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(A verse-by-verse commentary)






 A Preacher in his Study



1st Corinthians 6:9-11

"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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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."  



Once a man or woman is "saved" by God's Grace, his or her life will be different.

Paul goes so far as to say they become "new creatures!"

"Old things pass away."

However, the more ungodly a nation becomes ... the more the devil "challenges" this Bible truth.

In the church of Corinth this problem had surfaced with intensity.

Paul even had to write them about it.

Here is part of what he taught them:  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"  1st Corinthians 6:9

The verb he uses here for "know" suggests a God-given awareness, not necessarily an "acquired-by-human-effort" knowledge.  It has the meaning of knowing in the sense of understanding or perceiving or discerning something.

The Holy Spirit Himself has embedded within us the knowledge that persistently wicked people just are NOT saved!  A man who says he is a Christian but who regularly lives a devilish lifestyle is simply mistaken as to his profession of faith ... or blindly deceived to the extreme!

If one is saved ... a "change" occurs!

(By the way, Paul uses that expression "know ye not" a dozen times in his Epistles!  Five times in 1st Corinthians 6 alone!  Most preachers have certain phrases or word pictures they employ habitually.  It's just part of our human make-up.  And God uses that.)

The word "unrighteous" (in Greek = "adikos") means "not just" ... here it indicates the unsaved.  (Not "straight" or "right" in the eyes of God the great Judge!)

And the verb "inherit" translates "kelronomeo" which pictures a "portion" or a "part" of some commodity plus the verb indicating "to parcel out" to someone, to give them their share.

Through the whole New Testament "salvation" is not just missing Hell!  It is gaining innumerable blessings in Christ Jesus, eternal life being the chief one! When one has Christ ... he has it all!

I believe the word "inherit" here pictures being born again, being placed into the family of God!

I base that partially on one verse Paul used in Galatians 4:7 --- "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."  See how he equated being a "son" with being an "heir?"  If God has put you in the Will ("heirship") then he surely has already made you a son!

Christians, you are "heirs" of the Kingdom of God two ways.  You were "born-again" into the family ... thus having an inheritance!  Plus ... you have been "adopted" into the family also ... making you an heir!

Paul's term here leaves little "wiggle" room for interpretation!  If one is saved ... he will not live unrighteously!

Lastly let's look at the string "kingdom of God."  It occurs 69 times in the New Testament!  It's only used by Paul (or of Paul) 14 times however.  I believe it differs from the "kingdom of Heaven" (which occurs 32 times) in this sense: The kingdom of Heaven refers to the future millennial rule of Christ on earth ... while the kingdom of God is a wider concept and includes the saved of all ages. I do not mean to "split hairs" here so we will just agree that those who are IN the kingdom of God are genuinely saved people!

Paul has made one thing clear to the Corinthian church! They, even in a city of great immorality and filth, would be different after being really saved!

I say this message is needed again today!

I mean in America!

Badly needed!

The HOLY Spirit will produce holy Believers.  (After all ... we have already been made holy in Christ Jesus!  It's just a matter of us living up to our new standing in our dear righteous Saviour!)


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul cautions the Believers at Corinth to "be not deceived" about this matter of sin in a Christian's life! 

Don't misunderstand.  Christians will slip and fail and err, sinning in the process. BUT they will not enjoy it, or plan for it or habitually practice any certain sin without some eventual form of victory over it!

Listen to 1 John 3:9 --- "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."  Wow!  "Born" here is the new birth!  The verb "commit" means to practice or do habitually (present tense) the wrong thing.  The "seed" I believe is the Holy Spirit.  And That Holy Spirit cannot sin!  The Greek literally says this Seed has not the power to sin!  (This is a mature view of sin in the Christian's life!) Yet John also realizes that no saint will be sinlessly perfect.  "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  (1 John 1:8)  Here's how practical John gets:  "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."  In one single verse (1 John 2:1) he tells us NOT to sin ... then realizes that we will unexpectedly do so ... therefore he tells us about our heavenly Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest!

Listen to our text verse:  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived ...."   1st Corinthians 6:9a,b

Now Paul loves that expression about not being deceived!

