1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 6

BELIEVERS WHO LIVE UNFAITHFUL LIVES WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD

I) INTRODUCTION

This passage indicates that believers who live unfaithful lives will not inherit the kingdom of God. So there will be a difference in eternity, even amongst Christians.

II) [1 Cor 6:1-20]:

(v. 1) '''If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

(v. 2) Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

(v. 3) Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

(v. 4) Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

(v. 5) I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

(v. 6) But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers!

(v. 7) The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

(v. 8) Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

[Notice with the word 'brothers' points to a context which has the lifestyle of believers in view. Verse 11 verifies this when it declares that the individuals were washed, sanctified and justifed.]

(v. 9) "Do you [believers, (vv. 1:2, 6:11) not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

[The context continues to exhort believers to lead godly lives and not wicked ones. It presents the consequences of leading a wicked lifestyle - the loss of ones inheritance of the Kingdom of God. ]

(v. 10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.

[Paul restates to the Corinthians that an evil lifestyle will disqualify the believer, whom is being addressed here, from inheriting the kingdom of God. Notice that inheriting the Kingdom, not entrance into it is in view]

(v. 11) And that is what some of your were. 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.

[Paul goes on to point out that some of the Corinthian saints had led wicked lifestyles before they were 'washed' (apelousasthe, aorist,middle voice) and 'sanctified' (hEgiasthEte, aorist, passive) and 'justified' (edikaiOthEte, aorist, passive). Notice that 'washed' is in the middle voice which refers to water baptism since the middle voice points to a participation in part by the individual.

So Paul mentions to the Corinthian believers that they were washed/water baptized, sanctified and justified in contrast to their former way of life of wickedness in order to exhort them to lead holy lifestyles and avoid the consequence of being disinherited of the Kingdom of God.

'Justified' is in the aorist past tense, passive voice pointing to the Holy Spirit's work on the individual the moment he believed wherein the Holy Spirit declared the believer righteous before God unto eternal life. Sanctified is also in the aorist past tense, passive voice, likewise pointing to the work of the Holy Spirit on the individual to be set apart for eternal life and set apart to lead a holy life once the individual has been justified by faith. Washed is in the aorist past tense, middle voice pointing to water baptism which was performed once the individual had been justified and sanctified. These three events are stipulated as completed action, (aorist tense) events in an individual's life which is contrasted with their former wicked lifestyles. The past tenses do not indicate that this was part of the salvation experience, but simply point to completed events in the past in the individual Corinthian saints' lives, whether before or after they got saved is not so stipulated. Rather, a contrast is made to exhort the Corinthian saints to lead holy lifestyles based on looking back in the past to their three experiences in their past lives lives: of having been washed/water baptized, sanctified and justified.

Thus it is not a stipulation in this verse that these three things are what are to occur in order to be saved unto eternal life. Notice that the actual order of events relative to the reception of eternal life is different from what the text in 1 Cor 6:11 shows. Justification which is by faith must come first but it is listed last in 6:11. Then sanctification unto a holy lifestyle must come second but it is listed in the text before justification. Once one is justified by faith and sanctified then water baptism comes after this, (Ro 4:1-3; Acts 2:38; 16:30-31; Mk 16:16). But it is listed first in the text instead of last.

Hence 1 Cor 6:11 does not have in view the sequence of what it takes to be saved unto eternal life, but simply points to three past events in the lives of the Corinthian saints to contrast it with their former sinful lifestyles, in order to exhort them to lead holy lives and avoid being disinherited of the Kingdom of God.

Finally, the context of the entire passage is not addressed to unbelievers on how to be saved unto eternal life. It is addressed to the already saved individual, (vv. 6:1-3), about exhorting the believer to lead a holy lifestyle since he has already become saved.

Paul stipulates the sober consequence of believers who continue to lead wicked lifestyles:

"[They] will [not] inherit the Kingdom of God", (v. 10) = This phrase is used twice, and notice that it does not say inherit eternal life, but inherit the Kingdom of God, i.e., ownership and rulership of the Kingdom of God.

Other passages in Scripture corroborate this:

Furthermore, this phrase refers to two kinds of individuals.

A) DISOBEDIENT BELIEVERS

A disobedient believer, i.e., a believer who chooses to live a life which is under the control of the sin nature will not receive an inheritance when that child of God, (Eph 5:1), goes to heaven. That child has been disinherited but remains a saved child who will go to heaven but with no rewards or inheritance, (Eph 4:30; 1 Cor 3:11-15).

B) ALL UNBELIEVERS

All unbelievers are under the complete control of the sin nature, (Ro 6:17a; 8:6-9), and therefore live lifestyles which are characterized as sinful. Furthermore, they are not destined for heaven because they never trusted alone in Christ alone, (Jn 3:18; 3:36; 1 Jn 5:9-13), so there will obviously be no inheritance in heaven for unbelievers either.

This could not mean salvation because the last part of verse 11 indicates that this is addressed to individuals who have already been washed, sanctified, justified, i.e., saved unto eternal life]:

(v. 11 cont.) ....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."

[Since numerous clear passages on the matter indicate that once an individual is saved his eternal destiny in heaven is sealed and eternally secure, (Eph 1:13-14), and that eternal life is the immediate possession of the believer, (Jn 3:16), and that it is irrevocable, (Eph 4:30), the phrase addressed to true believers, "shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" cannot refer to salvation unto eternal life.

Furthermore, the rest of the passage exhorts the Corinthian believers not to sin. It indicates that believers have the potential to sin even in egregious ways. And Paul mentions a number of specific sins certain saints of Corinth were themselves committing, (chapter 5), yet he still calls them saints: (v. 1:2)]:

(v. 12) "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

(v. 13) "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

(v. 14) By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

(v. 15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

(v. 16) Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

(v. 17) But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

(v. 18) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

(v. 19) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

(v. 20) you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

[Notice that the context continues with Paul exhorting true believers to 'flee from sexual immorality' and lead holy lives, honoring God with 'your body.' Thus those believers who do not do that as verse 10 will not inherit the Kingdom of God.]