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Mike your question, >>The first thought comes to mind that we are of course purified today completely by the blood of Christ. But, then, I also know that once we have made the decision to follow Christ we will still sin on occasion. And then, is purification needed? >>

My answer--Just the Word, just the Word ma'm (A take from the Cop Show Dragnet’s “Just the facts, just the facts ma’m”--Sorry)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 KJVR).

Many of us confess--but we don't hang around for the cleansing--it is a multipart process. Also, there is a difference from living in sin and “falling” or tripping into sin, just as there is a difference telling a lie and being a liar. One is an event or maybe multiple events the other is a lifestyle choice.

Regarding purification, there is the part that God does that we can't add anything to, what is called 'positional righteousness' that Ramona already referred to, but then again, we are told to 'work out our salvation' with fear and trembling. Phil 2:12. We are to work out what God has already 'worked in." "For God is at work IN you..."

Then Paul gives us alot of help in 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us PURIFY OURSELVES from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." Some of the best writing on this subject is contained in Jerry Bridges' class "The Pursuit of Holiness" which is in my mind the 20th century version of Bishop Ryle's 19th century "Call to Holiness." Not a long book but one that you can mull over and over, and written for our times.

Jesus also said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." I think that the proactive way to be 'purified' is to pursue internal righteousness passionately without making it an external show like the Pharisees. Just pursue it because we delight in God.

I think purification also includes a 'confessional dimension' where 'we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another that we may be healed." James 5:15-17

CLEANSING, PURITY has ALWAYS come by grace. The role of the law has always been the same in OT and NT: to lead us to grace by showing us our sins and failings.

HASHEM -- the highest name for God in the Torah, that is the GOD OF MERCY -- does
this out of His rich mercy!

Thus, when OT sacrifices were given, those with perceptive hearts in worship knew that they were not saved through their works of obedience. They knew they were able to worship God and have a relationship with God only because of the sacrifice offered in their place.

MERCY... GRACE

This brings me to a comment by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. on the following verses in Joshua 3 (NKJV):

7
And the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
8
You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.’”
9
So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
10
And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: 11
Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. 12
Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe.
13
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.”

Comment by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. :

"These verses in essence reinforce the concept of grace. They show that crossing the Jordan and dispossessing the enemies (as in all aspects of our salvation and sanctification) is the work of God."

HOW TRUE!

We need to walk in the authority of Christ. We already have the authority of Christ invested in us personally by the Father and the Son.

We already have the Holy Spirit.

Now is our time to not only have our spirits birthed in this reality, but the rest of our beings as well.

Luke 14 (NKJV)
33
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

For the past few months, I had the extremely high honor of going through strict discipline of theatrical rehearsals for a theatrical Easter performance.

This last weekend, April 7 through 9, I was able to take on the role of one of the characters.

The worship leader who wrote the play emphasized
the importance of WORSHIP during acting. It is ALL about worshipping through the medium of theatre and leading others to God AS THEY JOIN US IN WORSHIP.

He emphasized that, while the roles of the characters can and must be acted out with skill -- THE WORSHIP CANNOT BE AN ACT. It must be real.

~~~

My only point is this: I had to give myself COMPLETELY to learn the lines and to become another character.

In like manner, we also need to give ourselves COMPLETELY to the Lord to "learn our lines" and to become the people God created us to be.

FORSAKE... receive cleansing... in GRACE.

~~~

The process of acting and becoming a character who came to the Lord in the play showed me there are two (2) kinds of acting:

1)
acting: pretense, to lie to try to deceive

2)
acting: to take on a role, to learn that role, TO BECOME.

We are CALLED TO BECOME, and we-- through grace-- are able to PRACTICE.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Ephesians 4 (NKJV)
22
that YOU PUT OFF, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23
and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24
and that YOU PUT ON the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Hebrews 5 (NKJV)
13
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those WHO BY REASON OF {note: CONSTANT} USE {i.e., PRACTICE}
have their senses exercised {i.e., TRAINED} to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 6 (NKJV)
11
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12
that you do not become sluggish, but IMITATE THOSE
who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Vance

Purification....hmmm...well true we are washed by the blood of the lamb and we have the gift of righteousness but we do have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.We need to continually watch our steps and confess our sins...that's our part of the battle.In Deut 20,it says"the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." ...then it also says "Has anyone built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may dedicate it"...well then the Lord had given the Israelites victory over their enemies but they still crossed the Jordan armed and ready for battle...Like us they had to work for the promises of God...they didn't just sit down and watch God work...they had a part to play...and for those of them who didn't...(Deut 25:17 " Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind")..there was a price to pay...if in our own daily battles we don't do our part which includes purification...there's a price to pay...by grace Israel was chosen by God...but to maintain their relationship and blessings,they had a part to play...we were saved by grace...but we too have to work out our salvation to the end...after getting saved we still live in a flesh that loves sin and we gotta fight it!!
God bless you all....soldiers:))

PS...please remember Beryl in your prayers...I have a feeling she's really fighting hard.

Luke 14

Luke writes of "hate" regarding family, yet Matthew speaks of it in terms of love.

