Summary: The church in Corinth was in a mess. Many of our lives are a mess. Jesus can make a life of eternal usefulness out of a life that is a sinful mess by the "name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God"! Praise His Name forever!
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Please open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 6:7-11
Before we read the Scripture for today it is important to understand what it was like in the city of Corinth in Greece in the first century of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Corinth there was an “anything goes” attitude toward sexuality. A modern equivalent might be today’s San Francisco where freedom to participate in sexual activity with anyone and everyone anywhere is worshipped above all other freedoms.
Even now there are groups pushing to abolish age of consent laws so that adults will no longer be jailed for abusing children.
This is the type of moral cesspool in which the church in Corinth was placed.
Naturally, the Biblical mandate of one husband and one wife for life as Paul defined in chapter 5 would have seemed very restrictive to them. This and other issues are what Paul is addressing in this text.
With that in mind, let’s read our text for today but let’s start in 1 Corinthians 6:1 instead of verse 7.
Just look at that list of sins that Paul lists under the heading of “the wicked”.
sexually immoral – idolaters – adulterers - male prostitutes – homosexuals – thieves – the greedy – drunkards – slanderers – swindlers
Those are some obvious sins if a person knows anything about The Lord God who gave us the Holy Scriptures.
And Paul goes on to say, “And that’s what some of you were!”
What’s the next word? “But!”
But can be a beautiful or a brutal word!
But is brutal in sentences like:
“Your resume is great, you have lots of experience and your academic records show that you are highly intelligent, but ….”
“We almost made it to the hospital but we ran out of gas and I had to do the appendectomy myself but because I don’t know where the appendix is you will now never need to have your gall bladder removed.”
Those would be brutal uses of the word but, but the “but” here is not brutal use of the word but, but the beautiful use of the word but!
Verse 11 says, “And that is what some of you 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.”
Don’t you thank God for that beautiful use of the word “but”????
We may not have committed those sins, exactly, or we may have, but the fact is that when we confess our sins to the Lord and turn away from a life of sin and give our lives to follow Him as our Lord and master He does some amazing things for us!
The first thing He does for us is …
1) He washes us from the eternal penalty of sin, the guilt of sin and the condemnation that is the result of sin.
- Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
- Revelation 1:5b – Christ has, “freed us from our sin with His own blood.”
- An old church hymn puts it this way, “O the Blood of Jesus, O the Blood of Jesus, O the Blood of Jesus that washes white as snow!”
- “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”
Praise God Forevermore!
The second thing He does for us is …
2) He sanctifies us. This means He sets us apart for His holy purposes.
- Ruth in the Old Testament is a great example of someone who makes the choice to follow the LORD and the LORD sets her apart, sanctifies her, for a great purpose. In Ruth 1:16-17 Ruth says, “Don’t urge me to leave you [Naomi] or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and YOUR GOD WILL BE MY GOD. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”