Today’s reading: I Corinthians 5, 6, 7, Proverbs 5
I Cor. 6:9-11
9 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, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
I am certain most of us can identify with some place on this list described in vs. 9-10 regarding our past. No matter how morally corrupt our past was it is imperative as Christians that we not live in the rear view mirror. Paul says it like this in v. 11, “and such were some of you.” The emphasis is on the were. In other words it is a past tense reality but not a present tense reality.
A companion verse that emphasizes this same point is found in II Cor. 5:17. It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” This is legally true of each person who is born again. The question is it vitally true in your heart and mind? How do you see yourself? Through the past tense reality of your old life or the present tense reality of your new creation man?
Paul speaks three words to us in v. 11 that are intended to separate our thinking from our past moral failures to the new person we now have become in Christ. The first one is “you were washed.” His blood didn’t just forgive and cover our sins. They have been obliterated and washed away. His sacrifice paid the price for all our sins, past, present, and future. Because of what He did on our behalf there is no more consciousness of sin. When He shed His blood for me He washed sin and its penalty off my conscience.
Next, he says, “you were sanctified.” I am declared completely God’s property. I am not living partially in my old life and partially in my new life. I am wholly God’s. I belong to Him. Knowing this causes me to be thankful and identify with Him instead of my past.
Finally, he says, “you were justified.” We were declared completely not guilty of any past record. We were also declared right with God. II Cor. 11:2 declares He regards us as a chaste virgin to Christ. That is pure. That is holy. That is righteous. None of this comes by our efforts, performance, or law keeping. It is simply received by faith in what He has done for us.
How do you see yourself? How could you see yourself in the rear view mirror of your life in the light of all He has done and declared over you? He sees you washed, sanctified, and justified. If that is good enough for Him it should be good enough for you.