“You also once walked in those, when you lived in them;”
This section of the writing dissipates any pride we might feel as redeemed people and any pet self-righteousness we might harbour. None of us can afford to look down on others, for we were once washed. None of us deserve either the temporal or spiritual blessings that we received daily. Our lives have been bought at a great price and we enjoy the things we do by the mercy of the Lord.
As we once walked in the ways of sinfulness and pride, so we lived in them, settled and secure in our godlessness and world-orientated desires. We had no inclination towards God or any desires after His holy ways, but sought only our own pathway and wants. Our will was in no way compliant with God’s will and we walked blindly in the ways of this fallen world, seeking only the things we needed for happiness and personal fulfilment.
But we were rescued from this collision course with the wrath of God and made new in the renewing of our minds and will, so that we became new creations in Christ. This incredible work of salvation was not of our instigation or even desire. It is the work of God in the human heart. We do not now live as Christians after the pattern of this world, but after righteousness, because we have been changed by God. We cannot lay my claim to goodness of our own, but only what is imputed to us in Christ. We are made righteous because of His righteousness.
We walk now in humility and gratefulness for the mercy of God and the salvation which has been freely bestowed on us. We are debtors to mercy and now live our lives through through the power of the Holy Spirit who resides within and are saved by the grace of God. Only when we recognise and confess this do we please the Lord. All other thoughts are self-seeking and proud.
“Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, 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, and in the Spirit of our God.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
None of these sinful people will be in heaven, except they are washed clean. There is no other salvation and Jesus is the only Saviour. Beloved, we must humble ourselves and remember who we once were, and rejoice at what we have been made.