Washed, sanctified and justified
“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” (I Cor. 6:11).
The preceding verses of I Cor. 6 contain a long list of vile sins and vices into which men have fallen, and the Apostle adds:
“And such were some of you.” God’s Church is not made up of “good people” who have never fallen into sin. It is rather made up of sinners, saved by grace, through the infinite payment made for sin by Christ on Calvary’s cross.
“And such were some of you.” Had the Apostle included the more “refined” sins, such as pride, self-righteousness, etc., he would have had to say: “And such were all of you.”
Note further, however, that the Apostle says: “And such were some of you.” Thank God, he goes on to say of those who had been thus stained with sin: “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.”
How beautiful these three phrases: “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified”! The word “but” appearing before each phrase indicates that each should be considered separately. Such vile creatures were some of you, “but ye are washed,” cleansed from the sins that contaminated you. “But ye are sanctified.” Having been cleansed you are now set apart as sacred for His glory. “But ye are justified.” When God justifies us, who can condemn?
“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?”
All this is done for the believing sinner, as our verse says, “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”