1Cor 6:11                  And Such Were Some of You                             4/11/2010      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Righteous and the Wicked (1Cor 6:9-10, Eph 2:8-9, 2Tim 1:9, Eph 1:4, Heb 4:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Mercy of God (1Cor 6:9-11, Acts 5:31, Rom 5:8, Eph 2:4-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Ye Are Bought With a Price (1Cor 6:13-20, Rev 11:8-9, Psalm 2:1-3)

 

 

 

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 6:1 (2X). We have before us a chapter that reflects the vice and filth that usually accompanies a harbor city. Corinth was more than a harbor city. Corinth was built on the narrow isthmus between Achaia and the northern part of Greece. And thus Corinth had a harbor on the west side and two harbors on the east side. In addition, all the land traffic between northern and southern Greece had to pass through Corinth. All of this made Corinth a city of wealth and luxury and immorality. It had no rivals as a city of vice. To live like a Corinthian meant to live a life of debauchery. It was customary in a stage play for a Corinthian to come on the scene drunk. In addition Corinth had a large temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, with more than a thousand priestesses of vice. It was in this environment that God used the apostle Paul to preach the Gospel, and God established the church at Corinth. Through this action we can see the great mercy of God in forgiving many members of this church their great sins, and we also can see the power of God in establishing His church in such a cesspool of wickedness and vice. That is why the title of this sermon was chosen from the words of 1Cor 6:11, And Such Were Some of You. Let us read this chapter 6.

1Co 6:1  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

What is the main issue here? There are two main issues. One main issue is that the spirit of litigation and of covetousness had led them in some instances to practice fraud and oppression of each other. Another main issue is that fornication was still present in this congregation, and God had to impress on them the consequences of hanging on to this sin. Therefore, God is showing them that this behavior is totally inconsistent with the nature of Christianity and eternal life. First of all, Christians do not sue other members of the congregation before a judge who belongs to the camp of the Devil. Not only does it do harm to our reputation if we hang our dirty laundry out for everyone to see, but also our witness for Christ is hereby damaged greatly. And since our stay here on this world has as its primary goal: our witness for the Gospel, we certainly want to stop the habit of dragging our fellow saints to court. God says we should rather allow ourselves to be defrauded. To be practical, we should get out of the way of those who are known to be defrauding or oppressing others. And now, if we do need someone to mediate between two members of the same congregation, then let someone from the congregation be the mediator, but let not one of the unbelievers be the judge. Now, what were some of the issues in the church at Corinth that caused people to go to court? At Corinth these were not minor issues, for this church was located in a city where the Devil ruled, and it was hard to separate from this environment without getting contaminated with those sins. Let us look again at verses 9-10.

#1.       The Righteous and the Wicked (1Cor 6:9-10, Eph 2:8-9, 2Tim 1:9, Eph 1:4, Heb 4:3)

1Cor 6:9-10, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Let us be careful now. If we believe that people go to Hell because they regularly live in these sins, then we have made our salvation depend on our works. We know that this cannot be true, for God says in Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God says here clearly that salvation is not of works, but that salvation is a free gift. Then what about these really bad sins? Did God not say that those who live in these sins are unrighteous? No! God says that the unrighteous are living in these sins. In other words, God is not dividing mankind based on good works and bad works, but God is dividing all of mankind based on His decision who is righteous and who is wicked, who is elect, and who is not elect. And God made that decision from eternity past, before time began. Please turn in your Bibles to the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, 2Tim 1:9 (2X). We have here a passage that has been badly twisted, and made people believe that Christ already went through the cross experience at a time before He created this present universe. You may have heard this from the man on the radio. But the truth is far more wonderful. The truth is that God elected us in Christ before the world began, and included us as beneficiaries in His covenant, so that our destiny has been made absolutely sure. We read in 2Tim 1:9,

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Literally, the Greek text of the last part of this verse says, “Having been given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal.” In other words, “This was guaranteed to us from eternity past.” It does not mean that before God created this universe there was a time when such and such took place. There was no time period “before times eternal” for this is what “before times eternal” means. His purpose and grace was guaranteed to us who are in Christ, or who are in God the Son from eternity past. Please turn in your Bibles a few pages forward to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 4:3 (2X). Here is another verse the man on the radio has twisted to fit his needs for Christ to have gone through the cross experience at a time before He created the present universe. There simply was no such time. When God says in Eph 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him (in Christ) before the foundation of the world” it means that God has chosen us in Christ from eternity past, and there is no time before “eternity past.” Heb 4:3,

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Literally, the Greek text of the last part of this verse says, “As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest; although the works having come into being from the foundation of the world.”

