Such WERE Some of You {Another 1 Corinthians Sneak Peek}

I’ve been busy working on the Becoming a Woman of Conviction in a World of Compromise study of 1 Corinthians again this week, so I’m letting some of that do double-duty by posting another sneak peek for you. In September, you will have an opportunity to do the study with me online, or (if you live in the Brandon, FL area) live at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. You’ll be hearing lots more about that as it gets closer, I promise. In the meantime, would you pray for me and for this study? The deadline to have the workbook written and ready for formatting is fast approaching and I’ve only written two out of seven weeks. Ha! (I choose laughter over tears . . . most days.) If only I could write, play trucks, cook, clean, pay bills, menu plan, and hang out with my husband all at the same time. 🙂

The following is application of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, focusing in on verse 11: “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; 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.”

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I’m a big fan of room makeover shows. Do you remember TLC’s Trading Spaces? “Two rooms, two sets of neighbors, two designers, two days, $1,000 each.” I was addicted, folks! (And  I’d still give anything to have Laurie Smith come work her magic in my home!) But whether I loved the finished product or hated it, I always thought to myself, “There’s no way that’s going to last.” What may have looked good on camera wasn’t very likely to withstand the wear and tear of real life. One thousand dollars may be enough to redecorate a room for a TV audience, but it takes a much bigger budget (and a lot longer than 2 days!) to permanently renovate a room so that it stands the test of time.

Christianity is not a spiritual room makeover show. God is not interested in merely redecorating our lives; He wants to renovate our lives. He’s not in the business of making us better versions of ourselves. He’s in the business of total transformation – of gutting all the old stuff and re-making us into the likeness of Jesus (Rom. 8:29). The price tag on that renovation? Nothing less than the precious blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18, 19)!

To use another metaphor, salvation isn’t some spiritual version of plastic surgery – it’s a heart transplant! The message of the gospel is not that God accepts us in all our sinfulness, forgives us, and then leaves us in our sinfulness with the command to do the best we can at being nice Christian people. The message of the gospel is that God accepts us in all our sinfulness, forgives us, and then indwells us with His Spirit so that we might live lives that are radically transformed from the inside out!

We’ve got to put an end to the line of thinking that Christianity is merely cosmetic; that life in the Spirit is some lofty notion to discuss in Sunday school but has little bearing on our everyday lives; that Jesus is some kind of divine self-help guru sent to improve us rather than a Redeemer sent to save and transform us. That’s nonsense! You and I have not just been saved from sin. We have been saved to an entirely new life in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)! The Corinthians had pretty much forgotten that, and I’m afraid many of us have as well.

Does your life story have an obvious “but” in it? Does is contain something to the effect of, “I used to be _________________, BUT then I met Jesus and I’ve never been the same!” Is the “but” in your story evident to everyone around you? Does it magnify the beauty of the gospel and the worth of your Savior? Is your former life really your former life?

But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified” (v. 11). By the grace of God, that is who you are, sweet sister. Because of Jesus, your story has a “but.” It’s time to start living like it. No more compromise! It’s time to make purity an absolute priority.

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