Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Warning a Sinful Church (1 Corinthians 6:7-11)

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (1 Cor. 6:9)

If a dispute cannot be settled within the confines of the church, should the wronged party suffer loss rather than go before an unbelieving judge? That is exactly what Paul says. The victim should be willing to take a loss rather than degrade the church of Christ by bringing a suit against his Christian brother. This is a hard saying but reinforces the seriousness of the offense. Paul, however, does not leave the matter to rest there. He goes on to say that if the Corinthian Church had not been so unashamedly sin-ridden in the first place, they would not have had to deal with lawsuits.

Commenting on Paul’s warning that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God, Hodge writes, “The tendency to divorce religion from morality has manifested itself in all ages of the world, and under all forms of religion. The pagan, the Jew, the Mohammedan, the nominal Christian, have all been exact in the performance of religious services, and zealous in the assertion and defense of what they regarded as religious truth, while unrestrained in the indulgence of every evil passion. This arises from looking upon religion as an outward service, and God as a being to be feared and propitiated, but not to be loved and obeyed.

“According to the gospel, all moral duties are religious services; and piety is the conformity of the soul to the image and will of God. So that to be religious and yet immoral is, according to the Christian system, as palpable a contradiction as to be good and wicked. 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 as a form or worship, but not as a rule of life. All such persons the apostle warned of their fatal mistake. He assures them that no immoral man,—no man who allows himself the indulgence of any known sin, can be saved.” If the Corinthian Church had remembered the high calling of the Christian, they would not have had all the problems that had led to division and lawsuits. Paul reminded them, as each of us needs reminding, that as Christians they were to put those sins behind them because they had been washed and set apart to serve God in holiness.

Read the list of sins in verses 9–10. What does this list tell you about the Corinthians? What does this list tell you about God’s grace in covering our sin? Are you guilty of committing any of these sins, not only in practice but in your heart? Confess your sins to God today and pray that your church be purified from sins such as these.