e-Book of 1 Corinthians Chapters 5 and 6 link to 1 Corinthians Chapters 5 and 6
1 Corinthians Chapters 5 and 6
1 Corinthians Chapters 5 and 6

Bible Study – Tucson (September 8, 1980)

by Herbert W Armstrong


The 5th Chapter of the book of I Corinthians – I just thought there was something I was writing a little on this morning would make a very good preface. It would fit right in with this Study. We are on the subject of church matters in Paul’s letter to Corinth. I think this would help.

“A Voice Cries Out” – Booklet

What it is, is Part 2 of the chapter in the book that I am now writing called “A Voice Cries Out” amid the wilderness of religious confusion. The world is in religious confusion. It doesn’t know that, and it doesn’t know why and it is a very mixed up world. People in this world only know that they love this world. They don’t want to be moved out of it. They want to stay in it, and yet it is causing them nothing but agony and trials. It is full of violence, everything wrong, contention – every unhappiness, every misery that can come on human beings and the world doesn’t know why. Actually, the world wants to go right on.

While we are here talking there is a very great deal of activity going on in Iraq right now, also some in Washington and other places in the east with the Presidential primaries. They are just fighting back and forth. Each wants to get the advantage away from the other fellow. That is the process that is being gone through in choosing a President of the United States. And this is supposed to be God’s country. We have printed on some of our money “In God we trust,” but nobody does. Nobody believes that. I think that perhaps when that was originally printed, maybe the ones who put it there were sincere, but nobody is sincere about that today.

The chapter I am on now concerns the Church. I have just completed the first chapter on that and it is 24 pages of manuscript. It is preliminary and brings things up to the present point. There will be another chapter that will be as many pages. I have completed the first eight pages. I’d like to read those 8 pages. I think they fit right in here in this area of Paul’s writing to the Church and some of the things we are going to go through today.

What And Why The Church?

This is Chapter 9, part 2 on “What and Why is the Church?” Let me go through this rather quickly. “Most in the Western world have simply taken the existence of churches for granted. It never seems to occur to people to question what is its purpose. Why should there be churches? Why do they exist? Ever since you’ve been born there have been churches and you just assume that they’ve always been there. You never seem to enquire as to why are they here.

“To the average mind a church is a building with a steeple on top and a cross on its facade. People, at least some of them, go to this building every Sunday morning as a place of worship together. Indeed Webster defines it thus: “It is a building where people go to worship” – I don’t know what they mean by worship – I don’t even think they know what they mean. To many, church plays no active part in their lives – indeed God plays no active part in their lives. God is not consciously in their lives – just people and material things and interests. That is all that ever enters their minds. Yet, the Church does exist, but why? What purpose does it serve? What and why the Church?

“In this volume, we have seen that there is indeed a purpose being worked out here below. There is a reason for the presence of humanity on the earth, and for the working’ out of that purpose. . There is a supreme master plan.” Never lose sight of that setting for the raising up of the Church. This has all gone before in other chapters in this book. We are in chapter nine.

“We have seen in this volume that God is the Creator. All things were brought into existence by Him. We have seen what and why God is and even basically what He is still creating – righteous perfect character. We have seen that He first placed angels – apparently a third of them on earth before the creation of man. That he placed His government with them – with the super archangel Lucifer on earth’s throne. Lucifer led his angels in rebellion and the government of God became inoperative. We have covered the creation of man and the prerogative of the first man Adam to qualify to restore the government of God by rejecting the rebellious way of Lucifer, then turned Satan, and to choose the way of the government of God. We have seen how this first Adam rejected God as ruler, as Revealer of knowledge and as Giver of Eternal life, and how Adam made his choice which was for all offspring of him as humans. And how God decreed that al1 mankind, since Adam made his decision, except that minute few who God would specially call to His service, should remain cut off from God as Adam had cut himself off, and from God’s Holy Spirit, for 6,000 years until the government of God should be restored.

