ďThe Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God.Ē†††††††††††††
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
††††††††††† The vast majority of people look upon religion as an outward service, the belief of a certain creed and the performance of certain rituals, ceremonies, and duties. They look upon God as a Being who is to be feared and dreaded, one whose wrath must be, by some means or other, propitiated, rather than One who is to be known, loved, and cheerfully obeyed.
††††††††††† This was a big problem at Corinth. Many there who professed faith in Christ seemed to look upon Christianity as a system of doctrine and worship, but not as a way of life. They seem to have retained their old pagan notions about religion. What they believed in theory and talked about on Sunday did not affect the way they lived! One man in the church lived in incest with his fatherís wife. Others were going to law with one another. Some willingly associated with and chose infidels as their closest companions. The church at Corinth turned the simple observance of the Lordís table into a love feast. Some even became intoxicated with the wine by which Christís blood is to be remembered!
††††††††††† The apostle Paul warns all such religious professors of their fatal mistake. He here assures us that no immoral man, no one who wilfully follows a life of ungodliness and sin is saved. He writes in such a manner as to indicate that this is such a self-evident truth that only the wilfully ignorant fail to see it. ďKnow ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?Ē
††††††††††† This is the essence of Paulís doctrine in our text - That person, 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 and does not know God.
††††††††††† Those who say, ďLet us sin that grace may abound,Ē are lost. They have no real, heart knowledge of the gospel. Those who have experienced Godís saving grace in Christ live no longer under the dominion of sin. Sin is in us. Sin mars all that we do. But sin is no longer the reigning principle of life in a believer. All who are Godís workmanship, created anew in Christ Jesus, are careful to maintain good works, as God has before ordained that we should walk in them. All believers seek to live in this world for the glory of God.
††††††††††† Only those who are totally ignorant of the grace of God foolishly imagine that the preaching of Godís absolute, free, sovereign, and immutable grace will promote licentiousness. Any casual reading of history, or even of the newspaper, will demonstrate that wherever the idolatry of free-will, works religion is promoted, wherever men are convinced that they can, by something they do, merit and win Godís favor, licentiousness is the result. Works religion promotes wickedness. Grace produces godliness! The Holy Spirit himself tells us that the primary cause of the perverse behavior of a society under the judgment of God is the idolatry of free-will, works religion (Rom. 1:21-32).