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 6:11
Members of Christ
…nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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. “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything.…
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
6:9-11 The Corinthians are warned against many great evils, of which they had formerly been guilty. There is much force in these inquiries, when we consider that they were addressed to a people puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge. All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin, yet die in Christ, and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh, and reap everlasting life. They are reminded what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can take away all guilt. Our justification is owing to the suffering and merit of Christ; our sanctification to the working of the Holy Spirit; but both go together. All who are made righteous in the sight of God, are made holy by the grace of God.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
And such – Such drunkards, lascivious, and covetous persons. This shows:
(1) The exceeding grace of God that could recover even such persons from sins so debasing and degrading.
(2) it shows that we are not to despair of reclaiming the most abandoned and wretched people.
(3) it is well for Christians to look back on what they once were. It will produce:
(c) a deep sense of the sovereign mercy of God,
(d) an earnest desire that others may be recovered and saved in like manner; compare Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:8; Colossians 3:7; Titus 3:3, Titus 3:6 – The design of this is to remind them of what they were, and to show them that they were now under obligation to lead better lives – by all the mercy which God had shown in recovering them from sins so degrading, and from a condition so dreadful.
But ye are washed – Hebrews 10:22. Washing is an emblem of purifying. They had been made pure by the Spirit of God. They had been, indeed, baptized, and their baptism was an emblem of purifying, but the thing here particularly referred to is not baptism, but it is something that had been done by the Spirit of God, and must refer to his agency on the heart in cleansing them from these pollutions. Paul here uses three words, “washed, sanctified, justified,” to denote the various agencies of the Holy Spirit by which they had been recovered from sin. The first, that of washing, I understand of that work of the Spirit by which the process of purifying was commenced in the soul, and which was especially signified in baptism – the work of regeneration or conversion to God. By the agency of the Spirit the defilement of these pollutions had been washed away or removed – as filth is removed by ablution – The agency of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is elsewhere represented by washing, Titus 3:5,” The washing of regeneration.” compare Hebrews 10:22.
Ye are sanctified – This denotes the progressive and advancing process of purifying which succeeds regeneration in the Christian. Regeneration is the commencement of it – its close is the perfect purity of the Christian in heaven; see the note at John 17:17. It does not mean that they were perfect – for the reasoning of the apostle shows that this was far from being the case with the Corinthians; but that the work was advancing, and that they were in fact under a process of sanctification.
But ye are justified – Your sins are pardoned, and you are accepted as righteous, and will be treated as such on account of the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ; see the note at Romans 1:17; note at Romans 3:25-26; note at Romans 4:3. The apostle does not say that this was last in the order of time, but simply says that this was done to them. People are justified when they believe, and when the work of sanctification commences in the soul.
In the name of the Lord Jesus – That is, by the Lord Jesus; by his authority, appointment, influence; see the note at Acts 3:6. All this had been accomplished through the Lord Jesus; that is, in his name forgiveness of sins had been proclaimed to them Luke 24:47; and by his merits all these favors had been conferred on them.
And by the Spirit of our God – The Holy Spirit. All this had been accomplished by his agency on the heart – This verse brings in the whole subject of redemption, and states in a most emphatic manner the various stages by which a sinner is saved, and by this single passage, a man may obtain all the essential knowledge of the plan of salvation. All is condensed here in few words:
(1) He is by nature a miserable and polluted sinner – without merit, and without hope.