He uses it three times in his extant writings (Scripture).  Of course it's here in 1st Corinthians 6:9 but also in 1st Corinthians 15:33 and Galatians 6:9.

It is believe that when Paul says this ... he believes the followers of Christ are (at least partially) being deceived!

The verb for "deceived" is "planao" (giving us our English word "planet" for example) and means to wonder around aimlessly, to be led astray, to circle in darkness or to stray away!

It is an imperative here also.  Paul is commanding them to quit being misled! Really saved people do not do certain things!

Our verb structure here (English = be not deceived ... Greek = me planao) is used also by James in his Epistle and is translated "do not err!"   Read it with me:  "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren."  James 1:13-16

I need to close for today, but I must add this question to our discussion.  HOW is a Christian deceived?  Obviously the devil has that as his goal.  He IS the deceiver!  But apparently it is possible for one to deceive himself too!  Again let's let James speak:  "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."  (James 1:22)  And it also seems that those who "deceive" fall into their own cesspool of deception.  They become "victims" of their own misleading!  They get hooked on their own venom!  They eventually believe their own lies!  Wow!  See 2nd Timothy 3:13 where Paul tells us:  "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."  (Those who deceive ... are also being deceived!)

Paul does not want us wandering about in confusion.  He wants us walking the straight and narrow road of truth! 

And that road has many a sign that reads:  "If saved, depart from sin! 

I'll close with 2 Timothy 2:19 --- "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




It's become "popular" in these days of ungodliness to believe that just about everybody is going to Heaven!

Well, according to the Bible, that just is not so!

I remember one passage where Paul the Apostle lists 10 kinds of folks who will NOT be in that glorious City!

The verses I have in mind are in 1 Corinthians 6.  "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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

I'd say that narrows the crowd pretty well!

While I can't get into all these today, would you look at number one on the list please?

"Unrighteous" is a broad all-inclusive term that describes the whole group.  Then Paul follows with the specifics, the first of which is "fornicators!"

Now that's an old-fashioned word anymore.

In Greek "fornicators" is spelled "pornos."  This "root" term gives us words like pornography or pornocracy.  It means "to sell!"  Strangely, the noun used here is masculine in gender!  The men were more involved in this than the women it appears!  (That already implies homosexuality!)  It is describing sinful illicit sexual relationships between two individuals.

The blight upon the ancient world was no doubt its immorality!  And the city of Corinth (the precise location of Paul's new converts) was among the most ungodly in this category of sin!  To be a "corinthian" was to be among the most low-down in morality!  (Not just immoral but amoral!)

This sin should be "unthinkable" after one has been saved by God's Grace! But apparently these Corinthians to whom Paul is writing, saved out of such a lurid background of filth and degradation, were having trouble with it.

Paul is just reinforcing a truth they needed to hear!

Saved people do not fornicate!

Fornicators are not going to heaven!

When one is born-again, his or her lifestyle changes!

If you are going to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God ... you can't do that!

That's pretty plain, isn't it?

Yet, you will have to agree with me.  That old sin has made a come-back!  Its wormed its way into churches again today!

In fact, sexual sins are too seldom preached against anymore!

In once used the text of David's sin with Bathsheba and folks looked at me like I was from another planet!  Yet I'll guarantee you in that crowd there was someone involved in that wickedness!

If someone is "accidentally" reading these lines and dabbling around in fornication ... better read our verses again!

They say it ALL!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




"Idolaters" will not go to heaven!

Now, don't misunderstand me.

I did not say that former idolaters will not go to heaven!  Plenty of them will!

But folks who are still committing that terrible sin, worshiping other gods, will NOT be in Glory.

Not according to the Bible.


"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters ...."  1st Corinthians 6:9

The noun here means literally one who reverences and adores and prays to idols (of any kind).  In Greek it's "eidololatres."  The noun "eidolon" means an image.  The verb "latreuo" means a person who serves another!  Put it all together:  one who is a slave to an idol!

