Date: 08 December, 2015
Text: Topic - Cleansing
Title: Are you clean?
ill. Touring the mining museum and seeing pictures of miners who have just come up out of the mine. They were covered in coal dust. (I know that they had showers at the mine and that miners would get cleaned up before heading home.)
But, Imagine the queen was at Holyrood and a miner wanted an audience with her. He would never be allowed into her presence if he insisted to come there without getting cleaned up first.
note: Our king is perfect and sinless. He is separate from sin.
Habakkuk 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:
Nobody can enter in his presence without dealing with their sin.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
def. iniquities: perversity, depravity, guilt
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
def. regard: (same word as Behold in Habakkuk)
Before we get an audience with the King we must get cleaned up. You will not be allowed into His presence without cleansing.
Praise God there is a fountain available for cleansing!
Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
quote: Elisha Hoffman speaks of this fountain in his hymn,
ARE YOU WASHED IN THE BLOOD
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!
Since, you must be cleansed to enter into God's presence. Are you clean? As the hymn says, "Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power are YOU washed in the blood of the lamb?
I. Jesus is willing to cleanse.
exp. In the OT, leperosy was a picture of sin.
· It eats away at the flesh.
· There is no human cure.
· It is deadly.
· It destroys everything it touches.
· Everything it touches must be destroyed.
note: If you were a leper, you were an outcast from society. Imagine what it would be like to be in that condition.
ill. One such leper came to Jesus for cleansing.
- Matthew 8: 2-3 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
exp. The man was confident that Jesus could heal him. He was concerned that Jesus may not be willing to heal him. But, he asked him in faith to be willing to heal him and Jesus said that he was willing. He healed him then and there.
ill. Saul of Tarsus - Acts 9:1 ¶ And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
note: Paul was a very wicked man and yet Jesus lovingly cleansed him with His blood and forgave him all his great sins. HE DID SO WILLINGLY AND IT IS A PATTER FOR US.
1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
ill. A pattern is something that is established as the way to get something done. You follow a pattern to complete a garment. etc. Paul said that God is willing to follow this pattern in the life of any sinner just as he did in the life of the great sinner, Saul.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
app. Some people don't come to Jesus for cleansing because they don't believe he can cleanse them. OTHERS DON'T COME BECAUSE THEY DON'T BELIEVE THAT HE WILL CLEANSE THEM.Like the leper in our story, he is willing to cleanse you if you will come to him and ask.
II. Jesus desires us to consider our need for His cleansing.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
exp. Some people don't want to consider their need for cleansing or God's ability to cleanse them. Jesus is reasonable and willing to set out the facts before us.
A. Consider the darkness of the stain. "Sins be as scarlet.... red like crimson."
hymn: Julia Johnson put this text into her hymn "Grace Greater Than our Sin."
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
What is sin? 1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
question: How have you sinned against God?
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
name some sins: Stealing, murder, hatred, adultery, fornication, anger without a cause, bitterness, lust, covetousness, disobeying parents, idolatry, unbelief, pride, lying, etc.
question: If your sin was hidden to everyone else, God still knows everything about it. You can't hide your sin from God.
Psalm 139: 7 ¶ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in @#!*% , behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
app. Come now and let us reason together, "Thou your sins be as scarlet....red like crimson."
B. Consider the perfection of the remedy. "As white as snow;...as wool."
III. Jesus knows whether we have been cleansed or not.
John 13:10-11 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
exp. Jesus uses the illustration of foot washing to picture salvation and sanctification.
A. Those who were saved - were clean but needed their feet washed.
ill. In Jesus day they wore sandles down dusty roads. Someone could be clean but walk in sandled feet down a dusty road and need to have their feet cleansed from the filth of the world.
app. Believers are clean - but they still need to have Jesus wash their feet because sin is in the world and they will still sin. *But it would be rude to play in the mud before going to Jesus to get your feet cleaned.
