All Cleaned Up – I Corinthians 4:9-11

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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One of our grandchildren had just been bathed, dressed in clean clothes, and readied to walk out the door. While her mother attended to another child, she promptly got all messed up again. When mom discovered what had happened she, with a frustration in her voice, called her by the first, middle and last name, saying, “…I just got you all cleaned up. Now look at yourself.”

When the Apostle Paul addresses the saints at Corinth, some of them were returning to the filth pit of sinful practices they knew prior to their salvation. He tells them: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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…” (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Sinners, such as those described above, cannot enter eternal life in the identity of sin. But when the Corinthians trusted Christ, all that guilt was taken away. They now stood in the pure identity and righteousness of Christ (II Corinthians 5:21).

For Israel, in the Old Testament, their future promises picture what we, and believers at Corinth, already possess. Jehovah promised Israel: “In the day…I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities…” (Ezekiel 36:33). God will command them: “…Take away the filthy garments from him. And…I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee…I will clothe thee with a change of raiment” (Zechariah 3:4). One day, Israel will say in rejoicing: “…for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10). When Paul tells the Corinthians they were now washed from their sin, justified in Christ, and sanctified unto God, he wanted them to realize they should live up to their new standing in Christ, not down to the depths of sinful conduct prior to salvation. This is why he explains some things are “not expedient” (meaning advantageous or profitable), that they must not be “brought under the power” of any sin, or use their body for anything “…but for the Lord” (I Corinthians 4:12-13). Instead, they were to live their lives as a “new creature” (II Corinthians 5:17), living up to their clean condition in Christ.

If old sinful practices have crept back into your life, forsake them today. Honor Christ anew.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."