The Great Contrast
1 Corinthians 6:11-12
And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus…

Note —

I. THE PAST STATE OF THE REDEEMED. "And such were some of you."

1. They were void of moral rectitude. Their conscience was burdened with guilt.

2. They were subject to impure influences. Their affections were defiled. When conscience loses its authority there is nothing to prevent the soul becoming the slave of the most debasing influences.

3. They were slaves of wrong habits. "Their deeds were evil." When both the conscience and affections are wrong, the deeds must be inconsistent with truth and righteousness.

4. They were incapable of spiritual enjoyment. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" The unrighteous have no capacity, taste, or fitness for it.

II. THE PRESENT STATE OF THE REDEEMED "But ye are washed," &c. Note —

1. The change.

(1) An initiatory act. "But ye are washed." There is probably an allusion here to baptism, the emblem of moral cleansing. But as the water of baptism cannot wash away sin, the apostle evidently refers to the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart.

(2) A progressive development. "But ye are sanctified." This does not imply faultless perfection, but consecration. Christian graces, like living plants, gradually mature.

3. A beautiful completion. "But ye are justified." This act, though mentioned last, is generally considered the first. There are three great causes at work in man's justification.

(1) The merits of Christ. "Being justified freely by His grace," &c.

(2) The faith of the believer. "Man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."(3) The influence of the Holy Spirit. "And by the Spirit of our God." Think of a man who, having fallen overboard, is carried away by the current. At last a rope is thrown towards him — he eagerly grasps it — and he is thereby rescued. We have here a combination of causes. The kind friend who threw the rope — the rope itself — and the man's own eager grasp. Thus the Saviour's merits, the penitent's faith, and the influence of the Spirit are necessary to secure the salvation of the soul.

2. The means. "In the name of the Lord Jesus." Nothing but that has sufficient power to change the heart.

3. The agency. And by "the Spirit of our God." It is He that gives effect to the word preached — moves the heart, destroys the yoke of sin, and creates the man a new creature in Christ Jesus.

(J. H. Hughes.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

WEB: Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

The Great Change
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