What Some of You Used to Be

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 6:1-11

But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (v. 11)

Shakespeare was a student of human nature, as his most famous characters demonstrate. Take Iago, the classic villain. Passed over for promotion, he nursed wounds of grievance and plotted revenge. He ruined the lives of everyone around him, including his own master, Othello. Obsessed with the wrong done to him, Iago never saw the wrong in himself.

Paul was alarmed that believers in the church in Corinth were using secular courts to file lawsuits against each other. They were not interested in reconciliation, which could have been achieved through mediation within the church. They wanted revenge. Such litigation was spoiling the church’s reputation in the secular world.

They had forgotten who they were. Paul reminds them that wrongdoers – thieves, prostitutes, drunkards, adulterers, and the like – will not inherit the kingdom of God. “And this is what some of you used to be!” But God had delivered them from destruction and redeemed them. Unworthy and undeserving as they were, God had embraced them as his own.

How could people who had been forgiven so much not do the same for others? Once we experience grace, we should be eager to extend it.


Father, thank you for grace. Help me to share your grace. Amen.