WHAT was the Apostle Paul doing when he commanded those in authority in I Corinthians 5:5, "To deliver such an one [the fornicator] unto SATAN for the destruction of the flesh..."? WHY would the Apostle Paul do such a thing — is this really showing love to an individual?
As the individuals in I Timothy 1:19, this man was SINNING — and continuing to sin! He was headed for the lake of fire! He had cast aside the faith. If he continued in his evil way, he would commit the unpardonable sin as Hymenaeus and Alexander who, "having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme" (I Tim. 1:19-20). The Apostle Paul gave him over to this world — cut off from God's people and HIS PROTECTION!! He was at the mercy of this world's system and the power of Satan. Because this IS Satan's world and he controls it. "In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [SATAN), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). This drastic action was for the purpose of waking him up and showing him his need to REPENT of his sin! Perhaps Satan caused him physical pain, as well as mental suffering. The fornicator was delivered — put into this world, even to the point of "the destruction of the flesh." WHY? "That the spirit [pneuma, mind, character or life] MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Cor. 5:5). If they had let him remain in fellowship with God's True Church, he would have seen no need to quit committing fornication with his stepmother. He might have been LOST FOREVER and burned in the lake of fire. What was the result? Was it beneficial? YES, IT WAS! We find that this man DID REPENT and COME BACK TO GOD because of this severe action taken by the Apostle Paul, in LOVE! Paul then wrote a letter to the Church and commanded them to take this man back into their fellowship after his repentance (see II Cor. 2:6-10). God would have "ALL MEN TO BE SAVED" we read in I Timothy 2:4. God is a God of love. He does everything with a PURPOSE — and for our good!