Psalm 113-115 1 Corinthians 6
“In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NCV)
Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians continues with the idea of proper judgment and then moves to dealing with sexual sin – probably related to worship at the temples of the false idols. Paul was aghast that Christians would not only have legal issues with each other, they’d go out of their way to go to a non-believing judge. That judge would be fair an impartial, of course, or so they thought. Paul’s response showed the truth: if you can’t get along as brothers and sisters in Christ and need to go to court, you’ve already lost. Christians should deal with their dirty laundry inside the church, depending on God to make things right, rather than depending on non-Christian judges and bringing scandal on the church. The focus shifts, and Paul dealt then with those who justified worshiping in the pagan temples – which included ritual prostitution – who argued that the body was made for sex. Paul wasn’t against sex in its proper place: marriage. Paul dealt with the issue of those who disdained the body as evil and so it didn’t matter what they did with it even if they engaged with prostitutes. Paul reminded them that their body was the place where God’s Spirit dwells.
In between these two topics of discussion is an amazing segue. Paul listed a bunch of sins with the admonition that people committing those sins were not fit for heaven. His point was that if people lived in a lifestyle that allowed those behaviors, they obviously weren’t in touch with God. When someone came to Christ, they were washed clean. Paul said that the Corinthians used to be like that, but God made them right with Him. That’s the story of sanctification! We were at odds with God and we showed it by our behavior. When God brought us into fellowship with Him by His grace, He cleansed us, He made us holy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our sins no longer define us because that’s who we were. We are defined by our relationship with God. I’m a follower of Christ. I’m a child of God. All the other labels that people wear, whether with shame or with pride, do nothing but reveal a lack of relationship with God. I’m not conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican: I’m a child of God. I’m not a <insert your sin of choice here>: I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. When people ask me what my sign is, I let them know that I live under the sign of Icthus which stands for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior in the Greek. All that I am that’s good as a husband, father, grandfather, or any of the occupations that I have followed is because God cleansed me and made me His servant. I am not what I used to be, I am who God made me to be and I can imagine no better life than that.
Lord, I could spend a long time detailing how I used to live. Instead, let me thank You for delivering me from my old sinful life and adopting me as Your child. Keep molding me so that my old sins don’t tempt me. Keep me in Your love and grace and help me to show others that same love and grace.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved