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"Were" and "Wicked"

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

Whoever these people were, they are no longer what they were. They must have been dirty because they were washed. They must have been unholy because now they are holy. They must have been unjust because now they have been justified.

Now I will let the scripture tell you who and what they were.


Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral
nor idolaters
nor adulterers
nor male prostitutes
nor homosexual offenders
nor thieves
nor the greedy
nor drunkards
nor slanderers
nor swindlers
will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10)



Paul, during the two years in Corinth, had led these people to the Father through Jesus Christ. He knew who and what they were before they entered the small gate and the narrow way. They were wicked, in ge…

Greedy

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor the idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Today I would like to emphasize the word greedy. When I try to picture in my mind a greedy person, I come up with a caricature that looks something like this: a fat man sitting on top of a mound of things—toys, money, food, houses—with one arm trying to protect his hoard while the other arm is reaching out for more.

If that were a true picture, most of us would be off the hook. Why? Because half of us are female, and most of us are not fat. And many of us do not have a mound of toys. However, caricatu…

Planned Parenthood

Recently I came across a display advertisement for Planned Parenthood in the Argonaut, the student newspaper for the University of Idaho. The ad had a very nice picture of a smiling happy, very good looking young man and woman.

That was the first lie.

In addition to the picture, the services were then offered.

1. “Emergency contraception”

This intrigued me. This is a euphemism for an “intentional abortion” which, in turn, is a euphemism for infanticide, which, in turn, is a synonym for baby murder.

Being pregnant is a normal event, not an emergency.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

The emergency is about to happen.

Planned Parenthood and the people in it are in danger of great judgment from God.

2. “pregnancy testing and options”

I wonder if 1, “keeping the child” and 2, adoption are two of the options offered.

I also wonder if the options are given to the father of the g…

Heavy Seas

At 3:40 a.m. on July 19, 1950 in a typhoon in Tsushima Straits between Japan & Korea a wave came over the bow and rolled me down the deck. The webbing at the rail kept me from going overboard.

Five months later we were bucking 50 knot winds for ten days from Yokosuka, Japan to Midway Island. The sea carried away our port bilge keel and our motor whale boat.

This was on the USS Brush (DD745).

This is a preamble to two great miracles of heavy seas in the Bible. In both cases the crew thought the ship and the boat were going to sink.

“Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.” Jonah 1:15, 16

The sailors knew this was a miracle. They knew that the wind may stop but the sea does become calm at the same time.

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed…

Love and in-Love by Lincoln Davis

I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference (which we all intuitively recognize) between the two following statements:

"I love you."

"I am in love with you."

The first statement is the sort of thing one wants to hear said to them; there is nothing like knowing that the affections and kindnesses of another person are directed at us. The second is the kind of thing one wants to be able to say - being in love with someone is a more self-referential feeling; it relates to the joy we get from a love relationship. Essentially, "I love you" is directed at the other, and "I am in love with you" is directed at the self.

Perhaps the best test of this distinction relates to how each feeling plays out when there is strain on the relationship. If a couple has quarreled, love relates to the concern that each person has for the other after the quarrel: "I hope he's not hurt," "How can I help her?," etc. After that same quarrel,…

Cigarettes

Here is a paragraph from a best selling novel of 1922.

“Would the gentleman wish his breakfast served in the parlor or—No the gentleman would have it right in his bedroom; but first, where were his cigarettes? He hoped above all things that the waiter had not forgotten his cigarettes. Some people began their days with cold showers—nothing less than a cruel shock to a languid nervous system. An atrocious practice, the speaker called it—a relic of barbarism—a fetish of ignorance. Much preferable was a hygienic, stimulating cigarette which served the same purpose and left no deleterious after effects.”

In 1943 I was with my father when he had a massive heart attack. Shortly afterward the doctor told him, “You just smoked your last cigarette.” He had rolled his own.

In 1950 during my senior year at the Naval Academy a sample package of cigarettes was at the place setting of each of the 2600 midshipmen for the evening meal. Since I did not smoke I gave my package to a classmate seated at my r…

Father and Son

Please pay attention.

The Father:

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism. one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:5, 6

One God the Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. I am not sure what “all” means but it seems to be encompassing. How about the prepositions “of,” “over,” “through,” and “in?” They also seem to make a complete statement.

The Son:

“He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.” Ephesians 4:10

How high are the highest heavens? He ascended higher than they are high. The text tells us why. “In order to” fill the whole universe.

If you want to put God in a box, please get a big box.

God, the Supreme Being

I was asked a question by a student from the People’s Republic of China. He wanted to know the difference, if there was one, between the God of the Christians and the gods of the many other religions. First of all God, if He is God, is not just the God of the Christians. Even the definition in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary makes this statement: God. The Supreme Being; the eternal and infinite Spirit, Creator and Sovereign of the universe.

Christians are one of several groups who know about Him; however, real Christians, not hypocrites, are the only ones who really know Him.

Here are two other descriptions of God from the Bible.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the Great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the f…

Dogmatic Statements of Salvation

There are people who are very dogmatic that they have been saved. Everyone who is saved should know that they are saved. However, just because a person dogmatically states that they are saved, is no guarantee that they are saved.

Jesus said it this way.

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23)

The real evidence of salvation is doing the will of the Father in heaven; it is who we are and what we do. This evidence, however, is not the means of salvation. The means of salvation is who Jesus Christ is and what He has done. It is not what we do that saves us. It is what Jesus Christ has done that saves us.

