The Cleansing Power of Christ

A POOR LEPER came to Jesus, having on his lips the words of faith, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean;” to which the gracious reply was given, “I will; be thou clean.” (Matt. 8:2,3) The Bible uses leprosy as a type of sin. As a result of “one man’s disobedience” all mankind are moral lepers, born “in sin,” born with the seeds of sin in them, and misshapen by the multitude of iniquities which, through the laws of heredity, are passed on from one generation to another.—Rom. 5:12,19; Ps. 51:5

Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) By his suffering and death he provided a great sin offering sufficient to cover the sins of the whole world. Before the taking away of the world’s sin, which will be the work of the Millennial Age, he made a special application of his merit for the benefit of the church, called out from the world during the Gospel Age.

He appeared “in the presence of God for us.” (Heb.9:24) This cleansing from sin and imperfection our Heavenly Father has arranged to be effected by two agencies as suggested by two familiar scriptures, “The blood of Jesus Christ … cleanseth us from all sin;” (I John 1:7) and “Let us draw near … having … our bodies washed with pure water.”—Heb. 10:22


As a result of the drawing of the Father, we came to Jesus in faith and consecration, recognizing that he alone is the one who can cleanse us from the ‘leprosy’ of sin. His merit imputed to us by faith brings the blessing of justification—“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”—Rom. 5:1

This, in the Scriptures, is pictured by a white robe of righteousness covering all our imperfections. Following consecration and justification “through faith in his blood,” (Rom. 3:25) the Father begets us by his Spirit. This blessing of justification gives us “access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” as children of God, partakers of the heavenly calling. (Rom. 5:2) As a consequence, our unwilling daily shortcomings are also covered by the merit of the same great sacrifice for sin, ‘the blood of Jesus Christ … cleanseth us from all sin.’

A ‘spot’ upon this robe of righteousness given for our covering must be cleansed (forgiven) through repentance, and prayer, that his merit might be so applied. Mere repentance, and efforts to do better, after mistakes have been made, will remove none of these spots; but “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 2:1,2) The merit of our Savior’s sacrifice for such sins, causes them to be cleansed completely away.—Eph. 5:27

In addition to this gracious arrangement for freeing us from guilt, there is another kind of cleansing, equally necessary, suggested by the apostle’s words, ‘our bodies washed with pure water.’ “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Cor. 7:1) “Christ also loved the church,” having cleansed it “with the washing of water by the word.”—Eph. 5:25,26

Those in Christ are still in the flesh and have numerous blemishes of mind and body, but with the aid of the Truth we are able to cast out wrong thoughts, break bad habits, and rid ourselves of unwise deportment of all kinds. After many years in the school of Christ, many actual blemishes are washed away by the pure water of Truth (symbolized by the laver in the court of the Tabernacle).

All the Lord’s spirit-begotten children use the Word (laver) in this way. The holy influence of the Word and Spirit helps us to progress to diminishing of defilement and imperfection. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”—Ps. 119:9

Thus would the Lord cleanse and perfect his people in righteousness and true holiness. This will produce a fixed character which will never again deviate from rectitude and love, and which can be safely clothed upon with immortality.

The white linen robe of righteousness now worn by the saints can be spotted and cleansed again. The holiness to be possessed by the overcomers in glory will never again experience defilement.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |