Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cleansing: Part II

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When I wrote my column last week, I was writing from a full heart, my heart that had recently been convicted about my lack of sincerity in my bible reading. However a helpful reader gently pointed out a few flaws in it and challenged me to read it as objectively as possible. When I took their advice I saw what they meant.
The bible is the method of cleansing for a Christian, for those who are lost it does nothing but confuse them. When speaking of salvation, (which is the primary cleansing), nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient. Our initial and final wiping away of sins in the eyes of God happens when we call on the name of Jesus Christ the Lord and confess our sins. The bible comes in when I’ve messed up, because even after I’m saved I still continue to sin, as hard as I try not to. When I do end up (paraphrasing Paul) doing the things I would not and not doing the things I would, I am saddened. I hate the feeling of knowing after all God has done for me I’ve failed Him again, I don’t fear losing my salvation any more than I fear being disowned by my dad when I disobey him. What I do fear is falling out of His pleasure, knowing that Jesus died to cover my sins and still somehow I seem to always be wallowing in them.
It is at this time that I go straight to the Word of God, and try to wash my mind and heart in it’s powerful cleansing properties. The reason I rely so heavenly on the bible is not because of it’s inadequacy, but mine. The bible is completely sufficient to remind me how do deal with each and every one of my sins. The problem is, as soon as I get one sin taken care of I seem to commit another one, forcing me to stay in a near constant state of begging for God’s forgiveness and reading His word. I fail so often, it sometimes makes me wonder why it is so hard to stay clean. The conclusion I have come to is that as long as I live in this world surrounded by sin, as long as I am in this frail body I have to lug around, I will not be able to escape sin. That does not stop me from trying though. Every day I strive to become more like my savior and push toward perfection.
I hope I did not cause any confusion in my columns; my goal is to encourage sinners to repentance and believers to righteous living. For a sinner the only way to acceptable repentance is through the blood of Jesus, for a believer the only way to righteous living is a steady diet of spiritual meat, God’s Word. I hope you will all strive with me to start acting more like the savior every day, to fall deeper in love with Him through His word every day, and to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to (once again paraphrasing Paul) follow us as we follow Christ.

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