Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

1 Corinthians 6:8-11 / Experientially Unrighteous Christians will NOT Inherit the Kingdom of God


The Pulpit is continuing with its emphasis on Lordship Salvation, and has a new entry by Matthew Waymeyer:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and the Lordship Debate (Notice that he does not give any consideration to the context by not including the critical verse 8 in his article!)

Here is a brief consideration of 1 Corinthians 6:8-11 in response to Matthew Waymeyer and Lordship Salvation.

As far as any Greek lexicon I have ever viewed, notwithstanding all English dictionaries I have consulted, there stands a great gulf of difference between the ideas of "inherit" and "enter".

It is clear and plain reasoning to see the difference between merely living in a house and owning it or ruling over a city and being a mere citizen there.

Let us continue:

1 Cor 6:7-11
8 No, you yourselves do wrong [adikeo] and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Notice the verb "do wrong". This is the Greek verb for unrighteous activity, unrighteousness (adikeo). The Corinthian Christians were "doing unrighteousness" and this to their Christian brothers, for goodness sake! This point cannot be overemphasized. Paul characterized the Corinthian believers (see 1 Cor 6:11) as experientially unrighteous. This is a severe indictment which necessitates a strong warning which Paul is about to give.

The next part serves as a warning to the Christian readers in Corinth! After charging them with "doing unrighteousness", Paul says that "unrighteous" (anarthrous construction, IOW, those who are experientially characterized by doing unrighteousness) will not inherit the kingdom of God, using the same Greek word in its noun form for "unrighteous".

Paul is saying, “You Corinthians are performing unrighteousness, cheating, and doing it to your own Christian brothers! Don’t do this! Because don’t you know that the individuals who can be experientially characterized as unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom?”

The word that Paul uses here (vs 8 “do wrong” Greek: adikeo) is the verbal cognate of the substantival anarthrous “unrighteous” (Greek: adikos) of verse 9.

The relationship of the verse 8 “adikeo” (the cause for indictment) to the following verse 9 anarthrous “adikos” (warning of consequence to the born again Corinthians) cannot be overemphasized.

Whereas Paul speaks of the unregenerate in 1 Cor 6:1 as THE (articular) unrighteous, Paul warns those born again Corinthian believers (see verse 11), who are experientially unrighteous, that the experientially, characteristically (anarthrous) unrighteous (not the articular) will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If what Matthew has proposed is true, imagine the impact of this warning:

“Don’t you know that the unsaved will go to hell…?”

I submit that this would neither be a warning nor something that would even cause the Corinthians to give a second thought!

If inherit = enter in this passage, the warning to the Corinthian Christians who were "doing unrighteousness" would be of no effect, for they are Christians and guaranteed heaven (see verse 11)!

As a matter of fact, the warning would only be effective (viewed from the Lordship Salvation proponent perspective) if heaven was attained by a perseverance in holiness and works, which in fact, Lordship theology unashamedly proclaims:

"...we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith." (John Piper "TULIP: What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism...", pg 25)

The idea that faith produces perseverant works until the end of life is foreign to this passage. It is something that the Lordship Salvationist must import into this text. Paul puts out the idea of reward here, inheriting the kingdom. The passage is abundantly clear that a perseverance in holiness is a necessary condition for the reward. The texts that hold out ownership, inheritance, and rulership in the kingdom explicitly condition such on faithfulness and a perseverance in overcoming works. Whereas Jesus is abundantly clear that “seeing” and “entering” the kingdom is received by faith alone (John 3:3, 5ff).

Inheriting the kingdom is based on perseverance in faith and faithfulness, while merely entering and seeing the kingdom is based upon faith alone in Christ alone.

Let us continue:

Is Paul addressing unsaved people in this passage? That idea just cannot pan out.

He is talking specifically and only to believers:

1 Cor 6:4-8
4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

Paul is clearly saying that the believing Corinthian Christians are to be SHAMED for

1) Not taking their petty matters before the brethren and
2) Not allowing themselves to be cheated in the first place and
3)Performing unrighteousness ("do wrong") and cheating their brethren.

The Corinthian believers are being rebuked by Paul for their unrighteous activities! The following becomes a WARNING to those who are "doing unrighteousness":

1 Cor 6:9-10
9 Do you not know that [I have removed the article for this is a anarthrous construction, meaning those who are characterized by unrighteous behavior and NOT a specific designation of people] unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul says "You Corinthian believers are performing unrighteousness and cheating your fellow believers! Didn't you know that those characterized by unrighteous activity will not inherit the kingdom of God?"

