Q. On the surface it looks like 1 Cor. 6:9-10 is stating that there are sins that could take our salvation away. Will people who rate those titles, perform those actions, or walk those lifestyles not be admitted to heaven? Or is there some other truth in that passage? If so, what is this passage really trying to tell us?
A. A number of verses clearly show that once we’re saved we’re saved forever. John 10:27-30, Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 1:13-14, and 2 Cor. 1:21-22 are examples. Since the Bible is the word of God it can’t contradict itself, so we can’t lift one or two other verses out of their context and use them to conclude that the ones supporting OSAS are incorrect. And that’s what happens when we only look at 1 Cor. 6:9-10 without considering the rest of the chapter.
1 Cor. 6:9 begins by saying, “Do you not know that the wicked (literally, unjust or unrighteous) will not inherit the Kingdom of God?” and goes on to list behavior found among unrighteous people. Watch what happens when we add verse 11, which is part of the same paragraph. “And that’s what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.” Washed means cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Sanctified means set apart for God, and justified means rendered righteous.
None of these things happened because of our behavior. They all happened because of our belief, which is the basis upon which we’ve been rendered righteous (Romans 3:21-24). By saying, “That’s what some of you were,” Paul was saying because we believe Jesus died for all our sins, God no longer sees us as being unjust or unrighteous.
In verse 12 Paul said, “Everything is permissible (lawful) for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible (lawful) for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” Then He went on to say why we should no longer do the things he mentioned in verse 9. We’re to honor God with our body because it’s a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
So in summary, because of our faith we’ve been rendered righteous, a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) that’s been made perfect forever (Hebr. 10:14). We are are no longer considered to be among the unrighteous people of the world. Everything is permissible for us, but we should not allow behavior that is not appropriate for our new status master us. It can’t cause our salvation to be revoked because that was guaranteed from the moment of belief, but it’s not beneficial to our relationship with God. Confessing when we sin will bring immediate forgiveness and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).