1Corinthians 6:19-20 A Systemic Failure The church at Corinth was a carnal church. Any and every kind of problem that you can imagine was going on inside this fellowship. They had problems of divisions within the church. They had problems with immorality and fornication. They were fighting about spiritual gifts. They were even getting drunk at the Lordís Supper. Even in chapter six, Paul is dealing with the churchís problems. Earlier you see that Christians were suing each other \\#1Cor 6:1-8\\ and were evidently engaging in behavior which more suited for the lost world than the saved \\#1Cor 6:9-11\\. The short of stick here is that this church had many, many major problems. If these were the kinds of problems that Paul was addressing, one canít help but to wonder what the lesser problems were that he had deliberately overlooked! Having this many serious problems within a fellowship indicates to me that there is more wrong here than any and all of these individual problems. There is a systemic, root problem within this church, a major underlying fault that must be dealt with, and I think Paul hits on it in this chapter. When a church has this many drastic problems, I believe they are suffering from either one or both of the following problems. I. Lost folk have entered the fold. A. A church that is suffering from this many problems has probably been infiltrated by the lost. 1. Not only have they been infiltrated, but they likely are being lead by lost people. a. I donít see in the Bible where God has a problem with lost people being in the church. b. I see where God has a problem with lost people leading in the church. 2. If lost people are not in places of leadership, the godly leaders can and will bring them before the church and deal with them, thus stopping the problem. a. That is the duty of a godly leader. b. If your leader is not doing that, then he is either not godly or he is not a leader. 3. A godly leader may or may not build a large work, but he will build a godly work. B. We know that there is a danger in the lost leading the church for the Scriptures warn against it. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Acts 20: 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 1John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. C. Paul was concerned that lost people had crept into the church at Corinth and were influencing it. 1. \\#1Cor 6:9-10\\ Paul reminds this church who the unrighteous are. a. The unrighteous are those who do unrighteous deeds. b. We are very conscientious not to judge or even to appear to judge people today. c. Even so, if it wobbles like a duck, quacks like a duck, lives like a duck, it is probably a duck. d. Even in this age, it is all right to call a duck a duck. e. Jesus told us, "by their fruits ye shall know them." 2. Paul gives this list to the people so that they can examine themselves. a. \\#1Cor 6:11\\ His hope is that they are all saved. b. But the reality of their lives is that they are not! D. What does this mean to us? 1. It means that we must never take salvation for granted, not ours and those who lead us. a. Never be afraid to ask someone if they are saved. (1) If they, it wonít make them mad. (2) And if it makes them mad, regardless of what they say, they probably arenít. b. Pray for those who claim Christ. (1) Pray that if they are not saved, they would know it. (2) Pray that if they are saved, they would show it. 2. It means that we must hold Christians, especially those who lead, to the highest of standards. a. There are many reasons God holds His people to high standards. (1) He holds us to high standards for the sake of His and our testimonies. (a) When we live a worldly life, we not only damage our testimony. We damage His. (b) While that might not mean anything to a worldly Christian, it means a lot to Ruling Christ. (2) He holds us to high standards for our own good. (a) Sin hurts God. It grieves God when we willingly engage in sin. (b) But sin also hurts us. i. Sin weakens our morals. ii. Sin compromises our health. iii. Sin devalues our self-worth. iv. Sin shortens our life. v. Sin hastens Godís judgment. b. But there is one supreme reason why God demands high standards from us. (1) Because only the saved can fulfill them. (2) The ability to bear the high standards is made possible only by the indwelling Person of the Holy Spirit. (3) A person who cannot walk the walk is demonstrating they may not be saved and so should not be in a place of leadership. II. The Christians have not comprehended the mastery of Christ. A. Not everyone who lives a carnal life is lost. 1. If that were the case, it would be a lot easier to discern what needs to be done, but it just isnít so. 2. Every Christian here has had at least one carnal day and most of us have had a lot more than one! B. \\#1Cor 6:19-20\\ Perhaps this church somehow had missed the importance of Christ and His Lordship, so Paul shares with them three important truths. 