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Being passionate about holiness is another key ingredient you need to live a victorious Christian life. You have been washed, sanctified, and justified by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, you are no longer defined by your past. You are different. God calls you righteous, consecrated and set apart to live by His higher standard of holiness.
To recap, we have examined six of the ten key ingredients for becoming a strong, stable, mature believer. They are being passionate about:
The lessons in this study of 10 Ways to be a Stronger Christian are based on a study I completed by Rick Renner Ministries.
The precious Word of God states in Romans 8:1 (MEV): There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Therefore, do not allow the Adversary to bring condemnation for areas throughout this study series where you may be weak. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you become stronger and He will!
What Does It Mean To Be a ‘Saint’?
On the surface, human beings look a lot alike. However, as a Christian, you are very different from everyone else in the world. God calls you a “saint.” The word “saint” is from the Greek word hagios, which describes something set apart, consecrated, different, or holy. When God looks at you, that is what He sees — a saint. You are not in the same category as unbelievers. You are very different.
Moreover, the Bible says the people of the early church gave so much that they reached a point where there were no needy people in the church. Furthermore, everyone’s needs were met because everyone generously gave to the Lord and to one another. Obviously, the early church was passionate about giving.
Think about the “Holy” Bible. In Greek, it is called Hagios Biblios. Of all the millions upon millions of books in the world, there is no other book like the “Holy” Bible. It is in a category all its own. It is different, set apart, and consecrated to God. There’s no other book in the world that compares with it.
The Bible calls us (hagios), and it is all because of the blood of Jesus. He has washed us clean, set us apart from the rest of the world, consecrated us, and made us holy. God used this same word hagios to describe the Corinthian believers in the First Century. In spite of their sordid past, God saw them as holy, set apart, and different.
Scriptures Referenced in this Lesson
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 18
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 7
The Corinthian Saints: Before Coming to Christ
In 1Corinthians 6:9-10 the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and said:
“ 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 male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1Corinthians 6:9-10
This was Paul’s polite but straightforward way of saying, “The list of sinful lifestyles I just rattled off, that is what you all were before you came to Christ.”
Looking at the Greek Meanings
By looking at the Greek meanings behind each of these words we will gain a greater understanding of what the Corinthians heard him say.
|MEV||Greek Word||Greek Meaning|
|Sexually immoral / KJV uses Fornicators||Pornos||A word that encompasses all sexual activity outside of marriage, including both adultery and homosexuality. It is the Greek word for a prostitute.|
|Idolaters||Eidololatres||Describes the worship and servicing of idols. It means giving oneself to idolatry.|
|Adulterers||Moichos||Describes one who violates another; one who takes something illegally that is not his. The word moichos also means to seduce another person’s spouse.|
|Male prostitutes /|
KJV uses Effeminate
|Malakos||This describes men who were used by other men for sexual services. |
In the Greek and Roman world, male prostitution was very common.
KJV uses Abusers of themselves with mankind
|Arsenokoites||The components of this word describe a man in bed with another man, male participants in a homosexual encounter or relationship. |
Arsenokoites is different from “malakos” in that arsenokoites describes those who willingly enter into a male homosexual relationship.
|Thieves||Kleptes||A bandit, pickpocket, or thief who is so artful in the way he steals that his exploits of thievery are nearly undetectable. |
This is a professional thief who takes financial advantage of others.
|Covetous||Pleonektes||An insatiable desire to have more and more and more. It is greed.|
|Drunkards||Methusos||One who drinks alcohol excessively for the purpose of becoming intoxicated.|
|Revilers||Loidoros||Crude, vulgar, abusive language, or verbal abuse.|
|Extortioners||Harpadzo||A picture of one who takes from someone else; a scam artist or one who swindles.|
These various types of people made up the membership of the church of Corinth.
The Corinthian Saints: After Coming to Christ
Paul went on to say:
“Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:11
These men and women who were once vile sinners had been changed by Jesus Christ. As a result of turning to Christ, Paul said they were:
- This is the Greek word apolouo, and it means to wash thoroughly and completely. Moreover, it also carries the idea of being loosed or set free from something.
- It points to a specific, definite moment when this washing occurred.
- Paul was referring to the moment when the Corinthians genuinely repented of their sins, and the blood of Jesus washed them clean. This word “washed”
- from the root word hagios. It means to set aside; to consecrate or make different; holy.
- The moment the Corinthians were washed by the blood of Jesus, they were instantly set free from their past. It didn’t matter who they had been before.
- The blood of Jesus, that sanctifying presence of God instantly and supernaturally separated them from the rest of the world and put them into a different category. He declared them holy.
- This is the Greek word dikaioo, and it is the word for righteousness. “Justified” means to make righteous.
- The Greek rendering here literally means, “In one split second, you were declared righteous.”
The moment they repented; God declared them to be righteous. Righteousness is not what they were trying to become. It was who they were in Jesus Christ. God had washed, sanctified, and justified them through Jesus.
Redeemed Followers Must Flee
And because of what God has done we see in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that Paul admonished the Corinthians to: “Flee fornication” (KJV) or “Escape from sexual immorality” as the (MEV) translates the passage.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 (MEV)
“For God has not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (MEV)
Once again, by searching out the Greek meanings behind each of these words, we will gain a greater understanding of what the Corinthians heard him say.
|MEV||Greek Word||Greek Meaning|
|Escape / KJV uses Flee||Pheugo||To take flight, to run away, or to run as fast as possible. It is the picture of one’s feet flying as he runs from a situation. It carries the idea of moving one’s feet as fast as possible.|
|Sanctification||Hagiasmos||Shares the root word hagios with the words “saint” and “holiness.” It means complete separation, complete sanctification; to be set apart; holy in practice.|
|Abstain||Apecho||Means to withdraw from, or to stay away from. It carries the idea of putting distance between oneself and things that are wrong.|
|To know how||Eidō||To get knowledge of, understand, perceive such as knowing how to manage yourself or your being.|
|To possess||Ktaomai||To acquire, get, or procure a thing for one’s self.|
|His vessel||———||“Vessel” was a common Greek metaphor for “body” since Greeks thought of souls living temporarily in bodies.|
|Describes something of value and worth; something worthy of dignity and respect.|
God is Calling You to Live Differently
God is calling you to live differently than you used to live. He has:
- declared you righteous and holy through the blood of Jesus.
- set you free from everything you used to be in your past.
- raised the bar for living and is calling you to learn the skills you need to manage your body, soul, and spirit in holiness and honor.
Over and over, God reminds us that we are called to live differently. We are to live by His higher standard of holiness. And when we do, the Spirit of God Himself will manifest His strength in our lives.
Questions for Consideration
According to 1Thessalonians 4:3, God has called you to abstain from sin. This means to put space between you and what you used to do.
- Stop and think; what sinful behavior have you struggled in the past or even recently?
- Pause and ask the Lord, what practical steps do you need to take to put a barricade between yourself and the temptation?
- Be still and listen to what the Holy Spirit will say to you.
7R’s Devotional Application
If you have never tried the 7Rs method, you will find examples by clicking here.
Using the Scriptures in this teaching, rewrite them as:
- A personal note from God to you.
- Then rewrite them as a declaration from yourself to God.
- Lastly, turn these verses into a Psalm of Praise.
Scriptures used are from biblegateway.com and unless otherwise noted, I’m using the New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.