What You Were and What You Are Now

I Corinthians 9:Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.11 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. 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

What you were and what you are now.  It’s important to consider this.  The Lord is reminding us to consider this every day.  It’s not as much about what we were but what we are now.  The Lord sent his Word initially in the form of letters to the churches. Along with the Old Testament this is part of the Word of God today.  It’s to individuals and churches as a whole.  It’s to the young and the old.  All are included as recipients of his Word.  The church at Corinth received two letters.  Even in the early church years the devil worked overtime.  The churches and the people were having difficulties.  When we become saved, we also become a target of the devil.  If we are not watchful there is the danger of floating back into the sin we once partook in.  We all have a past.  We know what we were.  We know what we are now.

In Corinth every sin imaginable was committed.  People were into what we consider major sins.  However, many of what we consider minor were around as well.  We tend to classify sin while God just calls it sin.  Paul mentioned fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind.  These are sins but gossiping and lying are too.  Paul told the people such were some of you.  This is what they were—what they used to be.  We can’t get rid of our past.  Others may try to bring your past up.  What happened happened and can’t be erased.  The good news is that you can be forgiven for it.  If we have accepted the Lord we should focus on what Jesus has made us and put the past behind us.  When a person is not able to do that, they are almost doomed back to it.  None of us were good before we were saved.  We were living in sin.  God doesn’t measure sin by our yardstick but by the Word.  All wickedness is sin.  Regardless of how society might tolerate or treat some things, if God calls it sin, it is sin.

I accepted Jesus because I realized that in my current status I would go to hell.  When we see the list of things Paul mentioned it tells us there is hope for every sin.  Years ago the Lord led me to preach about who was going to the lake of fire.  A nine-year old girl came forward at the end of the message to be saved.  She was crying and prayed.  Later she said she didn’t know what some of those sins were but she did know that she had told lots of lies.  Whether it’s being a liar or gossiping or murder or pride, sin separates us from God. Sin takes people to hell.

We don’t have to be what we used to be.  Think about what Jesus did for us.  It’s a testament to his changing power.  By his power we are washed and made clean.  Paul said 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.  If you don’t like what you are, you can’t change yourself by yourself.  It can only be done by the power of the Lord. When we’re saved we don’t have to continue, and should not continue, in sin.  If you go back into sin you do so by slapping the Holy Spirit and the Word of God aside.  God is there to help us.  He enables us by putting in us his ability.  Instead of being unable, through the Holy Spirit we are able to say no to sin and the devil.  We are able to live a Christian life because Christ is in us.

Yes.  We were bad.  Now we’ve been converted.  The past is the past.  Let God set you on fire.  Let him boil out the sin we may be harboring.  If we’re saved, we need to be what he has made us to be.  If he’s willing to put it behind him and us, let’s leave it be.  Don’t be an “I was.”  Be an “I am” person.  Are you satisfied with what you are right now?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  As God’s children, do we need to pray?  If so, make your way to a place of prayer.

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