Read: 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; 13:4–7
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39; Hebrews 3
That is what some of you were. 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 6:11
A young Japanese man had a problem—he was afraid of leaving his house. To avoid other people, he slept through the day and stayed up all night watching TV. He was a hikikomori or a modern-day hermit. The problem began when he stopped going to school because of poor grades. The longer he remained apart from society, the more he felt like a social misfit. Eventually he broke off all communication with his friends and family. He was helped on his journey to recovery, though, by visiting a youth club in Tokyo known as an ibasho—a safe place where broken people could start reintroducing themselves to society.
What if we thought of the church as an ibasho—and far more? Without a doubt, we are a community of broken people. When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he described their former way of life as anti-social, harmful, and dangerous to themselves and others (1 Cor. 6:9-10). But in Jesus they were being transformed and made whole. And Paul encouraged these rescued people to love one another, to be patient and kind, not to be jealous or proud or rude (13:4-7).
The church is to be an ibasho where all of us, no matter what struggles or brokenness we face, can know and experience God’s love. May the hurting world experience the compassion of Christ from all who follow Him. —Poh Fang Chia
Dear Lord, thank You for paying the penalty for my sins by Your death and resurrection and giving me new life. Help me to live a life that honors Your holy name and to love others as You have loved me.
Only God can transform a sin-stained soul into a masterpiece of grace.
INSIGHT: Without the correct biblical frame of reference, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 could lead us to believe certain kinds of sins are unforgivable. Does today’s Bible reading actually teach that certain sinners are beyond redemption? The answer lies in the contrasting sentence that provides us with a clearer picture of what the apostle is saying: “And that is what some of you were [emphasis mine]. 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” (v. 11). It is not the committing of sins that condemns irrevocably. It is the continuous lifestyle of sin that indicates a person has not experienced regeneration through faith in Christ. Dennis Fisher