The Truth comes to Corinth
Paul says “Remember what God did for you & to you”
1 Corinthians 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. NKJV
Paul came to the point in his epistle or letter where he appeared to be exasperated with all the junk inside the fellowship of the Corinthian believers, their envy and strife and divisions and suing one another and even living in open sexual impurity or immorality where he finally had to remind them of the lifestyles that made the unrighteous or unbeliever under God’s Wrath, as it is written by the Apostle John with these words, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). This verse of Scripture recorded for us by the Apostle John happens to come after John records our Lord Jesus’ conversation with the very “religious Jewish ruler” Nicodemus when our Lord Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Paul now wants to remind these Corinthian believers what our Lord Jesus Christ did for them and then to remind them what He did to them. First, our Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth from heaven willfully submitting Himself to God the Father’s Will to die on the Cross for the sins of all the Father’s Elect children chosen by Him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), as our Lord Jesus said with these words, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).
Paul has already greeted these brothers and sisters “in Christ Mystical Body” as such in the beginning of this very epistle or letter when he said this, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2-9). Paul fully acknowledged these people as genuine believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and now wants to remind them what God the Father through God the Son’s death, burial, and resurrection from the dead by the Power of God the Holy Spirit did to them. So immediately after Paul reminds them of the lifestyle of the unrighteous and the eternal destination of them, Paul says this to them, “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 uses the little English word “were” which is translated by the little Greek word en which is in the imperfect indicative mood and that represents the act or state as an objective fact and in this case it means “I was” pointing out or revealing clearly that this was the past lifestyles of some of the regenerated born again believers in Corinth. This is the first fact and reality Paul wants to drive home to their consciousness and “awake them out of their spiritual sleep” and to light a fire in them to be vigilant and diligent to grow up into full and complete “spiritual maturity” and get out of the “spiritual nursery” in Christ. Paul says some of them were or en (past tense) these things because they were “washed” and this English word is translated from the Greek word apolouo which means to wash fully or to wash away from something that is near or figuratively to have remitted or to be forgiven or to have a debt paid in full on one’s account; this word means reversal, separation, and departure. Paul declares them to be washed clean from their former sinful lifestyles with the idea that they have been broken away from or separated from their sins as Paul wrote it in this manner to the believers in Rome, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).
Paul then says that after they were washed or apolouo then they were “sanctified” or the Greek word hagiazo which means to make holy; to purify; to consecrate or set apart for a high purpose; to be properly clean or as it is declared by the Psalmist with these humbling and glorious words, “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto Him” (Psalms 4:3). Finally, Paul reminds them that they have been “justified” and this English word is translated by the Greek word dikaioo which means to show or regard a person as just or innocent; to render or make a person righteous. Paul reminds them that they have been exonerated of all the charges of sin against them before the “Court of God” and now they are declared by God the Father innocent of all charges or sin or as said even better by Paul when he wrote this quoting King David, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account” (Romans 4:7-8). This all was done to these Corinthians believers and to every true believer in every generation in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Power of the Spirit of God, therefore, Paul wants to see them and us “walk worthy” of this tremendous high-calling of God in meekness and fear and Paul repeated this command to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1), the Colossians (Colossians 1:10), and to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:12) as he does to all of us today and to every generation until our Lord Jesus Christ returns to gather up all of His Elect children to be with Him forever.
“Who are the heirs of the kingdom of heaven, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11? Do not inquire into their past history. There are pages in their lives that had better be obliterated and forgotten; or, if remembered, they should be the foil to set forth the matchless grace and love of God. Yes, that grace shall be our theme forever, when we recall the depths out of which it lifted us, and the heights to which it raised us. Let us note that the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are named together. It is by the Holy Spirit that we become possessed of the nature of our Lord, which takes the place of our old evil nature and empowers us to repeat His life.” F. B. Meyer
“He puts them in mind what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them: Such were some of you (1 Corinthians 6:11), such notorious sinners as he had been reckoning up. The Greek word is tauta - such things were some of you, very monsters rather than men. Note, Some that are eminently good after their conversion have been as remarkably wicked before. Quantum mutatus ab illo! How glorious a change does grace make! It changes the vilest of men into saints and the children of God. Such were some of you, but you are not what you were. You are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. Note, The wickedness of men before conversion is no bar to their regeneration and reconciliation to God. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can purge away all guilt and defilement. Here is a rhetorical change of the natural order: You are sanctified, you are justified. Sanctification is mentioned before justification: and yet the name of Christ, by which we are justified, is placed before the Spirit of God, by Whom we are sanctified. Our justification is owing to the merit of Christ; our sanctification to the operation of the Spirit: but both go together. Note, None are cleansed from the guilt of sin, and reconciled to God through Christ, but those who are also sanctified by His Spirit. All who are made righteous in the sight of God are made holy by the grace of God.” Matthew Henry
“If we have been washed or cleansed from sin and then sanctified or set apart from sin and then justified or declared innocent despite our sin against God, then why would we be inclined as the ‘prodigal son’ was to so break God the Father’s Heart by leaving His Precious Love for us and returning to our ‘pig pen of sin’.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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