“This purpose being worked out here below involves the supreme matchless accomplishment. God is reproducing Himself. That is what God is doing. In so doing, He is creating perfect, holy and righteous character. This has required a master plan of many steps during a span of 7,000 years. We have seen that in the time sequence of God’s master plan, there are four important “untils.” The word, until, plays a very important part: (1) Mankind as a whole is cut off from God UNTIL the government of God is restored and Satan is removed at the second coming of Christ. We are still going on in that. (2) The gospel message announcing the future kingdom of God could not be proclaimed to the world UNTIL Jesus Christ, the second Adam had qualified to restore the government and usher in the Kingdom of God. He did this by overcoming Satan, and accepting ful1 allegiance to God and God’s government. He had to qualify by denying the government of Satan and accepting the government of God.

“The third, until – God’s Church could not be founded and imbued with the Holy spirit UNTIL Jesus had ascended to heaven and been glorified John 7:37-39. (4) The Church could not be born of God UNTIL Christ’s second return to earth as King of Kings.”(You’ve got to understand something about the Church of God to understand that. People think that they are born again today.) ”(5) All who die – all mankind as a whole uncalled and therefore unjudged, which means neither saved nor lost, shall not be resurrected for their time of judgment UNTIL after Christ’s millennial reign at the end of the 7,000 years of God’s master plan. There is a vital reason for these untils. I don’t think you have ever heard this stated before.

“Once again, what and why is the Church? The called out, begotten children of God, the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27, Ephesians 1:23). It is the organized spiritual organism, which shall be the bride of Christ after the Church’s resurrection to immortality. It is the spiritual temple to which Christ shall come at His second appearing. He is not coming to a physical temple built of stone as He did the first time. The temple He is coming to is the Church, and nobody seems to know that. In fact, we haven’t known it – I have only been proclaiming that for the past year or two.

The Church could not be founded until Jesus had ascended and been glorified (John 7:37-39). But in a sense God began calling out some to form the foundation of the Church with Abraham and the prophets of the Old Testament, and even perhaps, with Abel, Enoch and Noah (Eph. 2:20.) And Jesus immediately after qualifying by overcoming Satan, began calling out His future apostles to form with the prophets the foundation of the Church under Christ Himself, who is the real foundation and Head of the Church (II Cor. 3:1 and Eph 5:23).

“The average person has no conception of the tremendous, supreme, supernatural achievement that the Almighty God has undertaken in reproducing Himself, ultimately into billions of spiritual God beings. Every human being, every child, can become one of those God beings. So far above what any human being on earth is now, there is no comparison of the importance. They have no conception of the many-faceted stages of development necessitated in this divine pinnacle of achievement. This is the pinnacle of the achievement that even God Himself can do. That’s how great it is. God could not hurry. It required a master plan, which must precede a step at a time. It required patience and determination on the part of the divine Creator Himself. Few understand this. From a child, only 5 years old, God put it in my mind and heart to literally crave understanding. Solomon desired wisdom and God gave him wisdom above all who have ever lived. What then is the necessary pre-requisite to receiving understanding? That is what I wanted, but I just wanted understanding in the physical, material realm of things at that time. “A good understanding have all they that do His commandments.” The one test commandment is the keeping of the 4th – the Sabbath. My conversion resulted from a struggle to resist that commandment, but when a merciful God conquered me and got me to surrender to Him on that point, He revealed to me also the necessity of observing His annual Sabbaths and festivals. These picture major spiritual steps in God’s great master plan. Through this revealed knowledge and through the revealed knowledge of the Holy Bible, God has through these many years now, at age 88 revealed to me understanding of the working out of His grand purpose, the necessary part of His Church in that purpose.

“After Adam’s rejection with Satan still active, God knew as only He could know, how cautiously, gradually, a step at a time, must be the procedure. He was going to turn what was that physical Adam, who rejected Him, into supreme God beings. That is going to take over 7,000 years, and many different steps one at a time and people have no understanding of that. Why is the Church? The Church is one of the very necessary steps in that great plan. Such righteous men as Abel, Enoch and Noah undoubtedly played some part in the ultimate creation and establishment of the Kingdom of God, but the Eternal began laying the actual foundation through mortal humans of that ultimate God family with the prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, all formed part of that foundation. Then through Moses God raised up the nation Israel, God’s first congregation or Church. They were given God’s government, but not the mind of God’s Holy Spirit. They were not begotten as future God beings. Yet, ancient Israel was a necessary part of God’s supreme program, though not a spiritual part.

