"The Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God"
I Corinthians 6:9
Most people think that christianity is no more than an outward service to God, the
belief of a certain creed, the performance of certain rituals, ceremonies and
duties. They look upon God as a great Being who is to be feared, and One whose wrath, by some means, must be propitiated, but not
One who is to be loved and obeyed.
This was a major problem in the
Church at Corinth. One member of
the church was openly living in an incestuous relationship with his father's
wife. Some were going before the courts, before pagan, unbelieving civil
magistrates, to settle petty disputes over money and property. The men and
women at Corinth who professed to
be believers in Christ, children of God and heirs of eternal life, were
commonly found in association with ungodly, unbelieving people, who hated God
and the gospel of his grace in Christ. Some of them even made the observance of
the Lord's Supper an occasion for drunkenness and frivolity! "It is
evident that among the members of the Corinthian church, there were some who
retained their pagan notion of religion, and who professed Christianity as a
system of doctrine and form of worship, but not as a rule of life"
Paul plainly warns all such
religious professers of their fatal mistake. He asures us that no immoral man,
no man who willingly follows a life of sin, can be saved. "Know ye not
that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom
of God?" Those who say, (by
the way they live), "Let us sin that grace may abound", are lost.
This is the essence of Paul's doctrine in I Corinthians 6: That person, that
man or woman, whose religion, whose profession of faith in Christ, does not
involve real conversion, a real turning of heart and life to the living God, is
lost. It does not matter how sound, how thoroughly orthodox, your creed is, if
you are without repentance you are not regenerate, if you are not converted you
do not know Christ. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are past away; behold, all things are become
new." You cannot earn salvation by doing that which is righteous. But you
are not saved unless you are taught of God to "live soberly, righteously,
and godly in this present world."