No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
THANKS TO CALVARY
Intro: There is a song that was very popular some years back entitled "Thanks to Calvary." One stanza goes something like this:
Today I went back to the place where I used to go,
Today I saw the same old crowd I knew before.
And when they asked me what had happened,
I tried to tell them:
Thanks to Calvary I don't come here anymore.
Many of us can say, "Thanks to Calvary, I'm not the person I used to be." When we met the Lord Jesus Christ He made us a new man, a new creature in Christ Jesus.
D.L. Moody said that when he got saved, "I went outdoors and fell in love with everything. I never loved the bright sun shining as much as I did that day. When I heard the birds sing, I fell in love with the birds. Everything was different."
On the grave of John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace," are these words:
John Newton, Clerk
Once an infidel and libertine,
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour,
Preserved, restored, pardoned,
And appointed to preach the faith
He had long labored to destroy.
On one occasion Newton said to a friend, "I am not all that I should be or what I want to be, but thank God I am not what I used to be."
Jesus makes every repentant sinner a new person and His salvation brings with it a brand new life. Our text is a wonderful description of the difference Jesus makes in the lives of those He saves.
Let's consider these 3 verses and be reminded that, "Thanks to Calvary we are not the person we used to be."
I. THE CORRUPTION OF SINNERS IS EXPOSED
(Ill. In verses 9-10, Paul describes the corrupt condition of the lost sinner. As indicated in verse 11, many of the Corinthian believers had been saved from such a corrupt life.
The conditions that Paul described in verses 9-10 are descriptive of many believers. Like the Corinthian believers, many of us were saved out of such a life. Paul wants to remind them and us of what we were before we were saved, and that now we should be different since we have been saved! Notice the life that is described prior to salvation.
A. WE SEE A LOST CONDITION.
1. In verse 9 Paul stated, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Paul was simply declaring that before we were saved we were lost and separated from God.
2. The reason for our lost condition is that we were "unrighteous."
The word "unrighteous" simply means that we were "unjust."
3. The result of our lost condition is that we were not an heir of "the kingdom of God." We were cut off from God in this life and the life to come, Eph. 2:1-3; 12.
B. WE SEE A LOWLY CONDITION.
1. Because we were unrighteous we lived a life of unrighteousness.
Our condition was manifested in our conduct.
2. In verses 9-10 Paul cataloged a list of sins that are characteristic of the lifestyles many lived before they were saved. In verse 9 Paul speaks of those who lived a life of sexual corruption. He speaks of:
• Fornicators: those who lived in sexual immorality before they were either saved or married.
• Adulterers: those who were unfaithful to a marriage partner and lived a life of infidelity. (Can also refer to those who live lives of unfaithfulness before the Lord!)
• Effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind: those who lived a life of homosexuality, transvestism, and other gender perversions. (Ill. These perversions were the downfall of the Roman Empire! 14 of the first 15 emperors were reportedly homosexual!)
3. Also in verse 9 Paul speaks of those who lived a life of spiritual corruption. He speaks of: Idolaters: those who worshiped and bowed down to false gods and false religious systems.
4. In verse 10, Paul continues his list and speaks of those who lived a life of social corruption: He speaks of:
• Thieves: those who steal and take away from others.
• Covetous: those who in a greedy fashion desire what others have.
• Drunkards: those who are bound by alcohol and strong drink.
• Revilers: those who destroy with their tongues and wound with their words.
• Extortioners: those who steal indirectly and take unfair advantage of others.
5. Paul words in verse 11, "And such were some of you," imply that not every person lived such a life before they were saved. Some lived decent and moral lives. But the point is that many before they were saved were wicked and corrupt.
6. Someone has said that all men are "dead" in trespasses and sins. The only difference is the state of decay. (Ill. Eph. 2:1-3!)
7. The state of decay for many was a foul, putrefying, stench in the nostrils of God. Many lived a corrupt life, perverse, and wicked life. All of us were "unrighteous" and were not heirs of the "kingdom of God." In some of us, it was more obvious.
II. THE CHANGE IN THE SAINTS IS EXALTED
(Ill. Paul says in verse 11, "And such were some of you." Thank God for the word "were." Praise God I can say, "Thanks to Calvary, I am not the man I used to be." Paul was saying to these Corinthian believers, "This is what you used to be. This is how you used to live, but there has been a marvelous and glorious change in your life." What kind of change was Paul speaking of in their life?
A. THERE HAS BEEN A POSITIONAL CHANGE.
1. We were "unrighteous" positionally and therefore lost. We were not an heir of the "kingdom of God." But salvation has made a change in that condition.
2. As John Newton said:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Twas blind but now I see.
3. Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
4. Paul also declared in Romans 8:17, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
5. I am now "righteous" in Jesus Christ and a "joint-heir" in Christ. There has been a positional change in our lives.
B. THERE HAS BEEN A PERSONAL CHANGE.
1. "And such were some of YOU," Paul declares that once we lived like those mentioned in verses 9-10, but now we are totally different people.
2. Salvation produced a marvelous change in how we lived. Some used to be a drunkard but now they are a deacon. Some used to be convict with a bad name, but now they are a Christian with a blessed name.
3. Some used to be an embarrassment to the family, but now they are the envy of the family. Some used to be the talk of the community but now they are the talk of the Church. Some used to curse like a sailor but now they shout like a saint.
4. It used to be that parents did not want their children around you for you were a bad example. Now you teach their children and they pray they grow up to be just like you. That’s what Jesus does in each life He saves, 2 Cor. 5:17!
