We Need Restraint
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
When you read these verses, be honest. Do you read this list with an eye of condemnation?
- the sexually immoral
- men who have sex with men
- the greedy
Perhaps you think you’re supposed to read this list with eyes of condemnation, because Paul notes they “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, does this reality denote total condemnation for those who practice such behaviors?
Paul gives little emphasis on the specificity of these behaviors. In fact, in this language he is determinedly vague. Throughout his entire discussion on sexual brokenness in this letter to the Corinthian church, he merely lists these in one verse. It appears Paul strategically keeps his comments limited as he intentionally uses the word “inherit.” This verbiage implies Kingdom behavior produces Kingdom dividends. The connection and familial blessings of God’s Kingdom are not present with these illicit behaviors.
The truth is that Paul says more in these verses than some want to hear on these subjects, yet he maintains his balance by saying less than others want him to say.
The question is “Can you see your own Kingdom brokenness mirrored in this list?”
When God asks us to restrain from that which brings about Kingdom disconnection, we have a choice, much like Adam and Eve in the good and beautiful garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-10). We can choose to acknowledge God’s request to restrain ourselves and surrender to his ways, trusting he has our good in mind. Or, we can shrug him off, believing he’s withholding good things from us.
Let’s do a little heart check today. Do you want Kingdom inheritance – which involves connection to God and the fruit of his inheritance?
Get honest and ask God to reveal to you any area where you may be resistant to his request for restraint. Confess your resistance and agree with the good inheritance Jesus offers you on the other side of obedience.