Flee immorality... because you have inherited the kingdom of God
1 Corinthians 6 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Paul says: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?... Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. There are some today who say that we should not base our doctrine on scripture, the written or logos word, but rather on what Christ Himself says, the rhema word of God. They say we should not use scripture as our plumb line, but rather what Christ Himself did as an example and what He says through the voice of His prophets. In Revelation 21:5-8, written by John, who intimately knew Jesus, it says: He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” My question to those who differ with Paul and John is; What qualifies them as being a more reliable voice of what Jesus said and is saying? In His gospel, Matthew who also accompanied Jesus throughout His ministry, wrote in 24:4-14, what Jesus said: “Take heed that no one deceives you.Formany will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’and will deceive many.And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will befamines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.Thenmany false prophets will rise up anddeceive many.And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will growcold.But he who endures to the end shall be saved.And thisgospel of the kingdomwill be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” What standard do we have to know the difference between true and false prophets, if we do not compare what is being said by today’s self proclaimed prophets, to what has been said?
If I am to believe that those who say God is speaking something different today than what Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and James said that He spoke, then am I also to believe that Mohamed, John Smith, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Jim Jones, David Koresh and others who preached a new or different, updated gospel, are also to be believed? John records Jesus as saying: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Was John unreliable, or is Jesus a liar? If Jesus is not the way, then we nullify His sacrifice on the cross. It is not a matter of legality or regulation that should keep a believer from immorality. Paul even says: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Some will stop there and take Paul’s words out of context, as though he is condoning sin. They repeat what he says: All things are lawful for me, neglecting to include that he also says: Not all things are profitable; I will not be mastered by anything. Even more, the true context is about food and he continues: Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Still it is not a matter of the law that keeps us from immorality, but as the Lord says in Revelation 21: “Behold, I am making all things new.” We don’t need a new and updated interpretation of scripture. It is our hearts and our minds that need to be made new, to align with scripture. God’s living word, spoken today through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will not change or deviate from God’s written word, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Paul says: Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. In John 8:11, after compassionately saving the woman caught in the act of adultery from the judgment and death by stoning, Jesus said: "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." In John 5:14, seeing again the man that He had healed, Jesus said: "See, you have been made well. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you." Jesus called people to repent and stop sinning. That was before He suffered and died on the cross to pay the price for sin. Having paid that price to redeem us and free us from sin, I don’t think that He has changed His mind about sin. I suppose it is possible that I am wrong. I suppose there could be a new and different way. If I am wrong, then perhaps I will miss out on a few moments of worldly pleasure, not indulging in the things, the immorality our culture promotes and justifies. As for me, I will trust those who walked with Jesus. I will trust those who heard and recorded His words. I choose to believe what Matthew wrote in his gospel, recording Jesus words in chapter 5:17-20: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus didn’t over rule God and do away with His old rules. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Father for forgiveness of sins. It is not my efforts to abstain from immorality that make my righteousness greater than the scribes and the Pharisees. It is Jesus finished work on the cross, the fulfillment of God’s laws and the demonstration of His love, which makes me righteous. It is through His death and His resurrection that I am changed and so I too can live in the righteous fulfillment of God’s plan for me and His inheritance for me.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; You are unchanging. But by Your grace You have made a way for us to be changed, to be transformed into Your image, holy and righteous. Because of Your great sacrifice on the cross, it is no sacrifice for me to live free from immorality. Thank You that Your word never changes. The logos and the rhema are one. Thank You that rather than You changing Your mind about sin, You have changed my mind. I will trust in You; in what You did, in what You said and in what You are doing and saying. I trust and believe that Jesus is the way to the Father and the way to redemption and the way to freedom from sin. Amen.