And now from the archives, a post first published in 2006.
“And such were some of you”
Last evening in a small group one of the young men said in part, “Well, I am just a sinner too.” The context was how we as believers should interact with those who are not. I wanted to correct him, but quickly decided to do so would be unwise in that context while having a discussion about personal evangelism.
A common misconception is that those of us who are “born from above” are “just sinners too”. We are not sinners but saints. Of course we all sin. As long as we inhabit flesh we will fall short of God’s standard for righteousness. This sad fact is precisely why Jesus came.
“And such were some of you.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:11 Paul set the record straight. In the previous verses Paul discussed sinners such as fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, covetous, homosexuals, etc. and then said, “And such were some of you“.
Paul and others are careful to speak of those ugly lifestyles in the past tense when referring to believers. Interestingly, in the following verses he warns with these words.
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
These truths are clear. We used to be sinners (“And such were some of you”). We have been changed by Christ (But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”) Even though we have beenchanged, we can still fall into sin. (“Flee sexual immorality”)