First Corinthians – Part 14
Last time we looked at the matter of going to the unrighteous for the settlements of differences between brothers and how this was utterly a fault.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Today we will move into the seriousness of the actions performed by the Corinthians and the principle of judgment will be taken into the personal life of the believer finally concentrating on the body.
The defrauding action should be avoided but the over-reaction should also — rather suffer wrong should be the path taken. These sins were compounded by goind to the unbelievers for judgment. They sought judgment on their unrighteous deeds by the unrigteous. Paul says:
9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
It is interesting that Paul categorizes these unrighteous persons through their deeds which I will simply call:
- Mainly sexual
The greek for the passage concerning the mainly sexual sinners goes as follows:
TBT 1 Corinthians 6:9 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι; μὴ πλανᾶσθε·
- οὔτε πόρνοι, neither fornicators (usually with prostitutes)
- οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι, nor idolators
- οὔτε μοιχοί, nor adulterers (unmarried with married)
- οὔτε μαλακοί, nor effiminate (the passive partner in a homosexual relationship)
- οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (possibly the active member of the homosexual pair)
A few notes about these words, μαλακός primarily means “soft” as in:
Mt 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft <3120> raiment? behold, they that wear soft <3120> clothing are in kings’ houses.
This whole passage is an interesting example of a play on words that helps us see the extremeness of the homosexual relationship.
7 ¶ And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
John was by no means a man in “soft”(μαλακοί) raiment — he was as hard as nails! He lived by eating wild honey and locusts and wore camel hair his house was the desert. But according to verse 11 he would only just make it into the kingdom of heaven. The lord using the figure of hyperbole to establish the righteousness of the kingdom. If the man who was far from being soft could only just make it — what do you thinkwill happen to the one who was “soft” μαλακοί?
Now we come to the next word which is translated by the phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind”:
ἀρσενοκοῖται=ἄῤῥ ην + κοίτη which means man + sexual intercourse. It occurs also here in 1 Tim 1:
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind <733>, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
The law used correctly, contextually that is, with the intent of the author(God) is good. Used correctly it should bring about the right practices in a God fearing community. One way that the law can be used lawfully is to note from the law what God’s opinion is of a practice. It is not difficult to see God’s attitude to many of the sexual sins justified today:
4 ¶ But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
24 ¶ Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
It needs to be pointed out that while I have spent some time on the sexual sins because they are particularly justified in our liberal, wayward and God deying society this does not mean that if one keeps clear of these and forgets the rest of what Paul says in verse 10 will enjoy the commendation of God.
Paul then says after all these categories — “shall inherit the kingdom of God” (see also Gal 5:21, Eph 5:5)
11 And such were some of you: 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.
And such were some of you! BUT! The salvation which come from Christ is full and free. It was then and is today. The conduct of the believer must change
Next time we shall examine verses 12 – 20.
The sins which defined the categories of the sinners are marked out clearly in this passage. The meaning of the various categories along with a lawful use of the law reveal a staggering slip in the morality of the western world.