Paul is telling us that in associating
with false teachers,
we will be adversely influenced by them.
is that false teachings do not
lead to holiness.
As such, it is critical that we are careful whom we
form relationships with, especially those outside the church
because unbelievers can cause even the
to waver in their faith and adversely
affect their walk with Christ and their witness to the world.
This is why Paul tells us,
"Do not be misled.”
Actually, this was the second time Paul
warned the Corinthians not to be deceived
(1 Corinthians 6:9).
He cautioned them not to take up the lifestyles of corrupt people--
those who will
not inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul knew how easy it is for people to be influenced by such adverse teachings. If not checked at the very beginning, they could begin to adopt such perverted ideas and behaviors as normal. For this reason, Paul quotes a proverb by the Greek poet Menander: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
No doubt this proverb was well known among
Greeks of this time.
The point Paul makes here is pertinent to all people in all ages. When we associate with or take delight in the company of people
with worldly morals,
we run the risk of mimicking their behaviors,
their language, and their habits.
Before long we are no longer of Christ, but of the world with its denial of absolute authority, its rejection of the Bible as the Word of God, and its ideology of relative morality.
This is especially pertinent to
young people who are generally
easily influenced by their peers.
Young people are desperate for the approval of others.
So motivated are they by the need for acceptance that godly wisdom in decision-making can go out the window in the face of peer pressure.
Therefore, it is crucial for parents of young teens especially to be on guard against the influence of bad company.
So, what are we to do?
Paul provides us the answer at the very end of chapter 15:
'Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor
in the Lord is not in vain”
(1 Corinthians 15:58).
As parents, we stand firm against ungodly influences that may
corrupt our children.
As Christians, we stand firm against those who
would corrupt our walk with Christ.
As church members,
we stand firm
against false teaching and
watered-down gospel presentations
that lead others astray.
In all things, we
are “self-controlled and alert”
"enemy the devil prowls around like a
roaring lion looking for someone to devour”
(1 Peter 5:8).
To live in a fallen world means we struggle with sin on a daily basis. We experience heartache and pain. We witness natural disasters and staggering loss. Injustice, inhumanity, and falsehood seem to hold sway. Discord and trouble are commonplace. None of this was God’s original plan for humanity. We fell from our original position in the Garden of Eden. We now live in a fallen world, and all creation “groans” under the consequences of our sin (Romans 8:22).
The good news is that God does not intend His world to forever groan.
Through Jesus Christ,
God is repairing His creation:
• restoring friendship with Himself in Jesus Christ, giving us eternal life
(John 10:10; 15:15; Romans 3:21–31; 5:1–11; 6:1–14; 8:1–4; 8:22–23; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Ephesians 1:3—2:22; Colossians 1:15–22)
• restoring the reflection of God’s likeness in Jesus Christ
(Romans 8:28–32; 1 Corinthians 6:11)
• restoring His rules for a fulfilling life in Jesus Christ, resulting in true peace and prosperity
(Matthew 5—7; Ephesians 5:15–21; James 2:8)
• restoring His design for the family through Jesus Christ
(Luke 1:17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:21—6:4; Colossians 3:18–21)
• restoring man’s proper dominion in caring for God’s world
has promised to return,
and when He comes back,
He will finish
setting everything right forever
(Isaiah 2:2–4; 25:6–9; 65:17–25; Revelation 20—22).
Don’t miss God’s final
to all fallen people:
All who come to God
by faith in Jesus Christ
will be restored.
A citizen is a person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country. Citizens adopt the culture and practices of the nation or kingdom to which they belong. Every human being is born into the kingdom of this world, in which Satan rules (2 Corinthians 4:4). Consequently, we grow up adopting the culture, practices, and values that he instigates (Genesis 3:1; 1 John 2:16).
Satan’s kingdom enslaves its citizens (Romans 6:16).
With darkened hearts and minds,
we blindly follow our leader into the
very sins that pull us deeper into slavery.
We remain captives in this kingdom of sin, headed for destruction,
until Jesus frees us
(Ephesians 2:1–4). Philippians 3:18–19
highlights the differences between those who
desire fellowship with Jesus Christ and
those who focus on earthly pursuits:
“For, as I have often told you before and
now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach,
and their glory is in their shame.
Their mind is set on earthly things.”
Those who do not know Christ
live only for this world and the pleasure
they can find for themselves.
They are “citizens” of this world
and live by its rules and value system.
When we are born again by
faith in Jesus Christ
we are born into the Kingdom of Heaven
(Matthew 3:2; 7:21; Romans 14:17). Speaking of those who have had that spiritual rebirth, Philippians 3:20 says, “Our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a
Savior from there, the
Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus spent much of His earthly ministry explaining the
Kingdom of Heaven
(Matthew 4:17). He compared it to many things, including a wheat field in which weeds grew along with the wheat.
The plants appeared identical at first,
but were separated at the harvest.
The truth is,
often the citizens of heaven and those of this world appearidentical,
and no one but God knows the difference
Many people may
appear to be citizens of heaven,
when, in fact,
no rebirth has ever taken
in their hearts
When God grants us citizenship in the
Kingdom of Heaven,
we become “new creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
He sends His Holy Spirit
to indwell our spirits,
and our bodies become
(1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19–20).
The Holy Spirit begins to transform our sinful, worldly desires into those that glorify God
His goal is to make us as much like Jesus as possible in this life (Romans 8:29). We are given the power and privilege of exiting the world’s flawed value system and living for eternity
(1 John 2:15–17).
To be adopted into the family of God means that we become citizens of an eternal kingdom where our Father is the King.
Our focus turns toward eternal things and storing up treasure in heaven
We consider ourselves ambassadors to this earth until our Father sends for us and we go home
(Ephesians 2:18–19; 6:20).
We live for a short time in these physical bodies, anticipating the bright future in our real home. While here, we share Abraham’s experience, living “like a stranger in a foreign country. . .
looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God”