the hands of Satan for the destruction of the physical body (Gk. sarx context sensitive). He is set out beyond the benefits of the local assembly and will perish if he does not repent. Apparently he repented in 2 Cor. 2 and was restored. This event was very serious. This is not a group of 'church goers' looking to excommunicate a man, but with Christ in the midst a process designed by God to bring about genuine repentance. It is a difficult thing to consider, but a necessary part of genuine church life. It is an act of love with a view to loving the man enough to facilitate this discipline. Upon repentance he is to be received back into fellowship with the same love and zeal that he was turned over to Satan. It is an effective discipline. This is a dangerous time for the man and the church must be sensitive. The discipline must not exceed whats necessary or the enemy will gain an advantage and possibly destroy the man. Therefore we read, 'lest satan get an advantage of us because we are not ignorant of the Devil's devices.' The device of Satan is that the man would be swallowed up with too much sorrow. This must not be allowed to happen. We must follow Paul's example and confirm our love and restore the person, etc.


Amen, very refreshing post.

ATG wrote:
Quote:
I still have no idea what it mean to be delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. How does it work?


I thought I would share Matthew Henry's comments here as I thought they too were insightful:
"Paul had judged that he should be delivered to Satan
(v. 5), and this was to be done in the name of Christ, with the power of Christ, and in a full assembly, where the apostle would be also present in spirit, or by his spiritual gift of discerning at a distance. Some think that this is to be understood of a mere ordinary excommunication, and that delivering him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh is only meant of disowning him, and casting him out of the church, that by this means he might be brought to repentance, and his flesh might be mortified. Christ and Satan divide the world: and those that live in sin, when they profess relation to Christ, belong to another master, and by excommunication should be delivered up to him; and this in the name of Christ. Note, Church-censures are Christ's ordinances, and should be dispensed in his name. It was to be done also when they were gathered together, in full assembly. The more public the more solemn, and the more solemn the more likely to have a good effect on the offender. Note, Church-censures on notorious and incorrigible sinners should be passed with great solemnity. Those who sin in this manner are to be rebuked before all, that all may fear, 1 Timothy 5:20. Others think the apostle is not to be understood of mere excommunication, but of a miraculous power or authority they had of delivering a scandalous sinner into the power of Satan, to have bodily diseases inflicted, and to be tormented by him with bodily pains, which is the meaning of the destruction of the flesh. In this sense the destruction of the flesh has been a happy occasion of the salvation of the spirit. It is probable that this was a mixed case. It was an extraordinary instance: and the church was to proceed against him by just censure; the apostle, when they did so, put forth an act of extraordinary power, and gave him up to Satan, nor for his destruction, but for his deliverance, at least for the destruction of the flesh, that the soul might be saved. Note, The great end of church-censures is the good of those who fall under them, their spiritual and eternal good. It is that their spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, v. 5."


_________________
Oracio

 2011/5/11 12:35Profile









 Re: The destruction of the flesh




David, thanks for your further reply.

I am quite uneasy at the thought that modern Christians may not have the same powers through the Holy Spirit, as Paul did. Probably we don't have the same understanding, but as James said, 'If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask ... '. God will not withhold any good gift from His children.

Robert, thank you for the full explanation you gave, which concurs with the extract from Matthew Henry brought by Oracio (thanks, bro). The idea of being 'delivered to Satan' brings Job to mind. Surely he suffered many losses and not by way of reaping the rewards of sin.

A777 said,

Quote:
I don't think the destruction of the flesh means physical death.

Otherwise the sentence following "DELIVERED UNTO SATAN" regarding Hymenaeus does not make sense. How could he "learn not to blaspheme" if he was killed?

Thanks for this, too.

Paul seems certain Satan has no power over a person's soul. His domain of power is ONLY 'the flesh' - but 'not to blaspheme' includes the misplaced affection of hearts.

I believe the Lord gives us the power to do what's right: to repent, to mortify the flesh, to walk worthy of the vocation to which we have been called.

Therefore I do see that a person claiming to be a Christian has to change from his former ways, if he is to remain in fellowship with the body of Christ.

 2011/5/11 13:47









 Re:

Quote:
Both appear to concern reprobate saints, and both are judged by Paul, so that the church should be cleared in these matters.Both judgements are different in outcome. Again, I would say that I believe Paul had authority as an apostle of Christ to act and judge in this way.



I don't believe they were rebrobate.

Reprobate means "without hope of salvation".

I believe they were unrepentant and these practices were meant to be restorative in nature if at all possible. It is not just about "clearing the church" but doing something that will hopefully bring restoration. It all depended on the one being chastised. The ball was in his court, you could say. The church had to fulfill their responsibility which was meant to help the offender. That is the way discipline is suppose to work.


You must remember that brothers and sisters in Christ are closer to each other (should be) than brothers and sisters after the flesh. Therefore, being alienated from the family of God (a true family of believers) would be extremely distressing and punitive. You would have no where to go, except to the world which represented no hope at all.

Very different today, except in rare cases where there are true families of believers.

Regarding authority:

Since Paul was a vessel of the Holy Spirit and we are vessels of the Holy Spirit, the authority lies in the Holy Spirit, not the vessel.

The authority of the Holy Spirit has not changed and the need for this authority in the church has not changed, because the same enemies that Paul had, we have. There is a great need for the authority of the Lord Jesus to be resident in believers today. And this is spiritual authority, not authority over men.

The only exception is that Apostles today have no authority to create any new canon of Scripture.

My take...