In other words, in the counsel of God before the foundation of the world God swore that they, the Israelites coming out of Egypt, shall not enter into God’s rest; although the works that were worthy of God’s wrath came into being in time, from the foundation of the world. God, in His omniscience, saw the works of the children of Israel in eternity past. But those sins did not come into being until time began.

And so, when we read 1Cor 6:9 we should be careful to note exactly what God said here:

1Cor 6:9, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

Remember this: If you are born an eagle, you will never sing like a canary. If you are born a canary, you will never soar like an eagle. When you are born an elect, you will in time show that God calls you a righteous person, one who has been born again. When you are born a non-elect you will never show that you have been born again, and God calls you unrighteous. The unrighteous are those who have not been selected unto salvation. Their sins have not been paid by Christ on the cross. In this life they are not indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. They do not have the faith of Christ. Their sins are clearly the sins of the flesh, they still live in them and they have not repented of their sins. This list in 1Cor 6:9-10 is a list of gross sins which God will not tolerate. Anyone who still lives in those sins shows by his actions that he is still in the unregenerate state, and if he dies this way he proves that he is not elect, and God will send him to Hell to pay for his own sins. This sounds rather brutal, but remember that the unrighteous never thank God for giving them life, or food, or work, or a house, or anything. The unrighteous never give any glory to God, even though God made them for the purpose of glorifying Him. The unrighteous never acknowledge that God exists, for they prefer that God would simply fade away. And that is why the unrighteous hang on tenaciously to the theory of evolution, for by this they have done away with God, and with sin, and with accountability to God. God speaks about this in Psalm 2:1-3,

Ps 2:1-3  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed (Christ), saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

We can see this with our own eyes when we watch the developments in this country. The average citizen lives a decent moral life, and is proud of it. They are proud of their good works. God should be honored to take them into His holy heaven. O once in a while they commit one of these heinous sins that are listed here in 1Cor 6:9-10, but all their good works should be sufficient to cancel out these little sins. And what have they done with Jesus Christ? Either they have ignored Him, or they have invented their own Christ, one that is not as harsh as the Christ from the Bible, one that is more like them, one who will serve them in all that they will ask for, including much prosperity in the here and now. And actually they are not at all disturbed by the many divorces that occur in this country, or the many abortions, or the spread of venereal disease in this country. The medical industrial complex should be able to take care of this, don’t they? We could go through Romans 1, and point out the 50 or more sins of the unrighteous, but I will spare you the aggravation.

But let us now look at the other group of people: The elect. As we have learned last week, these are people whom God has declared just and righteous from eternity past. These are people for whom Christ suffered and died on the cross. These are people whom God again declared just and righteous when Christ rose from the tomb, for we read in Rom 4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” These are people whom God declared just and righteous for the third time when we are “born from above” in this day and age, for we read in Tit 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” This refers to the washing of our sins by God the Holy Spirit at the time of the regeneration of our souls. And what about our sins? We are not free from sins, but now they are of a different nature. Before we were born again our sins were no different from the sins of those who remain unrighteous. But then we learned of Christ crucified for our sins, and we learned of the mercy of God, and we learned of the sovereignty of God and how Christ has loved us from eternity past. And then it grieved us that we have caused so much suffering to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us be clear on this: Repentance is a gift from God. Left on our own we would never have repented, but the love of Christ constrained us, and now we want to do all we can to please Him. We read in 2Cor 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” We have learned that we died with Christ, and that we died to the law. Therefore we are no longer under the law but under grace, which means that sin shall not have dominion over us again. Therefore we are made free from sin, and are made servants to God, and in the end we inherit everlasting life.

