Purifying Ourselves For Christ’s Return
 By Rich Carmicheal 

     “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed...but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

     “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

     “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…” (Ephesians 5:25-26).

     “...Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own...” (Titus 2:13-14).

      Jesus gave the greatest gift possible for us:  He gave Himself...His own precious blood.  His great sacrifice demonstrates beyond question how much He loves us and how much He desires that we be redeemed and purified from sin.

     The Day is approaching when He is going to return.  On that Day we will see Him Who gave His life for us.  The Apostle John writes that when Jesus “appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

     Are you living a holy and pure life now in anticipation of the return of Jesus or are you continuing to live in sin?  The Apostle John goes on to write, “But you know that he appeared to take away our sins.  And in him is no sin.  No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:5-6).

     The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross on our behalf is too costly and too precious to be taken lightly.  Consider this warning from the writer of Hebrews:  “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God...How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:26-29).

     If we continue in sin, we trample the Son of God underfoot and treat His blood as an unholy thing.  Instead of treating Him with such disrespect, we are to honor and cherish Him and His precious blood.  We are to purify our lives now in anticipation of the Day that He will return.  The Apostle Peter writes that as we look forward to Christ’s return, we should “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14).  Peter also writes, “set your hope fully on the grace to be given when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:13-15).

     Likewise, the Apostle Paul instructs us “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of...Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).  Paul also writes, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:  sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:  anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthly language from your lips” (Colossians 3:4-8).

     Out of honor, love and appreciation for all that Christ has done for us, and in anticipation of the Day that He will return, let us forsake sin and embrace holiness.  Not only will we be blessed now and for eternity, but we will also bless the One who gave His precious blood to redeem and purify us.

            May God himself...sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).