(#028) - 1 Corinthians 5 & 6 - No Matter How Bad You Think You Are, God has Changed You

FCOR-33-200426 - length: 101:59 - taught on Apr, 26 2020

Class Outline:

We have a choice to rest in victory or be arrested in emotion.










Welcome To 


a Christian Church


Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  As Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son.  He is also 100% human just like you and me and His name is Jesus Christ.  The Lord…God the Son…became flesh…Jesus Christ...and lived among us.  He is the uniquely born One…the God-Man…He is the Sovereign God of the Universe…He is the Savior of the whole world…and He is the Jewish Messiah.  


Those who make Barah Ministries their spiritual home are Christians…we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and we have a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the Lord…because Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  And the Lord Jesus Christ is a Person…He’s not a thing and He’s not a concept.  Just as we do with anyone whom we love, we spend time getting to know the Lord through the study of His Word.  You can’t get to know the Lord without knowing His mind, and the Bible is His exact thinking.



No Matter How Bad You Think You Are, God has Changed You


If Christianity is compared to a game, it’s a game the believer in Christ has already won.  The game is over.  First John, Chapter 5, Verses 4 and 5…



For whosoever is a born again one of God the Father overcomes the

world…and this is the victory that has (made a born again one) overcome

the world—our faith (in the Lord Jesus Christ).


And in case you didn’t hear, John repeats himself in the next verse.



Who is it, then, who overcomes the world?  It is he who believes that Jesus is God the Son (Deity in human form)!


With one single decision, believers in Christ are overcomers of the world…through our faith, God gives us the victory.  Yet because we continue to sin after salvation…because we continue to make mistakes, and because we are ADDICTED to feeling bad for our mistakes, we consistently forfeit the victory we already have as overcomers by failing to believe that we have won.  We don’t act like victors.  We don’t act like royalty.  We act like strivers who still have to work to please God.  None of these mental gymnastics change the fact that we have already won the game, but addiction is addiction.


At the base of this rejection of our victory is doubt.  The world has convinced believers in Christ, through an onslaught of incessant propaganda, that our God is not powerful enough to save us once and for all time.  And if God is not powerful enough to make us victors who have overcome the world, then God needs our help.  So, we strive to change the world…to get the world to see a different point of view.  No matter how hard we strive, the world remains fixed in its ways.  The Bible tells us over and over, both in Psalm 46, Verse 10, and throughout its pages…


PSALM 46:10

“Cease striving and know that I am God…”


…yet we ignore the messages.  God is indeed omnipotent…God indeed has all the power…God indeed has the ability and the willingness to do all that He promises.  John, Chapter 16, Verse 33…


JOHN 16:33

“These things I (the Lord Jesus Christ) have spoken to you apostles, so that in union with Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage…I have overcome the world.”


The wise among us…the mature among us…rest in victory and watch as God patiently reveals His might to the world.  


The problems that we face in today’s world have already been solved by our God in eternity past.  We can’t see the solution right now.  Yet in faith, trusting confidence that God has all the power and He can be taken at His Word, we wait.  But we prefer to gnaw at our knuckles and to get enthralled by the world’s false approach to solving this pandemic and other problems.


The same was true for the believers in the first-century Corinthian church.  In a much worse world, these people who were already believers in Christ… already victors…already overcomers…preferred living the world’s lifestyle even though they had become a new creation through the divine power of an omnipotent God.  In today's lesson, we'll see that the more things change, the more nothing has changed.  Even today, we still settle for the world’s lifestyle even though God has changed us into beings who could never be successful in our old lives.




Let’s hear some music!  John called himself “the apostle that Jesus loved.”  Even though that is a description of all of us, I like it that John had the confidence to express the sentiment.  Yes…God loves us unconditionally…  and if you think He doesn’t love us unconditionally because you refuse to look at yourself from His point of view, then you’re missing an opportunity!  First John, Chapter 4, Verse 18 says…



There is no fear (resident) in unconditional love…but mature, unconditional love expels fear (from the heart) … because fear involves internal torture…and the one who fears is not yet matured by unconditional love.


