JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…whom I have handed over to Satan…”
June 7, 2013, 9:23 pm
Filed under: R - First Letter to Timothy

Paul is his first letter to Timothy, his apostolic apprentice, exhorted him about “holding on to faith and a good conscience.” We are in a battle, a spiritual battle for life, spiritual life, whether Christ’s life will have ascendency over and through our soul and physical life or we let our soul and physical life take charge, subduing the Spirit of Christ. Paul then warned Timothy of “Hymenaeus and Alexander” who for some reason had rejected this exhortation “and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.”

God does not give up on His children, even for those who for some reason had given up on Him, had fallen back to living by the soul and the lusts of the flesh. In these extreme cases God must take drastic measures and through His body must finally hand “them over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” I am not sure if anyone knows for sure what handing someone “over to Satan” really means. Perhaps it is different for every application. It could be treating “them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” as Jesus exhorted when dealing with sin in the ekklesia in Matthew 18:15-17. Ultimately I think it is handing them over to the consequences of their living by their soul life. From those consequences perhaps the eyes of these may be opened, like the parable of the lost son, to recognizing that they have not been living by Christ, realizing the wonderful riches in Christ, and turn back to Father.

I have to share a funny story. In a gathering we had a few weeks ago at our house our cat, Patches, came into the house with a lizard in her mouth (she loves reptiles for some reason). She would let it loose and then play with it and snatch it up again, finally killing it or letting it go and it finally died somewhere (we find dead lizards under things every now and again). Well, it just so happened that at this gathering we happened to be in 1 Timothy and the thought that came to my mind and shared with the group by way of example was “if you blaspheme the brothers and sisters you will get handed over to Patches.” It is perhaps not too far from reality.

May God do whatever it takes for His brothers and sisters to live a life of love, “from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”


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