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Saturday, April 20, 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019
Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
In the Bible cleansing rituals involve deliverance from defilement and shame. They represent a forgiven state. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
In the Scripture, sin is not confined to unbelief and transgression. It also involves failure to complete tasks that the Lord has committed to us. This is the meaning of the parable of the talents. Talents are personal investment to achieve an increase of what God has given. Indeed, one definition of sin is coming short of completion: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...” (Romans 3:23).
In the course of serving God, and in the business of forgiveness, sin is more that just disobedience and moral iniquity, sin defiles and gives the appearance of guilt and disgrace so that the sinner has a corruption that is seen like leprosy. A clear picture is the consequence of Miriam’s sin against Moses’ authoritative leadership in Numbers 12. As a part of her punishment she had to remain outside Israel’s camping while she awaited her cleansing.
So especially when one’s sin is obvious and defiles the person’s testimony, a part of reconciling forgiveness is to be cleansed, that is, to regain a testimony of no longer being identified with the defiling sin. Cleansing from sin involves the washing of water by the application of God’s Word: “cleansed ...by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26).
The ministry of the Word is a central function of any ministry (John 8:31-36). For “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
The believer who has defiled his testimony and wants cleansing must diligently examine himself and pray to be restored as David prayed: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; Take not Thy holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51:10)
God is faithful to restore the value of the repentant sinner's testimony in the body of believers: “. . you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, . a repentance without regret, .” (2 Corinthians 7:9, 10).
This redemption or cleansing from shame and defilement comes of Jesus applying His blood. His blood is precious to the Father and is acknowledged from the Throne of Grace.
At His Judgement Seat (1 Cor 3:8-15) each believer's works will be judged. The glory of cleansing will be the Lord’s lack of rebuke on the Day of Judgement and these words from Jesus: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).
Related reading: "Washed from Head to Toe" (a poem); Forgiveness Precedes Regeneration; Praying Hebrews 2:14-17