Matt 10 37-38
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

Did Luke get it wrong? No, and I think Bob in the bible.org commentary gives a good explanation of this comparative concept.

Luke also says one has to hate - "yes, even his own life". The word for life in Greek is "psuche". It does not mean your daily or outward life, it goes much deeper. The word is defined as 'your essence or your soul'. You are to hate what you are inside - one who is turned away from God, whose very essence is "sin".

The whole extended family is listed here - so I agree with Bob I do not think it means hate each and every one - but like "life" they are to hate the essence of the family, the dependance on family instead of God. The Jewish family provided status, security, and a false assurance of salvation (Bob's list) - hate these things. If you do not you can not be Jesus' disciple. You must depend on Jesus.

As to the rest of the reading in Luke, Bob says it nicely:

"Our Lord is not trying to get these followers to muster up enough commitment to become His disciples, but to reckon with the reality that no one has the resources to follow Him, apart from His enablement. Discipleship, then, is not following Christ with sufficient means to do what He commands, but with utter dependence upon Him to enable us to do His will."

If we try to go it alone after salvation: without prayer, without the "Word", without worship, - without dependance on Christ - then we will flame out. The "World" (non-Christians) loves this as there is nothing so open to contempt and judgment as a half-hearted Christian.

Purification

I am not sure, but I regard purification meaning the same as "sanctification". If that is true, then we, as believers, do not achieve it as much as "strive" for purification (sanctification).

Purification (sanctification) is a process which will not be finalized until we get to heaven.

Personally, I see the confessing of sins as a means to continuing in "fellowship" with God. It is not for forgiveness as Christ died for all sins (past,present, future), but as an acknowledgment that we are still sinners. If we do not acknowledge our sins, then we are in danger of God distancing himself from us - like David. By being in fellowship with God - we can continue in the process of sanctification through the Holy Spirit. If not, then we perhaps become "stuck" Christians. Spinning our wheels, running in place, until a breakthrough is made or worse we receive chastisement from God - which would be meant to get us back on the "way" and progressing towards purification (sanctification).

One thing I find very interesting in regard to Rehab in this account is the fact that in Proverbs it teaches young men or old men not go go the way of a prostitute; yet they went directly to her house?!?!? I have to admit, what were they thinking & why were they going to a prostitute?!?! Here is an excerpt from my Living Faith Bible/NLT:

"God saw through those thick walls of Jericho into Rahab's heart & brought the 2 spies to her very door. She immediately seized the opportunity to put her faith into action, first hiding the men & then pleading for her life & the lives of her family members. In rather dramatic fashion, Rahab entered into God's family of faith. By His grace, God also placed this former prostitute & foreigner into the lineage of the coming Messiah (Matthew 1:5). You & I can give thanks that God gladly saves us if we turn to Him, no matter what our nationality, family background, or past sins, for He still rewards the faith of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)."

SO...even though God teaches not to go to prostitutes houses, this was His plan before He formed the earth...it is truly mind boggling to say the least. We just never know what He is up to...He is always up to something...imagine that?!?!?!

jan

Jan,

Remember the Prophet Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitut. If something is God directed and your heart’s desire is to follow after God, then ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Joshua 3:1-4:24:16


More Ramblings from my readings in Joshua:

O.K. The river is at flood stage and I’m not sure what that would look like with this particular river. I do know that the Jordon is dirty, full of silt, and not very wide in many places. The closer the Jordan gets to the Dead Sea the slower it runs; but what does it look like when it is flooded? I have never been affected by a flooded river; although I have been affected by water main breaks in New York City, but still that is not a flood. I have seen video footage of swollen rivers washing away dirt, houses, cars and people as it rushes down and overflows its banks. Caught up in raging waters must be frightening, yet God tells the priests who are responsible for carrying the Ark to step into the waters, they have to get their feet wet.

Not only does God tell them to step in, the water stops flowing when they get in, but upstream. Now, I don’t know if this is true but I’ve heard that the place where the water was damned up is about 80 miles upstream from where the priest stood. So how long would it take for the last of the flowing water to reach them?

So we have the priests standing in the Jordan, carrying a box made from Acacia Wood, wood that is very dense and heavy (http://web.odu.edu/webroot/instr/sci/plant.nsf/pages/acacia), which is overlaid with gold, making it heaver, and has as a lid, a solid gold cover with two gold Cherubim with large wings. These guys had to be buffed to carry that box around in the desert for 40 years.
Step in the water, the priests were commanded, time to get your feet wet, so that the people could walk on dry land. At the beginning of their journey, the water of the Red Sea parted and everyone walked on dry land, but now they had to get their feet wet. It seems that when I first accepted salvation, many things happened that were unbelievable, without any input on my part, but then …that stopped. I now have to engage with the “enemy,” I have to hold on, hang in there, and believe that God has my back when circumstances say otherwise. My Red Sea experiences had me walking on dry ground, but to get out of the wilderness I had to get my feet wet. It was the stepping in that caused the river upstream to stop running and I had to wait for it to get to where I was.
Respect the leadership over you wherever you choose to worship. If you cannot, find a new place. Those who lead you are stepping in the water, getting their feet wet, so you can walk on dry land.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I'm with John 100% on this one.

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