5. Some of you may have heard of Norma McCorvey. Norma McCorvey was named as "Jane Roe" of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, legalizing abortion. A few years ago McCorvey was working in a women's health clinic in Dallas.
The national headquarters for Operation Rescue moved in next door to this women's clinic. The head of this pro-life organization was Philip Benham. It was there that Benham first encountered Norma McCorvey.
Now you can imagine that two such individuals in such close proximity would generate a significant amount of hostility. After all, this was the same woman who (in a reporter's hearing) invited a critic who accused her of killing babies to "bring yours over here and we'll do them too."
At first, the relationship was tense. Recriminations bounced back and forth the protest lines. But Benham, instead of personally attacking McCorvey, the poster child of the proabortion movement, lowered his defenses, cooled the rhetoric, and simply began talking to her. He took an interest in her. He listened to her. He showed her love and compassion. The two became unlikely friends.
Norma McCorvey slowly began to reveal the secret doubts that plagued her heart. The sight of empty swings in a playground one afternoon suddenly gripped her. She later told ABC News, "They were swinging back and forth, but they were all empty, and I just totally lost it. And I thought, Oh my God, the playgrounds are empty because there's no children, because they have all been aborted."
Within a few weeks, Norma McCorvey began visiting the offices of Operation Rescue, even volunteering to do a few odd jobs. The folks at Operation Rescue showed her courtesy, warmth, and friendship. Then seven-year-old Emily, daughter of the office manager, invited McCorvey to church. McCorvey accepted and that very night she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.
Now Norma McCorvey volunteers at Operation Rescue and has become an outspoken opponent of the cause she once defended so fiercely. A correspondent from the Washington Times reported that she "prays, sometimes from 1 A.M. to 3 A.M."
6. What can make such a drastic turnaround and difference in a Norma McCorvey? It is the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. As Charles Gabriel wrote:
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul, for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
III THE CONDITION OF THE SAINTS IS EXAMINED
(Ill. In verse 11, Paul tells us that our salvation not only changed us but also completed us. In other words, we have been given in our salvation all that is needed for this new life we have in Christ. We are complete in Christ.
Paul says in verse 11, "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Notice the repeated use of the word “but”. This word indicates the extent of the changes which have taken place. It made no difference what the Corinthians had been before they came to know Jesus, all that mattered at this point was what they had become because of His work in them.)
A. WE SEE HOW GOD CLEANSED US.
1. Paul says, "but ye are washed." Paul is saying that all the wicked things we did in the past have been cleansed and forgiven. He is talking about the new birth, John 3:3; 7. When a sinner comes to Jesus by faith, that sinner is regenerated, not through personal effort, but through the grace and mercy of the Lord, Titus 3:5.
2. If you are troubled and tortured by your past, then remember that God has "washed" you. The word "wash" speaks of “that which has been purified.” All the pollution of a past life has been purged and the life purified. (Note: All the other verbs in this verses, i.e. sanctified and justified are in the passive voice signifying that they happen to us apart from any action on our part. However, the verb “are washed” is in the middle voice meaning literally “ye have washed yourselves”. The idea is that we responded to the message of the Gospel by faith and as a result we were washed. Salvation is of the Lord, but He requires a faith response from the sinner! God has done everything necessary to save you, all that remains is believing the Gospel message by faith.)
3. As the songwriter said:
Oh happy day, Oh happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away.
B. WE SEE HOW GOD CLAIMS US.
1. Paul not only tells us that we have been purified but we also have been sanctified. Paul says, "but ye are sanctified."
2. The word "sanctified" speaks of “that which has been set apart for God”, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. The particular word used here speaks of a positional sanctification.
3. Paul is saying that we belong to God. He claims us as His own.
4. Often we think of how we used to live and think to ourselves, "God could never use me or bless me. I have been too mean and lived such a wicked life. God could never do anything with me."
5. That is where you are wrong. It doesn't matter what you did or how you lived, you are God's. He took you from an old life and gave you a new life. He claims you as a trophy of grace.
6. Not only does God claim us, but He makes us holy inwardly, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He enables us to live holy lives outwardly, 1 Pet. 1:16. When you meet Jesus, you will never be the same again, 2 Cor. 5:17.
C. WE SEE HOW GOD CONSIDERS US.
1. We are not only purified and sanctified, but we are also justified. Paul says, "but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
2. The word "justified" speaks of our standing before God. When God considers us, He no longer considers us, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of ourselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, but as righteous in His Son the Lord Jesus.
3. God no longer looks at us as what we used to be as sinners, but what we are in His Son. In Christ we have been declared righteous.
4. Salvation has provided all we need to be complete in Christ. Because I am purified I can face my guilt. Because I am sanctified I can be what I should be and now live godly. Because I am justified I do not have to worry about what I am, who I am or what I was!
Conc: The chorus to the song: Thanks To Calvary goes like this:
Thanks to Calvary, I am not the man that I used to be!
Thanks to Calvary, things are different than before.
While the tears ran down my face, I tried to tell them:
Thanks to Calvary I don’t come here anymore!Has the Lord Jesus Christ ever changed your life? Is there light where there used to be darkness? Is there hope where there used to be defeat? Is there life where there used to be defeat? Oh praise His name if you have been changed! You see, Paul was writing to these people to tell them that it should have been shame to them that they were living like the lost world. They were not saved for that, but from that! But, if you haven’t been changed, friend you need to be saved! If you will come to Jesus, He will save you by His grace. Come now!