9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,”
Do you not know that the unrighteous
The “unrighteous” are those not right with God. This is a person who does not have imputed righteousness. He has not been justified before God. An unregenerate person cannot please God.
will not inherit the kingdom of God?
This list of sins does not deal with losing one’s salvation but identifying those who are “unrighteous” (i.e., those who are not Christians). They will not inherit the kingdom because they are not justified.
Do not be deceived.
The issue of this verse is the exact place where people deceive themselves. Fornicators love to deceive others about fornication, sodomites about their sodomy.
The word “fornicators” is the word immoral in Greek. This is sexual sin of any type. Immorality does not pay attention to rank or culture, status in life, rich or poor. This is a sin against the body.
Idolatry is not a sin of the flesh but a sin of the mind. It doesn’t make any difference whether we worship the Ganges River in India, our ancestors in Japan, or ourselves in Orlando – it is idolatry. Our idol may be a god of gold. It may be my body, baby, job, or profession. Jesus will not play second fiddle to anyone or anything. The greatest building in Corinth was the Temple of Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the goddess of lust. Lust is a god to some people. Idolatry is more than simply bowing before an idol; it is the worship of any false religion.
Adultery is sex between people married to different people. Adultery exploded when women entered the workforce. People plan meetings after work, and fellow employees know about it. More so, God sees it and is grieved.
The previous sex sins are within the natural category, but now Paul turns to the unnatural sex sins with “homosexuals” and “sodomites.” “Homosexuals” are sex deviates among male homosapiens. This also includes transvestitism. This sin was predominant in the first century. Socrates and Plato practiced this sin long before the first century. Fourteen out of the first 15 Roman Emperors were homosexual. Near the time of the writing of 1 Corinthians, the Roman Emperor Nero took a boy called Sporus and married him with a full ceremony. Nero took him home in procession to his place. The following Emperor took Sporus after Nero died.
Lev 20:13, If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
“Sodomites” are male or female perverts (Genesis 19:4-5; 18:20). The Bible does not recognize sodomy as a disease but as a sin. In Genesis 6, God destroyed a whole civilization because of sodomy. This involves catamites as well – young men kept for homosexual intercourse.
Conversion makes a visible difference in the lives of Christians.
If we run with horses, we will smell like horses. If we lie down with dogs, we will get up with fleas. If Christian young people run with a godless crowd, they will come up with godlessness.
Sexual perversion types of sin are “perversions” because they undermine the family structure. Churches that defend perversion undermine one of God’s most important institutions – the family.
There is a remedy for sin – the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a substitute for our sin.
I am very grateful for your clear exposition of the Holy Scriptures.This is what we need to counter the spread of homosexualism by governments backed by rich homosexuals and lesbians.We should prsy for this to be changed byGod working through the saints who have tasted the love of God through JesusChrist our Lord and Daviour.
The Assistant Secretary of State for for AfrcanAffairs Mrs.Greenfield has said The U.S.Government would put pressure on African Government to pressure their legislatures to pass laes to fsvour the prsctice of homosexuals which the culture and Christian faith of Africans do not permit!Even though she is speaking from a position of strength we in Africa will never allow the mafness of a few people in the worlf to take us to thepath of destruction NEVER NO NEVER!!!!!
Joseph, the institutions of the United States are heading downhill. The President operates on a unilateral mode independent of congress and the Supreme Court. Congress is ineffective. The Supreme Court of the United States has corrupted its role. Their role was to interpret the United States constitution but it has usurped a role of interpolating culture into the constitution. Christians will have to look to other parts of the world to influence people for Christ and to influence culture. I hope that the US does not impose its culture on other countries of the world.
Thanks for your spot on comments. We have a dictator in the White House who is determined to bring the U.S. down to a third world country. Now, most recently, he is announcing he will have more executive orders on immigration. Instead of enforcing our laws, securing our borders, he is doing the opposite. Your right on about our laws and judgement are not based on what is right or moral, but based on the dictates of our culture. The Iran nuke deal, I am afraid, will allow Iran to secretly build a bomb and will not hesitate to use it to wipe Israel off the map. If the Saudis are concerned, we should even be more concerned.
Our military has been cut drastically by this administration.Will it be able to respond to a crisis?
Are the churches doing their job? I am afraid many churches are of the Laodician type. The only hope for America is Christ. I believe God will soon judge our country and may use the radical Islamic state.
