Like a Filthy Garment
Like a Filthy Garment
In every church service we all take part in a general confession of all our sins and forgiveness is proclaimed, because of Jesus’ sacrifice……. and.. because of God’s word, which says in 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Propitiation means, “favorably inclined or disposed,… gracious,… that which favors,… or furthers…” In other words, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God looks upon us sinners very favorably. God no longer builds up judgments against us, but sees us as purified in the blood of Christ — really pure and holy.
But, what have we really confessed deep down in our hearts?
Are we secretly thinking, “You know, I’ve always been a very nice and kind person. I’m tenderhearted, compassionate, love my family, and all that… must have been born that way. I’m very patient and thoughtful, too. I really haven’t sinned all that much — at least not like ‘you know who’. But, I go through this confession thing because it’s the proper and orderly thing to do in church. God knows how good I am. I’m sure God is quite pleased with all my efforts to remain righteous for His sake. After all, I’ve done a lot for God.”
Such a ‘confession’ does not lead to repentance. To repent is to feel contrite over our sinful condition and desire to change our ways.
Change? I need to change?
Yes, indeedy! We all need to change daily. In this life our sinful, self-righteous, greedy, bitter, hateful, judgmental, spiteful and selfish old natures will always be sneaking up on us and trying to con us into patting ourselves on the back.
We’re no more righteous than the man in the moon. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
If we really saw our sinful natures like Isaiah did, we would ashamedly cry with him, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” Isaiah 64:6
If we ever were to see the likeness of God as John did, the awesome fear of our circumstance would make us faint away. Revelation 1:17, “…And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man.”
Ezekiel experienced the same most humbling presence, so in Ezekiel 1:28 he says, “And when I saw it, I fell on my face…”
What makes us think we could brave such an experience without the LORD’s presence stripping us of every tiny bit of self-righteousness?
It’s easy to get rather self-confident and cocky when we’re strutting around all by ourselves. But when we have to stand in God’s presence, His all-seeing eyes will show us the ugliest depths of our sinful natures. We won’t be able to “worm” our way out of that one. Don’t have the audacity to think we can hide our sinful natures from God.
We don’t stand a chance. We will be judged just as we are: egotistical, proud, shameless, sinful — UNLESS, we are covered in the blood of Jesus.
Now, this cleansing is God’s promise. And God cannot lie. If we refuse to accept God’s gift of immediate full forgiveness, then we are calling God a liar, because we are claiming we can work our own way to heaven. That’s saying Jesus’ death doesn’t mean anything to us. That doesn’t sound very smart.
It’s only wise and prudent to look at ourselves for what we really are — including all those flitting feelings we experience daily — our innermost reasons for acting the way we do.
Then, it’s only sensible to realize that the Almighty LORD is our Savior and Redeemer because He has proven over thousands of years that He keeps His promises.
God will not renege on His offer of forgiveness. It is His gift to us. We need to accept it with humble, thankful hearts. Thankfulness is shown by changed attitudes and living.
Don’t reject God’s love by thinking you have to “pay” for it. Just have faith and love in return or die in your sins.
When we realize the immensity of God’s faithful love towards us, we will fall before Him and proclaim, “Hallelujah! LORD, thank you for faithfully loving us.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.