This sin includes much more than just bowing down before a piece of stone or metal too.  It involves any kind of religious system that does not admit to Jesus (and Jesus Christ alone) being the eternal Son of God and the only Way to Heaven!  And even that way ... by Grace through Faith in His shed Blood!

Anything else is mere idolatry!

When former idol worshippers and demon worshippers  (such as these new Christian at Corinth) get saved ... "old things pass away!"  Behold "all things become new" ... including one's very lifestyle!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul immediately adds "adulterers" to his list.

He often preached against sins of the flesh.

Generally speaking, fornication is an illicit sexual relationship perpetrated by a single person.  Adultery is the same thing but committed by a married person.

Paul is NOT saying that one who has committed adultery can never be saved!

Many ex-adulterers and adulteresses have been gloriously born again, their sins washed away!

Paul IS saying that once a person is redeemed and forgiven (regenerated) ... his propensity for that sin will dissolve.  Those who say they are saved yet practice adultery are deceived and will NOT go to heaven!

Here are his words again:  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither ... adulterers!"  1st Corinthians 6:9

The word here, "moichos," means a paramour, one who is a lover to someone else's spouse!  (For that matter ... a married person who loves anybody other than his wife!) 

The noun as it appears here in our verse is masculine, indicating a man.  But Scripture often mentions "adulteresses" as well.

Today this activity is called an "affair!"  God still calls it adultery.

And real saved people do not participate in it.

It's that simple.

You will never convince me that the Holy Spirit of God can live in a body that is committing adultery!

Something is wrong there!

When Paul insists upon the Corinthians' moral purity here ... he is introducing something revolutionary to their lives.  The Corinthian culture was extremely permissive in this area!  One of their writers said something like this: Each Greek/Roman man has his prostitutes for wild fun ... his concubines for normal sex ... and his wife for proper child-bearing!"

That's the background from which these Believers (to whom Paul is writing) were saved!

Think of the drastic changes the dear Holy Spirit effects in hearts and lives every day!

We need to take a stand against sin!

We need to not be as tolerant in our churches!

Either folks are saved (and live for God) ...or they are deceived (and continue living in sin)!  And it is WRONG to tell them anything other than the truth about this whole situation!

Listen to the Bible Book of Wisdom as it declares:  "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.  A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away."  Proverbs 6:32-33

This is serious business.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Next Paul uses the word "effeminate."

You men can't belong to that crowd and be saved!

Let's put it this way: when you get saved, the Holy Spirit Who then indwells you is NOT effeminate ... and will NOT allow you to be that way either!

This noun in Greek is "malakos."  It means "soft" ... hence effeminate.  ("Soft to the touch")  The word is only found 4 times in the New Testament.  Three of those times it is translated "soft" in our King James Bibles.  For example, Jesus in Matthew 11:8 said of John the Baptist:  "But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet."  John was NOT effeminate!

In Paul's day this word means a soft "sissy" boy who was kept by a homosexual man as his partner!  It was also at times used of a male prostitute!  (It specifically means the passive, "feminine" member of a male twosome!  No, I'm not trying to make you sick ... just to define the word more precisely!)

Now, this is important.

Paul now is saying that when a young man is saved from that background (what Grace of God we have here) ... he is changed and is no more like that at all.  His former lifestyle is gone!  In Paul's terminology he actually becomes a "new creature!"  Old things pass away!  All things become new!

That for me pretty well answers all these questions floating around about homosexuality. 

Paul gets right to the point, doesn't he?

I wonder what the "Scripture Twisters" do with this verse?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul the Apostle uses some unusual phrases sometimes!

For example:  "abusers of themselves with mankind." 

This expression is found in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 where the Preacher is listing ten kinds of folks who will not be in heaven!

It's an impressive gathering of sinners, indeed!

Let me show you the whole crowd:  "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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  Wow!

I wondered, who are they?  Those "abusers?"

The Greek word here is "arsenokoites."  It looks complicated but really is just two short words fused into one long term.  "Arrhen" is the Greek name for "man" or "male."  And "koite" is their noun for "bed" or "couch" (from "keimai" = to lie outstretched).  When put together they picture a man laying in a bed ... with the strong implication of homosexuality behind it all.  This is the word the Greeks often used for that particular wicked activity.

Linguists tell us that this word is used primarily to designate the dominant partner in a two man relationship.   I read in a lexicon that "koite" became the Greek "slang" word for sexual intercourse.

Now I want you to notice something. Paul, in the context of 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 is NOT saying that this sin is any worse than the other nine sins he mentions ... although the word preceding "abusers of themselves with mankind" ... "effeminate," is also a "code" word for two men in a love relationship!  (One being the "active" member of this "couple" and the other being the "passive" one.)

What Paul IS saying to the Corinthian Christians is this:  When you got saved ... you quit all these kinds of lifestyles!  You became new creatures in Christ.  You no longer live in this fashion!

And in that list are  not only those who practice homosexuality, but also fornicators and adulterers and (for that matter) idol worshipers and drunkards and even "revilers," folks who can't control their tongues!

Paul just bluntly says those people "will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God!" They're not going to heaven!

Now ... here's the loveliness of the Grace of God!

Paul one verse later mentions that the new Believers (in Christ) in Corinth used to be members of those sinful groups!  "And such were some of you" he thunders in verse 11!

Think of it!

Ex-prostitutes ... now washed clean by Christ's Blood!

Vile-tongued old  sinners, now saved by God's miraculous Power!

Ignorant idol-worshipers, now aware of the TRUE God of the universe!

Yes, they had sordid pasts ... but no longer do they live that way!

God, Grace, the Holy Spirit, the reigning High Priest (Jesus) has changed them into new people.  It's as if they have been "born again!"

Dear friend, if you today know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour ... thank Him!  Thank Him for where He has brought you FROM!  That Him for His life-changing redemptive plan of salvation!  Thank Him for Calvary!  Thank Him that you're not what you used to be!

Here's the whole verse ... "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."  1st Corinthians 6:11


                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul (in this 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 text) even says "thieves" can't go to heaven!

"Nor thieves ... shall inherit the Kingdom of God!"  (1 Corinthians 6:10)

Now the exact Greek noun used here is "kleptes."  It just means "a stealer."  The dictionary says "to filch," to casually take as one's own!

This is not the word for forced entry or armed robbery!

It even includes what today might be called "petty theft!"

This Greek word, "kleptes" gives us our term kleptomaniac! 

In all its forms, our word occurs 16 times in the Bible. 

Judas, the unsaved Disciple, was called a "thief" in John 12:6 ... a "kleptes!"

The amazing thing is that of those 16 uses they are predominantly used by Jesus Himself!

I am so glad God saves old sinners, including thieves!

Then, they are thieves no more ... but rather "givers" (instead of "takers")!  Listen to Paul in Ephesians 4:28!  "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

Now that's a change!


                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Bible is particularly "hard" on the sin of covetousness.

This word appears in Scripture dozens of times (along with its cognates, 41 times).

Paul goes so far as to say that when one is really saved, he quits this activity!

What would one "covet" if he has Jesus?

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1

A Preacher at Church last night sang:  "I'd rather have Jesus ... than silver or gold!"  That line alone explains the Christian view of contentment, the opposite of covetousness.

Now this does not mean that when we were still "lost" we never coveted.

On the contrary!

We did!

In 1st Corinthians 6:9-11, where Paul specifically condemns covetousness, he says "and such were some of you. but ye are ... justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus."  We used to covet (and a whole lot more too) ... but being "washed" in the Blood took care of that! 

Additionally, in the middle of that 1st Corinthian text, Paul more than implies that those who habitually covet ... really are just not saved! 

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither ... (and here comes a list of 10 groups) fornicators nor idolaters ... nor COVETOUS ... nor drunkards ...."  1st Corinthians 5:9-10

What's so bad about "coveting?"

The noun here, "pleonektes," is constructed from two Greek words.  "Pleion" means MORE!  And "echo" means TO HAVE OR HOLD!  See the meaning?  To have MORE in my hand!  To possess more and more!  Never satisfied!  Always longing for MORE!  (More in quantity, more in quality, more in number, even "the major portion!")

