Our Purification: The Purpose of Christ’s Sacrifice

Paul wrote of Christ, “Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14). The verb “purify” (katharizo) means “make clean, cleanse.” (Gingrich) Christ gave Himself to redeem us from sin. So Christ gave Himself to purify us from sin. The word “redeem” talks of taking away the control of sin. The word “purify” talks of taking away the corruption of sin. (Knight)

Purification then is part of sanctification. Sanctification is both the act and the process of making us holy–setting us apart from sin unto God. As the act of God, we are already made holy in Christ (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10). As the process of God, it includes the past, the present, and the future. We have been sanctified at the moment of faith in Christ. We are being sanctified now in Christ (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:3-11; 1 John 1:7-9). Then we will be completely sanctified at the coming of Christ (Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23; Jude 1:24).

A little boy went up to a missionary Sunday School leader in a pagan country. The boy said, “I like what you say about the God of the Bible but I can’t see him. But if I go to the temple I can see my God.”

The missionary said to the little boy, “Listen, does your God bleed?”

The boy said, “I don’t know.”

The missionary gave him a pin and said, “Next time you go to the temple, when no one else is watching, prick him and see what happens.”

The following week the boy returned to his Sunday School class. He said to the missionary, “I did it, I did it, I pricked the idol.”

The missionary said, “And what happened?”

The boy replied, “Nothing, my god doesn’t bleed.”

Straight away the missionary said, “But my God did! He bled for me and he bled for you!”[1]

Jesus gave Himself and shed His blood on the cross for us. His blood purifies us from all sin. “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14, emphasis added). “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, emphasis added).

Now spiritual purification requires both God’s part and our part. God’s part is to cleanse our sin by the blood of Christ. Our part is to walk in the light and to stop sinning. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, emphasis added). “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1, emphasis added). To clean ourselves from the defilement of sin is to stop sinning. It is an imperative in the Christian life. We are commanded to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit.

I emphasize this imperative because of the half-baked concept of many Christians. They think that Christ’s blood has cleansed us from our sins. Hence, we need not do anything about it. But the Bible urges us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of sin in body and spirit. God’s Word urges us to live in holiness in the fear of God. We are responsible for cleansing ourselves from the corruption of sin, i. e., to stop sinning in body and spirit. That is the key to living a sanctified life.

[1] “Does Your God Bleed?,” Sermoncentral.com. Cited March 19, 2017. Online: https://www. sermoncentral.com/ illustrations/sermon-illustration-sermon-central-staff-stories-bloodofchrist-78875?ref= TextIllustrationSerps.

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