Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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 6:911 ESV)
These verses speak of lawsuits among believers; the prevalent issue
being the actions and character of believers. There was a practice among these
Christians of mimicking the world in bringing lawsuits against each other. The
upcoming verses shed light on why the practice is wrong.
There are the excluded (v.910). They are excluded from God's
Kingdom because they have not forsaken their lifestyle of sin. That makes them
slaves to sin, slaves to a brutal master (Romans 6.16, "Do you not know that if
you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one
whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which
leads to righteousness?" ESV). As slaves of sin, they will not enter Heaven.
There are also the empowered (v.11). They are empowered by God as
His children. They were slaves to sin, but they surrendered to Christ and
received salvation in Him (John 1.12). Paul writes here, "and such were some
of you": a defined change; a transformation (Romans 12:12, "I appeal to you
therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living
sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not
be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that
by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable
and perfect." ESV).
He writes of the change that comes from the transformation:, "BUT
YOU WERE": washed a spiritual cleansing from sin’s power; sanctified a break
from sin, being “set apart” related to being made holy; justified being judged as
righteous by God by Christ’s righteousness; ...in the name of the Lord Jesus
and the Spirit of our God. This is exclusive. It is not for everyone. Salvation’s
work is found only in Christ’s name (Acts 4:12) and through the Spirit of God:
“we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being
transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this
comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV).