Summary: Exposition of 1 Cor 6:9-11 regarding the deception that untransformed "believers" could be believers. And Paul's stunning statement that there were former homosexuals and male prostitutes among them. And the great summary of salvation: washed, sanctifie
Text: 1 Cor 6:9-11, Title: Baptist’s Greatest Deception, Date/Place: NRBC, 10/3/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: During the mighty movements of the Holy Spirit in the Moody-Sankey meetings in Dublin, the worldly father of C.T. Studd was gloriously saved. He invited some of his worldly companions to come to his home so that he could tell them the wonderful news. When one wealthy English sportsman arrived at the railway station he was met by the coachman. He could not wait till he got to the house to know what had happened to his old friend, so he began to question the coachman. ’I hear that something remarkable has happened to your master. I hear he’s got religion. Please tell me about it. In what way is Mr. Studd changed?’ ’Oh,’ said the Irish coachman, ’It’s a revolution. In one sense he is still the same man--he’s in the same body. But the best way I can explain him is he’s a new man in the old skin.’ The new creature receives a new set of appetites and a new set of attitudes. The babe in Christ has now a holy nature with a propensity toward holiness. The things he used to hate, now he loves and the things he used to love; now he hates."
B. Background to passage: Paul is in the middle of fussing at them for having a perspective that is not kingdom-oriented, and thus they are suing one another in secular courts. He has said things similar to what he said in ch. 3 when he said they were acting like mere men. And now this is the culmination of his thoughts on the matter, where he warns them against the deception that you can continue in sin and see heaven. And thus we get a lesson in genuine conversion and transformation.
C. Main thought: three exhortations from these three verses
A. Don’t Be Deceived (v. 9)
1. He tells them no to be deceived into the understanding that one can be truly saved, and continue to act like this list that he makes for them. So the understanding that he is combating must be already present (and the verb indicates ongoing) in the church. They believed that people like the man sleeping with his step mom and those suing one another (both by implication), as well as fornicators (single sexual sinners), idolaters, adulterers, effeminate men or male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, covetous (greedy), drunkards, revilers (abusers with words), extortioners (those who force the taking of others things), would be in heaven as long as they had prayed the prayer, been baptized, or gathered with the church. And he tells them through a rhetorical question that they should know this already! Note that Paul is not saying that if you do these sins you will be barred from heaven, we are saved by grace, get there in a minute. He says that it is a deception from Satan. Those that continually practice these things without repentance are in no danger of seeing heaven. These are descriptions of the lives of those that are not born again.
3. Illustration: Dr. Bill Bennett (prof at SEBTS) has pastored churches in the SBC for more than 40 years, and he says that the greatest heresy facing the SBC today is “easy-believism,” tell about Harriet and Darryl facing the problem, and deciding that rather than false profession, they would choose losing salvation, one cannot be hit by a dump truck without being changed, had a conversation just this week with someone who was not comfortable saying that someone will not be in heaven even though nothing in their life indicated salvation, and they didn’t even have a testimony, WAKE UP PEOPLE,
4. The biblical teaching is that people who exhibit no change of life are not really saved, even though they claim to be. Most teaching has been that anyone who “makes a decision” for Christ is automatically genuinely saved, never to be lost again. Now we believe in eternal security, but you have to get the “once saved” part right before the “always saved” applies. And we have to realize that our sentimentality and bias sometimes persuades our minds to operate with the mentality that is in diametric opposition to scriptural teaching. You might say, “Preacher, you are trying to get people to doubt their salvation.” But my job is to declare the word of the Lord, and you to hear it, and live by it. And if the teaching of scripture causes you to doubt your salvation or that of friends and love ones, take it up with the bible and not with me. Once we arrive at this truth, we can warn those who profess and evidently don’t possess Christ to examine their lives, and not simply claim Christ with their lips. If you are here today, and you profess Christ, but your life does not reflect anything but the old ways (not necessarily these awful things), you should be concerned as to the validity of your conversion.