1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Such as Were Some of You

YouTube video sermon

If there are people in CLC who’s lives don’t show change, we won’t condemn them, we won’t ignore their sin… we will lead them to Christ.

Introduction

  • Do you ever wonder “Am I really saved?
    • I mean, does the thought ever cross your mind “Am I going to heaven? Do I really know Jesus like the other people at church do?”
    • Dude, I would be lying if I said I have never thought that. Man, early on in my walk with Jesus I would ponder that question tirelessly.
    • “I mean, I still have sin in my life, am I really a Christian? Is God going to judge me for that one sin and condemn me to hell? Maybe I wasn’t even saved in the first place… am I just fooling myself?”
    • Come on, I can’t be the only one who has ever thought this way, right?
  • That’s what I want to talk to you about this morning, one of the biggest evidences of salvation, that is the changing power of Grace.
  • You see God’s grace that He poured out on the cross, it changes us. It makes us different, a new creation, that’s why it is called being born again! Because we are a new creature when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord.
  • This is one of the easiest and clearest test of salvation is the evidence of grace through change.
    • One of the clearest examples of this that I can think of is baking (I wrote this sermon in the morning, must have been hungry).
    • Imagine you are baking a cake for St. Patrick’s day… what color are you going to want that cake to be? Green, right? Of course you want it to be green!
    • So you decided you are going to make a vanilla cake and you are going to use food coloring to make it green, pretty simple right?
    • So you mix up the vanilla batter… and as you are mixing it you get a phone call, it’s your mom (she always calls at the worst time) so you step away to talk to her.
    • You come back to your cake batter sitting in a bowl and you are trying to remember “Did I add the food coloring?”
      • The cake batter is mixed, the bottle of green food coloring is next to the bowl, but DID you remember to add the food coloring?
      • Man there is a really easy way to tell! Look at the batter, if it is green then you added the coloring…
    • This may seem simple, but it illustrates a deep truth, you can judge what has happened in the past by examining change! You see the food coloring changes the color of the cake batter, simply by introducing the food coloring to the cake batter change happens, the cake batter changes colors!
    • Such is it without lives, simply by introducing the Grace of the Cross, that is accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and repenting from our sins, then change happens to ourselves!
  • In fact, the Bible uses the same type of example when it comes to our sins!

Isaiah 1:18 ESV  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

  • Just like the cake batter, our sins are an ugly scarlet, but when introduced to the grace of God they become white as snow. If we want to know if we are saved all we need to do is observe, are we white as snow, or are we still an ugly scarlet. In other words, can we observe change.
  • Just to say it one more time, to make it clear: We can tell whether cake batter has been introduced to food coloring by observing if the color of the batter has changed, and we can tell if Jesus has been applied to our lives by observing if our sin pattern has changed.
  • Now what does all of this have to do with 1 Corinthians? I am glad you asked! Because we are about to go over a section of scripture that is often used out of context in order to judge and condem people. A verse you would see being held up at a gay pride parade as some street preacher yells “Your all going to hell”.
    • I wanted to set the stage for what this section of scripture is really about, you can see the power and the grace behind it.
    • With that lets read together 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  (11)  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Point One – It’s about needing change

  • This verse is about needing change. It’s not about condemnation, it’s not about identifying the sins that will lead you to hell (After all the Bible says we all deserve hell), no! It’s about Identifying the need for change!
    • If your St. Patty’s day cake batter isn’t green you don’t condemn the cake, do you?
      • “Your not green? YOUR GOING TO THE TRASH CAKE! BECAUSE YOUR NOT GREEN YOU ARE BEING THROWN AWAY!” You don’t pick up a picket sign that says “White St Patricks Day Cakes are going to the garbage!”.
      • That would be nonsense! Instead, if you see your cake batter is still white, then you simply add the food coloring. The color of the cake batter simply identifies the need for change.
    • When it comes to reading Scripture, CONTEXT IS KEY!
      • So many people take this verse out of context, you see if you skip verse 11 and only read verses 9 and 10 this section of scripture sounds very condemning, doesn’t it?
      • If I simply read verses 9 and 10 it sounds like this (Read in cynical voice):

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

  • When you put it that way, yeah man… through those verses on a sign and tell that gay pride parade what for!
  • But when you add verse 11 in the mix it changes the whole tone!

