I have been in the process of cleaning my office. That’s right…cleaning my office. It is a daunting task when over a span of so many years I have collected papers of all sorts. Notes, documents, newspapers, journals – they’re all there! And the books! Don’t forget the books! Loads and loads of books (perhaps not as many as others, but a fine collection if I say so myself!)! The task of rearranging my office and my bookshelves has been taking quite some time, but it is getting done and it is looking better all of the time.
It’s good to clean. It’s good to be clean. It’s good to see the results of clean. God enjoys clean. God enjoys cleaning. Have you really ever thought of this? God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to clean those who come to Him in belief and receive what it is that He has done for them. First Corinthians 6:9-11 says:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.“
Paul the apostle really knew what he was speaking about when he wrote these words to the church at Corinth. These words, no doubt, would have been a great encouragement to those who were hearing it read to them. Just as in our day there were people who were dirty who needed to be cleansed. It wasn’t that they just needed to physically be cleansed – all of us need to bathe! It was that they needed to be cleansed from within. There is nothing that can cleanse us from within. The only way that we can be cleansed within is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
But you might be thinking that there is nothing for which you should be cleansed. After all, your sins are not even in the list above! But did you notice the first words? It asks, Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? That includes all of us. There is not one person that is not dirty with sin. All of us have been unrighteous at one point or another in our lives. Now I choose not to give you my laundry list of sins, but suffice it to say, I know that I have sinned.
However, thanks be to God who washes us clean! He doesn’t just rearrange stuff inside of us. That would mean that He was just rearranging our sin. Paul says that He washes us and we are no longer identified with our sinful behavior. He says that God not only washes us clean of our sin but he sets us apart for Himself (to be sanctified means to be set apart as something or someone who is now holy). And then He goes even further and declares us to be righteous (to be justified, which is a legal term to say that our sin is no longer held against us).
I will keep cleaning my office and rearranging books and everything else that is in there. And I will also live with the understanding that God no longer sees me as unclean. I will live in my new identity as one who is washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Now that’s good stuff!