Romans 6: 1 ¶ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
B. Those who were lost - were not clean. (at all)
"For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean."
exp. Judas did all the outward things that every other disciple did. If religion cleansed, he was clean. But, Jesus had never cleansed Judas because Judas had never gotten right with God.
app. Are you like Judas this morning? You have never been cleansed and you know that your heart is filthy before a holy God. Jesus knows who has been cleansed and who has not been cleansed.
IV. Jesus is the only One who can cleanse us from our sin.
Jeremiah 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD
def. nitre: The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: "Soda, A strongly alkaline substance used in cleaning and making soap."
exp. Someone could think this morning that they would take care of their sins in their own way. But, it won't work.
note: You may laugh at the idea of self cleansing with soap and think, "Nobody tries to clean themselves from their sin." But, if you thought that you would be wrong.
The main idea of a works based religion, is I can make myself clean. How? Self cleansing.....
· Attending church.
· Being baptised.
· Doing rituals - rosary, confessing sin to a priest, taking communion
· Being a good person - and if my good works out weigh my bad works.
· Living a monastic lifestyle
· Beating myself.
ill. Martin Luther was a catholic priest who tried to earn his salvation through ritualism and religion. He came to a point where he finally understood that salvation was by grace (God's gift) through faith and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
app. Self cleannsing is worthless because only the blood of Jesus can cleanse.
1 John 1:7 .... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
V. If Jesus has cleansed you, you are clean.
exp. When God touches a man's life to cleanse him - he is cleansed.
ill. Remember the leper at the beginning of the message. "Immediately his leperosy was cleansed." Matthew 8:3. He didn't have to wait to find out the remedy. It took place as soon as Jesus commanded it.
exp. Now imagine someone ran up to him and said, "You can't come into the community because you are a leper. He could testify to them that Jesus had cleansed him and if Jesus had cleansed him THEN HE WAS CLEAN.
app. Satan will seek to discourage those who have been cleansed by Jesus by telling them that they are still in their sin. But, when Jesus cleanses you - YOU ARE CLEAN.
ill. When the Gospel went to the Gentiles, God put an end to the ceremonial law which said that the Gentiles were unclean. He prepared Peter (a Jew) to go to the Gentiles with a vision of a sheet coming down from Heaven which had all sorts of ceremonial unclean animals (which until this time the Jews could not eat.)
Acts 10: 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
app. If God cleanses it - IT IS CLEAN. If you have been cleansed by Jesus then you are clean. You can set aside the guilt of your sin because it has been forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 10:22 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.
VI. Jesus will cleanse those who confess their sins.
question: Are you in need of cleansing this morning? You may need the complete cleansing of salvation. Or you may just need to deal with sin that has crept into your life while passing through the world. God will cleanse you if you confess your sin to Him.
1 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.
note: When God cleans it is thorough. You can't hold onto sin and ask for partial cleansing. We have to confes our "SINS." That does not mean that you have list each one. It means that you can't hold onto any of them.
ill. If I had my pockets full of sand which represented my sin. I don't know how much sand is in my pockets but I know there is a lot of sand there. I shouldn't ask my mom to clean my trousers partially. It is all or nothing. I can't hold any filth back.
app. If you are holding anything back, dont' bother to ask for cleansing. But, if you are ready to get rid of the sin and get cleaned up by God. Jesus is ready to take your sins away.
Conclusion: A filthy miner ought to get the coal dust off before requesting audience with the queen. He won't be allowed into her presence in his filth.
Neither will we be allowed into the presence of God with our filth. To come to Him we must get cleaned up.
Jesus is willing to cleanse - "I will be thou clean."
Jesus desires us to consider our need for cleansing, "Come now and let us reason together...."
Jesus knows whether we have been cleansed or not. "Clean, but not all."
Jesus is the only One who can cleanse us from our sin. "wash thee with nitre and take ...."
If Jesus has cleansed you, you are clean. "What God hath cleansed that call thou not common.
Jesus will cleanse those who CONFESS their sin. "IF we confess our sins,..."
If you want to be clean, you can be cleansed today!