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“Clean Shirt…New Shoes”

Sharp Dressed Son Michael

Last post I began looking at Joshua 3.  Heard the comment that if we want to move forward on journey with God, we need to leave “Shittim.”  That’s an actual PLACE.  Not making it up. 

 The next step, Joshua continues, is that the people should “consecrate” themselves.  That means they were to purify themselves, sanctify themselves–clean themselves up.

 Let me ask you a question!  What do you do when you go someplace new and want to make a good impression?  You get all spiffed up, right?!  To go someplace new you have to be all cleaned up!  “Clean shirt…New Shoes…”  Opps, almost slipped into a little ZZ-Top. 

 Understand that Joshua was speaking to a faith community where specific rituals and actions were needed for people to “consecrate” themselves before God.  There were certain demands, certain rituals, certain actions that had to be done for the people to be “right” with God.  40 times in the OT people are admonished to “consecrate” or “purify” themselves before God.

 When we get into the New Testament how many times might you think that word or command might appear? 

 Get this–it does not appear even once. 

 The word and the concept are unheard of in the New Testament.  The word and concept have no place under grace.  At least not as it relates to anything we might do.  Instead, Almighty God did all that needed to be done to “consecrate” us through Jesus, the Son.  God declares us holy.  The Son imputes his righteousness to us.  The Spirit mediates grace and love to us, moment by moment, day by day. 

 The grace of God is just this – the triune God (not you or  I) does the cleansing, consecrating, purifying, and sanctifying.  It is all God’s work.  Listen to the Bible:

 Romans 16:15, Paul says we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit (we don’t do it)

 I Cor 1:2, Paul identifies the church as those who are sanctified (past tense) in Christ Jesus

 I Cor. 6:11 Paul talks about those without Christ and then turns His attention to the Christians at Corinth and says: “…you  were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

 To be used by God–to journey where we’ve never gone before by faith–we need to be people who are holy, purified, and sanctified.  And we are that kind of people because we are IN CHRIST.

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