We may have to beg humans to love us, but we don’t have to beg God to love us…at least that’s what June Murphy says in her song, sung from God’s perspective, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BEG.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises


June Murphy



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for delivering us from slavery once and for all time by sending Your perfect Son to make a perfect sacrifice at the Cross…to shed His blood and to die for the sins of the whole world…thank you for giving us God the Holy Spirit whose incessant guidance keeps on changing us into the person you already know we will become…thank you for looking at us how we will be and not as we are…


Father...encourage us, every moment, to see ourselves as You see us…as loved, as forgiven, as protected, as provided for, and as victors who have already overcome the world through the gift of faith you have given us…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s




No Matter How Bad You Think You Are, God has Changed You


We continue our study of the fourth passage in Paul’s first letter to the believers in Christ in first-century Corinth.  Because we are studying this letter, as we study every letter of the New Testament…verse by verse… we need to continually read ourselves into the context of the passage. The part of this passage we will study today is one of the most distorted and misused passages in the bible…and if we take this passage out of context, we miss the whole meaning of an amazing look at God's unconditional love for His believers.


In the first six chapters of First Corinthians, Paul discusses the problems brought to him by Chloe’s people and others.  In First Corinthians, Chapters 7 to 16, Paul will be addressing the concerns and offering spiritual solutions to the problems.  Every human problem has a spiritual solution.

What were some of the human problems facing the believers in Christ in first-century Corinth?  Believe it or not, much worse problems than we are dealing with today, but the same problems we are dealing with today.


Elitism is one of the problems…the belief some people have that they are better than others because of some worldly measure…perhaps their bank balance…perhaps their circle of friends…perhaps their living situation… perhaps the color of their skin.  Elitism has ALWAYS plagued the world, and it always will until Christ comes again.  God doesn’t look at people this way.  Romans, Chapter 2, Verse 11…



For there is no partiality with God.


Elitism breeds divisions and rivalries.  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 11 to 13…



For I (Paul) have been informed concerning you, my brethren (in the church at Corinth) … by Chloe’s people…that there are rivalries among you.



Now what I (Paul) mean by this is that each one of you is saying, “I belong to Paul” … and “I belong to Apollos” … and “I belong to Cephas (Simon Peter)” … and “I belong to Christ.”



Has Christ been divided (into parts)? Paul was not crucified for your sake, was he? You weren’t baptized in the name of Paul, were you?


Divisions and rivalries cause us to forget who we are in union with Christ.  Rather than being changed, free to live God’s standards, we remain in slavery under the old standards that we were freed from by the Lord at the Cross.  First Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verses 1 to 3…



And so I (Paul), brethren (fellow believers in Christ), could not speak to you

(Corinthians believers) as I would speak to spiritual persons (those with the

indwelling of God the Holy Spirit…believers in Christ) …


…but (I have to speak to you) as (if I am speaking) to men of flesh (those without the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit…unbelievers) … as if I am speaking to infants in union with Christ.



I gave you milk to drink, not solid food…for you were not yet able to digest solid food.  Indeed, even now you are not yet able to digest solid food…



…for you are still (acting as if you are) fleshly (acting like unbelievers). For since there keeps on being jealousy and strife persisting among you, are you not fleshly (acting like unbelievers…being selfish) … and are you not walking (in lifestyle) like mere men (as if you are not spirit-filled persons)?


Remaining in the old life leads to conduct unbecoming of a Christian, such as incest.  First Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 1…



It is actually reported (by Chloe’s people and others) that there is sexual immorality among you…the kind of sexual immorality that is not even considered okay among the Gentiles (unbelievers…who find some conduct repugnant…infamnia) … that someone is having sex with his father’s wife (the man’s step-mother).