Such lusting for more and more of the world's goods ... suggests that one is not fulfilled in Jesus!  That HE is insufficient!

In 2nd Corinthians 3:5 Paul clearly reminds us that:  "Our sufficiency is of God."

He told some young preachers once:  "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."  (1st Timothy 6:8)  In fact, one of the many "qualifications" for a real Pastor is to be "not covetousness!"  See 1st Timothy 3:3 for Bible proof.

But this next "key" verse may give us the essence of it all:  " Be content with such things as ye have: for He (Jesus) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  Hebrews 13:5

In other words, He (Jesus) is enough!

You will find it true.  Salvation, knowing Jesus, causes "the things of this earth to grow strangely dim ... in the light of His glory and grace!"


No wonder Paul so boldly and truthfully said ... "Christ is my very life!"

"When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory."  Colossians 3:4

That truth alone will dissolve any wicked covetousness in our lives!

The Psalmist said to God:  "All my springs are in Thee."  That is the equivalent of saying, "Lord, you are all I need!  You are my everything!"  (Psalm 87:7)

And even Jesus, through the miracle of Bible prophecy, said to His Father:  "All My Goodness (Life Meaning, Joy, Fulfillment, Purpose, Delight) is found in Thee!"  See Psalm 16:2. 

Therefore ... to all you former "coveters" out there this Thursday, let's thank God that in Christ Jesus we have everything!

He is ALL we need!

Tell Him so today!


                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Bible tells us that no "drunkards" will be in Heaven!

Of course our current text says this plainly!    "... nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  1st Corinthians 6:10

Now this tells us nothing about former drunkards!

There are going to be plenty of them in Heaven!

Ex-drunkards!  (But now sober sinners saved by Grace!)

Paul here in emphasizing how our lifestyles changed when we met Jesus!

That noun "drunkard" is "methusos" and means intoxicated ones!  The Greek verb "methuo" means to drink until one is inebriated!

Now don't start "splitting hairs" with me here!

One could then argue (and many have) that if he or she does not then get "drunk" ... alcohol is acceptable!

I don't think so!

Listen to Proverbs 20:1 --- "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

Or Proverbs 23:1 which definitely is talking about intoxicating drink:  "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright."

It seems that wild drinking (excessive wanton "partying" along with it) was common in the ancient world (Corinth included).

When these folks got saved, Paul wanted them to know that such activity had to go!

It seems the Lord wants His people to be "sober" at all times!

Paul, to be sure he had adequately covered it all, adds in 1st Thessalonians 5:22 this further specific instruction --- "Abstain from all appearance of evil."  This is expressed as a command too!

No sir!

A Christian needs nothing but Jesus ... to lift the burden of one's problems!  To make one joyful!  To add to the "atmosphere" of life!  To give relaxation!   To be the catalyst of any legitimate social function!  To enhance meaningful fellowship with friends and family!  And to do anything else wine or beer or liquor or so called "social drinking" is said to do!

To the Christian, Jesus is Everything!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




What is a "reviler?"

Whatever or whoever they are ... they can't go to heaven!

Paul said so in 1st Corinthians 5:9-11.

"Nor revilers ... shall inherit the kingdom of God."  1 Corinthians 6:10

Now this is getting more serious!

Likely your church has none of some of the earlier categories that we have studied ... but this group is a different matter!

The noun "reviler" is spelled in Greek "loidoros."  It is derived from their word for mischief ("loidos")!  It means that which is verbally abusive!  It means "to rail."  To rail means to use harsh abrasive language. 

It is only used twice in the New Testament.  In its other location (1st Corinthians 5:11) it is translated "railers." 

It is the opposite of such traits as is described in Proverbs 31:26, in which the wise, godly, virtuous lady is said to have the "law of kindness" in her mouth!  "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."

It also is opposed to Paul description of the godly Preacher in 2 Timothy 2:24-25.  "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."

These Corinthians lived in a background that was rife with such language. 

But, this being Paul's point here, they are different now!  They have been saved by God's Grace!

