You are here:

Jehovah`s Witness/I Corin 6:11 Justification, Sanctification


What exactly does this scripture mean?  How does one become sanctified?  Justified?  Righteous?

And yet that is what some of you were.  But you have been washed clean, but you have been sanctified, but you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.  NWT

...But ye are washed, but ye are sancitified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. KJV

...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.  ESV

...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.

Thank you.


Hello Jay,
I am pleased to meet you.

There will be many cited scriptures in this reply.
If you wish to read it with "mouse-over" "pop-up" scriptures, please go to:

You have asked a number of questions. I hope to cover all of them.
You ask for the meaning of 1Cor.6:11, which reads;
"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."

That verse begins; "And that is what some of you were ."

 First we should determine, the previous nature of those to whom Paul is speaking.
You may be surprised at the true application, which is undergoing dynamic fulfillment today.
"What some of you were" applies in a spiritual sense as well as physical, according to the sins mentioned in 1Cor.6:9,10.

Eph.2:1-10 helps us to clarify these previous sins. I will insert scriptures that relate to each phrase, and then I will follow by writing about the phrases that directly impact your question...

 "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (1Tim.5:6) 2 in which you used to live (Eph.4:22-24) when you followed the ways of this world (1John2:15-17) and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Eph.6:12), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Mark4:19; 2Thess.2:3,4,11,12; John8:44; Col.2:8; Rev.17:14).
3 All of us also lived among them at one time (2Cor.6:16,17; Rev.18:4; Luke4:18), gratifying the cravings of our flesh (Rom.8:3,7; 1Pet.4:1; Gal.5:17; Rev.13:5-7; 2Pet.2:12-14) and following its desires and thoughts (Rom.8:5; Gal.5:17; Matt.23:6,7,5,25,28). Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Gal.6:8,7; Hosea10:13; Rom.6:21) 4 But because of his great love for us (John3:16; John16:27; Rom.5:8), God, who is rich in mercy (Rom.9:15,18; Matt.5:7; Luke6:35,36),
5 made us alive (John5:24; 1John3:14; Mal.3:3; 1Pet.1:7; Jer.31:11; Isa.43:1,2,10,21; 48:20) with Christ (Rom.8:2,9,11; 6:4; John5:21) even when we were dead in transgressions
—it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Eph.1:18-21; Rom.8:9; John11:26) 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace (Rom.8:19; 1Cor.2:9; Rev.21:5), expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (Heb.6:12; 13:7; James2:20; Matt.25:23,40)
—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Rom.9:16; John6:44,65) 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (1Cor.4:7; Luke17:10; John15:5; Rev.7:10) 10 For we are God’s handiwork (1Cor.3:9; Mark14:58; Acts17:24; Eph.2:10,21,22; 1Cor.3:16; 1Pet.5:10; 1Pet.2:5,9; Rev.22:3), created in Christ Jesus to do good works (John15:8; Luke12:35; Matt.7:19; 2Cor.7:1; Phil.2:15,16; 2Cor.10:5), which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph.1:5-12; Titus2:14; Luke10:19; Rev.2:3,10,26,27)

There is a great deal of information in these verses. I will try to limit their application to your question...
"That is what some of you were" ...
 Can you see that Chosen Ones were picked by God while they were still practicing sin? Can you see that they needed to be cleansed...both by the blood of Christ (Rev.5:9,10; 7:14) and by their own righteous deeds and work (Rev.19:8,14; 3:4,18)? They need to "grow up" in Christ (Gal.4:19; Eph.4:13; 3John1:4; 1Tim.6:11; 1John3:3)...
leaving behind their past lives (Rom.6:2,11; 8:2; 6:14; 7:4,6; Gal.2:19; 2Tim.2:21,22; 1Thess.4:7; 1Pet.1:14).

