Mar 2, 2009

For Your Cleansing

"And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Mark 1: 40-44 KJV)

There are two "cleansings" alluded to in these words of Christ. The first cleansing was a real, literal, actual cleansing of the man of his "leprosy." It involved, analogically, the removal or separation of moral filth and legal guilt.

The second cleansing was strictly ceremonial and commemorative, intended to give a formal declaration of cleansing. It had nothing to do with the actual prior removal of the leprosy.

So too do Christians follow the same protocol. They are first sanctified and cleansed actually by faith, and then they "for a testimony," go "offer" themselves (Romans 12: 1, 2) at the baptismal altar as a way of their being openly declared to be clean.

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