Read: 1 John 1
Consider: We move on to consider the purifying nature of the Blood of Christ. In the Old Testament purification of people, objects and even places was undertaken so that they would be ritually clean. While the reasons for purification contained in the OT Law were many, there were three principal means of purification:
When telling us that ‘… the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin’, the writer of 1 John (probably the Apostle John), is focussing attention on the blood sacrifice in the OT and recognising that it was something that pointed forward to what Jesus would achieve by shedding his blood on the cross. Remember that in earlier posts we looked at the fact that ritual shedding of blood could only make a person outwardly (ceremonially) clean, but could not deal with the sinful nature of a person’s heart.
Looking further into 1 John we read: Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3). On first reading this might seem as if the writer is saying that the believer should be actively employed in purifying themselves. If this were so it would make a nonsense of what is said in 1 John 1:7, where we are clearly told that it is the Blood of Christ that purifies us from all sin. So what can the writer mean?
What the writer of 1 John is referring to is because God is pure and Christ is pure, our desire should also be to be pure and to turn our backs on wilful sin. Look at what it says in 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Having been forgiven at conversion, does not mean that we will not sin in the future (Paul makes it clear in his letters that there is an ongoing battle between our spiritual and sinful natures). The key here is confession of sin, allowing God to continually purify us every day. This means that the Blood of Christ is sufficient to cover our past, present and future sins.
In Paul’s letter to Titus he says: To the pure, all things are pure …’ (Titus 1:15). Even Jesus spoke about being pure in the Sermon on the Mount when he said: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). The question for each of us must be: Do you earnestly desire to be pure and holy?
Pray: Father, we thank you that the Blood of Christ purifies us from all sin (past, present and future). We recognise the struggle that exists in our hearts between the spiritual and sinful nature. May we turn our backs on wilful sin and seek to live pure lives that reflect your purity. Amen