SOME OF YOU WERE ONCE LIKE THAT

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT) Don’t you realize that those who sin 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.

 
The city of Corinth was a particularly immoral and corrupt place. It was an international hub for diverse cultures, government, the arts, and religion. We also know the city was steeped in immorality, idolatry, violence and corruption.  Yet, into its mess, the power of the Gospel of Jesus’ love rang out, bringing healing, wholeness and freedom to those who had been caught in the destructive vice of sin.
 
Take special note of the last sentence of our Scripture text: ”Some of you were once like that…”.  Paul is clearly telling us the Corinthian church was full of people who were once idol worshippers, adulterers, prostitutes, thieves, drunks, abusers and homosexuals!
 
What kind of church is that? It is a “Jesus” kind of church! Corinth is a great example of what Jesus’ church is truly all about:  a place where every kind of sinner is welcomed so that Jesus’ transforming power can bring healing and radical change!   
 
Paul’s words are an important reminder of two things: First, of what we all were prior to God’s gracious grip of grace; And second, of our mission in the world today as ambassadors of that same grace.
 
2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT) For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

 

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October 22, 2015

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