#2.       The Mercy of God (1Cor 6:9-11, Acts 5:31, Rom 5:8, Eph 2:4-6)

1Cor 6:9-11, Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

There are a few words I need to explain. In verse 9 “effeminate” means “a male indulging in having female qualities.” In verse 9 “abusers of themselves with mankind” refers to homosexuals. In verse 10 “revilers” refers to “railers”, or “despisers using abusive language”, like those who were crucified next to Jesus reviled Him. Then the first six words in verse 11 reflect the incredible mercy of God: “such were some of you.” Notice the past tense, and notice how God is far more merciful than this world can ever imagine. The world says, “Homosexuality is something you are born with; you can never get rid of it”. But God says, “Homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of God”. But this is not the last word, for in verse 11 God says, “And such were some of you”, past tense. Yes, you can get rid of this tendency of homosexuality; you can repent of it and be washed from your sins, and be sanctified, and be justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Like any other sin, you can get cured from the sin of homosexuality, but your repentance must come from God. There is no salvation without repentance, but your repentance is a gift from God. We read in Acts 5:31,

Ac 5:31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

To give repentance to Israel” tells us plainly that repentance is a gift from God, and the Israel that God has in view is the NT Israel, which is the remnant chosen by grace. The same can be said for another sin that is mentioned in verse 10: “Drunkards” shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The world says, “Alcoholism is a disease; it is a tendency you are born with, and you will never get rid of it. Once an alcoholic you will always remain an alcoholic.” And thus, according to current medicine professionals both the alcoholic and the homosexual have no hope; they are forever stuck with their “disease”. But God says, “Yes you can be cured of your alcoholism.” Pray to God, and ask Him to cure you of your so called disease. If He loves you, He will help you, and you will have a firsthand experience of the mercy of God. But make sure that you call upon the God of the Bible, for any other god will bean idol that is representing Satan, and we do not want to be Satanists for the sake of getting rid of alcoholism.

But consider now the mercy of God. All these sins are an abomination to God; they are a stink in His nostrils as bad as a four week old dead dog where the maggots are crawling in and out. We committed those sins when we were still dead in trespasses and sins. And this means that we were as offensive to God as this four week old dead dog. But then we read of the incredible mercy of God in Rom 5:8,

Rom 5:8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

While we were yet sinners, means while we were still dead in trespasses and sins, and on the way to Hell, even as others. We find the same sense of compassion in the words of Eph 2:4-6,

Eph 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Even when we were dead in sins, God has made us alive together with Christ. That was in AD 33. Can you now see that by grace are you saved? There was nothing you could do in AD 33 to help you to be raised together with Christ, for you did not exist yet. And yet, this is what God has done, and this is what Christ has done.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 3:16 (2X). John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness of this world was calling people to repentance. And as all people were in expectation whether John was the promised Messiah, John said something very profound in Luke 3:16,

Luke 3:16, John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

He (Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. When Christ shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost He shall take away all your sins, past, present, and future sins. But what is this baptism with fire? The word baptism here is the word for “wash”. Christ is to wash us from our sins. The Bible teaches us that all the elect were placed in Christ before the foundation of the world. Therefore when Christ was crucified we were crucified with Him. When Christ died, we died with Him. When Christ was raised from the grave, we were raised with Him. When Christ ascended into heaven, we ascended with Him. When Christ was seated in heaven, we were seated with Him. When Christ was glorified, we were glorified with Him and in Him. But where is the fire? When Christ was crucified for our sins, to wash us from the guilt of our sins, He had to endure the penalty that was ours, which was an eternity in Hell. To satisfy the righteousness of God on our behalf Christ had to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Now we can see the fire, and now we understand the baptism by fire. But we thank God that He has arranged our salvation that way, for God will never send us to Hell because we have been there already. Thank God that He has justified us when Christ rose from the grave, and that He does not impute on us the guilt of sins we commit, for Christ has already paid for the guilt of all our sins. God says in Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” And the reason why God will not impute any sin to my account is that I have died to the law. When Christ died I also died. The law is not dead, but I died to the law, and where no law is there is no transgression, for sin is a transgression of the law. In other words, when I came into the world as a rebellious sinner, and continued in grievous sin until I was 40 years old and became born again after that, and continued in sin even now, the guilt of all those sins was not charged to my account, for Christ already paid for it and God justified me when Christ rose from the grave. And how do I know that I am one of God’s elect? I know it by the faith that God has given me. God says in Heb 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is the substance of the salvation we have hoped for. Faith is the evidence of our salvation that is not seen, but the unconditional faith in all that the Bible proclaims is the faith that we believe what God said, and this is the faith of Christ that we received from God. This is an entirely unnatural faith. This is not a faith that we can conjure up. But this is our peace and this is the rest that we have in Christ. All this is what Christ has done for me.

