Table of Contents
Claim God’s promises
Through God’s promises a person can have his character cleansed. Peter wrote, “Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
Adam was created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), but when he disobeyed God and sin entered the world, the divine image was ruined. Christ came to restore that image and have man’s character cleansed. Therefore, the believer may expect to have God’s image restored in his soul by faith and obedience (2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 3:14).
This possibility to be cleansed should urge the believer to seek Christ-likeness through Christ’s power. He will attain to this goal as he accepts and uses the powers hidden in the spiritual gifts Christ has provided to him. The transformation starts at the new birth and continues until Christ’s second coming (1 John 3:2).
Have a relationship with God
To enter into such an intimate relationship with God, a believer must experience both the continual cleansing power of God and continual growth in Christian character. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:14). To abide in Christ means that the soul must be in daily in constant communion with Jesus Christ through the study of His Word and prayer. And it must live Christ’s life (Galatians 2:20).
But these great privileges of being cleansed are lost when unholiness and sin are allowed to enter the life, for such things ban people from being sons and daughters of God. The Lord said, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
Hold on God’s power
A person can’t be cleansed by his own power (Romans 7:22–24). The believer can be made holy only by letting God work in and through him. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). The Christian must make use of God’s provided way for cleansing. This does not mean that the believer is completely a passive being, but that God provides him with the desire to be saved, He enables him to make the decision to obtain salvation, and He gives him the power to make the decision effective.
Cooperate with God
Thus, salvation is seen as a cooperative work between God and man, with God providing all the needed powers for man to be cleansed. The armor of Christ is available for all believers, but they should use their own will to cooperate with Christ. Paul urges the Christians, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10, 11). A Christian is cleansed by “obeying the truth” (1 Peter 1:22). God’s power and grace are ineffective in a person who doesn’t use his own will. For the Lord is with the one who fights “the good fight of faith,” and will grant him victory (1 Timothy 6:12; Romans 8:37).
In His service,