Sunday, November 8

Don’t fool yourselves

Scripture: Job 34, 1 Corinthians 4-6

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Observation

Paul is writing to correct problems in the Corinthian church, including sexual immorality and lawsuits among believers.  The apostle of grace reminds them that believing in Jesus results in transformation—you stop living the old way.  “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Don’t fool yourselves.”  Then he lists a number of sins (no doubt it’s not a complete list) and says that people who do these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  

But I thought we were saved by grace not works?  I thought the gospel is DONE not DO?  

Both true.  But Paul knew that God’s grace changes us profoundly; we stop living the old way and start living like Jesus.  Grace doesn’t mean that you’ve got your ticket and now you live any way you like with impunity.  Grace means that God has saved you and empowered you to live a new life, life to the full.  No change means no grace—you haven’t really received and experienced God’s life-changing grace.  

Doing the right things doesn’t get you saved; getting saved gets you doing the right things.  

Application

“Don’t fool yourselves.”  

If you’re still living the old way, you still need to be born again.  You still need to be cleansed, made holy, made right with God.  You still need to turn to Jesus and receive a new life!  

Of course we are all works in progress.  None of us is perfect.  Followers of Jesus are constantly growing and changing as His grace empowers us.  But Paul is clear: if you’re still living the old way, not changing, don’t fool yourself!  Come to Jesus!  Repent!

 

Prayer: Lord, thanks for the reminder that following Jesus into a new life results in change.  I pray for those who call themselves Christians but are fooling themselves: awaken them, help them repent, receive grace and change!  I don’t want them to miss out!