And Such Were Some Of You

The first century congregation in Corinth was inundated with various problems.  Division, fornication, and scruples were just some of the issues that Paul addressed in his writings.  Yet, even though there was room for much needed growth, Paul did mention some things that the congregation had in its favor.  The apostle wrote, “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.  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 Cor. 6:9-11).  The brethren in Corinth had ceased of the sinful things of which they were guilty.

          Contrary to the way that some believe and live, a lifestyle of sin will keep many individuals out of Heaven.  Without obedience to the Gospel, a person has no hope of everlasting life (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 1:6-10).  Part of that obedience involves the repentance of past sins (Acts 17:30-31).  A person cannot continue in his lifestyle of sin and be pleasing to God.  Thankfully, the congregation in Corinth had members who understood that truth.  No longer were those brethren identified by the sins that they had committed.  As Paul wrote, “And such were some of you”.  After obedience to the Gospel, those brethren became known as “washed’, “sanctified”, and “justified”.  No longer did God look at them as condemned sinners, but rather they were now “citizens” of the kingdom of God (Phil. 3:20).  It did not matter what sin they had committed, they obtained forgiveness.  That should be encouraging to all who want forgiveness today.  It does not matter what the sin is because it can be forgiven.  If a person is willing to obey the Gospel, then he can also enjoy the blessings of being a saint.

          To become a “washed” saint, a person must first be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Do not let the mentioning of blood scare you.  This process is accomplished by being baptized in water, for the remission of your sins.  Peter stated, “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).  Likewise, we find that Saul of Tarsus was told, “And now why tarriest thou?  arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).  By being baptized, we are “…baptized into his death” (Rom. 6:3).  This is important, because Jesus shed His blood in His death.  The writer of Hebrews wrote, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).  Further, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28).  The blood of Jesus is accessed by baptism in accordance with the New Testament.  This is explained by reading “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:16-22).

          By obeying the Gospel, a person also becomes sanctified.  The writer of Hebrews again stated, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:9-10).  To be sanctified is to be “set apart”.  There is no doubt that Christians are to separate from their worldly neighbors (Rom. 12:1-2).  Christians must be “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13-16).

          Lastly, the Christian is also justified.  The simplest definition of justification is “just if I’d never sinned”.  The Christian obtains justification by the grace of God, faith, works, and by the blood of Jesus (Titus 3:7; Rom. 5:1-21; James 1:21-22; Rom. 5:9).  All of which is fulfilled in obedience to the Gospel (Rom 1:16).

          Friend, you do not have to remain a lost sinner.  You can also be washed, sanctified, and justified.  I encourage you to obey the Gospel of Christ while you still have time.
~ Corey Barnette