Next, "But you were washed"
Please consider Eph.5:26 , John3:5 , and John17:17 (sanctified = cleansed)
 Can you see that when God's spirit is combined with His Holy Word (Heb.4:12; James1:21; Luke8:8,15; 2Tim.3:16,17; 1Pet.1:19), those chosen are equipped to perfect themselves (2Cor.7:1; Matt.5:48; 1Pet.1:19; 2Pet.3:13,14; James3:17,18; Heb.12:11; 1Thess.4:4)
it is as if those who were sinful, are "washed clean" (2Cor.11:2; Isa.1:18).

Next, "you were sanctified"
Please consider 1Thess4:3; 5:3; John17:17-19,8; 15:3; Eph.5:26; Heb.10:10,11,14,29; 2:10-12; John17:26; Matt.6:9.   1Pet.1:2; Heb.13:12
 Can you see that sanctification occurs for the "firstborn" from the dead (James1:18; Rev.14:4; 20:6),
which is why they are called "Holy Ones"? (Rev.20:6; 1Pet.1:14-16; 2:9; 1Thess.4:7; 2Tim.1:9; 2Cor.7:1; Dan.7:18,21,22; 4:17; Ps.89:5,7; Zech.14:5; Rev.19:11,14; Joel3:9,11,16).
 These worship God with "spirit and truth" (John4:23,24). Christ baptizes them with ("pours out") Holy Spirit (Luke3:16; Acts1:5; John14:15-17,26; 6:63; 16:13-15; Rom.5:5; Acts10:45; Gal.4:6; Rom.8:15,16; 1John2:20,27). When that spirit combines with God's Word through Christ (Truth -John17:17; 14:6; 1:1,14); those who receive it and bear fruit (Luke8:11,15; John15:2-5,7,8) are
sanctified for this honorable purpose. As holy spirit flows from Christ, into the "branches" (John15:5; Rom.11:17,19; Zech.4:12,14,3; Rev.11:4), they are further purified and made holy by that spirit and the fruit of truth it produces (Rev.22:11; 2:25; 3:11; Dan.12:3,10).

Next, "you were justified"

 This word is defined as a legal justification or basis for pardon. Again, both the blood of Christ and the righteous deeds of the Holy Ones are required for this "justification". This basis is condensed at Rev.12:11. When the Holy Ones are willing to die for Truth, they are justified before the accuser, Satan, as faithfully sealed. In this way, they personally conquer Satan, by proving victorious despite all his testing and deceptions (Rev.12:10,11; 6:9-11; 20:4), Because of this justified standing of faithfulness and exclusive devotion to the Father.... Christ's blood can rightfully be applied to them, removing all corruption and stain of sin (Col.2:14; 1Pet.2:24). Once redeemed by Christ, they have life by means of their new father (Isa.9:6; John10:10; 5:40; 14:6,18; 1Cor.15:21-23,45; Rom.8:21,23,25) they are fit for adoption by the Father of us all (Rom.8:23; Eph.1:5). This will take place in heaven.

"in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"

In all that the name of Jesus Christ stands for (John14:8,9; 4:10,14; 7:38; Col.2:9-11; Rom.2:29; 5:8; Isa.9:6,7; Rev.5:9; 19:12,13,16; John5:28; etc.)...
these ones chosen by him (John15:16) and his father (2Chron.16:9 A; Eph.1:4; 2Cor.1:21)
receive the blessings and mercies of this cleansing, sanctification, and justification.

"and by the Spirit of our God"

Who can estimate or even express the persona of our Heavenly Father or His Holy Spirit?
God is Eternal and Almighty (Isa.44:6; Rev.1:8; Psalm94:22). He is the personification of Love (1John4:7,8,16) Wisdom (Prov.2:6; James1:5), Life (Psalm36:9), Justice (Job34:10), and Truth (Rom.3:4).
He is the source of all life...worthy of all praise, loyalty, honor, and fear (Psalm83:18; Rev.4:11; 14:7).
What an undeserved kindness and honor to these sinful chosen recipients, that God's spirit is the source of the blessings of 1Cor.6:11.
Yet, by no other means could such miracles occur.

Thank you for your question.
If a need remains, please follow up.
Love in Christ,

Jehovah`s Witness

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


pearl doxsey


PLEASE NOTE THAT MY PROFILE HAS BEEN UPDATED. I have been teaching the Bible since 1976, as well as studying JW publications. I am very familiar with the teachings of the Watchtower. As regards anyone's ability to teach truth, it largely depends upon Holy Spirit. For, without it you have no wisdom or scriptural understanding. I will do my best to assist anyone who asks. I have noticed a couple of warnings about "apostates" within the list of "experts". The definition of "apostate", according to the scriptures, are those who deviate from the truth. Therefore, only the scriptures have the authority to identify such a person (John 17:17). Merely disagreeing with someone in authority, does not constitute true apostasy. Otherwise, Jesus himself would have been an apostate. Jesus' own words afford us ample protection from such wolves. He said, "By their fruits you will recognize those men." Matt.7:17-27. Therefore, by all means, exercise every caution! Your life depends upon you doing so! But Jesus did not give the picture men expect of faithful ones today. He did not point to power, authority, growing numbers, accomplishments, or influence as being the sign of his true anointed disciples (Mark10:42,43; Matt.7:22). He pointed to fine fruit. This would include a love of truth and a clinging to God's word in every teaching (1Peter2:2). This authenticity becomes clear, when teachings are closely examined. So too, are "apostates" revealed, as those who deviate from God's word, or fail to do their utmost, to derive every teaching, from it. (see


I have been a baptized JW for decades. I was enrolled in my Congregation as a regular pioneer, though I did not sign the pledge of allegiance to men on the back of the application. I have read the Bible through many times, had been in the Theocratic Ministry school for decades, and was anointed by Jehovah God, through Jesus Christ, 42 years ago in June. As Organizational doctrine progressively strayed from the scriptures, I made comments during meetings and to Witness friends, including elders. Although I justified all my concerns with scripture, this alone lead to me being disfellowshipped in April, 2012. I continue to consider myself one of Jehovah's true witnesses, because Jehovah himself defines who His witnesses are, at Isa.43:10-12. There He states that they are His "chosen" ones (1Pet.2:9), whom he has called to declare the fact that Jehovah is the only Savior (Isa.43:11)...not men, nor an organization (Psalm146:3). This I faithfully do, and I have been chosen by Him to do so. I accordingly write articles about how the scriptures themselves interpret prophecies which apply to our era. ( The directory of articles can be found in my profile, located there.

I belong to the group chosen and anointed by Jehovah God through Jesus Christ...invited to accept the full course of Christ. If I prove faithful, I hope to belong to the Heavenly Mt. Zion, the Holy City, New Jerusalem.

Publications ....also....

The Scribes and Pharisees took the lead in Jehovah's house of worship in the time of Christ. Jesus had the divine credentials to publicly criticize those men, and he certainly did so. Why? Was he a rebel, only seeking to promote disunity and gain a following for himself? No. Jesus realized how spiritually harmful such leaders are to those who blindly follow them. He was therefore obligated, as were his disciples, to champion scriptural truth; despite the backlash from those in power, and those loyal to those in power. Truth (not power, position, or favor with men), leads to everlasting life. John 17:3,17 The anointed are under obligation to accept the same assignment as Christ. They are divinely commanded, authorized, and qualified to do so.... not by men, but by the truth of the scriptures, and Jehovah's spirit. My education, has been by means of that spirit, as we read..... "And YOU have an anointing from the holy one; all of YOU have knowledge. And as for YOU, the anointing that YOU received from him remains in YOU, and YOU do not need anyone to be teaching YOU; but, as the anointing from him is teaching YOU about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught YOU, remain in union with him." 1John2:20,27 Matt.13:55-57; John7:15,16; Acts4:13; John16:13

©2017 All rights reserved.