Paul gives us a list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God:
"Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
But then the apostle adds: "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" (verse 11).
How did these people who were saved out of such horrible sin become righteous before God? What happened to them that they no longer were evil but, rather, were accepted by God?
First of all, God is no respecter of persons. He is not at all impressed by a person’s title or earthly honor—whether a king, a queen, a president or a prime minister. And second, God is not charmed by any goodness in us. Long prayers, fasting, tithing, Bible study, benevolent acts—none of these makes us righteous or acceptable to God. Even our "good" flesh—good character, speech, thoughts and deeds—are a stench in His nostrils if used as a plea for our own righteousness.
When Jesus went to the cross, He crucified our "old man" of the flesh. There is only one Man left, only One whom God will deal with—and that is His Son. When Jesus finished His work on earth and sat down at the right hand of the Father, God said, “From now on I recognize only one Man, only one righteousness. Anyone who comes to Me must come through Him—My Son. All who would be righteous must accept His righteousness and no other!"
We are accepted in God's eyes only by faith in Christ and His work: "He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
Do you see how important it is to abide in Jesus, to come to Him quickly whenever you fail? You must learn to run to Him, crying, "Jesus, I have failed You! I cannot work this out. No matter what I do, I can never be recognized before the Father, except as I come to Him in You!"