The warning loses all force and becomes absurd if it is addressing unbelievers. First, to state such, would go against the clear statements of the text addressing it to believers! Next, we are faced with the problem of it implying this:

Eternal life, entering the kingdom of God, no longer is appropriated free by faith alone in Christ alone. It now becomes a contract that a man has to quit the nasty nine and dirty dozen before He can be saved. Paul in Galatians (in the parallel passage) even adds more petty offenses: outbursts of wrath, jealousy, selfish ambition, and envy.

What kind of warning is this supposed to be?

"Do you not know that if you sin too much you go to hell? Don't you know that if you sin too much that you truly aren't a Christian? You need to get saved! The first thing that you need to do is to stop your unrighteous activity and start living righteously!" This my friends is works-salvation, works-righteousness.

Why wouldn't Paul instead say, "Those of you so-called Christians who are acting unrighteously, you need to get saved! You are on your way to hell! You have yet to believe the gospel! You need to 1) repent 2) submit 3) count the cost 4) give up all in your life, etc…(the multitude of Traditionalism's requirements for one to actually step foot in heaven)"

The plain, simple, and clear message is that the Corinthian believers were acting unrighteously, and Paul states that those Christians whose lives are characterized by unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus is clear in John 3 that believing in Christ is the sole requirement for entering, seeing the kingdom of God.

Paul is clear that perseverance in practical righteousness is required for inheriting the kingdom of God.

One is by grace through faith.

The other is by perseverance in works and faithfulness.

Let us look quickly at 1 Cor 6:11:

The warning that we have been looking at is addressed to those of whom Paul could acknowledge, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:11).

1 Cor 6:8
8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

Paul is emphatic here in the Greek. "you yourselves", the pronoun, is emphatic! (Paul is saying "I am not talking about unbelievers or wordlings, but of you SAME individuals who WERE washed, sanctified, and justified!)

Has the "you" changed!? It would be some kind of miracle if it did!

"YOU YOURSELVES do wrong (adikeite) and cheat" (vs 8)

"Do you not know that wrong doers (unrighteous - adikoi) will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (vs 9)

We must pay close attention to pronouns and their antecedents.

Paul is thus asserting:

1) That those who have been justified, sanctified, and washed from their old sins may "do wrong" (perform unrighteousness - adikeite) and were doing it! and
2) that "wrong doers" (adikoi) shall not inherit the kingdom!


Nowhere in this text is the unbeliever addressed, on the contrary, it is only the believer who is addressed!

And since the believer "does wrong", or performs unrighteousness, would he not consider himself unsaved?

In the Traditionalist, Calvinist system, how could any warning be of value to the born-again Christian when by virtue of their regeneration they will by necessity persevere?

The warnings are at best superfluous, and at worst, extremely dangerous, causing born again people to doubt if they are saved and continue to seek eternal life by their persevering works.

The Corinthians, in whom Paul is addressing, were sanctified, washed, and justified. These same people were performing unrighteousness. Paul warns these justified Corinthian believers that they will fail to inherit the kingdom of God if their lives are characterized by "doing wrong".

This is the simply clear flow and understanding of the passage.

The Lordship Salvation advocates do harm to communication in general and the passage in specific when they import their theology into the text rather than see Paul's plain statements for what they are.

Paul is speaking pastorally here and has no thought for the unsaved in his exhortation here whatsoever. His warning is to "you, yourselves" who had been “do[ing] wrong” (Greek: adikeo), who nevertheless were justified, sanctified, and washed. The warning is specifically and only to them!

Lordship proponents are playing around with the communication here! Their theology does not accept the clear meaning of the text and so it becomes the ridiculous and absurd notion that the warnings do not contain any penalty whatsoever to the TRUE Christian, but are MERELY goads to move them to perseverance!

What becomes the result of someone who is unsaved, who thought they believed unto salvation, but whose life is characterized by unrighteous deeds? The warnings don't tell them to instead fully trust in Christ for salvation, but to expend every effort to persevere in their works!

“The unsavory descriptions in Paul’s list of vices had fit many of the Corinthians in their unsaved days. But God had mercifully washed their past away as He sanctified and justified them by His saving grace. Their past, therefore, no longer stood as a barier to heirship in God’s Kingdom.

But the present could, and this is Paul’s point. ‘The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,’ he insists, and he has just charged them with behaving unrighteously” (Zane Clark Hodges, Grace in Eclipse, 77, emphasis mine).

Paul is clear. A perseverance in holiness and works is a necessary meritorious condition for inheriting the kingdom of God.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More pictures from India

These "drank of" the Living Water, never to thirst again! Please pray for them!

At this housing tract, I was able to preach to over 35 people, who the Lord gathered unto eternal life!

Me, my interpreter Pastor Naba chandra (center) and a converted Physician to Christianity (please pray for him! He lives with his father and mother and brother and sister-in-law who are still Hindu. Please pray that God would raise him up as a Christian leader in his village!)

