OSAS and 1 Cor 5:5

I’m in a discussion with a Protestant on their doctrine of once saved always saved and he pulled out 1 Cor 5:5 to show that the Christian man among them who was being sexually sinful would still be saved on the Day of the Lord once his body was “handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”

How do you understand “handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”?

The quote expresses a hope or wish of Paul that the man’s soul be saved. It is by no means a done deal.


Sadly, this is typical verse isolation. Jesus said “Hew who perseveres unto the end will be saved.” Paul wrote that we are to remain in God’s gentleness, or else we will be cut off. He also wrote that we are running a race, and that only the winner is awarded the prize - therefore, we should run the race so as to win. There are many such verses, but they are not as appealing to itching ears as OSAS is.

What about the case where someone is saved, but they later reject the faith and refuse to be saved. Will God take an unwilling soul into heaven?

Yes, there are numerous verses that SHOUT out to the fact that one can, indeed, lose one’s salvation, but to get through to the OSAS folk, I find that I have to tackle their favourite verse of choice and show them that that is not what they think it is … and 1 Cor 5:5 is what I’m up against.

OK, that’s gonna be a hard sell. I really cannot see that there, can you? Let me quote the whole passage. I’ll start at the beginning of chap 5 (NIV)

" It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. (i.e. excommunicate) As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a]** so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."**

I think its saying let this man reap the consequences of his sin. By casting him out maybe he will come to his senses and repent therefore returning to a state of grace. I see it as a case of tough love.

I came from a Brethern background, and THEY preach OSAS,
nevertheless, when I fell into sin they broke off all communication :eek:
with me, it helped me face the ugliness of my sins and eventually
I came back to rededicate my life to Christ!

yes that is what i hve been taught–

that you are to break fellowship with that individual-- or as saint paul says – don’t have any thing to do with a brother that is a lyer cheat fornacatator etc etc

the scripture of osas – is in john 10;26-28–
When Jesus said, “No one will snatch them out of my hand,” did he …answers.


May 2, 2011 - When Jesus said, “No one will snatch them out of my hand,” did he mean we cannot … But got can snatch you from the devil if you trust in him.

3 … Can a Christian take a reprieve from actively following the Christ as a Lord-'n-
In saying, "No one can snatch them away from me …

.19 answersApr 25, 2013

When Jesus said, "No one will snatch them out of My

Left to Satan until he comes to his senses? That doesn’t seem obvious from the text.

Wow … quite the first post.

What are you trying to say?? That isn’t even a valid link.

I think the verse is saying two things: one is about the need for the separation of the holy and the unholy. The second is that a person can have a chance to repent up until the time of their judgment. At any rate, 2 Peter 2:20 completely contradicts the unbiblical notion of OSAS (IMO):

For if they, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of [our] Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first.21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down to them.

They are in WORSE condition than if they had never “escaped the defilements of the world” if they become entangled again. That doesn’t sound like OSAS.

A couple of cultural things:

  1. neither Roman law nor pagan practices allowed for this kind of behavior so even to their community outside Christianity, this was considered a scandal. So why would any Christian think this was a good idea.

  2. there is much commentary that some Jewish Rabbis taught an idea that once one converts to Judaism, he puts off his former life and can be said that former ties were not longer binding. There is nothing explicit in the text for this case, however there could be merit to viewpoint of abuse in practice of “putting on the new man” at conversion.

That said, Paul chastises them for not taking action against the individual (covering up his sin). He speaks of throwing out the yeast, so as not to infect the whole batch (ie. “anyone that causes a little one to sin…”). This not only protects “the little ones” from being led into acceptance of sin, but is a call of mercy to the sinner–not allowing him to deepen the debt of his own iniquity. Restriction of communion (sacrament) is also a mercy for the same reason. (remember God posted a cherubim outside the garden after the exile, right)

Paul intends this trial to lead to repentance for the sinner–“Deliver him up to Satan” (keep him from the Church for the aforementioned reasons)–“so as to save his soul” (through repentance, not allowing him to deepen his debt of iniquity).


Notice that the form of the verb ‘saved’ in this verse (σωθῇ) is in the subjunctive mood; that is, Paul isn’t saying that he will be saved, but that he’s passing judgment on the man in the hopes that he might be saved. That’s clearly not OSAS… :wink:

He’s ignoring the most important word in that verse…MAY.

He MAY be saved, or he MAY NOT be saved.

Ah … yes, this looks plausible. Excommunicate him so that he wises up. Although, to be honest, any OSAS groupie could easily say that takes Catholic lenses to see.

:wink: indeed!

I’ll up you a :thumbsup: too!

Oh we are definitely getting there! :thumbsup:


Thank you guys!

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