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Author:Rev. Mendel Retief
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Congregation:Free Reformed Church of Kelmscott
 Kelmscott, Western Australia
 frckelmscott.org
 
Title:Living a new life through Jesus Christ
Text:1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:Life in Christ
 
Added:2015-03-01
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Old Book of Praise (2004)

Ps. 138: 1, 4

Ps. 119: 5, 6, 13

Ps.  50: 8 – 11

Ps. 25: 2, 3, 4

Ps. 32: 1, 2

 

Scripture reading:       Rom. 1: 18 – 32; 1 Cor. 6: 1 – 20 

Text:                         1 Cor. 6: 9 – 11

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


A new life through Jesus Christ

Ps. 138: 1, 4

Ps. 119: 5, 6, 13

Ps.  50: 8 – 11

Ps. 25: 2, 3, 4

Ps. 32: 1, 2

 

Scripture reading:       Rom. 1: 18 – 32; 1 Cor. 6: 1 – 20 

Text:                          1 Cor. 6: 9 – 11

 

Beloved congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

In ancient Greece, when Greece was still the world empire, rich and prosperous, Corinth became its chief city.    Corinth was not only the greatest city with regard to authority, but also in wealth, splendour, literature, the arts, and in luxury.   There also stood the temple of Venus.    Of all the cities of the ancient world it was one of the most licentious.   Especially sexual immorality prevailed in it.

 

A hundred and twenty years before Christ the city of Corinth was totally destroyed by the Romans.   Its inhabitants were dispersed and its immense riches were carried away.  

After being desolate for many years Julius Caesar caused it to be rebuilt.   Slowly but surely its wealth and luxury revived again.   It was almost a century after its rebuilding was started that the apostle Paul visited this city for the first time in approximately the year 50 AD.  

It was then the capital of the Roman province Achaia that included the greater part of Greece.   By then, when the apostle Paul visited this city, Corinth had regained much of its ancient splendour and was again the main city of Greece.  

The city had two harbours and much trading; and therefore its citizens, although mostly Greek, were from various nations all over the Roman Empire that came together in this city.

 

When the apostle Paul came to this city and proclaimed the gospel to them for the first time, the Lord gathered a congregation of believers.   The members of this church were mostly from the Greek gentiles, but there were also some Jews.   

The apostle Paul stayed there for “a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” – Acts 18: 11.

 

About five years after his first visit he wrote this epistle to the young church at Corinth.  

He addresses them as:

 

“…the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints…” – chapter 1: 2

 

Yet, they were still immature in faith.   Therefore the apostle also says:

 

“…I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.   I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.   For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” – chapter 3: 1 – 3

 

The apostle had to address various sins in the congregation.   When our text mentions fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners, stating that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God, then the apostle Paul asserts that some of them were such.  

His warning that such people will not inherit the kingdom is in a context where he warns them not to return to their former life of licentiousness.

 

This young congregation was still struggling to get rid of their heathen background and to be a holy and separate people in the midst of a licentious city.   

Especially the sin of sexual immorality is repeatedly mentioned in this epistle.   Here in our text reference is made to four different kinds of sexual immorality: fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, and sodomites.

Sexual immorality was predominant in the city of Corinth, and among the Greeks in general.  

And the congregation – although sanctified in Christ – was not yet completely rid of the remnants of their former life.

 

In this letter to the church in Corinth the apostle addresses a whole range of issues.   Here in chapter 6 we read that there were quarrels among the church members, and not only quarrels, but some wronged and cheated each other in material goods and sued each other.  

 

Now, when he warns them against every kind of lawlessness, his warning is not theoretical.   They were indeed in danger of being deceived; in danger of thinking that somehow such worldliness may be tolerated in the church.   And therefore he says:

 

“…Do not be deceived.   Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

 

When he reminds them that they are no longer such people, it is clear that some of them were such.    Some of these members were in their former life fornicators.   Some of them were idolaters, and some adulterers.   Some of them were homosexuals.   Some of them were thieves.   Some were drunkards.    But they are no longer such.  

Because: they have been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.  

By the grace of God they were changed and made new.  

