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And That... You Were

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1 Corinthians 6:9-11 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. NIV

When I read this list of wrongdoers, I have a mixed response. First, I think, Yeah! It serves those people right. They shouldn t be in heaven. Then I think, I sure hope that I m not one of those people! By God s holy standard, I am easily guilty of several of those sins. Just as I m reading along and starting to get concerned about my standing with God, a beautiful phrase is introduced: And that is what some of you were.

So much is packed into that little phrase! If that is what we were then that is not what we are any more. We were labeled by God as wicked and unrighteous sinners, but no longer! Our change in status is not because we have rehabilitated ourselves, but because God has washed, sanctified, and justified us. We are no longer shamed by the stain of our sin, but we have been washed whiter than snow. We have been sanctified made holy in the eyes of God. And we have been justified cleared of our record of wrongs and granted the righteousness of Christ.

We no longer need to live cowering in fear of what judgement may await us, because by the power and grace of God, we are not now what we once were.

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