And such were some of you” – 1 Corinthians 6:11a
A recent report from the Center for Disease Control noted that “the combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia hit an all-time high in 2018, totaling 2,457,118 reported cases.”  I’m sorry to say that given the direction of our society and culture of sexual perversity, this development is not surprising. The increase in such sexually transmitted diseases is not merely a medical or physiological issue. Such disease and infection effects relationships and the psyche of those who deal with the consequential guilt and shame. In our permissive society there are those who might minimize such developments. They might say it’s a natural and acceptable part of sexual “freedom.” I doubt however that anyone who has ever personally experienced a sexually transmitted disease, that have often permanent effects, would agree. There is a consequence to immoral sexual activity, and it’s never something anyone would describe as pleasant or acceptable.
Sexual disease as a consequence of immoral behavior is nothing new. In fact, sexual immorality can be traced all the way back to the beginning. It was a part of what led to the Flood (Genesis 6:1-7). One of the most fearsome and justly terror producing accounts in the Old Testament has to do with the sexual promiscuity and sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19). The Bible is filled with accounts about the problems accompanying sexual sin. Judah (Genesis 38), Joseph (Genesis 39), God’s orgy indulging people (Exodus 32), Samson (Judges 14-16), and David (1 Samuel 12-13) are all well known examples of sexual immorality and its consequences.
Not all sexually transmitted disease is a consequence of sin. Sin is usually involved in some way, but not always. Sometimes an innocent party is infected because of an unfaithful spouse. In such cases the hurt and pain is far worse than being skin deep. The emotional wounds of unfaithfulness are terrible and often last far longer than physical cures. But how can we deal with such sins? Can we be healed both physically, mentally and spiritually? The answer is yes.
The church in Corinth was typical in many ways. Churches located in Roman cities had to deal with the pagan cultures of those cities. Corinth was a city of contrasts. It was one of the most prominent cities of the New Testament times. The contrasting personality of this city is pictured by the way it came to be used to express certain things.
Corinth was a city known for its debauchery. This was due to temple prostitution and it being a seaport town with many transients. So immoral was this city that in the Roman world the phrase, “to live like a Corinthian” was oftentimes a euphemism for referring to a very immoral person. So, Corinth was a city not unlike most cities in our day.
Corinth was a city situated perfectly for commerce and carnality. It was located in the region of Achaia on an isthmus, a four-mile wide body of land between the Peloponnesus in the south and Greece to the north. It was a crossroads for travel and commerce, had two harbors and gained much of its wealth from hauling freight and small vessels across the isthmus. The local politicians also levied tolls on the commerce.
The population of the city was approximately 500,000 people who lived there at the time of Paul’s arrival. Of this population one commentator states:
Merchants and sailors, anxious to work the docks, migrated to Corinth. Professional gamblers and athletes, betting on the Isthmian games, took up residence. Slaves, sometimes freed but with no place to go, roamed the streets day and night. And prostitutes (both male and female) were abundant. People from Rome, the rest of Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor—indeed, all of the Mediterranean world—relished the lack of standards and freedom of thought that prevailed in the city. .[i] . . . . Also, the infamous Temple of Aphrodite (or Venus) was located on top of this fortified hill. This pagan temple and its 1,000 “religious” prostitutes poisoned the city’s culture and morals. For this reason, the apostle Paul sometimes had to deal harshly with the converts in the Corinthian church. Most of the Corinthians had lived in this godless society all their lives, and the idea of tolerating even incest had not seemed so terrible to them (1 Corinthians 5).[ii]
One other commentator describes the history and conditions of Corinth in the following way:
From such a cultural hub, a strong gospel witness might well be heard all over the world. It was no wonder that Paul felt constrained to bear a testimony to such a city. But the moral depravity most vividly reflects the spiritual need of Corinth. The vile character of the old city carried over into the city of New Testament times. The Greek word korinthiazomai (lit., “to act the Corinthian”), came to mean, “to commit fornication.” Corinth was a seaman’s paradise and a moral cesspool. Divorce was rampant. Prostitution plagued the streets, and the moral air was polluted with the luring aroma of sin. It was famous for all that is debauched. It was, no doubt, the inspiration for the catalogue of man’s sins in Romans 1:18–32 (written by Paul while a guest of Gaius in this wicked city)! Inebriated by the swaggering pride of supposed Greek wisdom, they had even reduced their religion to a quagmire of gross sensualism. And it was from this filthy slough of sin that Paul’s converts were extracted (1 Corinthians 6:9–11).[iii]
This was the city Paul was led by the Spirit to go into and minister to. IN light of such a description, we see that today we live on Corinthian streets. That a church was successfully planted in this debauched city informs us that the gospel has a solution to such depravity. The thing to remember when we see the debauchery and sin of a city like Corinth is that such sin is not beyond the saving and sanctifying reach of the cross of Christ. No one is beyond the reach of the cross of Christ.
