Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Know ye not......?" I Corinthians 6:9-11

It is on one hand difficult to understand why such a question even be addressed. The question to which I refer is found in verse nine of I Corinthians 6. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" With a correct interpretation and understanding of Scripture the answer is obvious. We understand however, the question still needs addressing because of Paul's next short but alarming statement; "BE NOT DECEIVED". In short, deception is the belief of a lie. Paul's exhortation to not be deceived linked with the opening question of the text, leaves us to conclude that it is possible for one to live in unrighteousness and deceivingly expect to inherit the kingdom of God!
Let us briefly outline the text as follows; The unrighteous DENIED (vs. 9a), The unrighteous DESCRIBED (vs. 9b-10), The unrighteous DELIVERED (vs. 11).
The unrighteous DENIED: There are many who falsely suppose that because God is so loving, He could not be thought as One who would not accept everyone into His kingdom. The warning of our text is that "the unrighteous shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God". John's description of heaven in Revelation 21:27 is as follows: "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life". It is worthy to note here that the Scripture does not say those who commit unrighteous acts shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But "The unrighteous" shall not inherit the kingdom of God. An biblical understanding of man's depravity is vital. Men are not sinners because they sin, men sin because they ARE sinners. Romans 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were MADE sinners....". All are "dead in trespasses and in sins" and have no hope, with regard to human ability, to inherit the kingdom of God.
The unrighteous DESCRIBED: Paul gives here in our text a bullet list of sinful acts which characterize the unrighteous, including fornication, idolatry, adultery, effeminate, sodomy, theft, covetousness, drunkenness, reviling, and extortion. We are met constantly, particularly here in the south with people who live such lifestyles and yet exclaim every confidence that they will inherit the kingdom of God. This is the deception which we with Scripture are to combat. Again, it is not the mere human effort of laying aside the outward acts of sin, for some may have the appearance of success in such efforts. What we do however reflects what we are, and it is what we are that prohibits us from inheriting the kingdom of God. Where then is hope?
The unrighteous DELIVERED: Hope is not in religion and human effort. Read the parable of the pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:9-14 to better understand our argument. Paul said in verse 11 "And such WERE some of you". How does one become a "hasbeen" with regard to unrighteousness if not through human ability or achievement? Just like the aforementioned publican who cried "God be merciful to me a sinner". Through Adam all were made sinners, but thank God through Christ there is deliverance. II Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". Philippians 3:9 "And be found in him (Christ), not having mine own righteousness which is of the law (human effort,religion), but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith". Romans 3:24-25 "Being justified (made righteous) freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God". Deliverance is by grace through faith in Christ!
In conclusion we recall the sobering words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:22-23 where it says: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity". Deception is a dreadful thing. We beseech you "Be not deceived"! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!! Call on Him while He may be found!! THAT MEN MAY KNOW


Jae said...

Wow... great message... great post...

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"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth." (Psalm 83:18)

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"God's end in giving us any knowledge of Himself here is that we may glorify him as God; that is, love Him, serve Him, believe and obey Him, give Him all the honour and glory that is due from poor sinful creatures to a pardoning God and Creator." (John Owen)

"True salvation is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural. Mere 'head notion' is not the road to heaven. 'You must be born again', means a great deal more than that you must believe certain dogmas. The study of the Bible cannot save you! You must press beyond this; you must come to the living, personal Christ, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot avail for the salvation of your soul. Salvation lies in Jesus only!" (C. H. Spurgeon)

"Sin has many manifestations but its essence is one. A moral being, created to worship before the throne of God, sits on the throne of his own selfhood and from that elevated position declares, I AM." (A.W. Tozer)

"If sin be subtle, watchful, strong, and always at work in the business of killing our souls, and we be slothful, negligent, foolish, in proceeding to the ruin thereof, can we expect a comfortable event?" (John Owen)

"Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness, who walks not over the neck of his lusts." (John Owen)

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