“What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” Acts 10:15
Cleansed – Years ago there was a famous advertisement about Ivory soap. It used the tag line “99 and 44/100ths percent pure”. Now what in the world does that really mean? Of course, the advertisers didn’t really care what it meant. They wanted you to have the feeling of confidence that comes from nearly perfect.
But when it comes to sin, 99 and 44/100ths percent pure is as good as nothing. Even the smallest of sins sends me off course. Even a tiny indiscretion sets me up for Hades. 99 and 44/100ths percent holy is not holy at all. And the Accuser knows this fact very well indeed.
How many times have you heard that hideous whisper, “You’ll never be good enough.” How many times have you sunk beneath the reminder that you have failed to keep God’s trust. You and I have collapsed in the face of temptation. We have stumbled. We have rebelled. Even our best is as filthy rags. So the Accuser comes along, quietly, and reminds us. Remember when you took that item from the store. Remember when you lied. Remember when you cheated. He has plenty of ammunition and all he needs is the missing 56/100ths of a percent. If you know your sin, you know what it means to be reminded of your failures. It crushes even the best of us.
So God comes along to remind us of something else. What God makes clean is clean! The word is katharizo, a verb that means “to free from filth, to purify, to remove from guilt and pollution.” If God says. “You’re clean”, then no one can say otherwise. All the reminders of the Accuser are bogus. They are intended to derail you by putting you back on the balance scales. God says, “NO! My Son took you off those scales and marked you “100% pure”. No one can put you back on them.”
I need this assurance from God. Maybe you do too. I know that as I live in submission to His will, the Accuser often sneaks up beside me, whispering in my ear. “Who do you think you are? Why, you’re just a pretender. Anyone who really knew your past would be ashamed of you. Oh, of course you look good now. You’re being so religious. But you and I both know what you did. We know how rotten you really are. So, you might fool them now, but you can’t fool me. You’re worthless underneath all that good exterior. You don’t deserve to be loved.” The Accuser wants me to give up. He wants to hold me to my past and punish me for it, over and over.
But God says, “I love you. My Son loves you. Whom are you going to believe?”
Thank you, Father. The past is buried in the tomb. You have made me clean.