In the Mafia, this kind of conduct is called an infamnia.  It’s a term that comes from the word “infamy” which means “despicably shameful conduct” … the kind of conduct that no one in his right mind would ever engage in.


The manifestation of elitism, divisions, rivalries, and sinfulness gone bad leads to destructive competition between believers in Christ, and one form of such competition is lawsuits.  First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 1 to 11…



Does any one of you, when he has a legal case against his neighbor (a fellow believer in Christ), DARE to go to law before the unrighteous (unbelievers-outsiders) and not go to law before the saints (the righteous ones-insiders)?



Or do you not know that the saints (believers in Christ) will judge the world (one day)?  If the world is to be judged by you as saints, and it is, aren’t you competent to judge the most trivial (civil) legal cases among yourselves?  



Do you not know that as saints we will judge angels also?  How much more, then, will we (be competent enough to) judge the ordinary matters of this life? 



So, if you set up law courts dealing with trivial (civil legal) matters of this life, why don’t you appoint as judges those who are held in contempt within your own church (the poo…men of little account…persona non grata)?



I (Paul) say all of this to shame you (elitist believers in the Corinthians church)!  (if you’re so smart)…Isn’t there among you one wise man who will be able to decide (a dispute) between his brethren? 



Instead, brother goes to law with brother, and that before (judges who are) unbelievers? 


Here is the part of the passage we’ll look at today…First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 7 to 11…



Actually, then, it is already a (spiritual) defeat for you (believers in the Corinthian church), that you have (civil) lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 



On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren! 



Or do you not know that the unrighteous (unbelievers) will not inherit the

kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived…neither fornicators…nor idolaters…nor adulterers…nor effeminate (males sexually penetrated by males)…nor homosexuals (those who penetrate effeminate males)…



…nor thieves…nor the greedy…nor drunkards…nor revilers…nor swindlers…will inherit the kingdom of God.



Some of you were of these lifestyles (that would exclude you from the kingdom of God)…but then you were washed (cleansed from your filth through the water of the Word…the gospel message)…but then you were sanctified (set apart in union with Christ)…but then you were justified (acquitted…legally declared as having absolute righteousness by God the Father) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the (baptism of the Holy) Spirit of our God and Father.


The big problem with all of this conduct among Christians is that there is no way to tell the difference between a believer in Christ and an unbeliever, even though there IS a big difference between believers in Christ and unbelievers.  We have the victory!  We are overcomers!  We are saved!  We are going to heaven!  And in the midst of our mistakes, when we get behind God’s eyes…when He looks at us…He loves us UNconditionally…He has forgiven us in the past with the result that we are forgiven forever…and He has planted us in a sphere of grace where we are free to make mistakes as we continue to learn the transformation that occurred at the moment of our salvation.  When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take your offering, and then we’ll deal with this difficult passage that has been abused by legalists for centuries.




Casting Crowns



No Matter How Bad You Think You Are, God has Changed You


May God the Holy Spirit open your hearts wide with generosity for the sake of the spread of the Gospel…for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…and for the pleasure of our loving heavenly Father.  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall





Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet (it being knowing Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings…being conformed to His death)…but one thing I do… forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…





…I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God the Father in union with Christ Jesus.




David Bauer, Instrumental



No Matter How Bad You Think You Are, God has Changed You


The court system in the first century favored the rich and decimated the poor…just as it does today. It was elitist.  Just as you can today if you are wealthy, you can buy a victory, especially in civil trials (versus criminal trials)…because civil trials have never been considered very serious.  

   First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verse 7…



Actually, then, it is already a (spiritual) defeat for you (believers in the Corinthian church), that you have (civil) lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 


In minor disputes, believers were going against believers in the courts.  Trials in the first century were all about slander…the ruining of the reputation of a person.    The litigious mentality is selfish, and for Christians, it illuminates a failure of unconditional love.  The litigious mentality obliterates the body of Christ…the fellowship in the entire congregation.  Litigation is win-lose… not win-win.  Paul is recommending that even those considered the least among the congregation are competent enough to settle simple disputes.