“Nevertheless God continued through those years to call and began to prepare individual prophets as part of the foundation for the future Church. What then was to be the Church as pictured by the third of God’s annual Holy Days? It was to be the first actual harvest of mortal beings being translated into spirit composed God beings. However, the Church is the begotten and not yet born children of God. But the Church shall be the firstborn or harvest Christ being the pioneer – in Christ’s coming in power and glory. The Church, when it is finally -changed from mortal to immortal will be the firstfruits. We get an earnest payment of that now through the Holy Spirit, which begets us, but we are not yet born.

“Through the years from Abraham until Christ, God had called out of Satan’s world, begotten and prepared prophets as the preliminary sub-foundation of God’s Church. Jesus Himself was the main foundation. During Jesus’ 3-1/2 year earthly ministry, He called out, chose and claimed the second sub-foundation of His Church – the original 12 apostles with Peter as the chief original apostle. During His human earthly ministry, Jesus announced publicly that the future Kingdom of God would come. He taught and trained His apostles as He proceeded, but He did not call to salvation the public to whom He preached. He didn’t call them to salvation. He didn’t try to convert a one of them. Rather, He said in John 6:44, ‘no man can come to me except the Father, which sent me, draws him.’ God chooses only the few. Does that mean that there is respect of persons with God? Oh, no. Those of us called now are called to battle Satan. We are called to have to overcome Satan. We are called to a much harder time to gain salvation than others who will get it in the Millennium, or the (second) resurrection. Every external influence then will be a God ordained influence. They will have everything going for them. We have to fight the world because it is Satan’s world. We have to fight Satan. But there is one difference. If we overcome, we shall sit with Christ in His throne. We shall reign with Him. We shall be kings and priests. We shall be given power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron. We have a greater reward, but we have a much harder time. It is much harder to be saved and converted now than it will be then. God is choosing us now to qualify to help them when their time comes. No one understands this truth. No one is preaching it. The Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in Rome know nothing about it. None of the world’s churches know anything about it. Just think about this and think of the responsibility that this knowledge is to our small numbers.

“Christ preached a message to the public to whom He preached, but He did not call them to salvation. He spoke to them frequently in parables – and why in parables? To cloud and hide the meaning from them (Matt. 13:10-16). It wasn’t given to them to understand. But He said to the disciples that it was given to them to understand. Jesus devoted His 3 1/2 years largely to teaching His apostles His gospel message and God’s spiritual way of life contrary to the life styles of this world swayed by Satan. When He had finished this work, which He in the human flesh was appointed to do, He submitted to being put to death by crucifixion, shedding His life’s blood -thus He took on Himself our human guilt for our sins. He paid for us in our stead, conditioned, of course, on our repentance and obedience. He did not take on Himself Satan’s primary share in our human guilt. I wonder how many understand that. Christ only took the sins of humans who can be forgiven upon Himself. He paid our penalty. He did not take on Himself Satan’s guilt, and did not pay His penalty. Satan has to suffer his own penalty. This is brought out by another one of the annual festivals – The Day of Atonement.

“The foundation for God’s Church had been laid. It consisted of Christ, the basic foundation, with the prophets forming the substructure foundation, with the apostles, because the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles, and the prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. Didn’t we read a week ago how the foundation that Paul had laid was Christ and that there can be no other real foundation. The apostles were chafing at the bit to get started – they wanted to get going right off the bat. But God had to use restraint – they had to be patient – to take a proper step one at a time. So, Jesus cautioned them to wait in the City of Jerusalem until they were imbued with the power of God from on High (Luke 24:14).

“Ten days later came the annual day of Pentecost, or the Feast of First-fruits.

