Summary: Salvation is the work of a Holy God making unclean people clean but staying clean is the business of the believer. God's word tells us we can be clean in a dirty life!
“Clean in a dirty life”
Intro: Have you ever felt as though you’re not clean?
I’m not speaking about old fashioned honest / grime on your hands but feeling spiritually unclean.
One of our great need is to be clean ..... since man’s brush w/ the defilement of sin in the garden the overriding quest in man has been to feel clean.
*** Some of you will probably remember the character named Rosa in the Cross & the Switchblade. She’s a heroin addict who gets delivered from her habit. After the ordeal of her deliverance from the drug we see her now free from the bondage of heroin & dressed in clean clothes. She makes the statement “I feel so clean!”
Cleanness is the great inner need of men.
It was this same need that David felt after his sin was discovered & made public & he cried out to God for this cleanness w/i saying .....
Psalms 51:10-11 (NKJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
*** I was talking to a young man the other night who is currently backslidden. He knows the truth but has decided against it for the time being. In the course of conversation I wanted to get past the peripherals to the heart of the matter. As I eyeballed this young man I said to him “One thing I know & that is that even though you may be enjoying your sin you aren’t enjoying the feeling of not being clean.” Although he said he didn’t feel too bad I pressed in & reaffirmed that I know that the one thing every backslider struggles w/ is the feeling of being unclean.
You can’t play w/ sin & not b/co stained w/ it!
We were created to be clean & one of the great struggles of life is trying to stay clean.
Fortunately when we come to Jesus He makes us clean / pure / right w/ Him & when we b/co soiled by sin we can run back to Him & receive a fresh cleansing.
** I read an interesting quote that said “Be ye fishers of men, ...... you catch them, He’ll clean them!”
Thank God for the promise / hope of being able to be clean in a life filled w/ all kinds of dirt.
T/m I want to preach a message I’ve called ‘Clean in a dirty life’.
Text: Mark 1:40-44 (NKJV) Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
# 1. The weariness of uncleanness.
A. When we are unclean we are forced to carry a load through life.
a. Uncleanness in itself is burdensome & a heavy weight to bear.
i. We first learn this from man’s fall in the garden of Eden, man now defiled can no longer bear coming into the presence of God.
Genesis 3:9-10 (NKJV) Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
ii. The primary reference here is being made to a feeling that the man & his wife felt an uncleanness they had never known b/4.
iii. We were never created to be unclean & when we are we don’t cope w/ it well.
b. In our text this man knows what it is the have to carry the weariness / burden of being unclean through life.
i. The law required that every leper broadcast to everyone around him he was unclean.
*** Ben W****d standing up in service & shouting – UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!
Leviticus 13:45-46 (NKJV) “Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
ii. When we’re spiritually unclean we don’t have to broadcast it, there’s something w/i us that does it anyway!