And therefore, by the mercies of God, the apostle warns them not to return to these sins, for those who continue to live such lives will not inherit the kingdom of God.  

  

From this passage I proclaim God’s Word to you with the theme:

Living a new life through Jesus Christ

 

We will note:

  1. What some of the members were before
  2. What they have become in Christ
  3. The warning not to fall back in sin

In the first place we note…

What some of the believers were before

 

The apostle says to them:

            “…such were some of you.” – verse 11.

It means that before they believed in Christ their lives were under the controlling power of sin, so that some of them were indeed fornicators.   Some of them, who were now members of the church, have been in the past homosexuals.   But now they are no longer such.    By the blood and Spirit of Christ they were washed, sanctified and justified.  

Therefore, they are no longer what they were.   They are no longer adulterers or homosexuals or sodomites.   They have been changed.   They left their old life behind and now live a sanctified life in Christ.  

 

The one who was a thief stopped stealing; therefore he is no longer a thief.  

The one who was covetous has also repented of his sin.   His life is no longer controlled by greed and the love of money.  

The one who was a drunkard stopped drinking; therefore he is no longer a drunkard.

The reviler stopped gossiping and slandering others; he is no longer a reviler.   He does not continue in his former sins.   He repented of them and broke with such a sinful life.   Yes, sometimes something still slips from his lips, but he is immediately sorry about it, and he fights to control his tongue.   Although he still stumbles in this regard, he may no longer be called a reviler.  

That in which he delighted himself before, has now become a great sorrow to him – and he now continues to fight against this sin.   He died with Christ and he was also raised with Christ.  

Through faith in Christ he has been freed from slavery to this sin which formerly characterised his life.

 

The one who was an extortioner no longer tries to rob or harm others, neither by force, nor by threats, nor by blackmailing people, or in any other way.   He also has been changed into a different person, a new man – washed, sanctified and justified.  

He is no longer what he was.

 

Dear congregation, that is the simple meaning of these words:

 

“…such were some of you.   But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

The repetition of the word “but” – but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified – emphasises the contrast between what they have been and what they now are.  

 

Now, the list that is mentioned here could hardly be worse.   These are the vilest, most detestable and abominable transgressors of God’s law.  

And yet, by the grace of God, they have been changed!

The gospel of Christ is indeed the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1: 16).  

Here we have a monument of God’s grace when we see this list of vile sinners and read that they have been washed from their filth, sanctified from the pollution and controlling power of these sins, and justified through faith in Christ.  Christ and His Spirit worked mightily in them.

 

But before we look at what they have become, let us first see what they actually were.  

 

The transgression of the seventh commandment did not only characterise the city of Corinth, but from various parts of this epistle we learn that the transgression of the seventh commandment was one of the main problems also in the congregation.  

 

The apostle Paul says to them:

 

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles – that a man has his father’s wife!” – chapter 5: 1

 

Here in chapter 6 he said to them:

 

“…do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?”   

 

And he warns them very strongly:

 

“Flee sexual immorality.”

 

And again in chapter 7 he deals especially with the seventh commandment.

 

Now, someone may ask: if this sin, and also other sins, was such an issue in the congregation, is there then really such a big difference between their former life and what they now have become through Christ?

 

Well, to answer this we need to consider two things.   In the first place we have to note what the apostle says about those who live in such sins: they will not inherit the kingdom of God.   The man in chapter 5 who has his father’s wife will not inherit the kingdom of God if he does not repent of his sin and stop living with his father’s wife.  

The apostle clearly states that that man needs to be excommunicated.   He must be removed from their midst.  

Such a man is not allowed to remain a member of the church.

Such people have to be removed, excommunicated, from the church.    

And he says this not only of the man who has his father’s wife, but of “anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner…”   Such a person may not be allowed in the communion of saints – 5: 11–13.

 

Yes, such people are not allowed to be part of Christ’s congregation.

 

Note how that list of people in chapter 5 – people who are not allowed to be members of the church – corresponds with the list here in our text.   He mentions almost exactly the same list: the sexually immoral, the covetous, idolaters, revilers, drunkards and extortioners.

