Spiritual Cleaning

11“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:11-12

In the Shakespearean play, Macbeth, after murdering his cousin and King Duncan, Macbeth laments that not all Neptune’s oceans can wash away his sin.

For some people. Some sins can feel like this. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Tuesday’s blog (Spiritual Stains) for a bit more context. But I suggest that we all carry around with us (consciously or unconsciously) spiritual stains that make us feel unclean despite our culture doing a job of desensitising us to these feelings.

But the question today is. How do we remove spiritual stains? How do we get clean? We know how to clean ourselves physically, what about spiritually?

Well, religions other than Christianity put control of this firmly in your hands. Buddha said the answer was to get rid of desires than cause you to feel stained. Many in previous generations thought the answer was to cover our spiritual stains with the deodorant of good deeds. Another option given is a bit Emperor's new clothes - just get everyone to affirm how good you are and surely that’s more true.

But none of these options can actually make us spiritually clean. The hard reality is that nothing we can do can make us spiritually clean. But John the Baptist gives us hope.

As people come to him to deal with their spiritual stains he says, I baptise you with water - a helpful symbolic gesture, but not an ultimate solution - but one is coming who will baptise you with the Holy Spirit. What’s he saying?

One is coming. Jesus. Who has the power to cleanse our very hearts. The baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t/was never about speaking in tongues or prophesying. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what Jesus does to the spiritual stained, to cleanse them from their sins. All we need to do is look to Him. Acknowledge your sins and ask Him to make you clean.

And like a steaming hot shower after weeks in the bush. Jesus & the Holy Spirit are powerful enough to wash all our sins away. The good news is, we can be and feel spiritually clean in life. But only through the washing of the blood and Spirit of Jesus.

For Today:
  • Have you turned to Jesus to be spiritually washed?
  • If you have, do you still feel spiritually stained? Why/why not?
  • Who is one person you could pray for today - that they would turn to Jesus?

  • Praise the Father that He sent Jesus to make us clean.
  • Give thanks for Christ who washes us with His blood.
  • Ask God for His Holy Spirit to help you and others know and feel the cleansing of Christ.
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