You Were, BUT You Are

Studies in First Corinthians – X

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
-1 Corinthians 6:9-10

What an awful and ugly list! Yet, there is not one of us who could not say, “This would be me, but for the grace of God.”

Paul continues to combat carnality by reminding the Christians at Corinth who they are in Christ and what the work of the cross and the infilling of the Holy Ghost has accomplished in their life. Throughout the letter, he adopts the principle that the mightiest drawing power to lift a man out of carnality and sinfulness is the cross of Christ.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
-1 Corinthians 6:11

Paul puts a mirror in front of their face, “such were some of you, BUT…” That three letter conjunction is a clear line of demarcation. They were idolaters, fornicators, adulterers, drunkards and everything else on the list, “BUT ye are washed, BUT ye are sanctified, BUT ye are justified.”

Paul reminds them and us that we have been washed by the Word, set apart by the Holy Spirit, and declared righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Washed: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3).

Sanctified: “Through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2).

Justified: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

We are intended to live in victory over sin by the power of Christ in us. This is what we are by the grace of God: washed, sanctified, and justified. Let us be what we are by the power of the Spirit!

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