God is watching how we handle disputes.  His recommendation comes through the apostle Paul…wouldn’t it be better to be defrauded or to be wronged than to get our disputes settled by unbelievers?  Isn’t it great that the Lord wasn’t looking for fair treatment when He went to the Cross?

For a Christian, refusing to press an advantage through a lawsuit is a reflection of our Savior.  The Lord could have turned His back on us when we were at our worst and He didn’t.  Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…



But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward all mankind…in that while we were yet sinners (while we were unrighteous, ungodly, unbelievers) … Christ died (a sacrificial death) for us.


We reflect the Lord when we do what is suggested in Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verse 10…



Therefore, I (Paul) am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake…for when I am weak, then I am strong.


It is better to handle disputes in house, with other Christians, than to be to go before unbelievers for resolution.  As Christians, we can choose the ways of the world (to which we do not belong) or the ways of God.



On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.


Paul is suggesting that if Christians engage in lawsuits in front of the unjust

 (unbelievers) then we are demonstrating injustice.



God wants a community in the church at Corinth where unconditional love dominates.  If Barah Ministries is a congregation that reflects the world’s view, then we aren’t a very high impact congregation.


The next two verses taken out of context are hellion verses.  First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 9 and 10…



Or do you not know that the unrighteous (unbelievers) will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived…neither fornicators…nor idolaters… nor adulterers…nor effeminate (males sexually penetrated by males) … nor homosexuals (those who penetrate effeminate males)… 



…nor thieves…nor the greedy…nor drunkards…nor revilers…nor swindlers…will inherit the kingdom of God.


Legalists have a field day with this passage.  They claim, if you sin, you’re going to hell…especially if you commit the worst sins!  One thing that God makes absolutely clear through Paul in this letter is that in spite of their abominable sins…the Corinthian believers in Christ…in fact, NO BELIEVERS in CHRIST will be in hell…and especially not for their sins.  In fact, unbelievers are not going to the Lake of Fire for their sins…they go to the Lake of Fire for rejecting a relationship with Christ.


Here was the problem in the first-century church…SEXUAL SINS WERE RAMPANT, and they were socially acceptable, even among Christians.  Nothing has changed much in that regard has it?  Porneia…sexual sins are fine with the Christians of today.  We think we have sexual sin problems today with the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender., Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) movement.  We are kindergarteners compared to first-century Roman practices.  In the first century, male prostitution was prevalent.  Pederasty was rampant, especially sex with young boys.  Fourteen of the first fifteen Romans emperors were known to engage in and to endorse homosexuality or bi-sexuality.  Sexual sins don’t diminish in evil in God’s eyes just because they are socially accepted by humans.  Here was the Old Testament view of sexual sins…Leviticus, Chapter 18, Verse 22…



You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female…it is an abomination.


Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 13…



If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act…they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.


Pastors today don't want to touch the subject because they are considered controversial for doing so. In reality, they are simply cowards.  If people have trouble with what the Bible says, they should ask for an immediate audience with the guy who wrote it…the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  So if you have a problem with this, take it up with Him.  I didn’t write the Bible, and there is no need to interpret it…it’s crystal clear when we look at it through God’s eyes.  All of us have sinned, and in God’s eyes, all sins are horrible.


Paul expresses HORROR concerning same-sex intercourse…and some of the Greek words translated to describe same-sex intercourse are "dishonorable passion” … “shameful acts” … also known as infamnia

“sins against nature.”


What is typical in the kingdom of unrighteousness is a lifestyle of open rebellion against God.  This part of the passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 9 and 10 isn't about sins at all, although the sins of the day are mentioned…it’s a critique of the unbeliever’s lifestyle… the rebellious, anti-God lifestyle that mires them in unbelief…and Paul is suggesting that believers who engage in the unbeliever lifestyle are acting against their new nature. Six times in one passage Paul asks, “Do you not know?”  In other words, “Don’t you remember what you were taught?”  “Are you ignorant?”

