“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
(1 John 3:2-3)
We are not just lifeless pieces of clay in the process of transformation. In fact we have a part to play in which we both co-operate with and facilitate the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The Christians who have focussed their hope and expectation on the glorious return of Christ will want to both prepare for it and move towards it. Our desire should increasingly be to purify ourselves – to leave the sin and depravity of the world behind – and become more and more like Christ. This is our response to the love that God has lavished upon us in Christ and to our eternal salvation and life. It is both gratitude and an awareness of the need to honour God in the way we live out our new life. Although only His blood “purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) we play our part in purifying ourselves from its influence.
- “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
- “Keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22)
- “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:7-8)
- “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
Peter gives us a wonderful hint here, that a key part of this journey involves the move from selfishness to selflessness.
As the moon is glorious when it fully reflects the sun and is not partly hidden by the earth, so are we when the Son is more fully revealed in us.
Ask God where you need to start and step up from there.
Father, please help me to truly desire to become more and more like Jesus. Please continue to pour Your love into my heart by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5). In Jesus name I pray, Amen.