In other words, the same people described in chapter 5, who needs to be excommunicated, are people who will not inherit the kingdom, chapter 6.

 

If anyone persists in his sins he has to be excommunicated.   And not only shall he be cut off from the congregation, but he then also stands outside the kingdom of God.  

They will not inherit the kingdom.

 

It does not mean that such sins will never be found in the congregation, but when it is found that someone lives in such sin he should be removed from the congregation if he does not repent. 

 

The second thing that we need to consider is that there is a difference between living in sin and sometimes falling in sin.   The apostle James says that we all stumble in many things – James 3: 2.   On the other hand the apostle Paul very clearly declares that those who believe in Christ has been freed from slavery to sin, and that it is impossible for a true believer to continue living in sin – Romans chapter 6.  

 

The apostle John even says:

 

            “He who sins is of the devil…”

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”

 

That is 1 John 3: 8, 9.  

When the apostle John says that those who are born of God cannot sin, it means that it is impossible that a true believer will continue to live in sin; that is: to live under the controlling power of sin as a slave of sin.

By the grace of God we are no longer slaves of sin, and our lives are no longer under the controlling power of sin.

Daily we still have to fight against our sinful desires and crucify our old nature, but: that is something different from living in sin.   The one is a road of sanctification unto life; the other is a wallowing in sin that leads to death.  

 

It is two different roads, and the people who walk on these two roads are not the same.   The one is a fornicator; and the other not.   The one is a homosexual; and the other not.

Once you cross over from the one road to the other, it is impossible to remain what you were.

 

That does not cancel out a lifelong struggle against sin as we daily have to put to death our sinful lusts, but it does draw the line between those who belong to Christ and those who don’t; between those who will enter the kingdom and those who won’t.  

 

When a pig and a sheep both fall into a ditch full of mud, then the pig will enjoy himself, wallowing in the mud, but the sheep will struggle and do his best to get out of the ditch as soon as possible.   Then the sheep may for a moment not look much better than the pig, both being smeared with mud.    But there is a radical difference: the one is a pig and the other a sheep.    In Christ we are no longer pigs, but sheep.  

 

So then, sexual immorality remained a problem in the church at Corinth.   And one could expect this to be the case; for two reasons.  

In the first place this was still a young congregation.   It is about five years after their institution.   Just a few years ago most of them were still living in these sins.   They are new to the faith, and not yet mature in faith.   Some remnants of heathendom still cling to many of them.   They have only just started on the road of sanctification.  

 

Although their lives have changed radically, although there came a final break with their former life of sin, the struggle against sin remains.   The one who has only recently been a drunkard can easily fall back again, because: his body still screams for that to which he was addicted.  

The one who has been a fornicator will have extra difficulty to learn to look the other way when a flirting woman walks down the street.   And sometimes memories of the past may come back, vile thoughts and lusts which need to be put to death.

Yes, they have just come out of a terrible state of life, and some remnants of that were still clinging to them.

 

The other reason why one could expect sexual immorality to be still a problem in this young congregation, is because they were living in a city that was, even among the Gentiles, most notorious for its sexual immorality.   It would be like living today in Paris or in Amsterdam or in Sydney.   Although – with the internet the world has become so small that Paris or Amsterdam or Sydney may be found right in your own home!

 

Living in such a city – and we may add: living in such a society as ours today – does indeed increase the temptations and the danger of falling into sin.  

The daughters of Lot almost married the Sodomites, for they were living among them.   And Lot’s wife could not free herself from Sodom, for that was home to her.

And so also the influence of society was felt in the congregation at Corinth.

 

Now, here in our text the apostle Paul mentions four different kinds of sexual immorality which previously characterised the lives of some of them: some were fornicators, some adulterers, some homosexuals and some sodomites.

 

He mentions two kinds of homosexuals.   It is known that homosexuality was very common among the Greeks.  

Now, our translation translated the two Greek words as “homosexuals” and “sodomites”.   The first Greek word, which is translated homosexuals, literally means: softies.   Or in the singular: a soft one.   This Greek word is used for the effeminate homosexual – the man who looks and acts and speaks like a lady.   It is used for men who dress and act as if they were female.  

