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,1 Corinthians 6:9(NASB)
Although Christians in Corinth were saved by grace through faith and were greeted as 'saints' by Paul in his epistle, there was much serious division amongst the congregation, as some were indulging in gross immorality.. and some seriously unethical behaviour. Paul could not talk to these believers as maturing, spiritual Christians, who were growing in grace and living unto the Lord. He complained that they were behaving like unsaved men, because their actions and attitudes, were riddled with carnality and sin.
They seemed to be ignorant of their privileged position in Christ. They appeared to have forgotten that their bodies were a holy temple, in which the Spirit of God was dwelling. And so Paul found it necessary to address many of the ungodly issues and carnal practices, with which they had become involved. Though the carnal Christians of Corinth were rich in spiritual “gifts', they were spiritually immature and selfish babes in Christ.
Paul reminded them.. that they were children of God, with the indwelling Spirit of Christ. They were to be both spiritually and physically pure - pure in word and pure in deed. He counselled them concerning marriage and celibacy, and warned of the serious dangers of sexuality outside of marriage, and perverted sexual practices. He reminded them of the serious consequences of all forms of sexual impurity, and deviant sexual customs.
Paul seemed to labour the seriousness of all forms of sexual sins and the unholy abandonment of the godly relationship between a man and his wife, which is a sacred union.. instituted by God Himself, at the beginning of creation.
Paul had not only taught these believers about salvation by grace through faith, but had instructed them on godly living, their heavenly inheritance, spiritual purity and many other aspects of Christian growth. But it appears that this group of believers were abusing the grace of God, and using it as a license to sin. How disgraceful that God's grace should be so abused by those who had tasted of His saving grace.
Paul reminded them that as Christians.. they had been saved from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the world and the pride of life and as if to contrast the truly spiritual man with their own perverted carnality, he asked a searing question of them: 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, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Asking this rhetorical question, Paul clearly identifies the depths of sexual depravity and sinful practices, to which the Christians at Corinth had fallen. They had once been wicked themselves but had been saved by grace through faith in Christ. They had been taught that the unregenerate wicked man would not inherit the coming glorious kingdom of Christ.. and yet the behaviour of these Christians was more akin to the wicked sinner than to holy saints.. set apart for God's glory.
Wicked men will one day be judged on the basis of their works. How important that we who have been saved by grace, and set apart unto God, do not ever engage in the ungodly practices of the wicked. How necessary that we live holy lives that honour the Lord.. Who redeemed us with His own precious blood.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the truths that it contains. Keep me from all forms of sexual sins and perverted acts and attitudes, thoughts and imaginations. May the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart be pure in Your sight - so that my life is not only positionally holy but practically holy, in all I say and do - to the honour of Your name, AMEN.