what's in a name?
"Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God's kingdom." —1 Corinthians 6:9-10
"Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person — in effect an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments. These are sins that bring God's wrath down on the disobedient; therefore have nothing to do with" these sins (Eph 5:5-6).
Notice that in both passages above, from 1 Corinthians and Ephesians, the language does not refer to sin but to sinners. These sinners are so entrenched in their chief sin that they can be identified by its name. For instance, an adulterer is someone who is committed to adultery and has not repented of it. The adulterer has lost his identity and is now identified by what he has committed to. By contrast, a person so entrenched in Jesus and His lifestyle of obedience and righteousness also is identified by what he has committed to and is called a Christian.
Many people are fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, slanderers, etc. Because it's commonplace, we can be deceived into thinking these lifestyles are acceptable. Do not be deceived! (1 Cor 6:9) All arguments to the contrary are worthless (Eph 5:6). Some of us were once entrenched in these sins (1 Cor 6:11), and some still are. So repent immediately! Invite others to do the same. "The person who brings a sinner back from his way will save his soul from death and cancel a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20).
Prayer: Father, may I love sinners enough to share hard scriptures with them.
Promise: "Power went out from Him which cured all." —Lk 6:19
Praise: By loving the sinner, Michael befriended Larry, whose sinful drunkenness Michael confronted. Michael soon led Larry to Jesus.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006
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