Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 6, 2019
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NRSV)
It is easy to think of the early church as a sort of gold standard. We assume that these communities that were closest to the earthly life, death, and resurrection of Jesus would have been exemplary models of faithfulness and holiness. Yet I continue to be amazed as I read Paul’s pastoral letters to these churches, especially the Christians in Corinth. They were filled with broken people whose desires and passions pulled them in countless different directions, making it hard for them to know if they were on the path to true discipleship. In short, they looked a lot like us!
Clarity on where you are headed is linked to clarity on your new identity in Christ. St. Paul quickly rattles off ways of life that are not in alignment with the kingdom of God, even noting how some members of the early church were guilty of these sins. Yet his argument isn’t weighted towards these offenses, significant as they are, but quickly moves from them into the greater and more abundant life that they came to know as baptized, spirit-filled believers.
Many of us have parts of our life story that we’d love to forget. Moments of incredible shame and pain, either inflicted upon us or that we inflicted upon others. Often these wounds cause us to walk through life with a limp, coloring and shaping us in countless ways. St. Paul is mindful of this temptation and so boldly reminds them, and us, of the transformative power of the gospel.
“I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
You must never underestimate God’s ability to write a redemptive chapter to your story. The mission of Jesus is to find all that is broken and wounded in the world and speak peace and healing, and that includes you. “Justified” and “sanctified” become your primary source of identity, greater than your fears and past failures. Rest today in the fact that God tells good, long stories!
Father, thank you for the redemptive story you are telling over my life and how it gives me hope to face each new day, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where are you prone to give in to fear and lies about your identity in Christ?
Clarity on our new identity in Christ brings clarity to Christ’s plan for our life. #WisdomHunters #clearidentity
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