That is as far as I have gotten. I have made a note, because I didn’t have time to go on to the rest of it of what will continue.

Information from Notes

Let me just give you a brief part from my notes: There were 120 who were present when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. The Church started with that 120. Then Peter preached a sermon. If you will notice, read Peter’s sermon al1 over again in Acts 2 – He did not urge people to come and hit the sawdust trail. He did not ask them to come up and kneel with Him and He would pray for them. He did not urge them to get converted. He did not urge them to receive Christ. You can’t find a bit of high pressure salesmanship in that sermon of Peter’s. That first sermon inspired by the Holy Spirit resulted in 3,000 being converted and baptized! (This I have to write yet). A day or so later 2,000 more were converted. But God was adding to the Church such as were to be converted.

Now understand – the Church is the body of Christ – the spiritual organism -(Eph 2). It is the Family or the Household of God. It is compacted and organized in every joint. God has set certain ones in the Church until we al1 come to spiritual adulthood and (are) ready to go into the Kingdom of God. There is a system of teaching starting with the apostles – and the prophets -there are no prophets (today) But they formed a part of the administrative system of the (New Testament) Church.

When we get to I Cor. 12, we will see that there is an administrative system within the Church – there is a Work to do and different ones have to be appointed to get that job done. It is like a building all put together. Pieces that are taken out of or off of a building are no longer part of the building, are they? Those who go out from the Church are no longer part of it. It is the Church that is going to marry Christ – it is the Church that is going to be resurrected; not individual Christians (I Cor. 12 and Eph 5). The Church must put out any so-called rotten apples that turn sour and turn the wrong way (Romans 16, II Thes. 3). We are not to even eat with any of those who have turned sour and are going the wrong way. We must put them out and we are going to come to some of that in today’s lesson.

Dealing with those Who Continue in Sin

This is a point I want to bring out today as we go through this book. Past sins are forgiven and forgotten. It is present sins that have to be dealt with – those who are presently sinning – not because of something they did last year or this month even if they have repented of it. There is not a one among us who has not sinned. Satan is called the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and we are cal1ed sinners until God had called us and showed us repentance. It is sinners who are now sinning who are to be put out of the Church, not those who have repented. The Church is the mother of us all, and we are like a fetus in the womb of the mother as yet unborn – being fed by the mother, protected physically by the mother. The Church is the mother feeding the Christians and protecting us from spiritual harm and feeding them on spiritual food. What about abortions – about individual Christians – if you could have an individual fetus by artificial insemination – and I think they are experimenting now to produce a fetus outside the mother’s womb and try to do it by wholly artificial means. I don’t think they will be able, and if they are, it will not be a normal childbirth. What about other churches? These are shown to be the great harlot church and her pagan daughters, these are no part of the Church (Rev. 17:5). Those put out, as we are going to see later in the study are put back into Satan’s world, given back to Satan’s world to be saved in the judgment, not to be condemned.

The purpose then is to back the apostle getting the gospel to the world as a means of, and preparing for the second great purpose – perfecting character within each individual in order to reign and to rule when the Church under Christ is going to compose the Kingdom of God and then save the rest, of the world. That’s when there will be billions of individuals finally converted. I think this ought to give you a little insight as to what and why the Church is. God had to first have the prophets, and much of their writings form the foundation of the New Testament Church, and then the apostles and then the Church organization to teach those in the Church and to bring the Church along. The Church is then to become the Kingdom of God. The Church will become the Kingdom of God and wil1 then turn to the rest of the world to bring them in to the body and to conversion.

How will that be done? There will be a Church in the millennium after Christ comes and there will be but one Church and people will either be in or out of it. Then in the Great White Throne judgment all who have been converted in the millennium will be part of the Kingdom of God, teaching and ruling when billions upon billions of people beginning right back with Seth and Cain, the sons of Adam are going to be resurrected. The people of Nineveh are going to be resurrected as Jesus plainly said. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected and the book of life will be opened and they wil1 have their chance to repent and receive what Christ has done for them and to come in with the rest of us. That is the wonderful purpose of the eternal God. I thought it would be good right at this point to go through this book of I Cor. to get a little insight into the Church and what is the foundation of the Church from the very beginning. Now let’s go on. I’m going to read primarily from the Revised Standard Version today. I may refer to the King James also.