When we choose to believe in Christ, we choose to subject ourselves to 


a completely different set of values.  Greed is not on the list of Christian values…treating others as objects of your gratification…and it is done by the rich and to the poor.  Those who are greedy are insatiable.  The point of these two verses is this…since God’s kingdom is righteous one… unrighteousness cannot be a part of it.  And now the slam dunk…First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verse 11…



Some of you WERE of these lifestyles (that would exclude you from the kingdom of God)…but NOW YOU ARE washed (cleansed from your filth through the water of the Word…the gospel message)…but NOW YOU ARE sanctified (set apart in union with Christ)…but NOW YOU ARE justified (acquitted…legally declared as righteous by God the Father) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the (baptism of the Holy) Spirit of our God and Father.


Paul wants to make it clear that the sins in verses 9 and 10 are part of our WERE life…our former life…and they are not to be part of the NOW YOU ARE life.  Christianity offers us a life of transformation…sexually… materially…personally.  God completely transforms us from our sinful lifestyles, and He doesn’t want us to REVERT to the previous lifestyle.  First Peter, Chapter 1, Verse 18… 



…knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your FUTILE WAY OF LIFE inherited from your forefathers…



…but you were redeemed with precious blood…as of a lamb unblemished and spotless…the blood of Christ.


Can we change?  Probably not.  Will we change?  ABSOLUTELY!  Why? 

Because if the Lord is powerful enough to save us, then God the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to sanctify us….to conform us to the image of God the Son.


Isn’t it about time to live as who you are in Christ?  That’s what Paul asks the believers in Corinth.  That’s what I’m going to keep on asking you.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


What is going to happen to you when you close your eyes in this life?  Will you go to heaven or will you go to hell?


Many think the key to getting to heaven is to be a “good person.”  According to this standard, a “bad person” goes to hell. The bible obliterates this delusion.  The bible says we’re all “bad people!”  Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…



…all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…


Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10…



…it is written, “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”


First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22 says…



…all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human being) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


Your condition at physical birth IS NOT YOUR FAULT, but it is your circumstance.  


The good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ did something about your problem because He doesn’t want anyone to go to The Lake of Fire…Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 says…



The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of...instead He is patient toward unbelievers…not wishing for any to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all to come to repentance (a voluntary change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).


The Lord provides human beings with the Bible to illuminate the path to heaven…John, Chapter 20, Verses 30 and 31…


JOHN 20:30

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (the Bible) … 


JOHN 20:31 

…but these things written here have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (The Jewish Messiah) … the Son of God (in human form) … and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in His name.


The Bible contains the Lord’s exact thinking.


So, how can you get to heaven?  Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received (the gospel message)… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…

Believing in Jesus Christ is your acknowledgment that you can't do a thing

to get to heaven on your own.  Being a “good person” does not get you to heaven.  You can’t work your way into heaven.  Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…  



But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer on the basis of (your) works…otherwise, grace is no longer grace.


If you have to work for a free gift then the work makes you deserve the gift.  In salvation, there is no work you could do that is impressive to God.  The Lord would never allow you to save yourself!  The ONE WAY…the ONLY way to get to heaven is through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ…John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


It’s wise to let God save you, because once God does something, He never changes His mind.  John, Chapter 10, Verse 28 says…


JOHN 10:28

“…I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life to believers in Christ, and they will never perish…and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”


So, heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Are you ready to join me in heaven when you close your eyes in this life?  Do it now!




Let’s close with music!  The Lord Jesus Christ is the still point in a chaotic universe.  James, Chapter 1, Verse 17 says…


JAMES 1:17

Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above…coming down from God the Father…the father of the heavenly lights…with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.


While He is still, we revolve around Him just as the earth revolves around the sun.  Here’s June Murphy to sing about it in her song…MY WORLD REVOLVES ROUND JESUS CHRIST.




June Murphy                                



Let us pray...


Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!


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