Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11
Key verse: (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.
Reflection: The verses leading up to this passage give a laundry list of “sinful” behaviors: greed, idolatry, slander, drunkenness, deceit. And unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list. As humans we are sinful. Some view sin as the human condition or “the fall”. Other see sin as each specific action we take that pulls us from God. However you view or define sin, there is one thing for certain: we need help.
Paul makes two points using the verb “were.” The first point is that some of us “were” such people as these, living in habitual sin. We “were” tainted by the condition of sin and we all fall short of the glory of God – I believe this is our ongoing struggle. The second point is that now we live in a new reality. This new reality is a gift because we “were” cleansed and reconciled to God by God in Jesus Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are no longer under the condemnation of our estrangement and rebellion and failures. Through the grace of God, we are no longer bound to the old way of life, to what we were. We were sanctified, made holy and pure, through justification by grace. Friends this is good news! We have been washed and claimed by the Spirit, and this is the gift of God’s grace and peace made known in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Holy God, you are the source of life, the source of freedom, the source of blessing and newness. For you have taken what we were, and we are made new. We give you thanks that we are not what we once were. In the name of Jesus Christ, the one who came so that we may live. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].