1 Corinthians Chapter 5

We are beginning now with Chapter 5: Remember that this letter to the Corinthians is corrective. Things were wrong in the Church. They were not al1 believing the same thing. They were getting into “factionism.” Paul had to then show that Christ is not divided. There is one Church and that Church is organized – it is held together. Now in the Church today we have had some of this. It has had to be corrected. Now we are going into something else that was wrong. So, Paul continues here:

I Cor. 5:1 “It is reported commonly that there is immorality among you and of a kind that is not found even among pagans, for a man is living with his father’s wife.” I want you to notice that this is not found even among pagans, for a man is living with his father’s wife. I want you to notice that this is not that the man did this some years ago and has repented and been forgiven of it. It says that it is existing now – that a man IS in sin.

Verse 2: “And you are arrogant” in other words they were watering down the truth. They were doing what some ministers have done in the Church today, they were saying, well, that’s all right, we’ve got to be a little bit more liberal. We’re all human. This is not a justification for sin! We’ve got to turn away from it and repent. What about the man who swears off smoking 40 times a day? I know a man who was always filled with remorse, but tomorrow he was always back at the same thing again. That is not repentance. Repentance is being sorry, but it is being sorry enough that you turn away from the thing.

What about someone who is trying to break the smoking habit, but he goes back and smokes again. He has got to pray harder and he has got to get help and he has to work harder on himself. God will have patience with him if he is trying, and if he is really gaining and going to overcome it. You don’t always get rid of every sin all at once. God looks on the attitude. Are you trying to overcome it? Do you know that when someone accuses someone else of doing something, they are nearly always the ones who are guilty of that thing. The one they accused probably never did it at all. That’s going on in the Church. We are still human and Satan is still getting at us.

These people were arrogant in thinking that they could be merciful to this man and not put him out of the Church. “Have you not rather to mourn. Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” Here was a Church who was watering down the truth and we have had ministers right in Pasadena at the very top, right next to me who were in charge of the other ministers, who were watering down the truth. They made that infamous book trying to set out the doctrines of the Church – doctrines that Christ never put in the Church! Saying that there is no promise that God will heal you. James 5:14 is a promise and God stands bound to that promise and will heal you. But they don’t know how God does it. I had to learn that lesson many years ago.

Verse 3: “For though absent in body (he was not there in person) I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus.” I want you to notice something there; the apostle can pronounce judgment. The apostle has authority, and that authority is to act in the name of Christ. He has been given the authority of Jesus Christ, and it is Christ that is in back of his order. When I give an attorney power of attorney to act in my name, what he does is just as if I did it. This is the same thing Christ has done. I want you to know that there is authority in the Church and the apostle bears that authority. Some of you don’t like that in the Church today either.

Verse 4: “When you are assembled and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus.”

Verse 5: “You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.” What does he mean? When the Pharisees came to Jesus they said we be not born of fornication – they were accusing Christ of having been a bastard. They wouldn’t admit that He had been begotten of God by the Holy Spirit. They were guilty of what they accused Him. They said they were Abraham’s children, and He said that if they were Abraham’s children they would do the works of Abraham, but you are the children of Satan, your father. He is a liar and you are a liar. I can show you more than one scripture, which shows that the unconverted people of this world are the children of Satan. The people in the Church today directly or indirectly are my children in the Lord. But those that are unconverted, whether they realize it or not are actually children of Satan and so were all of us until we were brought in. What this means is that this man will be put out of the Church, back into the world and he will die physically, but he will be resurrected. And once he has been put out of the Church, I don’t care what he professes, he is cut off from the body of Christ. “That his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” And the Day of the Lord begins just before Christ’s second coming, and extends on through the millennium in to the White Throne Judgment. So, the part that this is talking about is the Great White Throne Judgment after the millennium. This man will die and then maybe he can be saved then. But he should not contaminate the Church.

You don’t keep a rotten apple in a barrel in order to save it or you will contaminate all the rest of the apples.

Verse 6: “Your boasting is not good.” They were boasting that they were so righteous that they could be broadminded and compassionate. They were more compassionate than God – God says put this man out. “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” One rotten apple in a crate will eventually rot the whole crate.

Verse 7: “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump (now he goes to a little analogy here) as you are unleavened for Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.”

Verse 8: “Let us therefore celebrate the festival(of unleavened bread) not with old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Verse 9: “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral men.” That is not to associate with men who used to be immoral and have changed, that is not what he said. It is men who are now immoral and are continuing in their immorality. Let’s get that distinction.

Verse 10: “Not at all meaning the immoral of this world (you have to do business with the people of this world, but that is not a Christian fellowship – it is a different type of association) or with greedy and idolaters for then you would need to go out of the world.” You couldn’t live on the face of the earth! You’d have to go to the moon or someplace.

Verse 11: “But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he IS guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, or reviler or drunkard or robber – not even to eat with such a one.” Now I can go to lunch with some man in the world and there is a reason in Christ to do it. I’ve done that quite often. Jesus went to dinner with sinners. But that was not to have fellowship with them. I’ve had to have certain business deals with men in this world. I can tell you of men who have quit smoking and other things by their association with me and I never mentioned a word to them. I didn’t need to. I didn’t try to talk them out of smoking, yet they just had to gradually clean this and that up. They didn’t drag me down to their level. I didn’t want it to happen that way. Don’t let the situation become where you are going to be influenced their way. .

Verse 12: “For what have I to do with judging outsiders?(He had lunch or dinner with outsiders once in a while, so did Jesus, but he didn’t judge them whereas in the Church we have to appraise one another) is it not those inside the Church whom you are to judge?

Verse 13: “God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person among you.”

1 Corinthians Chapter 6

Chapter 6:1: “When one of you has a grievance with another (notice it means a brother, not someone outside), does he dare go to the law before the unrighteous instead of the saints.” If it is someone outside, you can’t go to the saints, they have no jurisdiction over him, but the Church does have jurisdiction over those in the Church.

Verse 2: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? (This is the very reason for the Church. When the time comes we who convert the world, Satan will be put away and we are going to judge the world, and save the world, not to condemn the world and in this case it does not mean condemn, but to make a judgment as to their merits) and if the world is to be judged by you; are you incompetent to try trivial cases.”

Verse 3: “Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more matters pertaining to this life!”

Verse 4: “If you have then such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the Church.” When you go before the law, you are going before those who are least esteemed by the Church. The Church is supposed to know that there is no justice in the legal courts of this world. We do not esteem the legal courts. They are not honest. There was something in the paper last night about a judge guilty of immorality. Did you ever hear the old adage that all lawyers are liars? I almost believe that sometimes. Maybe not all lawyers, but I think a great many of them are.

Verse 5: “I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you who is wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood?”

Verse 6: “Brother goes to law against brother and that among unbelievers.” After one has been put out of the Church, he is no longer a brother. Remember that. This is talking about those who are in the Church.

Verse 7: “To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong?” Wayne Cole brought that up to me when the State of California launched this unconstitutional fight against the Church. They said we should suffer wrong and let them take over and run and rule the Church. If you have read my letter that went out in the last week you saw that in that letter I used the illustration about the start of the Work. How that when I was to go to the world to preach the gospel I would have had to go to the attorney general and ask him permission to do this, and if people needed to be baptized and I needed to go to them I would have had to ask him if I could go, and if I wanted to buy time on a radio station I would have had to ask his permission. I was talking about this with Mr. Rader this morning. He said he found that this impressed many people there and he let one of them read that whole Co-Worker letter. They said that makes sense. An ex-judge can’t decide Church matters; they don’t know anything about them. What this means is why not rather suffer wrong at the hands of a brother rather than going to law outside. It’s not talking about outside legal matters. Wayne Cole was misapplying this scripture just as Satan did when he tempted Christ. Satan quoted scripture too. “Why not rather be defrauded?” I have done that too. But to see someone come and destroy the Work of God, that is another matter. Then we are going to defend. We are not trying to overthrow or destroy the office of State’s attorney. We are just trying to prevent him from destroying the Church!