And what is now my position toward the list of sins that God abhors, the list that is mentioned here in 1Cor 6:9-10? I pray to God that I may never fall for one of these sins again. I pray that God will continue to change me from the inside, so that I will develop a sincere hatred for these sins, but at the same time I pray that God will give me compassion for those who still live in these sins so that I am eager to preach the Gospel to them. This is what I would like Christ to do for me in the remaining years.

#3.       Ye Are Bought With a Price (1Cor 6:13-20, Rev 11:8-9, Psalm 2:1-3)

Please turn again to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 6:13 (2X). Let us now look at the remainder of this chapter. God says in 1Cor 6:13-20,

1Cor 6:13-20, Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Meats are for the belly, and the belly is for meats. This is natural and proper. God has made foods for us to enjoy, and thus while we live let us enjoy. But God will destroy both the belly and the food on the last day. This tells us where food should be on our list of priorities. It also tells us that we should act from higher motives. We should give thanks to God for giving us appetites for food, and we should thank God for giving us foods that can satisfy those appetites. But first of all give thanks to God for His glorious providence. And not only has God given us foods for the belly, He has also given us foods for the soul. And we should develop an eagerness to learn more of these foods for the soul. We should ask God to give us a deeper insight in the spiritual things that we learn from the Bible. Particularly the passage in front of us speaks of fornication. We do not need to spiritualize this subject matter, for it is a very real curse that is upon the whole world. In the first century AD there were the temple prostitutes who drew many of the young people into their arms. Today we have the problem with the young people who will have sex without marriage, for they are seeing so many marriages that are ending in divorce. The problem is even worse in Europe where prostitution has become a legitimate phenomenon.

Where did it all start? Follow the money trail. It started with the churches drifting away from the true Gospel, drifting into a “do it yourself gospel”, or a “free will gospel”, also called an Arminian gospel. And the reason why the churches went this way was to draw more people into the churches. But the plan backfired because people were not saved, and thus their commitment was lacking. And although initially some of the churches drew more people, overall the attendance was down, down, down. Presently the churches in Europe are empty, and this country is following the lead of the European churches, which are now government subsidized churches. Empty shells are all that remain, which was prophesied in Rev 11:8-9. But now that the people have cast off the yoke of Christ and the Bible, according to Psalm 2:1-3, the commands of the Bible are now openly violated. Homosexuality is on the increase. Free sex without marriage is on the increase. Nude beaches are on the increase. And polygamy is also on the increase. Venereal disease is on the increase. And since marriage is now not needed, prostitution is also on the increase, but the prostitutes are not paid; they are volunteers. Where does this all lead to? The backlash is already in the works. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion in the world, and the Muslim religion may spread its tentacles as far as these United States. It is already a formidable movement in Europe, and it is promising people a return to the days of old when law and order were the norm. But all these things are the works of man, and the religions of man. None of these things are of any benefit to the kingdom of God. Therefore, would God let this world have its way without any interference? Would God let this world build its own heaven on earth without God? I do not think so. Pray to God that we will see some improvement in our own environment, not for our sakes but for the sakes of our children, for they will inherit a world of their own making. God says in 1Cor 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” This is what we should teach our children. If Christ has any meaning in their life, let them remember that the Lord Jesus Christ bought His sheep with a very great price, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell.

                        AMEN.                       Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.