They no longer destroy with their tongues!

They are not guilty of practicing the "wounding" verbal jabs Solomon describes in Proverbs 18:8 --- "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

And do remember ... "The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning."  Proverbs 16:21

Thank God!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




"Nor extortioners!"

This is an interesting word.

It is the Greek word "harpax" and is (King James Version) translated exactly as it is here ("extortioners") 4 of its 5 times in Scripture.  The other time it is rendered "ravening!"  (Let me show you the "ravening" usage:  "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."  Jesus said that in Matthew 7:15.

Preachers, here's an opportunity to preach about "wolves" that infiltrate the church flock!

It just means a robber ... but in a violent sense.  (Not stealing in a quiet sneaky manner, but at knifepoint with threats and dangers!)

In English "extort" means to obtain from a person by threat, intimidation or undue legal power!

It has a Latin background, meaning "to twist" (torquere)  out (ex)!  To squeeze out! To force!

I read just this week that thieves were everywhere in Corinth!  They stole one possessions at the public baths and and the many gymnasiums and often robbed on the highways and streets too!  (When caught they were often executed also.)

But while some of these new Believers in Jesus (in that Corinthian Church) might have once been extortioners ... they were no more!  In fact, according to 2nd Corinthians chapters 8-9 they had become rather generous givers to the needs of poor Brethren in the Lord!

That's Grace in action!

And about 99.9% of the Christians I know are extremely generous too!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



We have now come to my "favorite" part of the text!

After listing all 10 of those terrible categories of sin ... Paul advised the Corinthian Christians that he KNEW some of them once belonged to one or more of those groups!

"And such were some of you" he said!

"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."  1st Corinthians 6:11

Notice the verb.

Such WERE some of you!

Not ARE ... but WERE!

They quit being that wicked kind of people when they got "saved" ... and have kept on being "quit" ever since!

For example, Paul said "let him that stole steal no more!"  (Ephesians 4:28 --- "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.")

Or ... "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."  (Ephesians 5:3-4) Did you see that?  "Not once named among you!"

They will not go back to the practice of such filth!  Never again! 

Why?  Because of the Holy Spirit living within them!  The Seed of God!  "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (continually commit) sin; for his Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."  (1st John 3:9)  There are some things the Holy Spirit just will not allow!

That's why John can so confidently say of those who enter heaven ... "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (heaven). For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."  (Revelation 22:14-15)

Habitual, enjoyable, on-going "pet" little sins are OUT when you get saved!

You can't practice them!

Oh, you may accidentally fall into that slimy ditch called sin ... but you won't stay there long!  Or if you try it, you will be in for one more "whipping" from your Heavenly Father!

This may be part of what Paul has in mind when he writes:  "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."  (Hebrews 10:26-27)

"And such WERE some of you!"

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




What lovely words flow from the pen of Paul as he writes in 1st Corinthians 6:11.

Encouraging those new Christians, the great Apostle says: "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."

What a thrilling string of verbs!

We too, as Believers in Jesus, have been "washed and sanctified and justified!"

A short investigation into those words will be necessary.

Paul lists them in the order needed to solve the problem at hand!  The Corinthian converts had some "background" issues to overcome.

Earlier in the Epistle (1st Corinthians) they had been fighting among themselves over which "preacher" they would follow!

After that they had tolerated blatant immorality within the church fellowship! (A man living with his father's wife!)

Then they had brought lawsuits against each other in front of heathen judges!

To help them out of this carnality Paul boldly names ten classes of sin that Christians will NO LONGER habitually commit! 

He told them that if they did such things, they would NOT inherit the kingdom of God!  In other words, such lifestyles betrayed them!  Those wallowing in those sins (happy as they could be) had NOT really been born again!

BUT Paul believed better things than that of the real Christians in the group!

True, they had been saved out of some of those sordid backgrounds ... BUT now they were "washed and sanctified and justified!"

Hence he uses the order of verbs I just quoted.

