Men of the Kingdom - RR274E09b
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
Praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Let us pray.
Oh Lord our God we come to praise Thee, to rejoice in all Thy blessings, to acknowledge that indeed Thy hand is always upon us for good. Teach us to be faithful, teach us to be joyful in Thy benevolence and teach us to serve Thee with all our heart, mind and being. Thou art most holy, most merciful and ever most gracious. And we praise Thee. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Our scripture is First Corinthians 6:9-13. Our subject: Men of the Kingdom.
“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. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”
Paul has in the verses preceding these spoken of the fact that two kingdoms, two kinds of law and two very different kinds of courts exist. Now he continues by saying that two kinds of people exist. Two humanities, two human races. The fallen race of the first Adam and the regenerated new humanity of the last Adam Jesus Christ. These two races are radically different and cannot be meshed into one. [00:03:34]
The fallen human race wants such a merger with the...
The fallen human race wants such a merger with the obliteration in time of the new humanity in Christ. This the true church cannot permit. No unrighteous man can inherit the kingdom of God, Paul says. The unrighteous are those who hate the truth and love a lie. Those who take pleasure in evil and those whom evil is a way of life and a desired one. Such men are fornicators; they are given to sexual sins and idolaters, given to false religions, at whose heart is original sin. Man’s will to be his own god and law. Again adultery is their pleasure, effeminacy and homosexuality. All these things mean a reversal of God’s law order. And this is the appeal of sin. It is not the sin in itself has any good thing to offer, it is a way of expressing hatred of God. Thieves in verse ten refers to petty thefts based on the premise that private property is an arbitrary concept. All these sins begin with a contempt for God’s law. Such too are the covetous, who are not content with what is lawfully theirs but instead believe that another man’s possessions would be better off in their hands. Revilers are those who as their own gods are in constant judgment on all other men. Extortioners seek by violence or lawlessness to gain what belongs to others. [00:06:23]
It is apparent that sexual sins are prominent in this...
It is apparent that sexual sins are prominent in this list. In fact the sins mentioned are those which in the Greco-Roman world were the least likely to be prosecuted and were thus safe sins for most people. They could be practiced with no danger of prosecution. A fact which makes some sins more popular than others. However winked at by the world around them none such false [unintelligible] shall inherit the kingdom of God. And he adds such were some of you. Paul adds this because he wants to remind them of what they were and what they cannot again be. The sins he lists were commonplace in the Empire. Some of the Corinthian Christians had been guilty of one or another of these acceptable sins. Did they believe that there was no difference in their lives before their conversion then after? Did they assume that the supernatural transformation had appeared in their lives and that they had morally reformed themselves morally? Did they fail to see the great divide between the two humanities? A line of division in antiquity was racial and cultural, that is, Greeks versus barbarians or Romans versus Barbarians. In our time it has often been racial, in terms of color. But Paul declares the line of division is Jesus Christ. The line drawn by Paul is a sharp one. Such sinners shall never come into the kingdom of God except of course by regeneration. He insists on a moral standard. Too many of the Greco-Roman cults and religions were certainly off base. They were all off base. They required something other than a change of life, thus the [unintelligible] for example simply required knowledge for salvation, not a moral transformation. [00:09:59]
This pagan notion has sometimes crept into the church...
This pagan notion has sometimes crept into the church. As Godey generations ago noted and I quote: “Idolatry was closely connected with licentiousness and morals.” Unquote. What Paul says holiness is basic to the kingdom of God and knowledge is not antinomian. Antinomianism reduces Christianity from its original meaning to the level of the mystery religions, to the level of Gnosticism. Given the very extensive stress on law in the Bible for anyone to see Biblical faith as antinomian is to make it another religion. This is why in verse eleven Paul places sanctification ahead of justification, not because it is prior to our redemption, but so basic to it. He has to make clear to those in the church that holiness, morality, are basic to the faith. As a result he says that ye are washed, that ye are sanctified, this is because they are justified. The result is a great moral change. If this moral change is lacking there is no justification, no salvation. This change is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. [unintelligible] sees the reason for Paul’s stress in the Corinthian antinomianism and he says and I quote:
“It appears that there were those in the church at Corinth who gloried so much in their freedom from the Mosaic law and their liberty in Christ that they became almost libertines. This is evidently the reason for the apostle’s strong castigation of immorality in the preceding verses. He goes on to warn against participation in the pagan worship that involved relations with sacred prostitutes in the temple. He warns them to flee immorality. Corinth was perhaps the most wicked city of that day and the Christians needed to be particularly careful.” Unquote. [00:13:29]
If we begin with the premise that Jesus Christ frees...
If we begin with the premise that Jesus Christ frees us from the Mosaic Law as the antinomians do then we do not have a saving faith. Then the resulting religion may use the name of Jesus Christ but it has abandoned him. God defines law and morality. To be religious and to despise or set aside God’s law is a rejection of God as Lord over us. Law is the expression of lordship. To change laws is to change gods. Hodge noted and I quote:
“From this inheritance of the kingdom of God all the immoral no matter how zealous they may be in the profession of the truth or how insidious in the performance of religious services shall be excluded.” Unquote.
According to Galatians 3:13-14 Jesus Christ has redeemed us, not from the law itself but from the curse of the law and its death penalty against us. Without salvation it is this curse that has been set aside. Its death penalty, not the law itself. But churchmen are still repeating the law of Corinth, the sin of Corinth, whose antinomianism was a deadly affliction. The kingdom of God is a moral realm and all members delight to do the will of God. All are obedient to His law word. We have a battle and on all sides there are people who have no use for God’s law and who claim to be Christian. All the more must we uphold the law of God and His way of life, to do honor to Jesus Christ as Lord. If you have no lord you have no law. Let us pray. [00:16:33]
Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee for this...
Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee for this Thy word. We thank Thee that Thy word is clear and plain. That it leaves us without excuse. Give us grace to hear and obey, to follow Thee all the days of our life. To know that the things we give up for Thee are trifling compared to Thy blessings. Make us faithful oh Lord. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions about our lesson?
When we read Corinthians it may seem to us as though there is no progress in history because we have the same problems. This is not quite true. What we need to realize is everyone born in every age of history is born a fallen person. So that with each generation we begin afresh to take those who are born of Adam and to make them born again in Jesus Christ. So it’s a continual battle. But it’s one with a great deal of victory and progress. The faith has grown from the eleven faithful apostles to an enumerable people the world over. So the progress has been great and marvelous, yes?
[Person speaking] I was just thinking Rush, doesn’t that put to lie the idea of those who think if we just can sort of get back to New Testament Christianity everything will be fine. Well we see exactly what kind of New Testament Christianity the Corinthians practiced.
[Rushdoony] very well put. Very, very well put. The ideal of New Testament Christianity is nonsense, there can only be Christianity. The idea of going back to the early church is again nonsense because the early church always battled a fight and bigger ones. So what we must do is to recognize that we have a duty to press forward, to extend the boundaries of the kingdom and to serve the Lord with ever increasing faithfulness. If there are no further questions let us conclude with prayer. [00:20:54]
Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word...
Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word. We thank Thee that Thy word is truth. And that Thy church shall prevail. Make us more than conquerors in Jesus Christ. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.