It’s spring at last in the south of England; the season of digging and planting and cutting the grass. I took advantage of the sunshine to clean up our patio by using a high-pressure water washer on the paving slabs, in order to restore them to something of their original colour. My first attempt got rid of the superficial dirt – mud and weeds that were on the surface. But then I had to try again, with a more intense jet, to cut through the grime. It took time and effort, but the result well worth it.
I was reminded of Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5 the ‘the old has gone and the new has come!’ We sometimes think of this as if there is nothing of the old nature left, because we’re made new. However, I think Paul is looking at the finished work of Jesus on the cross, as well as the on-going sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When we died with Jesus, our old sinful state was put to death with Him. The original relationship that Father God intended was restored and so we were ‘as good as new’. As my pressure washer cleaned off the dirt on my patio so Jesus cleaned out the dirt in our lives and forgave us for our sin, so we were restored to relationship with the Father.
However, the effects of the Fall, as seen in our on-going ungodly behaviours, still need to be addressed. The grime of our old nature still requires sorting out, and that’s where the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit comes in. As my jetting needed several goes, so the Holy Spirit is continually working in us to transform us into the likeness of Christ so that more of that original God-created self should be revealed. If we stop at the first wash, praise God we’re acceptable to Him, but may not be very beautiful. We need to be continually filled with His Spirit so that the process of revelation may go on and Jesus can be more clearly seen in us.
As with the jetting, it’s sometimes quite time-consuming and can be a bit painful when the Spirit reaches into the vulnerable areas. But I am looking forward to the brightness of God’s original intention for me to be revealed, and I won’t stay grimy and dirty when I can be clean!
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You’ve done a good work in me to bring me into restored relationship with You, through the finished work of Jesus. I freely agree to You continuing the process of cleaning me up, so I become more reflective of You in my life. Amen.
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