Washed ("apoluo") means to bathe or be thoroughly cleansed!  "Louo" means to bathe the whole person!  "Apo," the prefix and a preposition, simply means "from" or "away from."  I believe Paul here is simply saying that these folks had been freed from the filth of such a sinful past and must NOT return to that garbage again!  He here is not talking about being washed in the Blood of Jesus or about being baptized (as many of the "experts" say)!  He IS talking about clean godly day-by-day living!  "Unspotted from the world" as James would say.

"Washed" here is also an aorist verb.  This cleansing has been done and completed in the past!  It is NOT necessary to repeat it.  They should NOT again get into the cesspools (10 of them) that Paul mentioned in verses 9 and 10!  (Occasional accidental sinning, which makes the Believer feel terrible, is discussed and remedied in 1st John 1:9.)

Also let me mention that the verb "washed" is in the "middle" voice, indicating that the subject somehow helps in the action!  Technically, he performs the action upon himself!  Now, don't get upset!  This is why I say our "washing" here is NOT being saved by the Blood of Jesus!  We do NOT do that for ourselves!  Jesus saves! 

This washing is something in which we help.  We individual Christians must assist the Holy Spirit in godly living.  Some of it is up to us ... like obeying His daily promptings!

Then Paul next works "backwards," telling those folks that they also have been "sanctified!"  That action (once for all ... aorist again) was effected for us by the Holy Spirit of God!  This verb "hagaizo" is NOT in the middle voice, but the passive!  This is done for us and upon us by God the Spirit.

Paul's point:  We could have never been cleansed from the putrid stains of our sins had we not been sanctified (by His indwelling and filling) through the Ministry of the Holy Spirit!  "Hagaizo" literally means "set apart" or "made holy" or "consecrated!"  (Cleanliness ON us is possible because of the Holy Spirit IN us!)

But we could have neither cleansed ourselves nor been sanctified by the Holy Spirit either one ... if we had not first been justified by the Lord God Almighty ... through the shed victorious Blood of Jesus Christ!

"Justified" means "legally put into a right relationship with God!"  Or "declared and treated as straight before God!"  Of course it is also an aorist verb (action completed, finished) and is in the passive voice (this was done to us ... we did not/could not save ourselves)!

"Washed ... sanctified ... justified!"

Now when we look at salvation and its fruit from God's perspective it goes in the opposite direction ... like this:  We first were "justified" ... then immediately "sanctified" and then followed our being "washed!"  Changes in  lifestyle had to be put into effect through the Power of the Godhead first and then the responsive obedience of the new Believer.  (And this godly living is not a question of IF ... it's a sure thing!  Clean living follows true salvation!)

How very "blessed" we Christians are today.

We too have been justified by God the Father through the Sacrifice of Jesus the Son!  We were passive recipients!  All we did was believe! 

We too have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit!  Again, we just trusted!  The Holy Spirit set us apart from the world!

And we too have been washed (middle voice now)!  We are now new creatures who will not (by nature) live in sin!

There is no reason for us Christians not to live in victory!

Look what God has done!

Or to put it in the words of an Old Testament preacher:  "What hath God wrought!"  (Numbers 23:23)

Amazing Grace!

Everything has been done to make possible our pursuing a growing holy Christian life!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Did you ever stop to think of all that was involved in your salvation?

I mean all God did to save your soul.

He justified us the moment we truly believed.

He sanctified us too.

And He has washed us from the stains of past sin on top of all that!

I base these three "acts" of God on the Truth of 1st Corinthians 6:11.

"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."

The thrust of Paul's Passage here is that since God saved us ... we will undoubtedly stay away from the habitual practice of sin!  (He even lists 10 sins which are absolute "markers" of the old unregenerate life!)

Here's the whole paragraph. Read it carefully:  "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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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."

Wow!  Look at what glorious salvation Truth emerges!  I have deliberately highlighted three Names in red!  This text, in connection with our being redeemed, mentions God as Triune!  See God (the Father), the Lord Jesus (God the Son) and the Spirit (God the Holy Spirit) all involved in our justification and sanctification and washing!

The Triune Godhead completely involved in our being brought from darkness to light ... from death to life!

Glory to God!

