Sermon Illustrations

Purifying Agent

The Apostle Paul writes about the empowering agent that enables the child of God to live that victorious life: Romans 8:9-11 says, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you." 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." "Purify" (katharizo) in the spiritual sense is to cleanse from the pollution and guilt of sin.

The purifying work of the Holy Spirit is like the mother who was getting her four year old boy ready for church. She gave him a bath and got him all dressed up. She set him in front of the TV while she got herself ready and told him to keep his eyes focused on the TV.

The little boy became distracted by something outside and he went out to investigate it. In the process he fell down in the mud and wiped off his hands on the front of his pants. He scratches his nose and brushed the hair out of his eyes. In just a few seconds he found himself covered in mud from the top of his head to his toes.

Thinking nothing of his condition the dirty little boy went back and sat in front of the TV. Needless to say, mom was hurt and disappointed over the condition of her little boy. She informed him of his dirty condition and chastised him for his self-centeredness and for acting on his own accord. After his apology, mother forgave him and then got him cleaned up for church.

It is the same with the child of God. Even though his previous sins were washed clean by the blood of Christ, his sinful nature has a tendency to distract him from what he is supposed to be doing. Thus, he finds himself soiled once again. The Holy Spirit convicts him, God chastises him, as he repents, Jesus Christ forgives him and sends the Holy Spirit to clean him up so he can be effective in the true church.

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