Stay Out Of The Basement!
I Cor. 6:7-11
a) The origin of this sermon was a rather un-nerving trip or two down to the basement of this church the past couple days.
i) There were all sorts of crawlie thing that were scurrying around in the darkness, and me and crawlie things just don’t get along real well!
ii) There were also remnants of the past, archaic items that could tell many stories of this place, if they could but speak.
b) Just like the basement of this church building, there are things in the basement of our lives that we do well to keep sealed away, covered by the precious Blood of Calvary.
i) And just like my trip to the basement, is can often reveal some unspeakable things that are better left alone and undiscovered.
(1) The old country song by Randy Travis – Diggin’ Up Bones
a) Notice the context that our scripture is found in.
i) We’ve heard this preached many times over, and it is still exciting to hear the phrase, “but ye are washed….”
(1) That one little conjunction in the scripture changes the entire outlook!
(2) Paul has thrown open the basement door to let everyone take a look at what’s in there, but then he comforts them with “but ye are washed…”.
ii) However, I found is interesting to note that Paul was addressing a different issue in the Corinthian church when these words were penned.
(1) These so-called Christians were taking each other to pagan courts---simply out of greed, avarice, and covetousness---with accusations against one another’s character.
(a) Hear me, though: just like Paul was telling this Corinthian church, we need to stay out of the basement, both ours and our brethren’s!
b) This passage is preceded (vs. 1-6) by Paul’s informing them that they will one day sit in judgment of the ungodly.
i) He then goes on to explain to them that if they expect to rule over the ungodly---and even the angels---why can’t they settle their differences as brethren in the here and now?
c) Notice, now, vs 7-8
i) “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you…”
(1) Literal interpretation: an utter failure.
(a) Failure as a Christian, first of all
(b) Failure as a brother or sister to the family of Christ
(c) Church, when we---and I can say “we” because I’ve fallen prey to it as well---get caught up in this sort of “house-cleaning” of one another, we become literal failures in the sight of God.
(2) “Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?”
(a) Oh hear me now: this is a whole lot easier to preach than it is to live!
(i) You see, this is where our carnal nature---in my opinion---rises up and battles fiercely.
(ii) The reason being is that, if we can find fault and shortcomings in our brethren, that will somehow justify our own failures.
1. Someone once said the only difference between a fault and a sin is whether I’m doing is, or you are!
(iii) Paul is telling us, however, that we just need to let it go, and stay out of the basement!
(3) Verse 8 – “Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.”
(a) He sums it all up with an emphatic, “You ought to be ashamed!”
3) Take a peek in the basement
a) Now I want to bring this around and approach it from a different venue: we need to stay out of the basement in our own lives!
b) After calling their attention to their wayward actions against their brethren, Paul tells them to “be not deceived”.
i) Sometimes we get so caught up in our own “goodness” and self-righteousness, that we actually can deceive ourselves; we can begin to sit in judgment of each other to the point that we forget where we came from!
c) Paul then opens the basement door, and suddenly it all comes rushing back.
v) Abusers of themselves with mankind
(1) Out of all of these immoral, carnal sins names, this is the one that stood out the most to me.
(2) It is simply defined as “those who attempt to destroy others with words.”
(a) We just need to stay out of the basement!
d) “And such were some of you:”
i) Why didn’t Paul say “we”?
(1) I believe there are two reasons:
(a) First, if you study the history of Corinth, it was a perverse, vile city that was filled with all manner of sexual immorality and filthiness.
(i) Study the letter to the Corinthians, and you’ll see that this same spirit had invaded the church at Corinth, and they were justifying their own carnal lifestyle!
(ii) I believe that when Paul said “such were some of you”, he was calling attention to the fact that this style of living should be behind them...a thing of the past.
(b) Secondly, I believe that Paul---through the context of his letter---was simply trying to tell someone to stay out of the basement!
a) “But ye are washed”
i) Fully and completely cleansed
(1) Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not Tide® that “gets the tough stains out”!
b) “But ye are sanctified”
i) Set apart for God’s own purpose and use
c) “But ye are justified”
i) I must admit, this is the one that excited me the most:
ii) The original Greek points to a legal term meaning “to acquit, or to declare righteous”
(1) Rev. 3, I believe, speaks of “the accuser of the brethren”; this term accuser literally means “the prosecuting attorney”
(2) Calvary, however, acquitted us of all those things that the accuser tries to bring up! We are declared righteous through the “name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
(a) See John 3:5 – it still requires a new birth experience, both of water and Spirit!
d) Titus 3:3-5 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
e) Honey, if I were the devil, I’d stay away from the basement of my past, because there’s no telling when it might get flooded with the rich, red blood of Calvary’s old rugged cross!
a) We need to stay out of the basement
i) Keep the doors closed to the past
(1) The past of others
(2) Your own lurid past
(3) The past of this assembly
b) Just as there is nothing in the basement of this church that is attractive to me, there is also nothing in the spiritual basement of my own life, or the lives of others that I care to go exploring in.
i) I told someone recently, I am not interested in the past of this church, regardless of how long it’s been here; I’m only interested in an exciting future!
c) Listen, if God isn’t interested in your past, then why should you be? Why should anyone else be?
d) Let’s just stay out of the basement!