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A New Pattern for Living

1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV) … “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.”

Many of the believers in Corinth once lived in these patterns of life, but Christ had changed them so they became much more reliable as judges of disputes within the church. Since these patterns of life were in the past for those who truly believed, they could take confidence that they would inherit the kingdom of God. Those believers who still fell into these sins needed to remember that their new identities in Christ (what some of you were) protected them from judgment. At the same time, their new identities also required that they live no longer like the wicked, but like believers.

Believers are washed, cleansed from sin through faith in Christ as symbolized in baptism (Acts 9:17–18). They are sanctified, set apart from the world and brought into relationship with God (Acts 20:32; 26:18). They have been justified, declared innocent before God (Rom. 3:24; Gal. 2:16; Titus 3:7). This blessing comes to believers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as they call on Jesus’ name and rely upon him for their salvation. They also come by the Spirit of our God as the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to believers (Rom. 15:16; Eph. 1:13–14; Titus 3:5). Followers of Christ differ fundamentally from the sinful world around them. Therefore, believers should not make it their practice to bring their lawsuits against one another before unbelievers.

Main Idea Review: Continuing his discussion on the proper sphere of Christian judgment, Paul expressed his shock and dismay over the fact that the Corinthian believers were taking one another to court before unbelievers. Such lawsuits contradicted Christian teaching and behavior. [1]

[1] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 90). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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