Friday, June 26, 2009

"Do not be deceived": 1 Corinthians 6:9: Part 3

Thus far we have seen that Christians while possessing and being possessed by the Holy Spirit, can still be deceived. We can be deceived because we are yet in these flesh and blood bodies. And we can be deceived because the deceptive messages sent by deceivers are very often attractive and pleasant to the ear. The experiences of the churches in Corinth and Galatia provide living illustrations of these two truths. And contained in the first letter to the Corinthians we find another example of such deception, the Hebrew children in the wilderness (10:11).

Many American Christians who have genuinely come to faith in Jesus Christ have been deceived in the same manner as the Corinthians; they have been deceived into believing that the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God; it is very appealing to the flesh to think that our homosexual neighbors and acquaintances will not go to hell.

Many liberal Christians have been convinced by their denominational loyalties that homosexuals are welcomed by God into the fold. They have been told by their leaders that "we all live in sin. What difference does the sin itself make?" When this is, in fact, contrary to what the word of God teaches; we do not "live in sin," we have "died to sin" (Roms. 6:1-2).

And God has not changed His mind about sin. He has, however, satisfied His demand for righteousness from the ungodly through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who did for us, the ungodly, what we could not possibly have done for ourselves; Jesus lived a sinless life and His sinless life is accounted to all who have come to faith in Him as though we had lived sinless lives ourselves. Thus God "justifies the ungodly" by faith.

We do sin, but not because we live in sin. We sin because we are yet in these corrupt and corruptible bodies. And there is a huge difference between the two ideas. To live in sin means to be yet dead in sin and separate from the Lord Jesus Christ. But being "in Christ" delivers us from living in sin having died to that old manner of life and now we find ourselves by God's grace free and alive in Christ (Roms. 6:1-11; 8:1-9; Eph. 2:1-10; Gal. 2:19-21).

The deception perpetuated by unregenerate church leaders that the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God may deceive true believers for a while, but it can also do as the Pharisees, scribes, and hypocrites did in the Lord's day, leading the unregenerate away from the truth and into eternal damnation (Mt. 23).

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