Monday, November 9, 2009

That's Who I Used To Be

I Corinthians 6:11
And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

People are quick to remind you of your past. They become fixated with your past moral failings and try to tie them with your current status. It can almost feel unshakeable when it is that you have some past grievances you are trying to get out of your system, but the good news is that is who you used to be.

The reality is that God has a standard of holiness. We cannot do what everybody else is doing and expect to enter the Kingdom of God. In verses 9 & 10, Paul tells the Corinthians the kinds of people who cannot get into heaven. In a large part, it has to do with the fact that the Corinthian church was rocked by a sex scandal where a man had married his father’s wife and everybody in church was cool with it. Paul challenges the young church that there are some sexual sins that we ought not to be cool with. When you read verses 9 & 10, I’m sure you will find some sins that you have practiced in the past or are participating in presently. It’s a disturbing truth that those who hold onto these lifestyles will not enter the Kingdom of God. It’s sad but true. That is if you stop reading at verse 10, but when you read verse 11, you are reminded that is who you used to be when you were slaves to your flesh but since you’ve been changed through the death & resurrection of Jesus you can proclaim, that’s who I used to be! Even in the midst of still struggling with the desire to capitulate to these vices. The good news is “That’s who I used to be.” This verse should become a faith statement for those of us who still feel the cultural pull to come back and revisit where we used to live. Today, you should speak this verse out loud. You should put it on your status. You should text it to your friends, “That is who I used to be!”

How can we proclaim this? Because of three things:

1. We were washed by the blood of Jesus. There are some stains that bleach can’t get out but there is no sin that Jesus' blood cannot cleanse. When we are faithful to confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us of our sins. When we repent of our sins and ask God to forgive us, he will cleanse us of our sins and send us in a new direction.

2. We were sanctified. To be sanctified means that we were set apart for God’s higher and holier purposes. We cannot be used for common purposes like we have in the past, we have been set apart for God’s purposes. I can’t do what I used to do because it no longer fits my purpose.

3. We were justified. Justified means “Just as if I didn’t do it.” Our record is wiped clean. We are not who we used to be. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery he asked her, “is there no one here to condemn you?” She said, “No Sir, no one is here.” Jesus told her, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

Dear God, I can’t go back to what almost killed me. Thank you for cleansing me and allowing me to remain in your favor. I may not be all that I should be but I thank god I ain’t what I use to be!”

In Jesus Name,


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