Verse 8: “But you yourselves do wrong and defraud even your own brethren. ”

Verse 9: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do not be deceived – neither the immoral(remember this means those who are continually unrepentant) nor idolaters, nor adulterers - (that doesn’t mean that if a man ever committed adultery he could never be forgiven. It is those who are still adulterers) nor sexual perverts (homosexuals).”

Verse 10: “Nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards” By the way, we’ve got some drunkards in the Church. No drunkard is going to get into the Kingdom. In the world, you can go to Alcoholics Anonymous and it seems to be quite successful. We’ve got a far greater help we can go to, but you’ve got to mean it. The last thing in the world a man who is drinking too much is willing to do is admit it. He’s got to acknowledge it and get down on his knees and try to the limits of his own ability. God is not going to do it all for him. He is only going to do for him what he can’t do. He’s got to try to the very limit of his own ability. “Nor revilers, nor robbers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.” Remember that all those things are things that can be forgiven and be overcome through Christ.

Verse 11: “And such were some of you (but they’ve now been forgiven) but you are washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.” That doesn’t mean to continue doing it either. It doesn’t mean it made it all right (to do those things), it means that Christ paid the penalty for you.

Verse 12: “All things are lawful unto me, but not all things are helpful: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”

Verse 13: “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.”

Verse 14: “And God has raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”

Verse 15: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” Before he was talking about the Church as a whole being the temple of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. But now he is talking about each individual being a temple of the Holy Spirit. “Shall I take therefore the members of Christ and make them the members of a prostitute? Never.”

Verse 16: “Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? (That is pretty plain language, that makes him part of the prostitute) for as it is written, the two shall become one flesh.” He is quoting that from what God intended as a holy and righteous marriage relationship.

Verse 17: “But he that is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”

Verse 18: “Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” One thing I want you to notice here – some people might think that immorality is worse than other sins. It does not say that. As a matter of fact, it is my judgment that fleshly immorality is a far lesser sin than rebellion against Christ and disloyalty against Christ and things like that. I think that sins of that kind are far worse in God’s mind. Go back and take the examples that we find in the Bible – the Old Testament. Look at the sins of some of the ancient men and how God continually forgave them. He called David a man after his own heart, yet David had not only the case with Bathsheba but he had many wives and concubines. However, if you will read through chapter after chapter, David finally put them all away except Bathsheba. At the end of David’s life, he was the husband of one wife only. At one time God said to him that he had had all these wives and concubines and God would have allowed him to have more. He was trying to show David that his spiritual sins and rebellions were a whole lot worse. I think I have to say that right at this point. But sin is sin and it is bad enough, but spiritual sins are worse.

Verse 19: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you so that you become of God and you are not your own.”

Verse 20: “You are bought with a price, so glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s.” You don’t own your own self. Christ bought and paid for you on the cross.

In my conversion, instead of GETTING Christ, I gave myself to Him. That is exactly what went on in my mind and what I did and what I said and what I prayed. I told God that I was an old worn out hunk of junk not good for anything but being thrown on a junk pile, but Christ has bought and paid for me and if he can use this worthless self of mine, I’m giving it to Him, but I can’t see how even God can use anyone as worthless as I am. That’s the way I felt. So, I gave it to Him to find out. Now I’ve got some detractors, who still like to tell people how worthless this self is. But God has done a great deal with this worthless self – and I haven’t done it. Jesus Christ has done it, but He did use me as an instrument, and He did make me work as hard and suffer as much persecution than as if I was doing it all and Christ wasn’t in it. But if Christ hadn’t been it, I wouldn’t have been persecuted! That’s the way it is today.

We’ve come to a rather long and important chapter now. It has to do with a very important decision that has been made recently in the Church.