To be fully cleansed from all sin necessitates that we are walking in the light of God and having fellowship with other believers. This is not something that is done once, but it is an ongoing, day by day process that we continue to pursue.
It’s good to be with you again.
We’re continuing this week with our theme that is of such vital concern for all of us: How to Overcome Evil, bearing in mind what I’ve been emphasizing throughout, that evil is not something, but someone, someone who is called in the Bible, Satan the devil, a fallen archangel whose name used to be Lucifer, who now heads up a spiritual kingdom of wickedness, and lawlessness that opposes both God and the people of God and the purposes of God, and therefore a kingdom that is in direct opposition to us as Believers in Jesus Christ.
Our studies are centered around one main passage of the New Testament which depicts our conflict with Satan and the weapons through which we can gain the victory. This is Revelation 12, verses 10 and 11.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, [that’s Satan] who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him [notice the direct person to person conflict between the Believers and Satan] They overcame him [and then are the weapons] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. [The three crucial weapons, the blood of the Lamb, the Word of God, and our personal testimony, then the measure of commitment needed] they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’” (NIV)
And I pointed out that when we apply this in a simple, practical way, it means that we overcome Satan when we testify personally to what the word of God says that the blood of Jesus does for us. This is so important, I’m going to repeat it. We overcome Satan when we testify personally to what the Word of God says that the blood of Jesus does for us.
Yesterday we focused on two main provisions of the blood of Jesus as revealed in the Word of God. First, redemption; second, forgiveness. These are stated together in one verse, Ephesians 1:7:
“In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (NIV)
So, when we are in Christ, through his blood, we receive redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
We also looked at Psalm 107, verse 2, where it puts upon those who are redeemed the obligation to state it, to affirm it.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” (KJV)
In other words, we really are not fully redeemed. We don’t have the full rights of redemption until we say so and our redemption is from the hand of the enemy. That is Satan. Now, to make those effective, I gave you two pattern confessions that you can make; two pattern testimonies. The first one, “Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven.” The second one, “Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil.”
Today we are going to focus on another vital provision of the blood of Jesus, that is: Cleansing from sin. This provision of cleansing from sin is stated in 1st John, chapter 1, verse 7:
“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (NASB)
That’s the phrase there; “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” However, we have to note that that cleansing is conditional because that verse begins with an “if,” “if we walk in the light,” so we have to meet that condition before we can appropriate the cleansing of the blood of Jesus. We have to walk in the light. And secondly, it says, “If we walk in the light we have fellowship one with another.” The first consequence is fellowship, one with another, then, the second result is the cleansing of the blood of Jesus.
Now all those three verbs; walking, having fellowship, being cleansed, are in what we call the continuous present tense. They are not things that just happen once, but they’re things that must go on continually. We must continually go on walking in the light. As we continually go on walking in the light we continue having fellowship with one another and as we continue walking in the light and having fellowship with one another, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us. It’s very important to see the conditions and the consequences, otherwise we’re in danger of deceiving ourselves. We can be laying claim to the cleansing of the blood of Jesus when actually we are not really being cleansed because we’re not meeting the conditions. I’ve summed it up sometimes by stating it this way; the blood of Jesus does not cleanse us in the dark, only as we walk in the light, and the first test of whether we’re walking in the light is that we are having fellowship one with another. So, if we are not enjoying fellowship with our fellow-Believers and with the Lord, then we’re not in the light, and if we’re not in the light, the blood of Jesus doesn’t cleanse us.
Now, that raises a very important question; how do we walk in the light? And I want to suggest to you two important, basic conditions. The first one is that we must walk in obedience to the Word of God. Psalm 119, verse 105 says this, and the psalmist is speaking to the Lord:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (NIV)
What we walk with is our feet; what we walk on is the path and the Word of God provides us with the light for our feet on the path. In other words, as we walk in obedience to the Word of God, that sheds the light on our feet and on our pathway and we are walking in the light. But if we are not walking in obedience to the Word of God, then we are not walking in the light. So the first requirement is obedience to the Word of God.
The second requirement is our relationship with our fellow-Believers. We have fellowship one with another. This is summed up by Paul in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 15 where he says:
“Speaking the truth in love, we in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (NIV)
There, walking in the light, is relating to our fellow Believers in truth and in love. We have to be honest, no hidden reservations, no suspicions, no jealousies. We have to be willing to speak the truth, to act out the truth in our relationship with one another, but we have to do it in love. So, walking in the light consists of those two things put together; walking in obedience to the Word of God and walking in truth and love with our fellow Believers. When we meet those conditions, then we can say with a full assurance, “The blood of Jesus is cleansing us from all sin.” It’s a continuing, ongoing cleansing. We live in a polluted atmosphere. Today we’re very conscious of the physical pollution of the atmosphere around us but it’s not merely physical. In another sense, the spiritual atmosphere around us is polluted by sin and corruption and ungodliness, and in order to be kept clean from all that pollution that surrounds us in the spiritual atmosphere, we need the continual, ever-present cleansing of the blood of Jesus.
Let’s go back now to that verse, 1 John 1:7; read the whole verse again and then make the application:
“If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (NASB)
The provision there is the continual, ongoing, ever-present cleansing of the blood of Jesus that keeps us pure in an impure world. The conditions we’ve stated are walking in the light, having fellowship with one another.
Now, having made sure that we are meeting the conditions, we are in a position to make the appropriate testimony or confession. It goes like this, listen carefully. As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now, and continually, from all sin. Let me say that again. I want you to listen carefully. First we state we’re meeting the condition, “As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now,” (make it very present, very personal),” and continually, from all sin.” Never leave out that little word “all;” it’s so important, especially when we’re talking about sin.
Now, I want to give you the opportunity to follow me to get the blessing of making that confession, so I’m going to say it out loud. I want you to follow me, phrase by phrase. Listen carefully and follow after me. As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now, and continually, from all sin. Let’s say it once more. As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now, and continually, from all sin. If you believe that, you have to start thanking God, and as you do that, you’re going to feel pure and clean in a new way.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about another wonderful provision that is being made for us by the blood of Jesus.