1. You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. a. We talk much today about being "saved." (1) It is a good term to describe what has happened to those who have trust Christ; yet it is not a perfect term. (2) There is no perfect term. That is why we have so many different phrases to describe salvation. (a) "born again" - used to emphasize the new beginning we have in Christ. (b) "regenerated" - used to emphasize the new work which God has done inside of us. (c) "saved" - used to emphasize the deliverance from Godís wrath. b. In this phrase, Paul is alluding to another word which describes salvation. (1) The word is REDEEMED. (2) This word emphasizes something and it implies something. (a) The word REDEEMED is used to emphasize that a price had to be paid for us. (b) Of course, that price was Jesusí death. (c) This phrase also implies the fact that we are not and never have been our own. i. To be purchased means we must have belonged to someone else prior to being the present acquisition. ii. A freed man cannot be purchased. Only a owned man can be purchased. (3) We must strike out of our minds the notion that we are or ever were free. (a) Some mode rn-day God-haters like to accuse the Bible of approving slavery. (b) First, the Bible never did. (c) Second, the reason God doesnít make more of an issue in condemning human slavery is because all mankind is a slave to sin and Satan to begin with. (d) As tragic as human slavery is, spiritual bondage to these task masters is far worse. c. Christian, if you are saved, you must understand that you are not self owned. (1) You are owned by Jesus Christ. He paid the price for you. (a) As His servant, you do not get to make your own choices. (b) As His servant, you do not get to please yourself. (c) As His servant, you do not get to criticize or second guess Him. (d) As His servant, you do not get to sit on the sidelines. (e) As His servant, you serve as He tells. (2) Now that is about as pointed and plain has the truth can be explained. (a) It is really not as bad as all of that unless you are rebelling against Him. i. Nothing ever takes on the worst light unless we have the worst attitude about it. ii. The truth is that having Jesus for a Master is the best thing that ever happened to me. (b) But if you are in a state of rebellion and have to be told the hard cold truth, I have told it to you. (c) You have are not your own. You belong to Jesus. 2. Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. a. Not only are you Godís, but God is in you. b. This is an amazing truth which can either be a blessing or a curse to you. (1) It is a blessing in that God being in us gives us a direct link with the Almighty at all times. (a) The main difference between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant is the indwelling Holy Spirit. i. Old Testament saints were just as forgiven as we. ii. Old Testament saints were could worship God like we can. iii. Old Testament saints are part of Godís eternal plan just like we are. iv. However, Old Testament saints could not resist sin like we can. (b) There is an entire Old Testament of sin-weak saints you can read about! (c) Why? Because the Holy Spirit came and left instead of came and stayed. (d) What is the blessing of a righteous Christian becomes the curse of a carnal Christian. (2) Our direct link by the Holy Spirit also becomes our tight chain. (a) God, being inside of us, will only let His people wander so far. i. God will only go into so many taverns. ii. God will only watch so many filthy movies. iii. God will only listen to His name being blasphemed for so long. (b) At some point, God will either speak so loudly that you cannot turn Him away or God will take you home. 3. We are to glorify God with the bodies that He has given us. a. God is our Master, but for most, He provides an amazing amount of free will and latitude. (1) God does not tell most of us when to go to bed, what to eat, what we must wear, how we must worship, and so forth. (2) He did to the Old Testament saints, but to us, He has given an amazing amount of liberty. (a) Now I believe God will give you as much guidance as you seek. (b) But my point is, salvation doesnít come with a book of rules. b. However, there is one rule. (1) Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, make sure it glorifies God. (2) If it does not exalt God, it is not the kind of behavior you should be engaged in. (a) I have told you before, there are many things which I will not do that in and of themselves, are not wrong. (b) I donít abstain from them because they are wrong. (c) I abstain from them because someone else might thing they were wrong. (d) You and I need to be careful that what we do can not in anyway by anyone steal from God His glory. This church had many problems but it had two systemic problems. 1. It was infiltrated by the lost. 2. It was filled with Christians who did not understand Christís lordship. May this place never suffer that dilemma.
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