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June 23, 2015


by Leslie John


Leslie M. John

The context where the verse appears is very important before we conclude the meaning of the verse. In the following few verses it appears as if Paul was writing that those who do sin after they are born again will lose salvation. In many other verses Paul wrote that God justifies those who believe Jesus as the Savior and that those who believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Evidently Paul was not contradicting himself, but he was pointing to some other facts. The first three verses that could be considered are from 1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:5. These verses read:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (1 Corinthians 6:9)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5)

Now, if we closely look at the verses we get to the truth. What was Paul saying in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and who he was writing to and what the context was!

From 1 Corinthians Chapter 1:1-2 it is evident that this epistle was written by Paul to the saints at Corinthian Church. From 1 Corinthians 4:17 it is evident that Paul sent Timothy to control, if possible, the irregularities in the Corinthian Church. He dealt with marriage in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7. He found many irregularities among those who were in the Corinthian Church and was much concerned about the affairs in the Church.
He wrote to them with much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears that they may not be grieved but that they might know the love he had towards them. (2 Corinthians 2:4).

In 1 Corinthians Chapter 6:1-11 he addressed the issue as to how greatly those who are saved are blessed. Paul was questioning them why would they want to go to court of law before the unjust instead of settling their issues before the saints! He questions if they knew that the saints shall judge the world and also the angels! He spoke to their shame, indeed. It was in this circumstance that Paul was asking them if they knew that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God! He mentions a list of sins and those who will be under the bondage of those sins will not be in the kingdom of God. But Paul immediately adds a confident note in verse 11 which reads…

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”. (1 Corinthians 6:11) That is to say that those who are not saved will not inherit the kingdom of God but those who are saved will have everlasting life. Paul writes in Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

Obviously, Paul was exhorting them that they should not go and stand before the court of law before the unjust to get their cases related to their internal issues settled there. That is to say that the issues related to those brothers who are in the Church should be settled among themselves instead of seeking help from outside, because decisions of believers in Christ are enough to settle the cases related to the believers within the Church, as the believers are given such wisdom and power from heaven that they would judge the world and the angels in future.

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

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