We find the account of Paul’s ministry in Corinth in Acts 18:1-18. It was in the raucous city of Corinth that Paul must have felt fearful at times for the Lord felt it necessary to comfort him with the words:
- Acts 18:9-10 – “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;10 “for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”
Having been comforted by the Lord, Paul stayed in Corinth 18 months “teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:11). Dealing with sexual sin can be daunting at times. One of the most difficult addictions of our day is sexual addiction. There is a plethora of sexual promiscuity in the form of gender confusion, the promotion of LGBT and a host of various sexual “relationships.” This is a day not unlike the low point days of Israel described as, “In those days. . . everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). That is our day in a nutshell. And there are consequences to throwing off the protective parameters of God’s word.
There is a passage in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians which provides us with abundant hope for those caught up in sexual sin. In this corrupt city of Corinth, Paul had been moved by the Spirit to bring the gospel. And that gospel proved effective in dealing with the various lurid sexual indulgences that depraved people often practice.
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul speaks to a church that had apparently forgotten some of what they had been saved from. In these words, he reminds the Corinthian church of the powerful redeeming and delivering work God had done in them. He is inspired and moved by the Spirit to remind them:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.” (6:9). While it is true that the Christian is not perfect and sinless in this life and that there is room for the confession of sin (1 John 1:9), it is also true that Christians are saved from sin so that they will not go on in the same sinful behavior after they are saved as they did before they were saved (Romans 6; 1 John 3:9). Paul says that a view that holds that “the unrighteous will” inherit the kingdom of God is a “deceived” view.
The word “deceived” here comes from the Greek term PLANAO (Strong’s # 4105 – πλανάω planaō, plan-ah´-o;) which means, “to cause to roam (from safety, truth, or virtue) . . . go astray, deceive, err, seduce, wander, be out of the way.” [iv] Paul is warning the Corinthians not to wander from the truth they have been taught about salvation and living a holy life. By thinking it was acceptable for Christians to indulge in sin, they were wandering form the truth of God.
Here Paul addresses a faulty misconception, that is, that Christians, under the covering of “grace” can indulge in sin. Nothing could be further from the truth (see Romans 6:1 and the rest of that chapter). It is definitely true that a person is not saved by their works (Ephesians 2:5-9; Titus 3:5). But it is also true that genuine saving faith produces a change of life. This is true because salvation involves receiving a new heart (Ezekiel 18:31; 36:26), a new life (Romans 6:4), a renewed mind (1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2), and a fresh start (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is another Biblical term used to convey this change that takes place at conversion. That word is “repentance.”
Repentance involves a change of heart and walk in life (Matthew 3:8; Mark 2:17; Acts 2:38-39). Look at the apostle Paul. Before he was saved, he was persecuting the church. After he was saved, he became a leader in the church (Acts 9). Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we are saved by grace and that salvation results in equipping us to fulfill good works that God has prepared for us to do. He was inspired to write:
- Ephesians 2:8-10 – 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
This coincides with James’s teaching that authentic saving faith is evidenced by good works in life (James 2:14-26).
The tragic development in the church today is that for fear of offending someone, the church has adopted the world’s philosophy of toleration. This has led to condoning sin and sinful lifestyles in the church. Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for doing this (see Corinthians 5:1f.). There are certain segments of the “Church” today that have accepted homosexuality as “the will of God.” Certain segments of the “Church” have endorsed same sex unions and a host of other LGBT designations. The world has adopted the view that such designations are the “norm,” and should not be discouraged. Indeed, there is a flood of LGBT doctrine and promotion in our schools. No child is too young to be indoctrinated. No child is too young to be exposed to a transvestite or someone in “drag.” This is being promoted as “normal,” and acceptable; even preferable. There is a broader reason for these tactics which have to do with the promotion of a one world order and its control over humanity. But that is for another teaching. For now, suffice it to say, the world is openly promoting lifestyles God calls sinful in His word. And in so doing, too many are being robbed of the freedom from such sin and its consequences that can be experienced in the gospel.
