“Clean It Up”

There are certain things such as stains, nuclear fallout, DNA, angry words, memories, cancer, and sins which are virtually impossible to totally cleanse.  Killers have tried to clean up spilled blood with ammonia, but the CSI crew can nearly always find traces of it.  The nuclear plant accident at Chernobyl is still polluting the environment after many years.  It seems in spite of chemo and radiation some cancers appear to lurk in one’s body only to surface again years later.  So it is also with angry words, memories and especially sins.

The New Testament lists many of these sins in various books (Gal 5:19-20) (Rom 1:29-30) (Tit 1:10-16).  The verses in Romans show how inhumane mankind has become since God created man in His own image (Gen 1:26).  Not content to be heartless, brutal and immoral, they invented ways of doing evil (Rom 1:30).  When the Apostle Paul explains the dilemma of wanting to do good but doing evil instead, he laments, “…Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24).  Various secular sources claim that this was an analogy taken from the actual type of punishment given some criminals.  They would be tied face to face to a dead body and slowly die a horrible, painful death.  Even though proof of this is hard to verify, it would not be too surprising given the fact that the Romans introduced the world to crucifixion.

Mankind can sometimes mask sins, but they are deeply embedded and cannot be cleaned up by one’s own determination and effort.  The only possible cleansing agent is the blood of Christ Jesus, which, when applied to sinners, totally cleanses them (Rom 6:3-6) (Acts 2:38).  They are no longer under condemnation (Rom 8:1) but rather can leave the unspiritual nature (Rom 7:14-23) behind and become a new creation (self) (Rom 6:6-7).  The guilt of the old sins can be covered by the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control now replace slavery to sin.  We cannot clean up our sins, but Christ can and does (Isa 1:18) (Rev 7:13).

                                                                              –Jim Bailey