“and such were some of you but ye are washed, ye are sanctified and ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.
With all that had transpired in the Corinthian church Paul reminds the brethren that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. He gives a list of the defining characteristics of the unrighteous and then says that these were some of you. Paul was not acting as the Pharisee who was thankful that he was not like one of these, but rather he was giving a clear demonstration of the extent of depravity that the flesh is capable of. We all have things which we have experienced for which we are embarrassed or ashamed and the slightest of incidents may cause us to remember these things. When we are mindful of them we are also reminded that it is by the grace of God that we have not continued in such things or have not gone further into the depths of the depravity of the flesh, though from time to time we find enjoyment in such conduct. Many examples from the scriptures are given to shew us that even a vessel of mercy may and are taken in such faults when the lust of the flesh has conceived and brings forth sin. It is not a matter of ‘I thank you lord that i am not like one of these’ but rather, ‘I thank you Lord God Almighty that you have set the boundaries and limitations of my existence, including the weakness, frailty, depravity and failures of the body of this death, that no flesh should glory in your presence’.
The love of the brethren is an understanding that no one has overcome these things. Each of our fellow travelers walk the path set before them, they (we all) find that ‘when I would do good evil is present’ and how to do good we cannot find. The sin which dwells within the members of this earthen vessel wars against the perfect law of God which we delight in after the inward man and brings us into the captivity of sin; not that it is our master, but that we are still confined in the bondage of this corruption.
Wherefore, brethren, esteem one another in love for there is nothing new under the sun. We all experience the same conflict, the same shame and the same heartache. BUT ye are washed in the blood of the Lamb; ye are sanctified by the Spirit of Holiness and made accepted in the Beloved and ye have been justified by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Your servant in Christ,