DON’T LET SATAN TURN A FOOTHOLD INTO A STRONGHOLD
Paul instructed the believers in Corinth to forgive the man who had received church discipline. He does not name the man, but he may be referring to the incestuous person of 1 Corinthians 5:1-8. At any rate, Paul is making it clear that church discipline is intended to be corrective, not condemning. If a person repents, they are to be restored quickly, so that Satan will not be able to create disunity in the church, nor to discredit it among outsiders.
For Satan is a real being, full of evil cunning and plans against God and His people. He is like a lion, ever seeking whom he may “devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). We need not focus on him, nor fear him, but we should be mindful of him, putting on the “full armor of God” that we might “stand firm against” him (Eph. 6:11). If Satan finds a gap in our unity, whether in the home or in the church, he will see an opportunity for gaining a “foothold” (Eph. 4:27). If he gains a foothold, it won’t take long for him to turn it into a stronghold, therefore anger and disunity must be addressed quickly. So, be forgiving and reconcile quickly, that Satan finds no place to outsmart.