1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Made Clean in Christ
You'll never understand how clean you've been made till you understand how filthy you were!
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Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 ...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 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 73
Q. Why then does the Holy Spirit
the washing of rebirth
and the washing away of sins?
A. God has good reason for these words.
He wants to teach us that
the blood and Spirit of Christ
wash away our sins
just as water washes away
dirt from our bodies.
But more important,
he wants to assure us,
by this divine pledge and sign,
that the washing away
of our sins spiritually
is as real as physical
washing with water
Once again we're reminded as we read God's Word that sin is a serious problem. Far from being little indiscretions that the kindly 'Old Man in the sky' sort of snickers at, and much more impactful than just keeping us from living our best life now, we read that those who are unrighteous (wrongdoers) will not inherit the kingdom of God (v9)!
Paul defines what it means to be unrighteous using what's often been called a 'vice list' - that is, a list of significant sins that often show up in Paul's letters. Understand that this isn't a comprehensive list, meaning that these nine sins are not the only nine sins possible. They're just a representation of the whole. Paul uses these vice lists to shine the light on the filth of humanity.
But the primary purpose of this passage isn't to warn you of the massive danger of unrepentant sin (although it does), rather Paul's point here is no matter how filthy these sins have made you in the past, you've now been washed, sanctified and made righteous. (v11).
Most of us experience baptism in the context of a newborn baby being brought forward by her parents. The baby is soft & cuddly, beautifully dressed and in the arms of her proud parents. Often the grandparents look on with big smiles on their faces. It truly is a time of celebration as a new covenant child is welcomed into the congregation.
We'll dig deeper into why it is that we baptize the children of believers in our Reformed churches later this week, but one of the big difficulties that we must work past in bringing babies to be baptized is that they don't look anything at all like the type of sinners Paul described at the beginning to today's passage. But even though they've not yet committed the gross sins in Paul's vice lists, they are completely covered in the filth of sin.
When you fail to realize just how sinfully filthy you are from the moment of your conception, you fail to realize how dire your circumstances are apart from Christ, and how disgusting it is for your Father when you take what the Holy Spirit has washed clean and make yourself filthy all over again.
If you've been baptized, thank God that He, through Christ, has washed you clean in the same way water removes filth. If you've not been baptized, what are you waiting for? Reach out to your elders or pastor so you can experience first hand the tangible reminder of how you've been washed in the blood of Christ (plus, God's commanded you to do so!).
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our holy and righteous Father, who will not bestow His Kingdom on those who remain in the filth of their sins;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that you've been washed clean by Christ, and pray that temptations are kept far from you so that you don't fall into the filth again.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Luke 5