Your Bible question was:
> Please explain 1 Corinthians 5:5. What does it mean?

The text says:  "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the
flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

The context of 1 Cor. 5:5 deals with church discipline of an unrepentant
sinner among them.  One of their members was committing fornication with his
father's wife, and they had done nothing about this sin in their midst (1
Cor. 5:1-2).  Instead, they had become "puffed up" (arrogant) about his
presence among them, probably thinking that his presence among them was not
affecting them and that they didn't have to do anything about him (1 Cor.
5:2).  They had become far too casual about the presence of sin in the

Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for its inactivity in dealing with this
sinner and his sin, saying he had already judged the man to be living in sin
and unworthy of fellowship (1 Cor. 5:3).

In 1 Cor. 5:4-5 the apostle commands what they were to do:  By the authority
of Christ ("in the name of our Lord Jesus") and in their assembly ("when you
are gathered together") they were to "deliver" this man over to Satan in an
effort to save his soul.  That is, they were to publicly mark his present
sin (cf. Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:14).  And, they were to cease their social
contact with this man (1 Cor. 5:9-13).

The "destruction of the flesh" in 1 Cor. 5:5 is the destruction of the
carnal man (the brother was a fornicator and should be put away from them,
5:1, 13) so that his spirit would be saved (if he would repent).  As
Galatians 5:24 affirms:  "And those who are Christ's have crucified the
flesh with its passions and desires."  (please read Romans 8:5-8, 13, where
"flesh" refers to carnality, the carnal mind, the fleshly appetites).

The purpose of church discipline is to save the sinner:  "that his spirit
may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."  It is designed to "wake the
sinner up" to the eternal death he is facing unless he repents.  (cf. 1 Tim.

This occasion of church discipline in Corinth worked - the sinner repented
of his sin.  2 Corinthians 2:1-11 shows us that the man repented and was
forgiven by the Lord, the apostle and the church at Corinth.

I hope this is of help to you as you continue to study God's word.  I will
be glad to receive any other questions and do my best to provide you with a
Bible answer.

Cordially yours,
Joe Price

Joe R Price

Bible Answers

Mt. Baker church of Christ