Now, Paul was a fool for Christ, but an idiot for nobody. He knew that all members of the church were sinners who needed to be saved by the wisdom and power of the cross.
He also knew that some of the members of the church were sexually confused and sexually corrupt. Some members were sex-addicts, adulterers, fornicators, and even homosexuals. As such they were not going to inherit the kingdom of God.
But Paul says something incredible: “And such were some of you.”
Some of you were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, and even worse — but something changed you; rather, Someone changed you.
True, those who are not right with God will not inherit the kingdom of God. Also true, those are right with God will inherit the kingdom of God.
So how can sinners who are not right with God get right with God?
By trying harder, or doing better? By changing habits, or choosing lifestyles? By some other form of moralism or legalism?!
No, not ever!
So how can sinners like us – like you – get right with God?
With man it is impossible, but not with God. With God all things are possible. Even the salvation of sinners.
That is why Paul says, “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified.”
Someone acted and you were changed.
You were dirty, but now you are clean. You experienced the washing of renewal and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. You experienced the washing of water with the word of the gospel. You were baptized by one Spirit into one body. You were cleansed of all your sins.
You were profane, but now you are holy. You were set apart from the world for sacred purposes. You were made holy. You were consecrated unto God.
You were guilty, but now you are innocent. You were unrighteous but now you are righteous. You were morally wrong, now you are counted morally right. You were not right with God, but now you are right with God.
How? “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Your sexual confusion and corruption – indeed all your sins – were cleansed and corrected by the gracious work of the triune God.
You were saved by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The message of the cross teaches that anyone – including you – who struggles with sin or stumbles into sexual immorality – whether fornication, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, or worse – can be saved, for Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners – even sexually immoral sinners like you. And God is pleased to save anyone and everyone who believes the wisdom and power of the cross from the heart.
If you have never been washed clean, what are you waiting for? “Arise, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling in his name.”
If you have never been declared right with God, turn away from your sins and trust in Jesus Christ, and all your sins will be forgiven and forgotten by our glorious and gracious Savior.
The wisdom of the cross instructs you to flee sexual immorality and to glorify God with your body. The power of the cross enables you to do it.
Now take up your cross and follow Jesus.
Cross over from death to life!