20 now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. [2 timothy 2:20-21]

i don’t like to wash dishes. but, i like clean dishes, i’m just not big on washing them myself. i think if we all had the choice we are choosing a clean dish over one with a science experiment growing in it. my point … a clean “vessel” is always the one of choice over a dirty vessel. in God’s house, his body, in which Christ is the head and you and i are parts, he chooses clean vessels for use as well. what does it mean to be cleansed? how do we get cleansed?

the innocent blood of Christ shed for our guilt, cleanses our sin. the sin that stains our soul, breaks our soul, and makes us not right before God is only removed or cleansed by Christ.

  • the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. [1 john 1:7]
  • for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [2 cor 5:21]

this is called the imputed righteousness of God. think of it as a giant wire transfer into your account, except what has been transferred into your account is not a billion dollars but the complete righteousness of Christ. you didn’t earn it but it yours, given to you or imputed to you by God as you faith the work of Christ on your behalf. this righteousness of Christ – cleanses you and makes you right before God. and, it brings you into the “house” of God, his body.

question #1: have you trusted your soul to the work of Christ to cleanse your sin, to make you right before God? you are not a part of his “house” or his body without trusting your soul to the work of Jesus for your sin. and, you cannot be used as his vessel until this happens. if you have not, trust Christ now. confess that you are a sinner and trust that the innocent blood of Christ shed on your behalf makes you right before God. pray now and tell him this.

question #2: if you have trusted your soul to Christ, are you allowing Jesus to continually cleanse you – transforming you more and more into his holy and righteous image? what does this look like?

while we are seen by God as holy (imputed righteousness), God is still in the process of making us holy (sanctification). for by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. [hebrews 10:14] sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. God has declared us holy by Christ’s work, and now through that same resurrection power he is going to complete the work of making us fully and completely holy. our part, coming to our Father as we sin and allow him to cleanse us of the impact of our sin on our heart and mind. 1 john 1:9 says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

you cannot cleanse yourself from your sin. only Jesus can do this by his work. however, we must submit ourselves to him, we must come in confession and repentance to him. this is what it means to “cleanse yourself”. the question is, are you regularly coming to Jesus to be cleansed. he promises to forgive. you are his son / daughter and he does not withhold forgiveness. his mercy is new every morning to you and I – even this morning!

will you come to him now and offer up your sin? be specific. look back through this passage above (2 timothy 2:20-21) and let the word of God read you. what is it saying about your heart? where have you been disobedient to the word of God, to his desire and calling? now be specific, confess your sin, and he will, right now forgive and cleanse you. this is part of your ongoing, eternal sanctification. do you see the beauty of what God is doing? he is taking you his beloved son / daughter and making you into a vessel of honor for his love and his use. how amazing!

Father, we come before you as sons and daughters. loved, cherished, and holy because of Christ. we don’t come in anxiety or shame, but we come under conviction from your Spirit. hear our confession, forgive our sin because of Jesus’ blood, and cleanse us. in Jesus name. amen!

~ john ryan