AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH
I Corinthians 5:9 - 6:20
Lord’s Day September 14, 2003
and the Mandate for Virtue
with CROOKED QUASI-CHRISTIANS … I Corinthians 5:9-13
Morality, morality and more morality comes now! Having rebuked the horrendous and unfeeling depravity noted in I Cor. 5:1-8, Paul makes it clear that not only is some one case a shabby shame demanding brisk action, but a whole class of actions by people who claim to be Christians, what you could call quasi-Christians make them mirages more than men and women of God!
I told you, Paul declares, to keep clear from personal relationships with the sexually immoral; but the point was not to leave this world, which has so many of this class, but to apply it in Christian circles. It is here that you should not keep company with a whole company of evil doers, not only the sexually immoral, but drunkards, people with judgment in their lips, attacking foolishly, revilers, extortioners, greedy for money: yes and more than this. With people like that, says Paul, you should not EVEN EAT! Anglicans and United Churches may make within Paul’s exclusion list to be bishops! but Paul won’t have Christians even associating with them, not even coming to share meals, with them. The name of Christ is not for betrayal in this way.
If people professing Christ, so insist on misusing His name, then leave them. Later we see that lives in these realms is excluded also from the kingdom of heaven itself. This is the word of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:37).
2. GUILLOTINE on Wrong Inward Relationships
in the BODY OF CHRIST … I Corinthians 6:1-8
Legal action here is OUT between Christians. Are you unaware that we shall judge angels ? Paul asks. How is that you cannot appoint some wise person in a matter of some dispute and have a just and sound action! If even the least ought to be able to settle simple matters of right and wrong, how much more an estimable Christian! DO NOT go to law against each other. What a negative testimony to the way and will of Christ to do any such thing!
BE RIGHTEOUS! If necessary bear some wrong from a fellow Christian. Unrighteousness ought to be out of the question, far off like some black star, or black hole!
Righteousness is inseparable from Christ, in spirit, in word and in conduct. Law breakers do not relate ? Anyone may slip, but as for a LIFE of that kind, or a WAY of life amiss, heaven forbid for the Christian. Why there is a GUILLOTINE HERE ALSO, cutting off mutual attacks like that, requiring you act as brothers.
3. EXCLUSION ZONE IN THE KINGDOM -
NO VISAS FOR VICE … I Corinthians 6:9-11
Unrighteousness in general is an asinine substitute for anything to do with Christ. There is indeed an EXCLUSION ZONE cutting off from the Kingdom of God. THEY CANNOT INHERIT HERE who make a practice of unrighteousness. Property boom ? They could not buy ANYTHING in heaven! Even covetous people exclude themselves, their hearts set on their idols, as do extortioners, filled with greed and unneighbourly conduct, thieves the same, lusting for what is not theirs, and battling to get it, fornicators, including those who abuse each other unnaturally, all sex miscreants, idolators, people who put the last first: all are excluded.
Christians LOVE GOD. How then would they LIVE in such slums ? If a banana skin makes you slip, is this the same as choosing to walk on them, or constructing paths made of them!
4. LAWS OF VIRTUE AND PERSPECTIVE FOR PURITY –
I Corinthians 6:12-20
There are right relationships in your created being, as between stomach and food, sex, love and reproduction, and the misuse of the body is like trying to take a part of Christ’s body to a harlot!
You are to be considered as a temple for the Holy Spirit to live in! what then are you to do but act as your heart should be, in the righteous loveliness of virtue and goodness, drawing constantly on Christ within you (Colossians 1:27).
There is a RIGHTEOUS BOND between you and your Lord, if you are His (I Corinthians 6:17): “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
Put differently, you are redeemed real estate, ransomed territory, and cannot be leased out in part or in whole to ANYONE (I Cor. 6:19-20). Forgiveness and the cleansing from all unrighteousness are TWINS! They belong together (I John 1:7ff.).
If then you are not your own, rejoice in being owned by One who MADE and is the AUTHOR of FREEDOM. If in this world you must watch and pray, and purify yourself, fighting the good fight, being crucified in your flesh (Galatians 5:24, 2:20), but alive in spirit through the working of the Spirit of God within you, what is that ? Your calling is in Christ, your place is with God. Territorial claims on you from other sources are null and void. BE RID OF THEM. They would only cheat you, lusting to expose you as a fraud (cf. Luke 22:31-32). Rely rather on the Lord, and your genuineness will appear (Isaiah 49:23, 28:16, Romans 9:33), and when Christ who is our life appears, then you will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4).