The Church is not exempt from this. Some segments of the “church” have even gone so far as to ordain homosexual pastors and priests! The tragedy of this is that, it short circuits the powerful implementation of the gospel. The gospel is powerful to change lives! But rather than trust in the gospel by faith, the church compromises the truth of God’s word. Rather than the church offering the good news that sinful ways can be forgiven in Christ and that the sinner caught up in such sinful lifestyles can be freed from the bondage of that sin, instead the church has condoned and adopted the sin. The result is perpetuating the bondage of sin and welcoming that which is abhorrent to God into His Church. Such is the way of the apostate. Such is diametrically opposed to the message of truth ordained by God in His holy word. Let’s look at God’s truth in this regard.
Sins That Keep You Out of the Kingdom. God does not condone sin or unrighteousness. He sent His only Son Jesus to make a way out from under the bondage of sin. Some see the patience of God and wrongly interpret it as His toleration of sin. But that is the nature of the times in which we live (2 Peter 3:1-13). The goodness and patience of God is meant to give the sinner time to repent, not time to indulge their sinful behavior more (Romans 2:4).
Paul tells us that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God” (6:9). The word “unrighteous” refers to those who step outside or willfully break the Laws of God (Greek term ADIKOI – from Strong’s # 94 – ἄδικος adikŏs, ad´-ee-kos;). The word used here literally refers to those who could be described as, “unjust; . . . wicked; . . . treacherous; . . . unjust, unrighteous.” [v] The unrighteous person is a lawbreaker of God’s laws.
Paul then gives quite a complete list of illicit sinful behaviors that these Corinthians possibly had once been involved with (and in light of 1 Corinthians 5:1, some still were involved with while maintaining they were “Christians” – 6:9-10). What were the ten sinful practices listed by Paul here and what do they refer to?
- “Fornicators” – This is the same word used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:1 from which we get the English word “pornography.” It refers to those who indulge in sexual activity outside of the prescribed marriage bond ordained by God. (Strong’s #4205 – πόρνος pŏrnŏs, por´-nos; from πέρνημι pĕrnēmi, (to sell; akin to the base of 4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal), e. (by anal.) a debauchee (libertine): — fornicator, whoremonger.[vi]
- “Idolaters”- This refers to those who put things or people before God or in the place of God. These broke the first and second commandments of God (Exodus 20:1-6). Perhaps it refers in particular here to those who exalted their own bodies. Because they were so obsessed with their looks or sexual prowess, they were guilty of putting themselves in the place of God. Perhaps it refers to people who were worshipping themselves. (Strong’s # 1496 – εἰδωλολάτρης ĕidōlŏlatrēs, i-do-lol-at´-race – literally “an image– (servant or) worshipper . . . ” [vii]
- “Adulterers” – This refers to those who break the marriage bond by going outside the marriage relationship to gratify their sexual desires. This breaks the seventh commandment of God (Exodus 20:14). (Strong’s # 3432 – μοιχός mŏichŏs, moy-khos´; . . . a (male) paramour; . . . apostate . . . ” [viii]
- “Homosexuals” – This word does not only refer to same sex interaction but in particular with This term conveyed the thought of a man who was effeminate. This refers to one who is passively homosexual, one who played a dominated role in a homosexual relationship. (Strong’s # 3120 – μαλακός malakŏs, mal-ak-os´; . . . “soft, i.e. fine (clothing); fig. a catamite . . . effeminate, soft.” [ix]
- “Sodomites” – This refers to homosexual or same sex sin also, but the idea conveyed is one of an active homosexual, one who dominates another in a homosexual relationship. The word is translated “sodomite” because the person referred to was similar in temperament to those in the Genesis account of Sodom where men sought to sexual use and abuse angels sent by God to rescue Lot and his family (see Genesis 19, verse 1:5 in particular). (Strong’s # 733 – ἀρσενοκοίτης arsĕnŏkŏitēs, ar-sen-ok-oy´-tace; . . . “a sodomite . . . abuser of (that defile) self with mankind, homosexual.” [x]
- “Thieves” – A thief is one who takes something that is not their own break the eighth commandment of God (Exodus 20:15). (Strong’s # 2812 – κλέπτης klĕptēs, klep´-tace; . . . “a stealer . . . thief.”[xi] Perhaps this was in some way linked to thievery frequently associated with prostitution and such sins.
