Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

A bottle pf water with 99% pure water and 1 % sewage is a bottle of water that is contaminated. It is for the purification of souls that Jesus died.             To avoid further contamination after salvation, God instituted repentance. In order for a Christian to repent, they must first reason out the sin and realise the seriousness of what ails them and what separates them from God. What is more serious; the ailments of sin or the separation from God? This is the question. In the Church today, grace is expounded as the given panacea by God for all sin. Unfortunately, this is not true nor Biblical. Grace is more strenuous than the law in what it demands of a believer. For example, if one was to commit adultery under the law, they were considered as being fit for judgement. Jesus said; if you look at a woman and lust after her, you have committed adultery. Now, judge for yourself whether grace is more demanding of purity than the law. Secondly, judge for yourself, if living with sin is easier than separation from God. 

 

Even if there is a spot or a wrinkle on a believer, the believer is considered by God as being contaminated by sin. That is why God has asked for us to sit down with Him and reason this out. Not everyone wants to address their sin and in some cases as it has been hidden and practised secretly for many years. Such people have gone about their Christian life hiding their dark secrets till one day it is exposed by God or the devil. On the one hand, the devil attacks and makes life miserable for the sinner while in sin and on the other hand, satan terminates the believer in one way or another when he has completed his time with the sinner. Many have died as a result especially when partaking of communion with sin in their hearts. God, warns the sinner continually till His grace no longer contends with the believer and then God allows their sin to be exposed. The classic example of this was Jimmy Swaggart. He was a great minister of God whose pulpit was one of holiness and power unto God. Yet, he held a secret sin of sleeping with prostitutes and pornography. He even went so far as to expose another minister of God who was in sin by doing so publicly while he himself was in sin. It was then that God exposed Jimmy. 

 

My friends, purity is not an option. None of us are exempt from being purified and purifying ourselves. It is the dedicated work of the Holy Spirit among believers to bring them to perfection. After that, it is up to us to purify ourselves. Jas_4:8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. This is the purpose for God’s attempts to reason with us. When this reasoning is not possible, then there is a fiery looking toward judgement. Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. To avoid this, we need to come to a place called the reasoning place. I imagine a table and two chairs, one on which God sits and the other us. He then begins to explain our sin life that so affects Him first and then us. Call it a counselling session if you like. This to me, is God showing grace to His sons and daughters. If we do not receive that reasoning with Him, we cannot be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Then, we have no right to take communion. By taking communion with un-purified hearts we place ourselves at risk of judgement.

 

The journey of the Christian if you have noticed, is on several fronts. Many have not sought purity but have sought power. It is my reasoning that God is infinitely more interested in character than in power. Power is up to God but character is up to us. This can be daunting when one is moving in so much power that they forget their heart and it’s evil. This is a subtle but common problem among Christians. If we stop to examine our hearts regularly like we should at communion, we will be clear. However, because of our natures, we can skip over the cleansing of the heart in the light of our pride and arrogance of what we say we have by virtue of ministerial fruit. True fruit is that of the Holy Ghost which remains in a person’s heart. If character is constantly swaying between two poles, then one has a problem settling the issues of the heart. The best way of determining this is by words that come out of our mouths. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks causing our actions to speak loud about character.

 

When it comes to preaching and ministry one must have purity of heart and thought. Motivations and intentions must be checked along with not taking the glory of the results that approve your ministry. This can be a very difficult area for those of us who do not understand that the Holy Spirit is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. After ministry, sometimes, one can discover that they have carried it out with the wrong spirit or realise the illegitimacy of it. Cain offered a sacrifice out of the sin in his heart and not out of purity. Annanais and Saphirra did the same. Samson took it upon himself to abuse his anointing as did Eli the high priest when he allowed his sons to sin and the list goes on. All this just tells me that I need to be examining my heart quite regularly and expunging anything that is not of God in me and keep my heart open to the examination of the Holy Spirit. Once I have done that, then, minister in that purity of heart and give God the glory.

 

Purifying oneself goes deeper as we go deeper into God. Each step of the way, new things come to light that we never even thought was there. That is because the light reveals things in a greater way as we allow that light to shine even more in our hearts. It is easy to see the faults of others but very hard to see our own faults. That is why the light shines on our hearts to reveal what is unacceptable to God. Even though a fellow man may think nothing of it and even approve it, God may not. Our examiner and source of life is God, not man. We must be wise to check our hearts before God first.

 

The more we read the word and allow the word to work in our hearts, the greater the release and freedom to walk in the Spirit. The word also negates the external activities of the devil against us, nullifying any temptation that may arise. When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting and seeking God, the devil came to tempt him but was confronted and defeated by the word. This same word will cause us to rise up and demand that we too walk in ways of purity that allow us to handle the word of God without condemnation. It also allows us to deliver the word without contamination. Each word we use must be pure and acceptable in the sight of God as each word is examined by God to see if it is pure. There is an accountability that we have over words that we use. Mat_12:36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

 

When you begin to hate evil and see it for what it is, you can purify yourself from it. Good and evil are out of the same fruit. Yet, one must learn to reject evil and choose the good. This too is an act of purifying oneself. Choosing between good and evil is incumbent (mandatory) upon us and not God. Isa 7:16  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. Jesus showed us a way to overcome evil.  Rom 12:21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. The choosing of good over evil in thought, speech and action overcomes evil. This is power of character. Demonstrating power in ministry is not the only way to overcome evil. Simple acts of love require character rather than power. Yet, character can only be attained as one submits and yields to God’s word and His Holy Spirit who then teaches us the word. Un-submitted souls never learn, they brag about their gifts and results of power but their soul is in leanness.

 

Obedience to God’s word is a definition of character. The kind of character that stands against the tides of time and evil thoughts of men. When God sent Jesus to the cross, Jesus went there out of obedience and humility. These two aspects of character won Him more than all His miracles, signs and wonders that He did. When people are brought into the salvation knowledge of Jesus, it is character that is mostly worked on by the Spirit. Yet, many Christians not only find this hard but rebel against it and even twist the truth around to justify their position instead of simply accepting and obeying God’s word. The longer one resists the Lord, the longer the cleansing program. What started out in the heart then gets exposed like Jimmy Swaggart. He rose to the pinnacle of ministerial success only to be brought down publicly because he never listened to the pricking of the Holy Ghost in his heart.

 

God is patient, kind and is willing to wait for you even in sin. This is an amazing concept. He allows things we never allow in each other because He is waiting for the day when He can save us from ourselves and the devil. Though we are saved, we are not entirely purified. Purification is a process of sanctification (being set apart). Once we are set apart, we are put through the purification process just like in the days of Queen Esther when she was getting ready to be married. Jesus is coming back for a perfect church which is His bride. Eph 5:24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Eph 5:25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Eph 5:26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, Eph 5:27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

03/09/17