May 21, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”—1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NIV)
Have you ever been reunited with someone after a long period of time apart? There are times when this happens and you can recognize a difference in the other person. The experiences they have had during your time apart have changed them. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, many times you’ll see the ways a person has grown and changed for the better. I find this so beautiful about the way God made us—we’re moldable creatures. We’re constantly changing and, even though parts of our personality and interests may not change over time, we can find peace in knowing that our journey through life is a journey of constant becoming.
With that in mind, we can better understand Paul’s message to the Corinthian Church seen in today’s Scripture. Paul is touching on a subject here that is often difficult to touch on because it makes people either uncomfortable or defensive: sexual immorality. Paul isn’t afraid of being brutally honest, though, and he reminds the Corinthian Church that sins relating to sexual immorality fall in the same category as any other sin such as drunkenness, stealing, greediness, and idolaters. This is because all sin is sin. Any behavior that stems from disobedience against God and a will that places ourselves in the position of god in our lives is sinful.
Paul is reminding his audience of this because they have been convincing themselves that certain sinful behaviors are acceptable because they feel good, feel right, and are acceptable in society. This is the exact same place we find ourselves in today! Whenever the enemy tries to confuse us by filling our minds with lies about who we are and what is right or wrong, we need to remember that only our Creator knows what’s best for His creation! We must remember that our Maker is trustworthy!
Lastly, the most important part of this passage is how Paul encourages his audience regarding their identity. When you place your faith in Christ and commit to follow Him, you become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He adopts you into His family, washes you clean from the stain of sin, makes you holy by attributing His own holiness to you, and gives you the Holy Spirit to continue a transforming work in you for the rest of your life. When the enemy’s tactics of temptation seem too strong to combat, you can remember what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV, emphasis added), “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Pause: What sinful behavior do you avoid thinking about or talking about because it’s difficult or uncomfortable?
Practice: Journal about your answer to the question above. Ask God to help you grow a deeper understanding of His heart and His decrees regarding your behavior and what is pleasing in His sight. Look in the mirror and tell yourself today that you are washed, sanctified, and justified in Christ!
Pray: Father, thank You for being gracious with me! Thank You for having my best interest in mind. I often forget that You are the only one who truly knows what is best for me. I ask that You convict me of any sin in my heart and clear up any confusion in my mind about who You are and who You want me to be. I am justified and sanctified by Your blood, Jesus, hallelujah! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.