6:9 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 the effeminate, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
There are two things I noted from this passage.
The first is that in Paul’s list of sins that will not exist in God's kingdom, four of them are directly related to sexuality. There is a reason for this. Sexual sin was the single greatest issue in Corinth at large and by default in the church at Corinth. It is a tragic and destructive thing when something that is beautiful becomes twisted into a self-gratification addiction that does not care about anything or anyone other than fulfilling it's lusts. A healthy person is in full control all the time. A sick/broken person is a slave to their own body. It was never God's design nor intention that we become slaves of any kind. Food was and is to be enjoyed but never to be our master. Healthy sexuality is a beautiful and enjoyable expression of love. It was never meant to turn other humans into things to be used for pleasure and then tossed aside. Slavery of any kind will not exist in heaven.
Notice that Paul says "Don't be deceived." Deception is when we are doing wrong believing we are doing right. Sin has become so common that it is considered normal. In Corinth sex was sport and that was normal. Today that same pattern is returning and with it we are seeing a rapid decline in quality healthy relationships. We can't treat each other as instruments of our own pleasure and have healthy relationships built on trust and mutual respect and admiration at the same time.
The reason why Paul was so adamant that the guy sleeping with his father's wife be put out of the church was because he was deceived. He was living a lie thinking it was fine and the church was enabling him by doing nothing about it. How would he ever have the chance to experience the joy of freedom if he was supported in thinking bondage to sin was normal?
The second thing and the more important thing that jumps off the page is that when Paul finished listing off the various ways sin holds us in slavery he said "and such were some of you but you were washed..."
There were some in the church in Corinth who had experienced the transformation from slavery to freedom. They had been in bondage to their desires and now they weren't. I too have experienced freedom from bondage. It's the reason I speak so boldly about it. It's not to condemn or criticize. I have been there. I am no better than anyone else. Paul knew the bondage too. That’s why he referred to himself as the chief of sinners. He had no moral high ground to stand on. Those who are free have no desire to look down on those who aren't. We just want them to know they aren't doomed to stay where they are or as they are. There is freedom in Jesus. Freedom from blind rage. Freedom from pride, prejudice, and hatred. Freedom from greed. Freedom from lust. Freedom from every sickness that seeks to make us slaves trapped in a broken body run by a sick mind.
The demoniac in the tombs of Decapolis was so buried in sin that when he opened his mouth to ask Jesus for help only the voices of the demons that inhabited his body spoke. Yet Jesus saw past all that. He read his heart. He knew that man desired freedom and he gave it to him. He will do the same for you. I know because he did it for me.
"Such were some of you..."
May every sin that seeks to take us captive become a memory. May we invite Jesus to wash us too.