Does The Vice List In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Describe Believers Or Unbelievers? -- By: René A. López

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 164:653 (Jan 2007)
Article: Does The Vice List In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Describe Believers Or Unbelievers?
Author: René A. López


Does The Vice List In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Describe Believers Or Unbelievers?

René A. López

René A. López is Pastor, Iglesia Biblica Nuestra Fe, Dallas, Texas.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Paul wrote, “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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”1

Scholars have presented a number of interpretations of this passage. These views include the following: (a) believers who commit these sins will lose their salvation, (b) people who commit these sins show they were not saved in the first place, (c) believers who commit these sins lose fellowship with the Lord, (d) believers who commit these sins will miss the millennial kingdom, though they will have eternal life, and (e) believers who commit these sins will lose rewards in heaven. This article examines these views and then presents a sixth view.

View One: Loss Of Salvation

In this interpretation believers will lose their salvation if they commit the sins mentioned in these two verses.2 This view goes

back to John Wesley.3 Since the phrase “inherit the kingdom of God” can be equivalent to “enter into eternal life” (Matt. 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18; John 3:3, 5), some writers argue that unless believers stop practicing these sins they will lose their salvation.4 Fee connects the verb ἀδικεῖτε (“do wrong”) in verse 8, which applies to believers, with those described by the word ἄδικοι (“unrighteous”) in verse 9.5 “The warning is real; the wicked will not inherit the kingdom.. .. By persisting in the same behavior as those already destined for judgment they are placing themselves in the very real danger of the same judgment.”6...

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