Here is an article called Such Were Some of You by Andy Harrison. Our theme for Tuesdays is normally the marriage relationship, but I wanted to go ahead and share this today. Great articles yesterday and today, Andy!
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of god. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 5:9-11
If you have come to Christ, if you’ve been washed in His blood and cleansed from your sins then I’m guessing you’ve done some things in your past which are now a source of shame. We all have them. Dark things, embarrassing things that we find hard to even speak about, things we may have never confessed to anyone except God alone. On occasion I’ll be in a situation that triggers the memory of some long forgotten event and the disgrace and humiliation will come flooding back as if no time has passed at all. When that happens there is not a shower hot enough to make me feel clean and the only remedy is to fill my mind with the mercy, grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
In Romans 6, Paul is dealing with the idea of continuing in sin after having been baptized into Christ and he says in verses 20-22, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” I look back at my life of filth and sin and I try to determine what benefit I thought I was deriving from those things. The pursuit of pleasure in its many forms almost always ended in pain and suffering for me and those I care about the most. But having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, I can now see that there is benefit I can derive from my former life…if I have the courage. Let me explain.
I was recently asked to help a young Christian man who is struggling with alcoholism. He comes from a good Christian home; he has been active in the church and, after college, began a very successful and profitable career in the pharmaceutical industry. From the outside, he appeared to have the world by its tail. However, internally he was battling his “demons” and they have gotten the best of him. So the question is; why was I asked to help?
The answer; “such were some of you”. Based on my past, I am fairly well equipped to help in this situation. Those very things I am ashamed of are the experiences that help me relate to this young man. I can relate to his powerful desires and yearnings. I have experienced that hollow and empty feeling inside that, at least for an instance, can be filled with emotion-numbing substances like drugs and alcohol. I have felt the hopelessness of trying and trying and trying to get myself “clean” only to end up in a more desperate and dark situation. I know what it is like to be filled with so much self-hatred and loathing that I just want to give up. I have experienced the power of God’s mercy and grace as He pulled me from the pit and washed me clean. And most importantly, I know what it is like to live one day at a time seeking to please my Father.
Such Were Some of You
My encouragement to you is to share your experiences with others. Be courageous and let others know what you have been through, not in boastful longing for the past, but as a testimony to the love and power of our amazing Father. And if you are in a dark place, struggling with sin, realize that God has placed His people all around you to help lift you up. We were not designed to walk this world alone.
God is amazing! He can take the most broken life, mend it, and put it into service to help others.
It is the coward that hides their past and pretends that it never happened. It is the coward that tries to “man up” and deal with their problems on their own. True courage is revealing the real you to others so that we can experience the true strength that comes from God and His people.
And please pray for me as I endeavor to help a young man find his way out of darkness and into the Light.