Jump Start # 3365
1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
This verse is powerful. It is revealing. It is helpful for our times. The Corinthians changed. Paul says in the previous verses that they were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. What a wide and vast assortment of sinful activity. Immoral. Dishonest. Out of control. That’s how we’d picture most of those behaviors. But coming to our verse today, they changed. Justified. Sanctified. Washed. The Gospel of Jesus changed their lives.
Some thoughts for us:
First, with most of these sins listed by the apostle, just stopping wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a matter of simply “going to church,” as some say. They had to rewire the house. The way they had been thinking had to change. A covetous person doesn’t just flip a switch and he is no longer covetous. He has to get his mind off of stuff and on to Christ. He has to realize that life isn’t measured by what one owns.
There are many sexual sins in Paul’s description of the Corinthians. Fornication. Effeminate. Adultery. Homosexuality. We are told by our culture that a person doesn’t choose those things but they are naturally born that way. Yet, the Corinthians stopped. It wasn’t that they now found a homosexual church and they continued on as they were. That’s not supported by this text. That behavior was sinful and one could not inherit the kingdom of God. Now, our times would say that’s “Hate speech.” But it’s the language of the Bible.
The Corinthians changed their behavior. They did this without intense professional counselors. Such did not exist back then. There was no AA meetings for the drunks. It was the power of Christ and a commitment to living a holy life that led them to change. Was it easy? Is it easy today? Is it ever easy? Yet, the witness of these saints tells us that it can be done. Change begins in the mind. Change the mind and then the behavior changes. Without changing the mind, the behavior may stop for a moment, but it always returns.
Understanding that Christ made us for better things and He has a plan and a purpose for us will help us to get to that change. Rather than using people, we learn to value people. Rather than only thinking of self, we begin thinking of Christ and then others.
When people say “I cannot change,” they are not only giving up on God, but they are allowing the devil to continue to captivate and control them. Yes, you can change. Yes, you can change forever.
Second, our culture doesn’t help. It embraces sin and makes sin acceptable. Rather than changing the person, our culture changes the message. Find a sin accepting church. Find a church whose leaders are doing the very things you are doing and everyone dances happily singing, “I’m OK and you’re OK.” Such is shameful, wrong and ignoring what the Bible teaches. Rather than listening to sinful counselors who green light anything you want to do, we need to obey the message of Scriptures.
So, the more that our culture saturates my heart, the harder it will be for me to change. The more that I listen to the people of the world, the harder it will be to listen to the message of the Bible. The more I try to fit in with the world the less that I will have in common with God’s people.
The godly change that can take place within me is going to be led by dumping our modern culture out of me and pouring the pure word of God within my heart. More of Thee and less of the world. To accomplish this, one will have to say “No,” to certain shows on TV, certain movies, concerts, and social activities. If one is really serious, he will find time to be around God’s people more and more.
Third, one has to know that Satan won’t let you go without a fight. He’ll put people in your life to pull you down. He’ll give you opportunity after opportunity to go back to the way you were. He’ll discourage you. He’ll try to confuse you. He’ll tell you that you can’t do this. But Satan can be resisted.
When Jesus resisted the temptations in the Gospels, it wasn’t a matter of remembering the right verse to say. It was understanding who He was, who God was and what the eternal purpose is. God didn’t make you to get in the mud with pigs. You are His child and you are created to walk in righteousness and holiness. We’ve simply forgotten that.
The Corinthians changed. You can, as well.