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Bible Gem 353 - Those lists of sins ONCE MORE (1 Cor 5:10-11 cf 1 Cor 6:9-11)

April 9, 2019

1 Cor 5 :10-11                                                            1 Cor 6:9-11)

But I wasn't talking about unbelievers                   Don't you realize that those who do

who indulge in                                                            wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?


sexual sin,                                                                   sexual sin                                                                 greedy,                                                                        greedy

worship idols                                                              worship idols.

cheat people,                                                             cheat people                                                                                    


You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 

I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in 

sexual sin, greed, worships idols, a drunkard, abusive, cheats people,                                                                  

To these Paul adds: commits adultery,  male prostitute, practices  homosexuality, thieves

Don't even eat with such people., none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.


Notice Paul has used the same sins again in yet another list: sexual sin, worshipping idols, greed and cheating people. Why do these sins appear in both lists? Why are they upper most in Paul’s mind? Why does he then add adultery, male prostitutes, homosexuality and thieving to the list? These are all the things that were being practised in Corinth. Paul chooses these sins because they are best examples to use when speaking to the Corinthians. He adds the four extra sins because he is spelling out in more detail the specifics of the sexual sin as seen in Corinth. But of course he has added these to the core list of 

sexual sin, worshipping idols, greed and cheating people. Hence the need to address the issues of greed and cheating people which are inherent in the court cases that are at the centre of the issue Paul is focused on in the first letter to the Corinthians. 


No hang on a moment Ian, are you really telling us greed, cheating, theft and drunkenness are the same as adultery, incest and other sexual sin? And are you and Paul saying that if I have commited adultery I am lost and can’t enter heaven? Paul makes strong statements related to these sins. Don’t associate with them, don’t even eat with them, none of these will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Are you serious? So if I have been greedy or cheated someone or am involved in adultery I have no hope? No, I am not saying that and neither is Paul. Learn to read Scripture correctly. Do you see the difference in what I have said above and Paul is saying? Stop, go back and read it again. I hope you can see the subtle difference in English. The difference is far more obvious in Greek. 


Did you notice I wrote: “if I have commited adultery I am lost and can’t enter heaven”. “If I have been greedy or cheated someone or am involved in adultery I have no hope”. These examples are all point of the moment tenses. I commit adultery, have been greedy, (have) cheated someone or am involved in adultery. The sense of the Greek in these passages from Paul are all on going present tense action. The sense of the tense involved here could best be translated as follows: those who indulge and keep on indulging or do wrong and keep on doing it, anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges and keeps on indulging in sexual sin. The issue is one of maintaining a life style of sinning or sinning continually without stop or conviction. Bearing in mind that heaven is not a place for sinners it is clear that one who practices sin and makes a habit of it is not a fit for heaven. 


So don’t feel “I have blown it when I committed adultery. Or “I am lost and will not go to heaven because I have been cheating people.” The bottom line is entering into an on-going believing relationship with Christ and His Holy Spirit. Repentance, turning away from a life of sin and living in obedience to Christ is the key to release from sin. (see Bible 103 and 104) 


On the flip side is the negative part of the process. [Read Bible Gem 140 and 141] If we continue to walk in deliberate sin disregarding the promptings of the Holy Spirit in regard to our sin, unwilling to repent then ultimately we work ourselves into a situation where God gives us over to our own way. We become confirmed in our wilful sinfulness and are ultimately lost. That is very different from committing a sinful act and then repenting and turning from it. The examples that Paul cites in the lists of sin are all on going present tense. Sinning and keeping on sinning. It is that kind of practice which dooms us and deems us unfit to enter the Kingdom of heaven. If you think deeply about it you will understand why that has to be the end result. I trust this helps to clarify this important difference in tense and durative action. 


And one more point to make before I close. Paul is not a judgemental person. We would not know about the depth of the Grace of God if it were not for Paul. Paul understands grace well, but he also understands the truth of God. Grace and Truth are two sides of the same coin and have to be held in tension. 



Progress Is Guaranteed The Moment One Decides To Walk In Excellence. Robb Thompson

We Must Learn To Make Obedience Non-Negotiable. Robb Thompson


Self-Correction Is Proof A Man’s Character Is Authentic. Robb Thompson


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