- “Covetous”- To covet means to lust after and seek more of something you already have enough of. To covet is sinful because it expresses dissatisfaction with God’s provision. This is breaking the tenth commandment of God (Exodus 20:17). (Strong’s #123 – πλεονέκτης plĕŏnĕktēs, pleh-on-ek´-tace; . . . “holding (desiring) more, e. eager for gain (avaricious, hence, a defrauder) . . . covetous.” [xii]
- “Drunkards” This refers to one who habitually abuses alcohol or some other substance to the point of being impaired. (Strong’s #3183 – μέθυσος mĕthusŏs, meth´-oo-sos; . . . “tipsy, drunkard.” [xiii]
- “Revilers”- This refers to one who could be described as verbally abusive. (Strong’s # 3060 – λοίδορος lŏidŏrŏs, loy´-dor-os; from λοιδός lŏidŏs (mischief); abusive, railer, reviler.” [xiv]
- “Extortioners”- This refers to one who is viciously greedy, a predator and does not hesitate to use force to get their way with people. This word is used to describe those who sneak into congregations like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to devour and destroy the flock (Matthew 7:15). (Strong’s # 727 – ἅρπαξ harpax, har´-pax; . . . “rapacious . . . extortion, ravening.” [xv]
If you are a fornicator or involved in any sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, or an idolater, adulterer, homosexual, sodomite, thief, covetous, drunkard or addict, reviler or extortioner, and practice theses types of lifestyles or sins, don’t think going to church while you still practice such sins is going to save you because it won’t and it doesn’t (6:9-10). Paul says those who are living in these kinds of sins “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (6:10). There is no mistaking what Paul is stating here. He is clear, concise, unmistakable and blunt. He can make this statement because he knows Jesus can free the sinner from the bondage of sin (6:11; John 8:31-32).
The danger we face in this passage is twofold. First, some will ignore or try to explain away the clear truth of this passage and do so to their own eternal peril. There is no excuse for such sin, (especially for those who name the name of Jesus). Secondly, the danger is that of this list of sins, we will emphasize some more than others to our own peril. Some may focus on the sin of homosexuality or sodomy as the really big and bad sins. But idolaters, adulterers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and extortioners are no less innocent or acceptable before a holy God. We cannot afford to be tolerant of sin. We cannot afford to be bigoted toward some sins or show favoritism to others. Some of the sins are more visible and noticeable than others, but they all equally condemn one to an eternity in hell. They are all equally repugnant and sinful before God. That’s the bad news. But there is good news too!
“And such WERE some of you.” The gospel of Jesus Christ is great and good news for the sinner. It is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). What follows this list of sins is one of the most liberating, glorious verses in the entire Bible. Paul says:
- 1 Corinthians 6:11 – 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The important point to see here is that Paul speaks of the sins previously listed as in the PAST TENSE for the Corinthians; as though they are in the past, put behind them, done away with. This list of sins given by Paul does not necessarily imply the Corinthians had indulged or had a background in all of the sins, but it is very possible that they had. If that is the case, they were a redeemed motley crew gloriously transformed by the Lord.
The important word (or really tense of the word) here is “were.” This word is translated from the Greek term ETE which is a form of the Greek verb EIMI (Strong’s #1510 – εἰμί ĕimi, i-mee´). The grammatical form of this Greek term (i.e. Imperfect tense) conveys the thought of something that has occurred in the past and has ongoing effects. In other words, this word points to a past event that has lasting effects. At some point in the past, what they had been was changed so that what they were now was different. This is what the gospel does; it changes us. At one time people now in the Corinthian church were involved in the above sinful practices, but now they have been changed, freed from such sins. How did it happen? What happened to change them and free them from these sins?
“But you were washed.” “But you were washed” Paul says. The phrase “were washed” is a translation of one Greek term, APELOUSASTHE (Aorist – Middle – Indicative of Strong’s # 628 – ἀπολούω apŏlŏuō, ap-ol-oo´-o) which means, “to wash fully, . . . wash (away).” [xvi] The idea here is that they had willfully taken steps to see that their sins were thoroughly washed away. The idea is not that they washed away their own sins, but that they had taken steps to see that they were washed.
This may be a reference to the rite of baptism; however, the rite of baptism is only a sign of a present inward work of the Holy Spirit. The cleansing Paul is referring to here has to do with the inner work of God in a person’s heart.
First, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses our conscience from the guilt of sin. In Hebrews it states:
- Hebrews 9:14 – 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The guilt of sin is a heavy burden to bear, but because of the shedding of the blood of Jesus on the cross, God removes our guilt connected with our sins. Sometimes we hold on to guilt. But we don’t have to. In Christ we have a perfect conscience cleanser, His blood. We can and should let go of our guilt and draw close to God.
Second, the Holy Spirit cleanses us from our sin at conversion when we are spiritually regenerated. The Bible states:
- Titus 3:4-6 – 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
The Holy Spirit washes us clean. He wipes our sins away completely.
Third, the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to wash us clean is His word. The Bible says:
- Ephesians 5:26 – 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
The context here is a discussion of marriage as it relates to illustrating the relationship between Jesus and His Bride the Church. The Holy Spirit as the Agent of Jesus, applies the word of God to us and wipes away our sins.
Fourth, all we need to do is confess our sins to God in faith to be cleansed. This cleansing is something we receive by faith from the Lord. It is not based on a work of our own. We cooperate, but the cleansing is the work of God in us. The Bible says:
- Acts 15:8-9 – 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying [i.e. cleansing] their hearts by faith.
- 1 John 1:9 – 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Did you ever notice how pervasive and persistent dust is? I notice it on the dashboard of my car. If you drive with your windows open at all, dust accumulates. I notice it especially when I get in the car in the morning and the sun shines on the dashboard of my car. I think to myself, “Man, I have to clean that dashboard.” I recently found special towelette wipes that are made especially for cleaning the interior of your car. They are soaked in a soapy substance. I pull one out of the container and run it over the dashboard and voila! The dust is gone! That’s what the Holy Spirit does, when we in faith confess our sins to God, He takes the inspired word and uses it to both expose sin and show us the means of cleansing our sin in Christ (see also Psalm 51; 139:23-24). The Holy Spirit takes the word of God and runs it over our hearts and minds cleansing us from sin.
“But you were sanctified.” Paul continues, “But you were sanctified.” The phrase “were sanctified” comes from the Greek term HAGIASTHETE (HAGIADZO – Strong’s# 37 – ἁγιάζω hagiazō, hag-ee-ad´-zo) which means, “to make holy, . . . purify or consecrate . . . hallow, be holy, sanctify.” [xvii] The grammatical form of this word (Aorist – Passive – Indicative) conveys the thought that this was something done to them as opposed to something they did to or for themselves.
To be sanctified means to be set apart for special uncommon use by God. In the Old Testament the utensils used in the tabernacle and Temple were “sanctified” or cleansed and treated special. This was because they were set apart only for use in God’s holy place. You didn’t eat a common daily meal with the uncommon holy set apart utensils of the Tabernacle or Temple. When the word sanctification is applied to God’s people, it means they are removed from the common world group of sinners and set apart for the Lord’s use to fulfill His plans.
Sanctification is a life process. Sanctification has to do with the cleansing of the heart from that which distracts and detours a person from following the Lord completely and with full commitment. In sanctification we do not get more of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit gets more or all of us. Sanctification is the full surrender to Jesus as Lord. Sanctification is the relinquishing of our rights to God. This is a work of God in us. There are a few things we need to understand about the sanctifying process.
First, God commands that we be holy or sanctified. The Bible says:
- 1 Peter 1:15-16 – 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
God calls every believer to live especially for Him and not settle for the commonness of being like the world.
Second, sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit applying the blood of Jesus to our hearts and lives. The Holy Spirit is “Holy.” He is the Agent of holiness in the life of the believer. The Bible says:
- 1 Peter 1:2 – 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
It is the blood of Jesus, His atoning work on the cross as applied by the Holy Spirit to us that is the basis of the sanctifying process in us.
Third, God uses His word to work sanctification in us. Jesus said:
- John 17:17,19 – 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. . .. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
The word of God steers us in the path of holiness (Matthew 7:13-14).
Fourth, sanctification is a thorough work of God in us, (it is not something done by self effort or in our own strength; it is not merely discipline). The Bible says:
- Philippians 2:13 – 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do
Sanctification is a lifelong process that we experience day by day as we walk by faith in the Lord (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 3:15).
