Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 20:39 (Autumn 2007) p. 87
By The Members Of The Grace Evangelical Society
“Does the Vice List in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Describe Believers or Unbelievers?” Rene Lopez, Bibliotheca Sacra (January-March 2007): 59-73.
This passage in 1 Corinthians 6 is one of three vice lists in Paul where the apostle says that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. These passages have long been problem passages since they seem to say that alcoholics or immoral people or even jealous or envious people will go to hell.
Lopez adopts a view different than that held by most Free Grace writers. Hodges and others (including this writer) have suggested that inheriting the kingdom in these passages refers to ruling with Christ in the life to come, not to getting into the kingdom. In terms of the question Lopez asks, we have concluded that the vice lists describe those (believers or unbelievers) who will not rule with Christ.
The author discusses that view, which he calls the loss of rewards view (pp. 63-64), as well as the loss of salvation view (pp. 59-60), the lack of salvation view (pp. 60-61), the loss of fellowship view (pp. 61-62), and the missing the kingdom view (pp. 62-63). Then he proposes a sixth view, his view, the view that Paul is exhorting believers to live like saints (pp. 64-73).
Evidence cited by the author for his view includes the context which addresses Christians, the relationship between adikeō and adikos, the meaning of inherit the kingdom of God, contrasting elements, and exhortation instead of warning.
Lopez concludes, “Since some Corinthian believers were behaving like unbelievers, Paul exhorted them to live in light of their position in Christ, and not how they were before they knew Him” (p. 73).
I first heard this view around 1980 from Dr. Craig Glickman when I was a seminary student. For a time, I held this view. I switched to the loss of rewards view because I felt that the evidence (esp. Matt 25:34ff; 1 Cor 15:50; and Gal 5:19–21) better supports that position.
JOTGES 20:39 (Autumn 2007) p. 88
The author makes a compelling case for the live in light of your position view. While I remain unconvinced, he has given me and all JOTGES readers much food for thought. I highly recommend this article.
Robert N. Wilkin
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