Summary: Several scriptures gives us the lowdown on cleansing. 1- The person of cleansing 2- The process of cleansing 3- The purpose of cleansing
INTRO.- Cleanse me, fill me and use me is a prayer that we should be praying this year. God wants to use us in service but He can’t effectively use us until we are cleansed from sin and filled with His Spirit. The first step in being used by God in service is to be cleansed from sin.
Proverbs 30:11-13 “There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful.”
Pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed. There are many people who live like this. There are times when we may be like this! We are often think we are pure, but we may not be and we may not be fully cleansed from our sin! If we don’t bless our parents and we are haughty, prideful, etc. we are not cleansed from our sins!
Romans 3:9-12 “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
This is a pretty strong indictment, wouldn’t you say? It sounds like we’re all guilty in the eyes of God. Every person’s name is in the phone book of sin.
ILL.- A past news article focused on Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls as the Republican candidate for President. As his popularity rose, so did the scrutiny and he has a past, a not-so-good just like many people. The article stated: Gingrich’s "baggage has baggage."
Well, we all have a certain amount of baggage and some of us may well have “baggage on baggage.” Gingrich said of the news media: “I fully expect them to dig up everything they can, throw the kitchen sink at me and see if they can stop me.”
We don’t have to worry much about the news media but there is someone we should worry about!!!
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
ILL.- "What’s wrong with the world?" a newspaper editorial once asked. G.K. Chesterton wrote in reply, "I am." DO YOU GET IT?
What’s wrong with the world is what’s wrong with everyone! It’s called sin whether we want to admit it or not.
Many people don’t recognize themselves as sinners. They may think they occasionally do something wrong but they don’t see it as a sin against God. Of course, if a person doesn’t believe in God then they definitely don’t think they have sinned. They may think they have made a mistake but they have certainly not sinned again anyone.
ILL.- A sign above an unreliable clock read: “Don’t blame my hands, the trouble lies deeper.” When we sin with our hands, we must understand that the trouble is much deeper. Sin is a matter of the heart.
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
When we speak bad words, it’s not just a matter of the mouth or our speaking. It’s a matter of the heart. All sin is a matter of the heart. It starts in the heart.
Brothers and sisters, we need to be cleansed from our sins in order to please God and be used by Him. It’s as simple as that and yet it’s a hard task to perform. Overcoming sin is not easy.
PROP.- Several scriptures gives us the lowdown on cleansing.
1- The person of cleansing
2- The process of cleansing
3- The purpose of cleansing
I. THE PERSON OF CLEANSING
Matthew 8:1-3 “When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.”
We all are infected with leprosy; the leprosy of sin. And hopefully, we want to be cleansed of sin. One thing is sure: Jesus is willing and able! Jesus is very willing to make anyone clean!
ILL.- I remember while preaching in a small church in Iowa many years ago that we had two special visitors one Sunday. They were visiting with one of our young ladies who was attending Ozark Christian College and came home one weekend with her. But these two young people, brother and sister, were from Africa. Their names were Mike and Maria. Our church was small but as far as I knew these young people were welcomed quite well.