Meeting with some believers in a village I did evangelism in 1999. There is a church there!!!

Me with national missionaries. Please pray for them: strenth, finances, perseverance, grace, and effectiveness!

My interpreter, Naba, bidding you all come to come to India and share your faith! (look at the background!)

Please pray as I am seeking God's will to see if he would have me lead a trip back to Manipur next year. The top man of e3 Partners, the mission board who I went with, was the lead on this trip and has requested that I seek the Lord on this matter. Maybe some of my readers may feel inspired to go to grow for God's glory with me next October to Imphal, Manipur, India!

Friday, October 20, 2006

A few pictures of my recent missions trip to India

Me in Singapore

A church fellowship where I visited and shared

Newly born-again believers with the first New Testament they have ever seen, and in there own language!

I am on my way to the next neighborhood of houses to preach the gospel of the grace of God!

Infant Christ worshippers who need your prayers!

Please pray for us! We have Bibles!

A boy whose mom you will see in heaven wears my sunglasses.

A group picture of most of my fellow gospel workers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Inevitable but NOT Automatic?

Dan Phillips on Pyromaniacs proposes the intellectually repugnant paradox that Christian growth is "inevitable" but "not automatic":

Is Spiritual Growth Automatic?

Here is my response in the comment meta, that may be deleted by them because of length, or truth, or both:

I get the idea that this is another one of those "paradoxes" we hear so much of in reformed soteriology.

"inevitable but not automatic"

1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary:
2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable
3. that which is unavoidable.

I don't quite get it.

If man is responsible to co-operate with God in his sanctification, I don't see how consistent, progressive, "until death" growth is inevitable UNLESS it is in some sense automatic!

And if a regenerate man is guaranteed to progress in sanctification (the word "inevitable" surely suggests a guarantee!), the mode of this sanctification wholly eludes me UNLESS it is automatic.

I feel the need to quote the canons of Dort, which seems to indicate a sense of automation:

Article 4
Although the weakness of the flesh cannot prevail against the power of God[automatic?], who confirms and preserves true believers in a state of grace, yet converts are not always so influenced and actuated[automotized?] by the Spirit of God as not in some particular instances sinfully to deviate from the guidance of divine grace, so as to be seduced by and to comply with the lusts of the flesh...

Article 5
By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith[I thought faith was indefectable! Maybe this is an observation better elaborated on some other time], very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes for a while lose the sense of God's favor, until, when they change their course by serious repentance [which we see God "certainly and effectually renews them to" (see below)], the light of God's fatherly countenance again shines upon them.

Article 7
For in the first place, in these falls He preserves in them the incorruptible seed of regeneration from perishing or being totally lost; and again, by His Word and Spirit, He certainly and effectually renews them to repentance[IOW, He automatically imposes upon them], to a sincere and godly sorrow for their sins...

Man can only have true responsibility if he is able to fail. If he indeed truly co-operates with God in his sanctification there will be the chance that he will not grow.

It is neither biblical, nor rational to propose that growth is inevitable BUT NOT automatic!

This is where Reformed theology sounds a bit absurd.

In the bible, and therefore in Free Grace theology, regenerate man is (I don't say this happily, but sadly) able to spurn the leading and guiding of God, to fail, and to shipwreck his faith. (If he was unable to, then growth would be automatic, right? I am certain that you would say that at some point, like Dort claims, that the backsliding regenerate man would be "certainly and effectually renewed" by God... but this would make it automatic, no? against your whole thesis here!)

The Reformed "fruit inspector" would deem this man unsaved, reprobate, because his works didn't merit the consideration of him to be among the elect.

The Free Grace advocate understands that regenerate man has REAL responsibility before God. If he, along the way, fails, God will chasten, discipline, mete out His displeasure, so as to correct the man. But God will not drag men down the path of obedience. God may choose to allow the wayward Christian's actions to produce their consequence, physical death:

James 5:19-20
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Such a one will also suffer loss and shame at the Bema of Christ, recieving the "bad" which he had done in the body as a steward/servant of Christ.

If a life of dedicated obedience necessarily followed justification (as is the contention of the Reformed tradition), there would be no need to entreat the will to:

Walk by means of the Spirit
Reckon ourselves dead unto sin
Stop presenting our members as instruments of unrighteousness
Present ourselves to God
Present our members as instruments of righteusness
Present our bodies a living sacrifice
Abide in Christ
etc..... etc....

