The Problem of Lawsuits Page 12 of 12 (series: Lessons on 1 Cor.)
by John Lowe
But ye are justified
The Greek word used here for “justified” means “to declare to be right.” Justification has reference to the status of the believer "in Christ" who by virtue of his identity with the Savior does not deserve any punishment whatever; his sins are pardoned, and he is accepted as righteous, and will be treated as such on account of the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ; it is a total and complete justification bestowed upon the believer the instant he receives Jesus as his Savior.
Some great Bible scholar of the past said, “To be justified in the eyes of God is to be just as just as Jesus is just; to be just as though one had never committed a sin”—and this is true; because when we are justified we stand before God covered by the blood of Jesus, possessing the divine nature, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When God looks at us He sees the blood, and when we are covered by the blood we are just as pure in the eyes of the Father as the blood of the Lamb that covers us.
When the death-angel passed over the land of Egypt, God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The same is true in essence today. It is the blood of Jesus that makes us fit for the kingdom of God—not those works of righteousness that we may do, but the finished work of Calvary, the shed blood of the Lamb without spot or blemish. Justification takes place the split second we believe or exercise faith in the finished work of Jesus: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20; KJV). No human being can claim to be saved by keeping the law for two reasons; first, because no one ever kept it, nor can they; and second, the law reveals what sin is and it is that knowledge that condemns the sinner.
Justification brings peace; hostilities cease between the unbeliever and God: “Now that we have God's approval by faith, we have peace with God because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done” (Romans 5:1; GW). The process whereby we are justified is plain and simple:
1. Paul and his brother apostles preached the Gospel at Corinth, and implored the people to turn from darkness to light—from worshipping idols to worshipping the living God, and to believe in the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins.
2. The people who heard were convinced of the Divine truths delivered by the apostle, and flocked to baptism.
3. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and made a public profession of faith in Him.
4. Being baptized into the Christian faith, they were separated from idols and idolaters, and became members of the Church of God.
5. As repentant sinners, they were led to the Lord Jesus for justification, which they received through faith in his blood.
6. Being justified freely-having their sins forgiven through the redemption that is in Jesus, they received the Spirit of God, which produced that universal holiness without which no one can see the Lord.
The third reason my brother is capable of being a judge is that his sins are already forgiven, as mine are. He has been declared righteous before the throne of God, as I have been. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:33). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). A fellow Christian knows this, and I feel that he could handle my case
better than anyone else.
In the name of the Lord Jesus,
This and the following clause, may refer to all that was said before, but particularly to that which is said in 1st Corinthians 6.9 and 6.10. And by "the name of the Lord Jesus" he may mean the Lord Jesus Himself; and the sense of it is that they were washed by his blood, sanctified by his Spirit, and justified by his righteousness—that is, by His authority, appointment, and influence: “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6; KJV). Or he may have intended by this the merit and effectiveness of Christ's blood, sacrifice, and righteousness; because their sins were pardoned, and they were cleansed from them through the merit of the blood of Christ shed for the remission of their sins; and they were regenerated and sanctified through the effectiveness of Christ's resurrection from the dead. Or else the name of Christ may mean His Gospel, through which they received the knowledge of God's way of pardoning sinners, and of justifying them, and that the Spirit of God is God’s agent in the attainment of regeneration and progression of sanctification. “Scripture also says that by the authority of Jesus people would be told to turn to God and change the way they think and act so that their sins will be forgiven. This would be told to people from all nations, beginning in the city of Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47; GW).
God can take the kind of people described in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 10 and make them into the kind of people described in 1 Corinthians 6:11! How great is the work of God is this!
and by the Spirit of our God.
This refers to the Holy Spirit and His work as the holy Agent through whose power we are washed, sanctified, and justified. This statement (“the spirit of our God”) is not found in any other place in the New Testament. The Bible never refers to “God the Spirit,” or to “God the Son,” as if there was three gods. There is ONE God manifest in THREE persons. We should be very careful to use scriptural terms when referring to the Trinity.
This verse brings in the entire subject of redemption, and states in a most emphatic manner the various stages by which a sinner is saved; and by this single passage a man may obtain all the essential knowledge of the plan of salvation. God’s plan is condensed here in a few words.
1. He is by nature a miserable and polluted sinner—without merit, and without hope.
2. He is renewed by the Holy Ghost, and washed or purified from the stain of sin, which is covered over by the blood of Christ.
3. He is justified, pardoned, and accepted as righteous, through the merits of the Lord Jesus alone.
4. He is made holy—becomes sanctified—and more and more like God, and fit for heaven.
5. All this is done by the power of the Holy Ghost.
6. The obligation that results is that he should lead a holy life, and forsake sin in every form.
It should be observed, that all the three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, are mentioned here, as being jointly concerned in those acts of grace: “the name of the Lord Jesus…Spirit…our God.” The three clauses ("washed, sanctified, justified") belong to the triune God. The "our" reminds the Corinthians and us as well, that amidst all accusations made by the apostle, God is still the common God of himself and them.
Note, All who are made righteous in the sight of God are made holy by the grace of God.