Category Archives: Work of salvation

 SELF CLEANSING (The Way Forward)

In the earlier post, we tried to define self cleansing as renewal of one’s mind by doing away with all sinfull thoughts, words and deeds with the help of Jesus Christ through theat is our Comforter. What do we need to do  in order to foster renewal of our mind. We also alluded to physical cleanliness in the first part of this post but God’s focus continues to be on the heart.  God used this criterion before asking Prophet Samuel to go and anoint David as King of Israel designate. Even Saul, later  Paul of Tarsus was subject to God’s scanning his mind and had known that he was a veritable vessel unto God’s honor. Whatever he did was passionately and resolutely done. God’s choice of David and Paul was accurate and as God placed them on their respective assignment their individual intrinsic life-style justified their choice. As vessel unto His glory and honor.

The way forward into how man can cleanse himself is first to recognize that it is not the labor of our hand only that will enable us fulfill God’s demand on us for holiness. Man’s effort has to be dependent on the cleansing blood of Jesus, who by eternal design offered himself without blemish as sacrificial lamb to enable man receive pardon. It thus requires focusing on Christ  to purify the conscience from godlessness and strictly worship the living God. Indeed according to the law of Moses, nothing was made pure without the blood of animals and birds. It is believed even unto the time of Christ and beyond everything was purified with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.  Hebrew 9: 11-15 (KJV) attests to this submission, that the blood of Jesus is now and forever more the only acceptable sacrifice unto God to be able to receive our needed forgiveness. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh: How  much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise  of eternal inheritance.”

This is why it is important that in spite of a person’s good work, it is still necessary to believe in Jesus Christ. God declared it at His baptism  in Matthew 3: 17 (KJV) “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The same idea was echoed in other synoptic gospel chapters Mark 1: 10-11 and Luke 3: 22.  Apart from the prophesies of Prophets of old, John the Baptist came to declare the arrival of the promised Messiah.  He had these to say: “He (John) was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME” On the mount of transfiguration, the need to believe in Jesus Christ, was reconfirmed in Matthew 17: 5 (KJV) “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him”.

No believer should engage in self-righteousness;  therefore there has to be a demonstrable dependence on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. One needs to earnestly ask for it and had been promised that it shall be freely given. Ability to fulfill this aspect of Christ-like attitude of showing the fruit of the spirit, by God’s grace, will make one succeed in fitting into the mould of  life described in II Corinthians 5: 17 (KJV) that says: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. To be able to bear the fruit of the spirit is difficult but certainly not impossible.

Work and Pray # 2

Work and pray as it applied to Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, knew he was into a trade known for extortion but desired to change to become a material for salvation. By assessment, one can say he was filled with remorse for his past deeds and consequently transformed himself into a stage of being broken, expectation of the Messiah (Jesus the son of David) and of absolute belief in God for HIS universal compassion for repentant sinners like himself. In adoration of Jesus of Nazareth, Zacchaeus worked himself up a tree to ensure he got what he desired. His prayer for salvation was heard for Jesus on his own looked up and invited Zacchaeus to come down for salvation was to be his portion that day. He worked and prayed as shown by his action that led to receiving the grace of God to the surprise of the Priests and the rulers of the synagogue Luke 19: 2-10

Work and pray is not just a cliché rather the concept creates an unbroken link between man and God to man’s eternal benefit. It is a ‘perpetual injunction’ in the life of Paul that plants and Apollo that waters, the increase is thus exclusively of God,The aspect of prayer enables God to grant increase by his grace Corinthians 3: 6. Ordinarily, we often hear “Heavens help those who help themselves”. In other words, a lazy prayerless person can be said to have opened himself to attack from the devil with its consequences in terms of poverty, sickness, squalor low spiritual power and many more. Praying alone without working is like expecting output without any imput.