Paul wrote two letters to the new Believers in the ancient city of Corinth (a cosmopolitan city in Greece) . . . they were people who placed a high value on wisdom . . . and were proud of their wisdom and world view. In chapter 6 of the first letter (vs 6) he says, “I speak to your shame,” and then he asked them, “Isn’t there one wise man among you?”
What did Paul mean with that question? Did he simply want to shame them? Of course not . . . he was challenging them to put on their thinking caps and seriously consider who they now were “in Christ.” He knew they needed to understand that things were significantly different within the Kingdom of God than they are on earth and in typical human reasoning.
He then described a variety of people and lifestyles in verses 9 and 10, and said that many of his readers had once been just like that and had lived in that lifestyle. But he declared that the Lord converts that sort of folks described in verses 9 and 10 into the kind of folks he described in verse 11. He declares that the Lord accomplishes that in a confessing sinner’s life by first “washing” that confessing sinner, then sanctifying him, and then by justifying him before the court of God. He isn’t just implying that a Believer is simply declared not guilty . . . but rather declared as “Just” . . . meaning just as if I had never sinned!
This morning as I study for the series I am teaching, I am struggling to get my mind around the troubling truth that the numbers used to measure cultural norms – actually the ways and more ways of our generation actually reflects little difference for those who are church member as opposed to those for non-church members . . . A new Barna Group survey says that areas such as divorce rates, folks admitting to viewing graphic sexual materials, treatment of others, and work ethics is not much different between the two groups.
It seems to me . . . that is true because many Believers today are just as ignorant as those confused Believers in Corinth all those years ago. I would argue that the Church has not been nearly as effective in teaching morals, doctrines, and sacrificial living as the culture needs to it to be.
What do you think?