Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 10 Is It Laundry Day???

 

For most reading this post today, the memories of “laundry day” may not conjure up what it does for some of us who are older. While I don’t remember having to wash in a ‘tub’ in the yard, with water heated over a fire, I do remember helping my mother use an old wringer washer—where you have to wash the clothes in the tub, agitate them and then wash another load; after you were finished with the “dirties”, then you drained the water and filled it with clean rinse water and did the process again, running the rinsed clothes through the “wringer” which removed most of the water from the clothes and then you hung them on the clothesline to dry. Most of us today have automatic washers and dryers, and laundry day is when you run out of clean clothes and decide to do the ‘laundry’ inside! While those are precious memories, I was thinking more in the vein of cleansing our souls—not just the soul cleansing that saves us, but the responsibility of keeping our lives clean before our Lord and Master—a spiritual laundry day—every day!

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way

in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

When we come to know Jesus, He saves us from sin, but we remain in a body of flesh, and in a broken, sinful world; which means we must be on our guard all the time to keep ourselves free from the dust and the dirt of walking through this life! The Apostle John gives us great insight in his first letter to the believers of his day—it’s still true today!

That which we have seen and heard

declare we unto you,

that ye also may have fellowship

with us:

and truly our fellowship is with the Father,

and with his Son Jesus Christ.

4 And these things write we unto you,

that your joy may be full.

5 This then is the message

which we have heard of him,

and declare unto you,

that God is light,

and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him,

and walk in darkness,

we lie,

and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship

one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,

he is faithful

and just

to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:3-10

Simply put, John is telling us that until we face our sin we can never be saved—we wouldn’t need to be saved if we had no sin (or we think we have no sin!) —yet when we are saved we are still going to face and struggle with sin in this world, and only Jesus can give us victory over either situation. But we must see sin as sin—seeing our own sin as sin; and when we do that we must come to God for forgiveness and cleansing. But those who completely deny the reality of sin, in general or in their own lives, are calling God “a liar” and “his word is not in” them! Sin is the issue, and only Jesus is the cure! Only the “blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”, and that is our state of “being” when we are “born again”!

John to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace be unto you,

and peace,

from him which is,

and which was,

and which is to come;

and from the seven Spirits

which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ,

who is the faithful witness,

and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings

of the earth.

Unto him

that loved us,

and washed us from our sins

in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests

unto God

and his Father;

to him be glory

and dominion

for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:4-6

Jesus loves us so much that He gave Himself to pay for our sin, and to make us “kings and priests unto God”! Only because He cleanses us from our sin to save us, and continually makes us clean as we regularly recognize our sin, failures and shortcomings and:

confess our sins,

he is faithful

and just

to forgive us our sins

We are forgiven by the blood of Jesus which “cleanseth us from all sin”, and that is our only hope. But when we have that hope we are to share it and not refuse to share what we have received—either the Gospel itself, or the forgiveness that Jesus has extended to us. And that is a big order—a command of our Lord, “freely ye have received, freely give” (See Matthew 10:5-25 for the entire message and context!)

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance

of the saints

in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:12-14

Amen and Amen—that’s all I can say—we have been:

Made partakers

Delivered

Translated (changed)

Redeemed

And FORGIVEN!!!

And since we have been forgiven, we must forgive!

And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

And be ye kind

one to another,

tenderhearted,

forgiving one another,

even as God

for Christ’s sake

hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Because I am forgiven—I am to forgive! How can I refuse to forgive others when I have been forgiven? Yet there is another side of this I’d like us to consider, we are to forgive because we all have those from whom we need to ask forgiveness, and just as importantly, we are to forgive and respond to them with grace and truth whether they forgive us or not. So often we have a box that we want to put relationships into, and often times the things that we are expecting from others are foreign to what God has given to us. God didn’t forgive me because I did ‘back-flips’ to deserve it; He forgave me because He loves me and had already made provision for my forgiveness.

Are there those in your life who you think have withheld forgiveness from you? (Based on what you expect that forgiveness to look like?) Are we willing to offer ourselves to those who repel our expressions of reconciliation, and maintain a spirit of grace and openness? Do we often “choke” on that request which we avoid as long as possible, “Please forgive me, no strings attached?” Or do we admit guilt, but then demand that others do “back-flips” to express their acceptance of our apology? Are we arrogant in our repentance rather than humble and conciliatory? God forgives us and makes perfect provision for us to draw near to Him! Christ’s love and forgiveness are to be reflected in all our ways toward others (even the difficult and painful).

Let us draw near

with a true heart

in full assurance of faith,

having our hearts sprinkled

from an evil conscience,

and our bodies washed

with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast

the profession of our faith

without wavering;

(for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another

to provoke unto love

and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling

of ourselves together,

as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another:

and so much the more,

as ye see the day approaching.”    Hebrews 10:22-25

Because I’ve been washed, I ought to respond to others with a pure and true heart, reflecting the glory of my King; the One who has forgiven me. And in closing, I’d like us to consider what Paul reveals about the transformed life! God saves sinners, but HE doesn’t leave us in our sin! If you think you can be saved and remain in the same state of sinfulness as you lived in before, you might want to check out what you think saved you? This is a bit lengthy, but I challenge you to spend some time pondering the truths that Paul lays out for us—truth doesn’t change!

Know ye not

that the unrighteous shall not inherit

the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived:

neither fornicators,

nor idolaters,

nor adulterers,

nor effeminate,

nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves,

nor covetous,

nor drunkards,

nor revilers,

nor extortioners,

shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you:

but ye are washed,

but ye are sanctified,

but ye are justified

in the name of the Lord Jesus,

and by the Spirit of our God.

12 All things are lawful unto me,

but all things are not expedient:

all things are lawful for me,

but I will not be brought under the power

of any.

13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them.

Now the body is not for fornication,

but for the Lord;

and the Lord for the body.

14 And God hath both raised up the Lord,

and will also raise up us

by his own power.

15 Know ye not that your bodies

are the members of Christ?

shall I then take the members of Christ,

and make them the members

of an harlot?

God forbid.

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body?

for two, saith he,

shall be one flesh.

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord

is one spirit.

18 Flee fornication.

Every sin that a man doeth

is without the body;

but he that committeth fornication

sinneth against his own body.

19 What? know ye not

that your body

is the temple of the Holy Ghost

which is in you,

which ye have of God,

and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-20

We are “bought with a price”, by the blood of Jesus, and we are to “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”! As we have been “forgiven”, we are to forgive, as the transformed, changed, cleansed and redeemed—“such were some of you: BUT”! Are you living like the transformed — forgiven and forgiving, regardless of what you “were”? By God’s power we can!

Jesus reiterates the transformation that will appear in the lives of His own as He closes the Revelation that He gave to John.

He that overcometh

shall inherit all things;

and I will be his God,

and he shall be my son.

8 But the fearful,

and unbelieving,

and the abominable,

and murderers,

and whoremongers,

and sorcerers,

and idolaters,

and all liars,

shall have their part

in the lake which burneth

with fire

and brimstone:

which is the second death.”  Revelation 20:7-8

So as we bring our thoughts together this evening, I’d just like to call us all to remember the verse that we started with today, and pray “without ceasing” that God would ever work in our hearts and lives to conform us into “the image of His Son”! Day by day, moment by moment, and in each and every situation—remembering that ‘such were some of you we are forgiven!

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way

in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Is it your “laundry day”? May God do His cleansing work in us that ‘our laundry’ will shine for Jesus?

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan 12:5