 

Scripture speaks about this also in other places.   Throughout Scripture the Lord makes clear to us that it is a shame for a man if he does not act like a man.

There should be a clear distinction between a man and a woman.   There should be no need to guess who or what you have in front of you.  

 

For this reason also the Lord instructed Israel that a woman should dress like a woman, and a man like a man.   We read for example in Deuteronomy that the Lord says:

 

“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” – Deut. 22: 5.

 

It is an abomination.

 

Now, our text speaks about the effeminate male homosexual, who acts like a female, but it is the same sin when a woman acts and speaks and dresses like a man.  

It goes both ways: a man should be a man; and a woman should be a woman.

A man should look like a man, act like a man, speak like a man and dress like a man.

And the same for a woman: she should in every way behave, speak, dress like a woman; and not try to be like a man. 

 

Where the distinction between man and woman is removed, or mixed up, or blurred – as it happens in our society – there homosexuality creeps in.

 

So then, the first Greek word, malako,j, which literally means “soft” or “delicate”, is used for the effeminate homosexual.   

Such a person will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

But then the apostle also mentions another kind of homosexual: the sodomite.  

The Greek word (avrsenokoi,thj) refers to a male who has sexual intercourse with a male.  

This, also, is an abomination to the Lord.  

 

            “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.   It is an abomination” – Lev. 18: 22

 

And again we read:    

 

“If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.   They shall surely be put to death…” – Lev. 20: 13.

 

 

Now, in the English language, and also in many other languages, the one who lives in this sin is named after Sodom: he is a sodomite.   He acts as a citizen of Sodom, and therefore also deserves the same wrath that God has poured out on Sodom.

 

Our text, then, condemns both the active and the passive homosexual.   Both the effeminate homosexual and the active sodomite are an abomination to the Lord.   None of them will enter the kingdom of God – unless they repent of their sin and break with it, like those believers in Corinth who previously had been homosexuals, but who are now no longer homosexuals.    “Such were some of you.” – verse 11.

 

Someone may say: “But, homosexuality in itself is no sin, the homosexual can’t help it that he is homosexual; he is simply born like that!”

 

You would hardly have heard any such argumentation 50 years ago.  

Not very long ago almost everyone would acknowledge that homosexuality is a sin; but the times are changing.  

In this respect we are returning to the ancient culture of Greece, and of Corinth in particular, where both the effeminate homosexual and the active sodomite were very common and accepted in society. 

But what does Scripture say?  

 

“…God gave them up to vile passions.   For even their woman exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.   Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” – Rom. 1: 26, 27

 

Note that the apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes not only the homosexual action but also the homosexual desires with the expression “vile passions” and “lust”, and says that homosexual behaviour is against nature.  

 

What does it mean when he says that it is against nature?   It means that both the homosexual desire and the homosexual action go against the very nature of man.  God did not create man like that.   Male and female He created them.      

 

All sin is in a sense unnatural, for all sin goes against God’s intention and original creation, but when the apostle describes homosexual desires and actions as something that “is against nature” he says more.   Homosexuality is a violation and a denial of the very nature of man. 

Scripture makes clear that this sin may not be blamed on someone’s genes, but that everyone who lives as a homosexual is responsible for his sin.   It has everything to do with vile passions which distorts and denies even the basics of God’s created order.

That is what the apostle says in Romans chapter 1. 

 

If homosexuality was no sin, if it was only a defect or some disorder with which someone is born, then the apostle would not be correct in saying that no homosexual will inherit the kingdom of God.  

 

Homosexuality itself is sinful and an abomination to the Lord.  

Dear congregation, our Lord Jesus has died on the cross to wash and to redeem us also from such sins.

 

Brothers and sisters, why is it necessary to spell this out?   Why should we stress what Scripture teaches us about homosexuality?   Why elaborate on this point?   

Because: this teaching of Scripture is presently under hard attack!  

The idea that it is not a sin to be a homosexual and that one can be a “Christian homosexual” is quickly gaining momentum – even in so called Reformed churches!  

 

These ideas and arguments are at our own doorstep.   Many churches have become, also in this respect, followers of whatever the world says and does.