1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • You know it’s funny, verse 11 never seems to make it on protesters signs.
    • And such were some of you… but you were washed and sanctified, and justified in the name of our Lord Jesus?
    • You mean there is hope for the sexually immoral, the idolater, the adulterer, the homosexuals, the thieves, and the greedy?
    • That’s exactly what I mean, that is exactly what Paul means.
  • You see in context this section of scripture is NOT about condemnation, instead it is about the hope of Christ Jesus.
    • It’s about identifying the need for change and then introducing the agent of change, that is, Jesus Christ!
  • This verse isn’t about condemnation at all, for there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!
    • Look if your cake batter ain’t green yet simply introduce the food coloring to the mix! And if there are people who are claiming Christ but are not changed yet, simply introduce them to Jesus!
    • You know the Bible says it’s not condemnation that leads people to repentance, in fact the Bible says it is God’s goodness, or God’s kindness that leads people to repentance!

Romans 2:4 ESV  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

  • According to this verse the whole point of God’s kindness is to lead us to repentance! Not condemnation, but kindness, goodness, and love!
    • Man, you want to see the drunkard, the swindler, the homosexual, and the fornicators repent? Want to see them change and come to know Christ!
      • Then instead of condemning them, love them! Show them the riches of Christ’s kindness.
    • Now remember, this point is titled “It’s about needing Change”. The problems with taking this verse out of context swing both ways!
    • We have to remember the context of this letter, remember this is a letter to the church in Corinth. And I know we are now on the 20th sermon of this series, so it might be easy to forget, but this letter would have been read in one sitting.
      • So Paul is not just saying this out of the blue, he is saying it in context with the rest of his letter.
      • Remember the sermon about the dude sleeping with his step mom? This is what Paul is actually referencing….
      • You see we often times focus on those hateful protestors who yell out “God hates the homosexuals” when we think of this verse out of context, but what is just as bad as those protestors is what the Corinthians were doing, which was ignoring the sin on account of Grace.
        • I will remind you what the Corinthians were doing… they were boasting about how full of Grace they were!
        • “Look how full of grace we are, we are so full of grace we let dude’s sleep with their steep moms!”
        • And Paul is saying! WOAH! Don’t you know the sexually immoral aren’t going to heaven? You can’t just ignore sin like this!
      • Let’s go back to the cake example. Let’s say you were invited to a big St Patrick’s day celebration, and there is just one rule, all food must be green! So you got your green eggs and ham, your green garden salad, and of course it is your job to bring the green cake. All food that is not green that is brought to this party will be promptly thrown away.
        • Now if you know this, and you are making your cake, and you notice the batter is still white and not green… you’re not going to be like “Well I am just so full of grace that I can call white cake green!” Your not going to continue baking the cake as a white cake and hope for the best, what nonsense that would be, your are just ASKING for your cake to get thrown out!
        • So in the same sense that your not going to throw your cake away for not being white, you are also not going to allow it to stay white, you are going to introduce the food coloring!
      • But what the Corinthians were doing was allowing the sinner to stay a sinner, and hoping at the end of the day that Grace would win.
        • And Paul is scolding them! “DON’T BE DECIEVED” he warns, these kinds of people will not enter heaven!
        • But Paul doesn’t suggest condemning them to hell, he suggest introducing them to change.
        • We talked one week about church discipline, and how the WHOLE POINT of church discipline is to lead people back to Christ.
        • If a church is forced to throw someone out because of their on repentant sin, they are not to do so because they don’t want to be around them anymore, it is because the church wants them to find Christ, and God says the best way in this scenario is to remove them from the church so they can see their need for a savior!
      • This is why it is important when we are examining our own salvation, examine is there change? The book of 1st John is a great litmus test for the change that salvation produces… here are a few questions to ask yourself from the book of 1st John to see if you have experienced the change produced by salvation (Side note, this list from first John was compiled by the Christian Rapper Flame, for his song Who Can Pluck Us):
        • Do you enjoy fellowship with God?
          • Because before you were a Christian I guarantee you did not.
        • Are you sensitive to sin?
          • Does it hurt when you sin now? Are you ashamed of sin, or proud of it?
        • Do you obey God’s Word?
          • Do you go out of you way to obey?
        • Do you reject the evil world?
          • Does evil in the world disgust you? Because before you are saved it would excite you, and you would defend it.
        • Do you eagerly await Christ’s return?
          • Or could you care less? I love looking to the clouds for my savior!
        • Do you see a decrease pattern of sin in your life?
          • Are you changing and growing towards him… or do the adjectives from today’s scripture describe you?
        • Do you love other Christians?
          • Or would you rather kick it with your un-Christian friends.
        • Do you experience answered prayer?
          • Or do you only pray for your meals?
        • Do you discern between truth and error?
          • Does your heart rejoice in the truth?
        • Are you rejected or persecuted for your Faith?
          • Or does everyone seem to like you still?
        • These are just a few questions, and God doesn’t expect you to pass that test perfectly, but you should see change in the way you answer those questions then before you were a Christian!
        • And the same goes for others, folks if we don’t see change in our lives don’t condemn it, but don’t ignore it either. Instead seek the change that comes with being born again, seek Christ!