He was (and still is) totally committed to our salvation!

Also notice that three "prepositions" are used of this great Plan of Salvation (in our King James Bibles).  

The Kingdom OF God the Father!  (No preposition exists in the Greek Text ... but the proper noun "God" is in the Genitive Case, making it a possessive. Therefore the "of" must be translated.)

The Justification occurs IN the Name of the Lord Jesus!

And the whole salvation miracle occurs BY the power of the Holy Spirit!

Here they are:  OF, IN, and BY!

If that's not a picture of "all-inclusiveness" ... I've never seen one!

I'm a possession OF God the Father!

I've been placed IN God the Son!  ("In Christ" is one of Paul's most often used phrases!)

And it's all be done BY the precious Holy Spirit!  (He's the Agent of our salvation!)

My conclusion this Saturday in March:  NO WONDER we no longer wallow in sin!

We have been ... not re-worked ... but re-born by an Almighty God!

As Paul later writes to this same Corinthian Church:  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  2nd Corinthians 5:17

Oh, how God loves us old sinners!

What He did to save our souls!

Again I say, praise His Name!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul not only disparages the way of life that's indicated by those 10 sins (verses 9 and 10) ... but also goes further that that!  (Fornication, idolatry, adultery, effeminacy, homosexuality, stealing, covetousness, drunkeness, abusive talk, and robbery!)

How do I know he despises such behavior?

By the grammar he uses in verse 11! 

The pronoun "such" (in Greek = "tauta") is deliberately placed in the neuter gender!  Such sins (and those who commit them) are not even viewed by Paul as humane!  These wicked deeds are not "he" sins or "she" sins ... but "it" sins! They are terrible things NOT to be mentioned in the lives of Believers!

Paul will not even dignify them with life!  They are inanimate!  Neuter!  Or should I say "dead?"

Additionally, Paul not only teaches that a real Christian will NOT do such things ... he also commands that we are not even to fellowship with those who do!  Here's exactly how he words it:  "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."  1st Corinthians 5:11

If someone says he or she is saved ... and persists in those sins ... stay away from them!  Do not "keep company" with them!  "Sunanamignumi" is the verb. Its meaning:  sun= with!  ana = again!  mignumi = to mix!  Do not associate with them!

And just in case the Corinthians did not get the message yet ... here it comes one more time.  Do not even eat with them!

(He's not talking about lost people now.  See 1 Corinthians 5:9 and 10 in conjunction with verse 11.  He's talking about people who "say" they are saved and have not broken with that old lifestyle!)

This three verse Text (1st Corinthians 6:9-11) is as good a "separation" from sin text as you will find in the New Testament!

I thank God for it!

I doubt it is preached much in America today!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I close this series of Bible Studies with a little note about conjunctions.  Actually about what our Grammar teacher called "contrasting conjunctions."

A conjunction is a part of speech that links or connects other words or parts of sentences into a cohesive unit.

The "conjunction" I have in mind this afternoon is the little thrice appearing word "but" in the last verse of our text. 

In Greek it is spelled "alla."

"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."  1st Corinthians 6:11

"Alla" is an extremely strong Greek term showing antithesis ... or the difference between what these new Christians USED to be and what they are NOW!

Now Paul could have written this sentence with only one conjunction linking all 3 verbs (washed, sanctified and justified) ... but he deliberately chose to use 3 conjunctions.  The Holy Spirit, God's Divine Grammarian, knew we needed the emphasis all 3 "buts" give! 

Also this three-conjunction business makes each verb stand in the sentence with equal value!

The thought looks like this grammatically:

Past life ....... BUT I'm washed!

Past life ....... BUT I'm sanctified!

Past life ....... BUT I'm justified!

"Alla" is the strongest Greek adversative particle Paul had available to use!  He is really highlighting the DIFFERENCE the Lord makes in one's life!

Thank God for that difference!

Paul never got over it!

Neither should we!

Changed!  Converted!  Once dead in sins ... now alive in Jesus!  Once blind ... now with sight!  Once hell-bound ... now already citizens of Heaven!

Glory to God!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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