Before we are saved, we are slaves of sin and disobedient…

I "Hope So" or "Think So"

Having the knowledge that you have Eternal Life is one of the characteristics of having eternal life. If you are in a “hope so” or “think so” position, then it is a real possibility that you do not have eternal life. Here are two real situations.

A woman once came to me for advice about her 18-year-old son. She told me a story of how her son had been president of the youth group in church and was very active in church. He was also breaking into houses. The more she talked, the more I realized that she was a major part of the problem. I asked her what she believed religiously. She replied very strongly that she believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that He had died for the sins of the world, that He rose from the dead and that salvation was by faith alone. With this answer I then asked if she knew what would happen to her if she died that instant. She said she thought she would go to Heaven. Why did she think so? Because, was her answer, she never missed church and she sang in …

Spiritual Life

One of the characteristics of human physical life is knowledge of that life. We can declare that as an axiom, without proof. We have not yet met anyone who was unsure that he was alive. There are many other evidences of life besides knowledge; eating, sickness, breathing, and sleeping are a few.

There is a parallel truth in the spiritual life. Spiritual life itself should have knowledge of that spiritual life. However, there are other evidences to that life. Many are found in that short letter back toward the end of your Bible, 1 John.

I will start with 1 John 5:13:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Notice that this verse gives the reason that 1 John was written. I encourage you to read those five short chapters several times this week in order to find out whether you have spiritual life. Remember, there are only two destinations: destruction and life. There are two ways: a broad way and a narrow…

Jesus Christ and the Transcending Facts of History

The wonderful part about the facts of history concerning Jesus Christ is that these same facts also transcend history. The same cannot be said of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, George Washington or anyone else who has ever lived.

Jesus lived, died, and rose again in history. He also lives across history. He said,

Before Abraham was (history) I am (across history). (John 8:58)

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come. (Revelation 1:5)

Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead (history) and behold I am alive for ever and ever (across history) (Revelation 1:17, 18)

The fact in history took place the first day of the week after the Passover, probably in 29 AD.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.…

Born Once or Twice

The Bible speaks of the natural man and the spiritual man. The natural man has been born once. The spiritual man has been born twice. The natural man has limitations that the spiritual man does not have. One of them is that he does not understand spiritual truths.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Years ago an agnostic English professor (he is now a Christian) told me that he would read a book recommended by me if I would read a book recommended by him. His book was Androcles and the Lion by George Bernard Shaw. Here is a quotation from the preface.

“Not long ago I asked a writer of distinguished intellectual competence whether he had made a study of the gospels since his childhood. His reply was that he had lately tried, but “found it all such nonsense that I could not stick it.”


About ten pages later Bernard Shaw says,

“Let us ad…

The Light of the Gospel

There is a wonderful statement made by the Apostle Paul recorded in 2 Corinthians 4:2-6:

We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

It is this light that changed me from a natural man to a spiritual man. What is the light of the gospel? Here it is expressed again by St. Paul in 1 Corin…

What is a Spiritual Man?

What is a spiritual man? The last two weeks you have read the characteristics of the natural man. First, the spiritual man does not have the nature or the characteristics of the natural man. He is different! How is he different? Well, here are a few differences.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 5:22, 23)

The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:15)

Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to plea…

How God Sees the Natural Man

Last week we got a short, but clear view of how God sees the natural man. Here are two more short expressions from the Bible.

Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Did you see yourself with any of the characteristics quoted last week? If not, the above will fill in any gaps. In any case, this is the nature of man, the natural man.

If we had the burden of proof to establish that man was intrinsically good, we would need to know more than we know now. If we had all knowledge of human history and all newspap…

Two Kinds of Men

The Bible speaks of two kinds of men, the natural man and the spiritual man. All people start out as natural men. Natural man has many characteristics, a few of which are

1. He is selfish.
2. He is self-willed and rebellious to authority if the authority is righteous.
3. He is religious.
4. He does not understand the things of the Spirit.

Many men end as natural men. Remember that the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction. Here are two quotations that describe the natural man.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve t…

'Holier than Thou'

About 28 years ago in Moscow, Idaho, I became good friends with a student who was not a Christian. One day he came into the bookstore and decided to tell me what he did not like about Christians. The conversation went something like this:

“They all have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude.”

I replied that I knew many Christians and did not know any who had a “holier than thou” attitude. “Name one,” I said.

“All right,” he replied, and then proceeded to name another student whom I knew. This fellow did not have a “holier than thou” attitude, and I assured my friend that this Christian was innocent of the charge.

My friend then asked, “Why, then, do I think he’s got a ‘holier than thou’ attitude?”

“Oh,” I replied, “He is holier than thou.”

In another instance, at another time, in another store near the University of Maryland, a student came in. He was a stranger to me. He found out what kind of store he was in and launched a tirade against Christians, saying why he was not a Christian. He amplified…

The Gate, the Way, and the Final Destination

The small gate and the narrow way are unrelated to what I am or what I do. They have to do with who God is and what he has done. Today I will limit this to say that Jesus is the gate, the way, and the final destination.

However, the wide gate and the broad way are very much related to what I am and what I do. First, I am a sinner and second, I do sin. In other words, I can go to Hell all by myself without any help from anyone else. In order to take the other way, I need help. I cannot find the gate or walk the way without help from God.

This help from God came to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. This help came as a gift. Like all gifts, He is free. He is not earned or deserved, nor is He cheap.

The broad way that leads to destruction is a toll road. We pay our way.

For the wages of sin is death…

The narrow way is a free way:

…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)

The gift of life was paid for by death.

You see, at just the …