Washed, Sanctified, Justified
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall 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.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Many of us reading this blog have read and heard these versus many times. We have read it over and over holding on to the hope in the words, “such were some of you.’
There is much talk in our culture about reparative or conversion therapy. I do not practice either. What do I practice? By the grace of God and in the power of His Spirit, I practice Christian discipleship.
First words to the world preparing to meet Jesus, God Incarnate: repent. John the Baptist tells the world to repent, turn from the direction in which they were heading, then turn and follow the direction of Jesus. This can be said of the ‘big decision turns’ in our lives as well as the ‘little minute to minute decision turns’ that change our life direction.
The “big” turns (repenting) may have to do with making a major turn in our thinking, relationships, behaviors, long term goals, spiritual condition, identities, reactions to past events, direction of future and more.
“Little” turns (repenting) may have to do with making turns in a moment of moral decision. An example of would ‘little’ repents would be the tendency to gossip or to hold your tongue, to steal or to leave alone, to view pornography or to turn away from it.
The above verses from Corinthians are about repenting, i.e. change direction. My thinking is going in one direction and I change the way I think. My behaviors are going in one direction I and change them to go a different direction. My emotions can change directions and lead to new emotions. My relationships to certain people and, or groups of people can turn to change direction.
In discipleship, change means being washed, justified and sanctified.
In the passage above there is a process to wholeness and restoration of all God intended for humankind. Paul, in these verses is speaking to the followers of Jesus of that day in the church of Corinth. God lists some of the directions people are living and warns them, ’You don’t want to go there!’
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall 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.”
That list should just about cover all of us! But, you say, “No, not me! I am not on that list.”
If not in any of those sins specifically mentioned in the later verses, then certainly in the beginning verse, “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” All of us fall into the category of “the unrighteous.” Greedy persons, thieves, drunkards, simply describe some of the manifestations of lost direction.
Let’s go on further into the transforming power of Jesus. “And such were some of you.” Something had happened! What they once were, they are no longer. What you once were in whatever condition that lost direction manifested itself your life (for some of us it was engaging in homosexual behaviors), you are no longer!
“but you were washed,
but you were sanctified,
but you were justified”
It is an exciting and hope-filled process! Transformation and restoration is available through Jesus for every person, including those with same gender attraction.
What does it mean to be washed, sanctified and to be justified?
To be washed means to be cleansed, fully. In composition it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion and reversal! To be washed is to be cleansed from our unrighteousness in whatever form it takes.
To be sanctified means to purify, consecrate, make holy. That is, to become pure, morally blameless, more Christ-like in every way.
To be justified means to be declared just, innocent, free—based purely on Christ’s atoning death and our identity in Him.
Where we once were unrighteous, lost, impure, immoral, all that can be changed. Truly amazing! What we once were we are no longer. The direction we were heading turned and headed a different way!
These three actions of transformation take place, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
With Jesus anything is possible!
We of Prodigal Ministries are not about conversion or reparative therapy. We are a transformational discipleship ministry: Wash, justify, sanctify.
Transformation, being changed from the inside out, making a change of direction in every part of our personhood is possible through Jesus the Anointed One.