I didn’t take notes in this part of Russel Moore’s talk.
Because I was dying. In my seat. Dying.
My heart felt like it was in my throat and I felt like God Himself was talking directly to me.
He made us stand as he read this text. Weird for me. Not something I’m used to. But I climbed out of my chair and stood as He read God’s Word:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
God’s not joking. The people on that list won’t get to see God.
But according to this passage there are another kind of people.
They’re not the innocent. He doesn’t say ‘swindlers won’t inherit the kingdom of God. But you will – because you’re not swindlers.’
They’re not former sinners. He doesn’t say ‘and such were some of you, but you cleaned up your act! You’ve changed your ways.’
They’re forgiven sinners. He says ‘swindlers won’t inherit the kingdom of God. And you’re not counted as swindlers any more because you are washed in blood.’
Jesus’ blood has changed our identity. We were once found in sin. That’s who we were. And we’re not anymore. Not because we’re better, but because we were washed in His blood. We were justified. We were counted with the righteousness of Christ.
Satan accuses us. He accuses me often. He reminds me of all I’ve done. He reminds me of all I do. I read a verse like this and I hear him whispering to me that I am a swindler; that I am a greedy, adulterous idolater.
And I can’t look at him and call him a liar. He’s not lying. He is right about me. He’s right about the darkness of my heart and the thoughts in my mind and the transgressions I commit daily.
But his accusation has no sting.
I can look him right in the face and say – you are right. You are right. I have sinned against a holy God. My failures are many and each one worthy of eternal wrath.
But 2000 years ago, I was given up to the authorities. I was beaten. I was dragged through the streets, spit upon. I was nailed to a piece of wood and as I hung there I had the full wrath of God poured upon me. I was separated from God. I was laid in the ground and I descended into the depths of death and when my debt was fully paid, God proved that He had received what He demanded by bringing me into new life.
I paid for my sin.
And God is just. He cannot demand two payments for the same crime.
And if that seems like a crazy bold thing to say to the ruler of this world, know this: Scripture has your back.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 ESV)
Now those, my friends, are words worth standing for.