Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"...the saints will judge the world."

For some, this statement from 1 Corinthians 6:2 indicates a reward to which the faithful believer can look forward. For them, it's a reward that is either won or lost according to the believers life. Have they done good or bad? Have they been faithful enough? Have they done too much evil?

But what's interesting to me is that even though Paul is addressing some very significant issues, he doesn't use the threat of loss of this privilege in the kingdom to come as means to correct their behavior. To what does Paul direct their attention?

In verse 9 of the same chapter (6), Paul does point them to the kingdom. He says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" And then lists out some pretty ugly sins. And he says those people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Was Paul indicting them? No, because in verse 11, he reminds them that that is what some of them were. What makes the difference? What's the difference between the covetous and these believers who were wronging and defrauding their brothers in Christ? Paul says what the difference is. He reminds them of the gospel. He says, "but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

Wow, that's powerful. He points to their sin and says it's sin. And then he points them to Christ, the source of their righteousness. And in verse 14 he gives us more powerful hope. "Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power." What a great promise.

And he reminds the believers of somethings else in verse 15. He reminds them that our bodies are members of Christ. And then he reveals to us why immorality is such a heinous sin.

And he says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God..." A great truth, of which much can and has been said, but lets look at his closing statement to this argument against immorality.

"...and that you are not your own?" This is a statement that many do not like to hear. We want to be masters of our destinies. We want to be the one to call the shots, but Paul tells us that we have a master, and we are not that master. Verse 20 says why God is our master, "For you have been bought with a price". Paul, once again, points us back to the gospel. We were bought.

Peter talks about what we were bought with in 1 Peter 1:18,19. He says that we were redeemed, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with precious blood, the blood of Christ. What a hefty price. What an amazing price for the Creator of the universe to pay for someone like me.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:20, therefore glorify God in your body. How interesting that he's not using the argument that we should glorify God in our bodies because we might lose the reward of higher seat in the supreme court of heaven, but shore up his argument with the rock solid foundation of Christ's death and resurrection. He points us back to the master.

That's where our assurance is. That's where our security rests. Praise God, that if your faith is in Christ, you are not your own. You were bought. Bought with the precious blood of Christ. Your sins are forgiven and you can look forward to that blessed hope of the resurrection. Now go and sin no more, glorify God in your body.

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