“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
These are sobering verses, and certainly not popular verses in the world and the culture I live in. I can’t think of many cultures in the world where these are popular verses, for these words are a direct affront to all kinds of ways we sin and are tempted to sin. And we need to be clear in our understanding of these verses. This is not saying that anyone who has done anything sexually immoral, or committed adultery, or has had greed in their life will not inherit the kingdom of God, will spend eternity separated from God.
Jesus has set us free from the penalty of sin. We have been freed to obey. May He open our eyes to all areas of our lives where we are tempted to sin against Him.
For the reality is, and we see this all over scripture, like even followers of Jesus, even people who are walking with God are prone to sin in these ways, but that’s just it. Followers of Jesus and those who are walking with faith in God and His word, when we sin in any way, these ways or so many different other ways we see in scripture, we are convicted by the spirit of God according to the word of God, and we turn from it. The whole picture here is those who are continuing to walk against the word of God in the ways of this world, in the ways of our flesh, and not according to God’s ways, God’s good word for us.
So the Christian, the follower of Jesus, when he reads this, when she reads this, says, “Oh God, help me to turn from all of these things, and help me to live in accord with your word, with what you have said is good.” And so we pray in light of that. God, please, please open all of our eyes to see every way in which we are prone to sin in these ways, and to turn from it by the power of the spirit that you have put inside of us, what 1 Corinthians 6 later says, our bodies, temples of your Holy Spirit, by the power of Jesus and what he did on the cross, even what we read right after this in 1 Corinthians 6:11, such worse, some of you are, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the spirit of our God. Jesus, you died to pay the price for our sin and not just to pay the price for our sin, but to set us free from sin, to give us power over sin, to experience the life that you’ve called us to live.
So God, please help us all to turn from all sexual immorality. Please, oh God, help us to turn from all sexual activity, thought, desire outside of marriage, between a man and a woman according to your word. God, please delivers from all sexual morality, from idolatry, from the worship of anything, improper affection given to anything over you, God, worshiping anything but you. God, please, please help us to worship you alone, to love you with all our heart, soul, and mind, and strength. Keep us from adultery, God, please keep us from adultery. Cause us all to be faithful, whether that’s in pursuing you with purity as singles, or as the husbands and wives faithful to our spouses.
God, please keep us from adultery. Please keep us from homosexuality, from living in ways that are not according to your design for us. God, we pray that you would keep us from stealing. God, please keep us from greed. God, we are so prone to be selective in this list of sins, and we can point out people who are struggling with this or that and we just turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to greed in our own hearts. God, please convict us where we need to be convicted of when it comes to greed. Turn us from greed, from hoarding to giving. God, make us a generous, sacrificially giving, cheerfully giving people. We pray. God, we pray that you turn us from drunkenness. Turn us from reviling. Turn us from swindling.
God, in all these ways, please, please, please, and so many other ways, God, we ask, help us by the power of your spirit to live in holiness, to live in purity, to live according to your word because we trust your word. We trust that you love us and your word is good for us. So God, whenever we are tempted in any of these ways, we pray that you help us to turn from it. If we’ve fallen to temptation, and we sin, God, help us to repent quickly, and to turn back to you by your grace. God, please don’t let us continue in any of these ways. Help us to live according to your ways and your word, for your glory and for our good. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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