I invented a new phrase today in a conversation with someone about new believers. He called them ‘squeaky clean’ and I called them ‘filthy clean.’ There is something true about his phrase and something true about mine. When a person gives their life to Jesus Christ embracing His sacrifice for them through humility and faith, they are declared righteous before God. They are squeaky clean in the sense that their sins are gone, payed for, cast off . . .
But the reality also, is that those who come to Christ, come as they are. So we can end up with someone swearing during his baptism testimony. We can have some rough behavior that comes with people who were not raised in the church learning what it means to honor God with their lives. And in that sense I am pleased that God has seen fit to bring all of these beautiful messes together at ReCAST Church. We are in one sense, ‘filthy clean’.
I am looking forward to the baptism service coming up on July 14, 2013. We will gather together at the water’s edge, and hear testimony of those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. As they go under the water, they are symbolizing that they have died to themselves and as they come up out of the water they are physically showing that spiritual reality that they now have been granted a new life in Christ.
And the rest of the process of their lives is the work of the Holy Spirit taking them from ‘filthy clean’ toward that future of being made fully ‘squeaky clean’. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is set on a trajectory toward righteousness, and that is our ultimate hope . . . to stand one day before our Lord and Savior, God Almighty as those redeemed and made clean by His amazing sacrifice. That will be glory!