We have an old nature and a new nature. The new nature is sinless (1 John 3:9), but cannot win in a fight against the old nature (Romans 7). It takes an act of the will to submit ourselves to God and yield to the Spirit who then can empower our new nature to live through us. When we walk by the Spirit, we will not by any means fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). But this is a command and NOT a necessary result of justification. You see, justification solely comes from God, but sanctification is a cooperation between God and the Christian. Therefore, if the Christian is not willing (for whatever reason... he could be immature, a baby Christian, not of strong faith, under heavy stress and anxiety, caught up in the whirlpool of sin, the variables could be endless, etc) he will not grow in sanctification. EVERYWHERE in the Bible the will is entreated to cooperate with God for the growth in progressive sanctification. Therefore, if the Christian does not will and act, he won't grow in sanctification.

It is painfully obvious that if a life of perseverant faithfulness, works, and obedience necessarily came as a result of justification, then there would be no need for the literally hundreds of entreaties to our will to conform to God's will, to follow God's commands, and walk experientially as we are positionally (positional truth "in Christ"), that we find in the Bible. Why would these detailed commands and entreaties to our will be necessary if by virtue of our new birth (regeneration) we are relentlessly disposed toward keeping them?

If Christian's could not fail in their Christian life, the many warning passages (exemplified by those is Hebrews) would be utterly meaningless.

The whole process is capsulized in 2 Peter 1:5-11.

Here we are told that we should add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

If we do not add these things, we will be unfruitful and barren in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

2 Peter 1:9
"...he who lacks these things is blind, shortsighted, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

Does Peter think that spiritual growth is inevitable? Hardly!

The regenerate Christian who fails to add those character qualities to his faith can biblically be described as "blind"! He forgot that he was cleaned from his old sins!

But Peter doesn't leave it there. He provides a precious promise and incentive to those who, by their will, persevere in adding those qualities to their faith:

2 Peter 1:10-11
"if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

The overcoming Christian will not only "see" and "enter" the kingdom (John 3:3, 5), but will have the abundant entrance, receiving the glories and honors of co-rulership and co-heirship with Christ, being confessed before the Father. The regenerate man who fails to add these qualities to his faith will lose out on these privileges:

1 Cor 3:15
"he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."

2 Tim 2:11-13

11 For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him. (positional death and promise of eternal security)
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. (privilege for overcoming Christians)
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us (in the context, what will He deny? This is a chiastic structure; verse twelve is a unit. He will deny co-rulership with Christ!)
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
(Even when we lack faithfulness, God is faithful! He will not turn back on His promises to the regenerate! They are based 100% on HIS faithfulness and 0% on ours! The regenerate one will never perish, never thirst, never hunger, etc).

Antonio da Rosa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Home Safe

Thank you for all your prayers. I am home safe.

Over 1500 people heard the gospel and nearly 900 were saved. I will give more details in the following days.

I really felt the presence of God in response to your prayers!

The Lord lives, and blessed be the Rock, and may the God of our salvation be exalted!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Meitei Tribes: Imphal, Manipur -- Sunday, Monday

Greetings from the beautiful and fascinating land of India!

I don't have a lot of time because I have been invited to a church tonight for authentic curry!


Woke up very early and went to two national churches. I preached at both. I was able to drop off cubes at the first. At the second I taught how to evangelise using the EvangeCube. I took 10 leaders from the church and taught them, then we went around their village using the cubes and their new found confidence to preach the gospel. 15 people came to the Lord, including the sister-in-law of my interpreter and her family.


Woke up very early and headed to a large village with 24 americans and our guides and interpreters. I spent the day presenting the gospel to groups of people my interpreter rounded up (as did everyone else). Every family I spoke to professed that the beleived into Christ for eternal life. I was able to give the families a New Testament in their language. Not including children, around 30 adults believed. My partner was able to speak at a school and preached to all the children there. I believe that over a thousand will come to Christ by the time the trip is over. I suspect well over a thousand.

The interpreters are all pastors, evangelists and missionaries. I am impressed by their dedication to the Lord. It puts the American church to utter shame.

Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for conversions and health and all that.

Please be in prayer for all the follow-up that will be required!

in the love of Christ,


Friday, October 06, 2006


Greetings, Free Grace Theology readers!

I just wanted to check in with you all and tell you that the first two legs of my journey have been safe. 3 hour drive to L.A.X., 12 hours to Tokyo, and 6 hours to Singapore where I am at presently.

Thank you all for your prayers!

Today I went into Chinatown and ate fried frog, banana prawns, and washed it down with Chinese tea and fresh squeezed lime juice.

On the way here I lost a day due to crossing the date line. It went from wednesday to friday!

I leave tonight for Calcutta at 9 PM.

I love you all and care tremendously for you all as well!

I am at a gaming store where many asian people are playing games like world of warcraft, Doom, etc. All kids. Thye must spend hours here.

Anyway, Ill see if I can leave another message sometime soon.