That is what some of you were!
(J. C. Philpot)
The Holy Spirit undertakes to sanctify the objects
of the Father's eternal choice, and of the Son's
Sanctification is as needful, as indispensable
for the Church's salvation, as redemption!
For O! how low was the Church sunk in the Adam fall! The
image of God, in which she was created--how defaced and
as if blotted out! Death spreading itself with fatal effect
over her every mental and bodily faculty! Sin, like a hideous
leprosy, infecting her to the very heart's core! A thousand
base lusts plunging her deeper and deeper into a sea of
guilt and crime! Enmity against God boiling up in waves
of ceaseless rebellion! Satan tyrannizing over her with
cruel sway, sometimes drawing and sometimes driving,
but by one or the other dragging her without hope or
help towards the brink of the bottomless pit!
Hear that bold blasphemer!
See that drunken, raving prostitute!
Look at that murderer with his blood-red hand
stealing off from his mangled victim!
Or, if you shrink from such sounds and such sights, picture
to your imagination the vilest wretch who ever disgraced
human nature--and you see in that portrait the features of
the Church as implicated in the Adam fall--and sunk into
original and actual transgression!
What a work, then, was undertaken by that most gracious
and condescending Spirit, who solemnly pledged Himself,
in the eternal covenant, to sanctify such wretches, and
to fit and frame them to be partakers of holiness, and
live forever in God's spotless presence!
It were easier for the wolf to dwell with the lamb, and
the leopard to lie down with the sheep--than for ungodly
sinners, unwashed, unregenerated, unsanctified, to dwell
forever before the throne of God and of the Lamb!
But O, the wonders of wisdom, grace, and love!
Sinners, the vilest sinners, the worst of wretches, the
basest of mortals--can and will enter through the gates
into the holy city!
Paul, having enumerated some of the vilest crimes which
stain human nature and sink it below the beasts that perish,
says, "And that is what some of you were! But you were
washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
1 Corinthians 6:11
To be washed and sanctified is as needful, as indispensable
as to be justified.