Point Two – It’s about the changed

  • Now that brings us to our last point, point two.
    • Point one is that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is about identifying the need for change.
    • Point two is that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is also about the changed.
      • It’s about the changed!
    • You see the climax of this section of scripture is “Such were some of you!”
    • Let me read these verses again:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  (11)  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • And such were some of you!
    • Some of YOU, Corinthians, Pauls says!
    • Some of you were Sexually immoral!
    • Some of you were idolaters!
    • Some of you were drunkards!
    • Some of you were greedy!
    • Some of you were revilers and swindlers!
    • Some where thieves!
    • Others still were fornicators!
    • Some of you were practicing homosexuality!
    • Don’t you remember? You were this way! But Christ saved you and changed you!
  • It is verse like this that make me laugh at the thought of churches closing their doors to homosexuals… in fact I have considered having a rainbow flag up at our church to show that we welcome homosexuals!
    • Because the Church of Corinth was full of homosexuals, and thieves, and idolaters, and greedy men and women, drunkards and fornicators!
    • And Christ changed them!
  • Of course we welcome such people, because we were such people!
    • Church I know that we too are full of such people!
      • I know I am not the only one in here who has had a homosexual thought.
      • I know that I am not the only one who has practiced sexual immorality.
      • I know that I am not the only person who has been greedy in my life, or stolen… man I have stolen thousands of dollars of software, music, and movies by downloading them online.
      • I know I am not the only one in this church who has ever been drunk, or idolized an ungodly person.
      • I know I am not the only one who has used my words to hurt people, such a revilers do!
      • I know I am not the only one to swindle people out of money!
    • In fact as I look at that list I think I have done or been tempted to do all of those things, and I am sure I am not the only one here like that!
      • But the beauty is that Christ changed me! I was lost but now I am found, I was blind but now I see, Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a WRETCH like me!
      • You see if I stayed that way then I would have no part in the kingdom of heaven, but God loved me enough to change me! He loved you enough to change you!
      • He loved this church, Christian Life Church, enough to fill it with a bunch of sinners who have been changed and saved by the grace of God through the death and the resurrection of Christ.
    • Verse 11 is one of the most beautiful and powerful verses in all of Scripture:

1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV And such were some of [us]. But [we] were washed, [we] were sanctified, [we] were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • If we were changed, if we were washed, if we were sanctified and justified by the Grace of God… Then why would we withhold that grace from others?
    • It is for this reason that I pray that God would fill our church with people such as these, fill our church with the greedy, the swindlers, the sexually immoral, the homosexual, and the drunkard.
    • Not so we can leave them in their sin, not so we can condemn them to hell, but so we can lead them to the saving grace that is in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus!
  • You see ignoring sin is not grace! Ignoring sin is lazy, and it is hurtful. It is just as hurtful as condemning a sinner to hell.
    • Ignorance is just as hurtful as condemnation!
  • Instead we pray “Lord, let the sinner come, so they might know you like we know you, so they might be changed by your goodness and lead to repentance!”

Conclusion

  • Folks 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is not about condemnation, it’s about baking a St. Patty’s day cake and determining whether or not you added the food coloring to the batter. If you haven’t don’t ignore the problem, don’t condemn the cake to the garbage, simply add the food coloring.
  • If there are people in CLC who’s lives don’t show change, we won’t condemn them, we won’t ignore their sin… we will lead them to Christ.
  • And folks if you are examining your life right now and you don’t see change, then you need to come to Christ.

Gospel message/Alter Call.