Summary: Based on the Dial commercial, you’re not as clean as you think, we take the congregation to a realization of our need to experience forgiveness. I have a powerpoint available with video clips, via email upon request.
From late-night, insomnia-driven infomercials to risque nude shower commercials, we are bombarded with the marketing mantra of cleaners claims as they try to siphon money out of our wallet. Listen to a few examples of these messages that have been rehearsed into our memory:
New Ultra Clorox bleach has an unbeatable whitening formula that gets even your dirtiest clothes white. . .
Clorox 2 removes stains and dirt on colors. . .Color safe bleach taht is specially formulated to help brighten your clothes. . .to keep clothes looking like new. . .
For real cleaning power, choose the power of Pine Sol, the smell of clean.
Softscrub is tough on kitchen grease, bathroom soil, mildew stains, and soap scum. . .solvingyour toughest cleaning problems without harming your surfaces
Tilex is specially formulated to dissolve soap scum on contact, without any scrubbing.
Palmolive . . . Tough on grease, soft on hands.
For over 120 years, one name has meant pure, one name has meant clean. . .Pure Ivory, 99.44% pure.
Dial Soap. . .You’re not as clean as you think. . .Aren’t you glad you use dial?
Crest. . .Get the clean feeling of dentist. . .it’s gentle on tooth enamel, while removing surface stains to whiten teeth.
Oxiclean, the STAIN SPECIALIST. The multipurpose stain remover attacks organic stains and ordors . . .This revolutionary stain remover harnesses the awesome cleaning power of oxygen bubbles to quickly devour stains, without chlorine bleach.
Discover the Secret. Unleash the Power. Tiles and Carpets? Just like new. Kitchens and bathrooms? Smelling fresh. Windows? Crystal clear. Even the garage is free of grease. At Orange Glo we dream of and create great cleaners that give you real power and real results all around your home. UNLIKE OTHERS, our cleaning products work with PURE INGREDIENTS such as orange oil, a natural solvent, or simple oxygen, which unlocks and removes stains. They are powerful, healthy products that will transform your home.
Do we really believe these messages? Do these hyped advertisements convince us of a products ability? Or do we know that there is some element of "trickery" when we see that infomercial demo a products "magic? See, for instance, how Brian Hall can, before your eyes, cleanse the ink off of a card.
Why don’t we hear or see advertisement which focuses on the products inability? You know, like the prescription drug commercials that tell you that this wonderful anti-depression or allergy medicine has a side effect of seizures, brain-tumors, incontinence, or it makes you incredibly fat.
We don’t hear those advertisements, but we know they are true.
• Palmolive won’t touch that 3-day old lasagna pan that you allowed to harden like a crustacean.
• Don’t tell me you, clueless husband, attempted to use an SOS pad to clean hard to remove food and paint, from your wife’s stove.
• Yes the bleach took the stain off of the carpet before your wife got home to notice, unfortunately it removed the color as well.
• Dial Soap’s cleansing loses its effect on the 2nd or 3rd day after use. Must be re-used daily or you’ll begin to stink.
You get the idea. I say all of this to put in context our passage of Scripture that talks about cleansing. Let me first put it into historical and cultural context by pointing out that our current society’s fixation on clean healthy hygiene is a modern trend.
Up to 150 years ago, it was unheard of in any society to bathe more than weekly. In fact, entire European palaces were built without one place to bathe. One European historian speculated that the King James, whom our Bible translation is named from, went from cradle to grave without taking a bath. Perfumes were used in lieu of bathing.
So when the author of our text discusses cleansing, it must be in the context of religious, ceremonial cleansing, because his audience would be unfamiliar with the oral and physical hygiene that are common to the majority of us, with the exception of brother Ian.
The text is demonstrating the superior cleansing power of Christ’s forgiveness over every other cleansing known to the audience. For us to understand the point being driven here, we must first know some basic Biblical truths.
1. Humanity is essentially evil and not good.
Despite the predominance of humanistic and optimistic views the Bible asserts that man, at our core, has a proclivity toward darkness and evil. Consider the depravity of sin to which men have sunk in evil historical figures like Hitler, Napolean, Stalin, Genghis Khan, and Charles Manson. The escalation of men’s sinfulness has reached unimaginable heights as these men have bathed their lives in the blood of innocent thousands and millions. Consider the darkness that overwhelms a teenagers heart as they go into their sleeping parents and dice their bodies into small pieces. Understand the horrid blackness that would fill a man’s heart to cause him to joyfully hijack a plane as he sacrifices his life, and the lives of thousands of innocent, unknown fathers, mothers and children.