Because of God’s amazing love for us, we are to become pure because He is pure. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 Jn 3:2-3)
What a powerful motivation this is to become like Him now; to accept our circumstances, to stop quarreling with what God sends to us, and begin in everything to give thanks, allowing these strange instruments of God’s grace to do their work in our life. Paul says, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5:3-4).
A few experiences like this and we know absolutely that God is adequate, that He is able to work everything out. We know that every testing is another opportunity for God to demonstrate His great ability to work things out. Thus “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:5).
Hope gives us a sense of unbeatable confidence that keeps us poised and assured under any circumstance. All that is what happens now, as God begins to work through our circumstances to make us like Him. That is why John says that all those who have this kind of hope—this certainty—and understand this process purify themselves, even as Christ is pure. God knows we can’t purify ourselves, yet here He says we are to purify ourselves. He means we are to purify ourselves by using the means He has provided for purification.
The provision for our cleansing is the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It is “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7). He promises “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).
This means we must begin to take seriously this matter of a break of fellowship with Christ because of an impatient spirit or an ugly word or a lustful idea or thought that we have dwelt on. We must realize the stain of it does not disappear with the passage of time. It has interfered with our fellowship with the Son of God, and we must do something about it. We cannot simply forget it; we must do something about it. We must purify ourselves using His provision, that we might be clean. “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor 7:1)
Just before this verse, Paul reminded the Corinthians to set themselves apart because the Lord promised to make us His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:17-18). Every moment we can choose our response, will we walk as the Lord has shown us, or will we walk in the sinful lusts of the flesh? “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.” (Prov 9:6) We are to be holy (set apart) because He is holy (1 Pet 1:16).
Lord, teach me to purify myself using the means You have given to me to do it. I ask today for the Holy Spirit to remind me when my response becomes worldly, and remind me that I am a child of God and I am to walk as Jesus did. Thank you for the opportunities You give me today to share Your light and love with those who don’t have a relationship with You. Let my actions show the world that You are the only true peace, love and hope that can be found in this world. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.
Source: Becoming Pure by Ray Steadman