"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." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The Bible has always been fairly specific when it comes to naming sin. Today we have crafted euphoric terms to define sin. We have the "unauthorized use of a motor vehicle" instead of car theft. Whether the speaker be Paul, Jesus or another, they called sin by its real name, not a pseudonym.
In the above scripture, Paul lists ten sins that cannot make it to heaven. Some of those sins are illegal, some are not; some involve another person, some do not; some are inward, known only to God, some are not. From God's point of view, i.e., inward, who could claim innocence on all of the ten. If we stop reading at verse 10, we will miss one of God's greatest lessons. Notice what Paul continues saying:
"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 Corinthians 6:11
Listen to what Paul is saying! This is the crowd to whom Paul did ministry. These are the kind of people that Paul worked day and night to reach. These are the kind of people that need to hear the gospel preached. They need to know that they can change…and through Christ is the only way they can change.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
If you could interview any of the above people before they were saved, you would not find one of them happy with his/her lifestyle. The most disgruntled, unhappy, miserable people on this earth are those who are running from God. Why do we call them "mind altering" drugs? We don't like what we are feeling or how we are feeling, so we drink, sniff, smoke, snort, inject something to change our feelings.
Notice "such were (past tense; no longer) some of you." Every saved person was once lost. Now, he says, "ye are washed," cleaned up, if you will. Nothing feels better after a long hard day than a good bath. Our filth (Psalms 14:3) is gone! You will also notice that someone else does the washing. As a child, mother didn't always trust me to wash my ears and behind my neck, so she did it. When she did, I was clean.
The theme song for the REC-Room begins:
"Come ye sinners, lost and hopeless, Jesus' blood can make you free,
For He saved the worst among us, when He saved a wretch like me."
The next thing Paul says about these particular people is that they were "sanctified." Being "sanctified" does not mean sinless, only that he has been set apart for the Master's use. The vessels in the Temple were sanctified (Leviticus 8:11.) They were set apart from other vessels to be used in the Temple. When God saved us, He sanctified (set apart) us from the world to be used for His glory.
Not only does He sanctify us, He justifies us. This is a legal term. To justify someone means that that person has met all of the requirements to be just. Justice has been served. Someone said that "justified" meant "just-as-if-I'd" never sinned. That coincides with 2 Corinthians 5:21,
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
Christ took our place on the cross that we might have a place in heaven.
These things are done for us in the name of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are not done in our name, or the church's name, or the denomination's name. They are done in the name of the highest authority, the Creator of the universe, Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:16.
Every saved person sins; every saved person must confess his sin every day (1 John 1:9.) Satan constantly accuses us (Revelation 12:10) and tells us we should quit; give up; stop trying, etc. Like Adam and Eve, we often believe his lies instead of God's truth. No one is more miserable than a saved person who is trying to straddle the fence between serving God and Satan; who wants to dabble in sin a little bit. Any sin on the above list can be confessed and stopped. You are not predestined forever to be a drunk, a homosexual, a drug addict, a thief, an adulterer, etc. Your life can be changed. You can do nothing about your past, but…you can do everything about your future!
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Keep Looking Up!