A777

 2011/5/11 14:05
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

davidc wrote:

Quote:
My personal belief is that it would be very dangerous for anyone to try to build a doctrine or a practice of "delivering unto satan" from these references, as such authority as Paul had, in laying the foundation of the church, is not present today. But I could be wrong.


Brother, I appreciate your humility in admitting that you could be wrong. I firmly believe that this kind of church discipline is much needed today in many of our churches. We live in a time when there is very little accountability among the Body of Christ. Many of us have become accustomed to live individualistic Christian lives where we only "do" church on Sundays and maybe Wednesdays also. There is not much of that close intimacy we see in the time of the first century church. And that is not mostly our fault. It's just the way things are done and it's all many of us know. The church environment many of us step into does not foster close intimacy with one another. We are encouraged to merely attend services at least once a week and consider that fellowship.

As a result, there are multitudes who attend the church services who consider themselves Christians but are totally lost and never confronted on a personal level, because the churches do not really stress small groups. Many see small groups as a non-significant option, but not as being that important for spiritual growth.


_________________
Oracio

 2011/5/11 14:22Profile









 Re: The destruction of the flesh



Oracio, are you in a church with small groups?



Anonymous777, I wonder where you got the idea that 'Reprobate means "without hope of salvation" '? I would like to disagree, firmly. This is not to say that all reprobates will repent, or, that it's easy for them to repent, but I do believe it's sanctioned by scripture (see below).

Quote:
I believe they were unrepentant and these practices were meant to be restorative in nature if at all possible.

Yes, and isn't this what Paul is saying, ignoring the (slightly artificial) chapter break between Romans 1 and 2?

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; FULL of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, BUT HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM.

(In other words, these sins are not even secret!)

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; NOT KNOWING THAT THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH THEE TO REPENTANCE?

(That is, the 'thee' with the 'reprobate mind'.)


I wondered about skipping some of those verses, but they seem to indicate there there isn't anything which cannot be repented - including the condition into which a person might fall if they 'hold the truth in unrighteousness'.

 2011/5/11 15:37









 Re:

Websters Definition of REPROBATE
transitive verb
1: to condemn strongly as unworthy, unacceptable, or evil <reprobating the laxity of the age>
2: to foreordain to damnation
3: to refuse to accept : reject

In the New Testament it is used several times to mean a person whose works won't pass God's test.

This is the meaning in 2 Corinthians 13:5-7.

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be REPROBATE?

(Paul is drawing a distinction between Jesus Christ either being in you or ye are reprobate)

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not REPROBATE.

Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobate."

In Titus 1:16 Paul talks about some men who he calls "deceivers." "They profess that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE."

The last phrase means that if they were tested by their good works they would fail the test.

If he is reprobate, that is if he fails God's test of righteousness, it is because he chooses not to accept the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. He is not without hope unless he chooses to give up that hope which is reprobation.

That is how I understand it.

A777


 2011/5/11 16:24
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
Oracio, are you in a church with small groups?



ATG, were you putting me on the spot?;) My church situation in the past couple years is a long story so I'll only share about my current situation. For a couple months I've been attending a small church in my area. It has about 40-50 regular attendants during the weekly Sunday service. Unfortunately, as far as I know there are no small groups at the moment. From what I understand they have tried to implement and encourage a small group in the past, but it has failed due to a lack of interest from the people. Sadly, it is the best church I have come across in my area. I think sometimes the problem is that many people get the idea that the main thing to focus on is the Sunday service and as long as they do the main thing it's okay. That's the kind of impression they get from the leadership and the way everything is set up. I am hoping and praying the Lord may use me there in whatever way He may choose.


_________________
Oracio

 2011/5/11 17:17Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

ATG, BTW how about yourself?


_________________
Oracio

 2011/5/11 17:41Profile









 Re: The destruction of the flesh


hi brother A777,

Quote:
If he is reprobate, that is if he fails God's test of righteousness, it is because he chooses not to accept the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.

I see from your chosen verses where you're coming from, and also looked in Young's and Strong's, who all agree with you (and Webster). In the Greek, it is translated 'disapproved'.

However, Paul in Romans 1 was not referring to those who had already rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ, but to those whom he says 'when they knew God' because He had revealed Himself 'in' them by His 'creation', 'chose not to retain the knowledge' of Him. In Paul's own words:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest IN them; for GOD HATH SHOWED [it] unto them.

20 For the INVISIBLE THINGS OF HIM from the creation of the world ARE CLEARLY SEEN, being understood BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 because that, WHEN they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.'

This generalisation is later given more shape, naming the Jew and the Gentile:

Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

Paul uses the same argument in Acts 14 where it is clear he's in the company of idolaters at Lystra.

8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: 9 the same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 [Which] when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard [of], they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15 and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Turning from idolatry is eminently possible all through scripture, so I take your point that if CHRISTIANS veer away from truth, their reprobation may indeed become permanent. Very sad.

 2011/5/11 18:06









 Re: The destruction of the flesh



Hi Oracio,

I wasn't meaning to put you on the spot! I just wondered, because you seem quite knowledgeable about the workings of real Church. I often read your posts but don't comment in the thread. Thanks for sharing your situation.

I came from a Presbyterian childhood into charismatic housechurches, which was a terrifying experience for me. That's where I really began to understand more of the detail of what real Christianity is about. Right now, I'm not in a church, but do have a local small group I can attend, which is not exactly like 'church' because of the people who make up the group, but, IS like church because the person who leads spiritually, HAS been called by God to a pastoral ministry. In that respect one cannot wish for more love, faithful prayer, or readiness to care in a practical way (and so on). God is good. :)

 2011/5/11 18:15





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