“But you were justified.” Paul then says, “but you were justified” which is translated from the Greek term, EDIKAIOTHETE (from DIKAIOO – Strong’s #1344 – δικαιόω dikaiŏō, dik-ah-yŏ´-o) which means, “to render . . . just or innocent, free, justify (-ier), be righteous.” [xviii] Again, the grammatical form of this term (Aorist – Passive – Indicative) indicates that this was something that was done to them, not something they did for themselves.
Justification refers to the just legal standing we have before God the holy Judge based on the work of Jesus for us as we put our faith in Jesus and His redemptive cross work. The Bible says:
- Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Justification is the beginning of the process of having God work in us to set us apart for His use. To be justified before God through faith in Christ means to have a standing before God just as though I had never sinned.
“In the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit or our God.” Paul sums up how these things were accomplished in the believers by saying, “in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” The Source and means of our washing from the guilt of sin, the sanctification to God, our just standing before God and to putting all of these sins in the past is “the Lord Jesus” and “the Spirit of God.” This is sweet truth for the person who has bottomed out in sin in life and is looking for salvation and freedom from the bondage of that sin. It is sweet truth because “in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God” we can be freed from all of these aforementioned sins.
When we look at these three things mentioned by Paul, we see the Trinity at work. It is the Holy Spirit who washes away our sins and cleanses our heart (Titus 3:5; Acts 15:8-9). It is Jesus who sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 1:2). We are justified in Christ before the Father (Romans 5:1; 8:33).
When we put all of this together what we have can be expressed in the following way:
Some of you were involved in sinful sexual activity outside of marriage; some idolized themselves, some were adulterers, some were involved in homosexual activity, some were thieves and some were never satisfied with what God gave them, some were alcoholics and addicts, some were verbally and physically abusive and some manipulated and threatened people to get what they wanted from them. Some of you were involved in these things until you decided to put your faith in Christ. Then you were washed by the Holy Spirit, sanctified by Jesus and stand justified before the Father.
As bleak as the list of ten sins is, the cure and solution are all the more blessed. When a person has been saved from and freed from one or more of those ten sins listed or some other sin, it is a blessed experience and great reason to give one’s life as loving sacrifice of appreciation to our Savior and Liberator.
So how about you? Are you caught up in sexual sin? Do you want to be able to say, “such was I, BUT NO MORE!”? It’s possible. Don’t be duped by those with an agenda that denies the freedom that could be yours.  There is freedom from sexual sin, from all sin, through faith in Jesus Christ.  If you want victory in this area, I encourage you to pray. Here is a sample prayer:
Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name as led by the Holy Spirit. I confess my sexual sins to You. I know they displease you. I know they separate me from You. I ask Your forgiveness. I don’t ask on my own. But I ask Your forgiveness because I believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins; all of them. By faith I accept Your just forgiveness. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me spiritual life. Help me to live a holy and pure life for You. Help me to rise up when I am low. Help me to continue if I falter. Free me from this bondage. Empower me to live for You and Your glory. Father, help me to feel Your love and love others through me. Help me to live for Your glory and pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sexual sin can be amongst the most difficult sin addictions or sin habits to overcome. Overcoming in this area of life can be difficult and nasty at times. It can be a war. But there is power in the gospel to do the job. The Lord is real. Jesus is real. He will help you through. You may have set backs. You may falter at times. But press on if you do. Confess your sins to God honestly. Trust Him to bring your through to victory. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26). Call out to Him. Lean on Him. Trust Him to help you.
I pray you turn to Jesus from your and find the freedom and joy that so many have discovered in Christ. I pray you would turn to God through faith in Jesus, and receive forgiveness, and new life in Christ. I pray you become a holy instrument for God’s glory. I pray you too would become part of those of whom it can be said, “and such were some of you.” I pray this in Jesus’ name.
[i]Ronald F. Youngblood, general editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, consulting editors, Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary: An authoritative one-volume reference work on the Bible with full color illustrations [computer file], electronic edition of the revised edition of Nelson’s illustrated Bible dictionary, Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.
[ii]Ronald F. Youngblood, general editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, consulting editors, Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary: An authoritative one-volume reference work on the Bible with full color illustrations [computer file], electronic edition of the revised edition of Nelson’s illustrated Bible dictionary, Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.
[iii]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.
[iv]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[v]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[vi]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[vii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[viii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[ix]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[x]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xi]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xiii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xiv]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xv]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xvi]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xvii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville
[xviii]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville