Justified - 1 Cor 6:9-11

May 11, 2019 | By Cory

The word “justification” doesn’t appear in Scripture very often, but the idea does. In reference to God’s promise of offspring, Gen 15:6 says that Abram, “believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” Being counted righteous in the sight of God is justification. Abram was counted righteous by his belief that God would remain faithful to his promise. Paul takes the idea further and contrasts it with works based righteousness (Rom 4:1-5; Gal 3:1-9). Abram was counted righteous due to his faith, not his works before the law was given. Once the law was given, the people were made righteous by following it. They couldn’t, so they sacrificed animals for their forgiveness to be in right relationship with God (Lev 4:20).


In 1 Cor 6:9-11 Paul lists many sins reminding them they used to engage in these things. These sins made them unrighteous people who couldn’t inherit the kingdom of God. Why don’t they engage in these things anymore? They were washed and sanctified. They were “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Obedience to God’s commands has a different motivation here than it did in the Old Testament. After the law was given, they were counted righteous (justified) according to their obedience to the law. Now we are counted righteous in the name of Christ. What, then, is our motivation to follow God’s commands today? Answer: out of thanks for the goodness of his grace.