Forgiven and cleansed, the "and" is important.
There is a significant difference between forgiveness and cleansing. So many of us have been saved and forgiven, but we still struggle with the past or perhaps even things in the present. There is an important distinction in the Old Testament, which points to the work of Christ in the new; the offering for sins and the cleansing for purification. Andrew Murry puts it like this (paraphrased). In the offering, something was done for the man about the guilt of sin, but in purification, something was done to the man himself. A change made on the inside.
If for example, a person touched a dead person they had to be sprinkled and then washed then they were ceremonially clean and could fellowship among God's people. Death was a result of sin, and as a person touched death, they had to be purified. But if a person committed a sin they had to have an offering to pay the price for sin. God dealt with both forgiveness and cleansing in His law. Of course, all this pointed to Christ.
Both of these works are contained in the blood of Jesus Christ. For we are told that He is our offering for sin, but we are also told the blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience from dead works. ( Heb. 9) Even as David prayed, "create in me a clean heart" he was asking for more than forgiveness of sin.
Why is this so important? Let us remember what we have discussed before. In Christ, all that was of Adam, all the horror of the fallen nature was taken by Christ to the cross and dealt with. This is why Jesus is referred to as the last Adam to all who are in Him because all of Adam was dealt with in Him. Likewise, Jesus is called the second man because as both Creator and mediator of a new covenant He was able to stand as the first born of a new creation. The second man was the father of all in Him, for a new life. Not a redone old life but a new life. This is the power of a new creation. In this new creation all things have passed away, and all things become new. Praise Jesus Christ! This is why the shame of the past and its tentacles which try and drag us back and keep us from God or make us feel less than pure and fully acceptable are a lie. We came into Adam through birth, and we left through our union with Christ in death. Our life is a new one entirely in Christ now. The past has no power over you if you accept the power of the life and blood of Christ. Do you believe the blood of the Son of God is able to purify you? The conscience not only tells us when we are wrong but it bears witness that we are acceptable to God because we are cleansed by His blood.
One of my favorite scriptures, and yes to those who are already saved need it desperately as well as the lost, is 1 John 1:9. We see that while we are to strive never to sin, if we do, we have an advocate and He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear saints of God, beloved of Jesus Christ, Glorious Bride; trust in the Blood of Jesus Christ. Be free from the guilt of the past and even your shortcomings today. Follow His spirit so that you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, hate sin, love what is good, and know that while the outer man is dying the inner man is being renewed day by day in Christ. Above all let nothing separate you from the love of God and fellowship with Him.
CJ CutroneMore Posts