We know the end result and this is our hope. Many of my friends don't want to hear this stuff and even my family thinks I am to obsessive, but I believe it is time for all to seek repentance and turn to Christ because His coming is very near, I think.
William, You are right. Today the church is feckless, immobile, and without significant effect in our culture. I have written a book on one aspect of this problem called "Certainty, a Place to Stand." Postconsdervative or postevangelical Christians no longer possess burning conviction about what is true. This has resulted in a passivity about the gospel. There is also a general malaise about truth in the church in general as well. Heaven and hell are too long and time too short to waste on priorities other than the gospel truth that originates from the Word of God.
Hi Grant, I am trying to reconcile this passage with Galatians 5:19-21 – are these passages effectively talking about the same thing? I have no problem with your commentary on Gal 5 and how there is a difference between inheriting the Kingdom and entering the Kingdom (e.g., rewards) – however here is seems you are implying that not “inheriting” means not saved in this case? I’m keen to hear your thoughts…
Love your commentaries – they are always a go-to for sermon preps.
Mike, did you advance to the next two studies? The context indicates that these are people who performed actions that were “characteristically” without Christ. Paul then says “and such were some of you” but since then you were “washed” positionally “sanctified” and “justified” (1 Co 6:11).
Hi Grant, Thanks for your response. Yes, I have read the next two studies. So if I am hearing you right, what makes this passage different to the Galatians one is that it is premised with “the unrighteous” prior to the list of sins…? What then for someone born again and practices these sins? Would you say that they may “enter” the kingdom but not “inherit” rewards? For example, there are a lot of Christians who battle with pornography (especially teenage boys)… A lot of Christians who wilfully pirate movies (theft)… A lot of Christians who covet. These are real struggles for many…
Basically, what I am getting at is this. In reference to the passages Galatians 5:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, both talk about not inheriting the Kingdom of God… Not inheriting in of itself does not necessarily mean Hell, it means a lack of rewards… However we know that the group in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 will be destined for hell because Paul says they are “unrighteous”. Is that correct?
Surely “not inheriting the Kingdom” meaning a lack of rewards in the Kingdom is consistent between these two passages? (see definition here: https://versebyversecommentary.com/galatians/galatians-521g/)
I really appreciate your help with this.
Mike, yes on “unrighteous” in the sense of forensic unrighteous, not moral unrighteous. In verse 11 “were” is imperfect active indicative–that is, such were some of you existing in an ongoing sense at a time in the past (before they became believers). These same people “were washed,” that is, aorist, middle, indicative, they were washed at one point in the past. “were sanctified,” aorist, passive, indicative, that is, they were sanctified (set apart) at one point in the past positionally by God. “Were justified,” aorist, passive, indicative, that is, God declared them as right as He is at one point in the past. All the indicatives indicates that all these things actually happened, not potentially might happen. It is clear 1 Co 6 refers to the salvation experience. Interpreting inheriting the kingdom must be put in each context where it occurs.
Dr Grant. Your commentary has blessed me so much. I thank you for your sound doctrine teachings.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is a scripture that continues to challenge me. Can you elaborate on what this means that these sinners apparently still practicing habitual sin will not inherit the kingdom of God? And how Paul accentuates by saying do not be deceived ? I struggle with interpretation as I believe Paul is making these statements under the new covenant of Christ. Is he saying that if we willfully continue to walk in sin that we will not inherit Gods Kingdom ? Is there a difference between inheriting Gods kingdom and being allowed to enter heaven ???
If a believer of Christ chooses to have fornication ( unmarried heterosexual sex) does this disqualify the believer from an inheritance and basically removes rewards in heaven ?
I am pretty sure ( and pleased) that you will explain I am seeing this in the wrong light. I look forward to your view as I have been wrestling with this scripture for a few months.
Grainger, did you read my answers in the comments about this article? This passage does not refer to believers, but to unbelievers who practice these sins as a lifestyle. If a believer, like David,commits adultery, he is completely forgiven if he confesses his sin. If he does not confess he is subject to divine disciple as a believer (Heb 12:6,7).
Grant. Thanks for the response. I went back again to read your comments above as well as your comments for Hebrews. I feel like I have a better understanding. Thank you again.
Thank you Grainger.