Fifth Sunday after Easter – Monday
Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself. – 1 John 3:3.
O Christian, do “behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” (v. 1a) through our Lord Jesus Christ: we poor sinners are “called the sons of God” (v. 1b, 2a). Children of God, can there be anything more exalted? Therefore God has also given us His Holy Spirit, that we should be like unto Him in mind and disposition, in action and performance.
True, this divine newness within us is still much hidden by sin, suffering, and death here below. Therefore the unbelieving “world” (v. 1b) does not recognize us for what we are in fact; and what it does perceive of our new God-like being it heaps with scorn and hatred, for it does not know God. But all this must not trouble us. We are the children of God, though it does not now clearly and resplendently “appear” what we are. But it will appear; it will most certainly appear. It will appear, when Christ “shall appear” (v. 2) on His great day to wake us from death and to change our bodies. Then it will be apparent before the eyes of all the world what we are. And we know that then “we shall be like Him” (v. 2b). Like whom? Like Christ. Then we shall be holy, pure, and righteous altogether, without sin; then we shall be altogether perfect and glorious within and without, rid of the misery of death; then our divine disposition, which even now we have, will pervade and shine through our body and soul, and we shall shine in grandeur as the children of God, which even now we are. For then we shall see God as He is, from face to face. Such perfection excludes all the former misery of body and soul.
What a hope we have in Him! In whom? In Christ, who will bring His work of salvation to full perfection in us. “And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He [Christ] is pure” (v. 3). This, our hope which we have in Him, does not allow us to serve sin, and, through sin, to serve the devil. In such hope in Christ, we purify ourselves; hope is a fruit of faith by which are “justified freely by His [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
As we have been purified and cleansed “from all sin” through “the blood of Jesus Christ” (I John 1:7b), God’s Son, so, with this sure and certain hope, we mortify the old Adam in us with all sins and evil lusts through daily contrition and repentance; and the new man daily comes forth and arises, who lives before God in righteousness and purity, and shall live forever.
Mark this well, my dear Christian! Continue to purify yourself more and more, living more and more for Him who “died for [us] and rose again” (II Corinthians 5:15), that dear and only Savior “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar [special] people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14)!
PRAYER – Help me to purify myself more and more in my daily life, O Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whose body, by Thy grace, I am a living member. Help me to purify myself more and more in my daily life, O heavenly Father, to show ever more gratitude for adopting me as Thy dear child through Jesus Christ, my loving Savior. Help me to purify myself more and more in my daily life, O most kind God, who will soon give me the fullness of eternal and heavenly purity and glory. Help me to purify myself more and more in my daily life, O Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, for I delight not in sin, nor do I want to serve it. I am Thine, my God – in time and eternity; I want to continue to serve Thee, in thanks for Thy perfect service to me through Christ Jesus. Amen.
“Destroy in me the lust of sin, from all impureness make me clean.
Oh, grant me power and strength, my God, to strive against my flesh and blood!
Create in me a new heart, Lord, that gladly I obey Thy Word;
and naught but what Thou wilt, desire, with such new life my soul inspire.
Grant that I only Thee may love, and seek those things which are above;
till I behold Thee face to face, O Light eternal, through Thy grace.”
(TLH) – Hymn 389, st. 2-4