 

There is a tendency also in Reformed churches today to change the way we speak about homosexuals.   They are now called “our homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ”.   But Scripture says no homosexual will inherit the kingdom of God.    How then can we call them our brothers and sisters, if they are outside the kingdom?

 

Yes, we know what people mean when they say: “our homosexual brothers and sisters”.   They mean to indicate those brothers and sisters in Christ who wrestle with homosexual inclinations.

However, we do not speak of our fornicator brothers in Christ and our harlot sisters in Christ, because there are no such!   If they are brothers and sisters in Christ they are no longer fornicators, even though they may continue to struggle against such sexual lusts.

In fact, all of us have the inclination to sexual immorality, and all of us have a struggle against these sinful inclinations, but we are no longer fornicators and adulterers.   For such will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

By the grace of God we were washed, sanctified and justified both by the blood and the Spirit of Christ.   Therefore we are no longer such, and may not be called such, even though a daily struggle against these sins remain.

 

Brothers and sisters, let us stick to the language of Scripture and not confuse the matter by the way we speak of homosexuals.    If they repent of their sins and embrace Christ, then they are no longer homosexuals.   For no homosexual will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

It is not showing compassion to call them “our homosexual brothers and sisters”, for then you name them after the very abomination of which they repented; in which they no longer live.

To be clear then, there is no such thing as a homosexual brother or sister in Christ!

 

Furthermore, by calling our brothers and sisters who struggle with homosexual desires “our homosexual brothers and sisters” we give the impression that, after all, there is such a thing as homosexuals that will inherit the kingdom!

No, we need discernment, for confusion on this point will only help to blur the clear teaching of Scripture.

 

Dear congregation, we live in a society where even our own Australian government considers changing the marriage law in order that a male may lawfully marry a male, or a female may marry a female.  

It is bad enough when these things are happening in society, and when the world goes from bad to worse, but it is even much worse when the same kind of thinking enters the church!

 

When Scripture is so abundantly clear that homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord, and that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God, then it spells no good for the future of the church when this teaching of Scripture is more and more doubted and slowly but surely being rejected by many churches; even churches who still call themselves Reformed.

 

But let us now return to the congregation at Corinth and see how the Lord has changed these men.   We note that in the second place…

What the believers have become in Christ

 

“…such were some of you.   But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

The apostle speaks about the washing away of sins.   The sins in which they were previously living have been washed away: “But you were washed”.

 

In Lord’s Day 26 of the Heidelberg Catechism we confess what it means to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ:

 

“To be washed with Christ’s blood means to receive forgiveness of sins from God, through grace, because of Christ’s blood, poured out for us in His sacrifice on the cross.   To be washed with His Spirit means to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and sanctified to be members of Christ, so that more and more we become dead to sin and lead a holy and blameless life.”

 

Our text speaks of both these aspects of cleansing: the forgiveness of sins by the blood of Christ, as well as the sanctifying work of the Spirit in us.  

The apostle Paul says that these believers in Corinth were washed, sanctified and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.   He does not only refer to the washing and sanctification in the blood of Christ, but also to the washing and sanctification by the Spirit of God.   He does not only refer to their faith and justification, but also to their regeneration and sanctification by the Spirit of God.  

 

By the blood of Christ their sins are forgiven.   Their guilt has been washed away.   But also their filth has been washed away as they were sanctified by the Spirit of Christ that dwells in them and joins them to Christ.

 

Yes, we may never separate justification and sanctification.   As important as it is to distinguish between the two, so important is it also not to separate the two.

Whoever has been justified by faith in Christ is also sanctified – both by the blood and the Spirit of Christ.

 

To say it in plain words: it is impossible to believe in Jesus Christ and at the same time to continue living in sin.

 

Those believers in Corinth, having been washed, sanctified and justified, have been regenerated.   They started to live holy lives.   There came a final break between their previous sinful life and their new sanctified life in Christ.

 

This does not mean that they had no struggle against sin anymore, but they switched from a road of lawlessness which leads to death, to the road of life in obedience to God.  

