As Once Were Some of You

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers 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.  –I Cor. 6:9-11

This is the verse that every single Christian man I know who struggles with same sex attraction (you will NOT find the term ex-gay in here to denote men or women who genuinely struggle with those feelings) posts, underlines, highlights, memorizes, or otherwise commits to knowing at some point in their recovery from homosexual deeds or feelings.

I love the two groups of people in this verse, the “greedy” and the “idolaters.”  Look around.  How many people do you know who don’t fit into one of those two categories at some point in their lives??  If not the greediness, which is fairly prevalent in this materialistic society, then the matter of idolatry.  Anything that we put our time, money, blood, sweat and passion into instead of Christ, that’s an idol.  That could be anything.  Our politics, our families, even our churches.  Those things could become idolatrous pursuits instead of being submitted and surrendered to Christ.  But all of those things together, while they paint a large and inclusive picture of fallen, sinful humanity, are all dealt with in the final verse:

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.

Doesn’t say that we’ve stopped doing those sins.  It doesn’t deal with our current actions, but our current state.  We are washed, sanctified and justified and WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.  All the work was done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  The Spirit of God is involved in reclamation and restoration.  We are being brought from the old works, the former way of doing and thinking into something new and dramatically different, by the redemptive power of the Holy Spirit. 

That very act of redemption and restoration by the Holy Spirit is my hope.  When I am so down on myself, so hard and difficult and punishing myself for a stumble or a fall, some unclean thought or deed, I must remember that I am in process.  The Holy Spirit is making me into something that I have never known before.  In order to get through the process with as few cuts as possible, I need to not slavishly obey some rules and regulations and never sin again for fear of eternal damnation or condemnation by a stern disciplinarian Father who has the eternal broom and is ready to give me the beatdown.  All I need to do is try my hardest to get out of the way of the process the Holy Spirit is engaged in, and be the man that Jesus wants me to be.

I am free.

I am cleansed, sanctified and justified.  He did it, not me.  He has something better for me than my desire to be with other men.  And on that day I’m certain is not too long from now, I will see Him face to face, fall on mine and say, “Thank you, Father.”  I hold onto this fact today, with clear eyes and a deeper understanding of His Word.  I hold it for the times when my eyes do not see clearly and my path is dark and I despair for the depth and darkness in my soul.

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~ by WriterRand on January 15, 2006.

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