Such were I… But…
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
-1 Corinthians 6:9-11-
   Greetings SPBC Family,
   Although you are first reading this in our March edition of the church newsletter (or on our website), as I write this article, the date is February 18, 2020. While that date may not mean much to most of us, to me it marks a day that changed my life for all of eternity. I say that because on this day in 2007; exactly 13 years ago, I met the Lord Jesus Christ and asked Him to grant me His gracious gift of redemption in His Son. In His mercy he saved me, and I immediately passed from death to life. Since that day, my life has never been the same. Glory to God in the highest!
   As I think back to my life prior to meeting our Lord, tears fill my eyes. I can still remember the wickedness that flowed from my heart. It consumed me. I was the fornicator. I was the idolater. I was the drunkard… and the list goes on. Thankfully, as 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 tells me, that is no longer my lot.
   In verse 11, Paul writes, “Such WERE some of you.” That phrase is past tense! What Paul is implying here is that those who were washed, were sanctified, and were justified are no longer characterized by the sins of their past. Thus, Paul tells the same church in his second letter, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). 
   My point is this; “do not be deceived.” If our lives do not display the change that accompanies genuine regeneration in Christ, then it is because we have not experienced it. We cannot achieve the righteousness necessary to inherit the kingdom of God. He MUST do it for us through the work of His Son and in the power of His Spirit. If you ARE a fornicator, are covetous, are a reviler; if these or any other deeds of unrighteousness are habitual characteristics of your life then you are not yet “in Christ”.
   If that is your lot,  then let me encourage you to go to the One who can change you from the inside out. He has promised, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). His name is Jesus… and He is waiting for you (Rev. 3:20).
   In His Magnificent Abounding Grace,
   Pastor Darren A. Jones