Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jesus has come to purify

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” — Malachi 3:3.

It is well for us to know that, whenever Jesus Christ draws near to a soul, he comes in utmost mercy to make it clean. Because he is in himself the incarnation of ineffable love, his coming always means that he is about to purify the soul, for the highest mercy is to rid us of sin. The grandest thing that God himself can do in the purpose of his love is to purify us into his own glorious holiness. Christ loved his church, and this is how he showed it; “He gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”

The Well Beloved seeks to purify his chosen by the washing of water through the word. It is the way his love takes: for true love doth ever choose the way of holiness. That love which would lead its beloved into sin is lust; it deserves not the name of love; but true love will ever seek the highest health and wholeness (which is holiness) of its object. Pure affection will grieve to see a fault, mourn over a folly, and seek to remove a blot. Perfect love seeks the perfection of the thing it loves. Such is the perfect love of Christ: whenever he comes to a soul in love he comes as a refiner. He comes with this object, — to take away the dross from the silver, and to make the fine gold purer still.

From a sermon entitled "The Sitting of the Refiner."

Photo by Scott Robinson; some rights reserved.

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