 

And therefore the apostle no longer calls them fornicators, or adulterers, or the rest of the list, because they are no longer such.

 

The homosexual that repents and believes the gospel will still have a struggle against his sin – also against his homosexual inclinations.   That will not disappear overnight.   Maybe some remnants will remain with him as long as he lives, but he may no longer be called a homosexual, for his life is no longer under the controlling power of this sin.   In and through Christ he became a new man: washed, sanctified and justified.

 

The same applies to the rest of the list.   Also the one who was an adulterer will have to fight against filthy memories that return to him, and against his sinful inclination to adultery, but he no longer lives in that and may no longer be called an adulterer.  

These titles in our text belong to people who are living in such sin, people who will surely not inherit the kingdom of God as long as they remain such.

 

In the third place we note…

The warning not to fall back in sin

 

These church members have been made new by the blood and Spirit of Christ, they have been washed from their filth, sanctified from their pollution, and their guilt has been removed by justification through faith in Christ.   But that is not all that is needed.   They also need to continue in the grace once received.   Therefore the apostle comes with a warning that they may not fall back in their old sins.  

 

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?   Do not be deceived….” – verse 9

 

“Do you not know…?”   The apostle puts the question in such a way that he is actually saying: “You ought to know this!”   This is the ABC of the gospel.   If you were at all instructed in Christ then you ought to know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

And then he adds:

 

“Do not be deceived.”  

 

There was a real danger that they could be deceived.  It happens so easily that people try to adjust the gospel to suit their sinful desires.   Then you may be a Christian and an adulterer at the same time.   Then you may also be a “Christian homosexual”; a “sanctified homosexual”!   No, says the apostle, do not be deceived.   This cannot be.   It is a distortion of the gospel.

 

Therefore, do not be deceived.   Do not let anyone trick you in believing that such people will inherit the kingdom.

Do not let anyone by distorting the gospel cause you to return to such a life.

 

That is his warning.

 

See how closely doctrine and life is connected.   Doctrinal deception leads to immoral living.

If someone becomes deceived by a twisted gospel, his life will show it.   Such deception leads to death.   It will lead you first, slowly but surely, to accept these sins and finally also to partake in it.   

 

Dear congregation, brothers and sisters, maybe one of you may think:

 

“This passage is not really relevant to me and my life.   I am not a fornicator, neither am I an idolater, or an adulterer, or an effeminate homosexual, or a sodomite; I am not a thief, I am not a covetous man, nor a drunkard, I am not a gossiper, and I don’t blackmail other people.”

 

Yes, you grew up in the covenant.   You grew up in the church.   You don’t have the same background as these new converts from the heathendom.   You don’t have the baggage of an ex-thief or an ex-adulterer, and you have no intentions to enter such a shameful life.

 

However, we have to remember that the Lord also calls someone an adulterer who does not sleep with other women, but whose eyes do not cease from adultery and whose heart is controlled by lust.   Then the warning comes closer to us, for who of us do not know the blatant temptations that come through the internet, the TV, smart phones and other media?  

If a woman walks down the street, dressed like a harlot – how many men have learned to look the other way?

 

Or think of the rest of this list.   The covetous!  

How far is the love of money removed from you?

How much does it matter to you which car you drive?

 

Gossipers!  

No gossiper or slanderer will inherit the kingdom of God.  

Yes, the one who is a talebearer and likes to speak evil of his neighbour, is mentioned in one breath with the sodomite!

Could you maybe be called a gossiper, a talebearer, or a slanderer?

 

Drunkards – to how many parties do you have to go, and how many times do you need to be under the influence of alcohol before you become a drunkard?

 

Do not be deceived.   No such will inherit the kingdom of God!

 

Brothers and sisters, the warning is indeed relevant also for us.   The time and society in which we live make the warning even more relevant and urgent.

 

Let us hold fast to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice in His salvation, for He has set us free from these sins, and is preparing for us an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God.

It is freely given to us by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.   But let no one deceive you to believe a twisted gospel which offers the kingdom to those who continue in their sins.

 

Let us repent of our sins, and believe the gospel, untwisted, as we received it.

 

Amen.

 




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright, Rev. Mendel Retief

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