1 Corinthians 6:11

“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.”

Paul is making a comparison. By the end of the verse a glorious situation is revealed. To understand the comparison, “And such were some of you,” consider the verses before. In 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 we read, “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.”

The topic is who inherits the kingdom of God. Verses 9 and 10 list a number of behaviors that characterize the world to this very day. Paul says that those who do those things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The beginning of 1 Corinthians 6:11 points out, “And such were some of you.” While nobody is guilty of all of these things, all were guilty of something. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” Quoting from Ecclesiastes 7 and Psalm 14, Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Taken together, according to Romans and 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, nobody will inherit the kingdom of God.

We see in 1 Corinthians and Romans that all of mankind is guilty. As we read through the list we can see where we ourselves are guilty in thought or word or deed, even perhaps on more than one count. What an awful position to be in because the end, the affect, of these behaviors is that we will not inherit the kingdom of God. But Paul told the Corinthians that they “were” like that. This implies that they were no longer like that. How does someone move from being disqualified from inheriting the kingdom of God to being an inheritor of the kingdom of God? The answer to that question lies in the rest of verse 11.

Such were some of you, but ye are washed. Elsewhere, that word is translated washed away. Paul was telling a crowd in Jerusalem about the details of his own salvation. A man named Ananias was sent by the Lord to Paul, and spoke of his sins being washed away (Acts 22:16). In 1 Corinthians, Paul told his readers that they were washed. That is, he was telling them that their sins were washed away. Speaking of Jesus in his greeting to the seven churches in Asia Minor, in Revelation 1:5,6, John wrote, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Such were some of you, but ye are sanctified. This means to make holy. In words that are similar to 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, Hebrews 12:14 tells us, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…” Without holiness, that is without sanctification, no man will see the Lord; no man shall inherit the kingdom of God. How does someone become sanctified? Hebrews 13:12 says, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Sanctification is God’s work through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Concerning His followers, in John 17:17 Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” And, in Acts 20:32 Paul told the leaders from the church in Ephesus, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Like washing, this, too, is available through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Such were some of you, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and ye are justified by the Spirit of our God. To be justified is to be declared righteous. The verse above declares a two-fold effort by God on our behalf. We are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For (God) hath made (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” It is God’s work, and not in any way of ourselves. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Righteousness does not come by following the law, but through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the enabling of His Holy Spirit, Who guides us into all truth. (John 16:13)

All people desire eternal joys. We know that this life is only the beginning of things. Death is not the end. This verse speaks of inheriting the kingdom of God. And, it points out who will not inherit it. In so saying, it infers that there will be some who will inherit His kingdom. And who will that be? Those that are washed, justified, and sanctified by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Praise God for His great salvation plan!

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain (Robert Lowry)

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