As a culture, we seem obsessed with whitening things. Laundry detergent ads boast about how they make whites whiter and toothpaste ads boast about whiter teeth. But no matter how white they make things, teeth and clothes can soon become dingy. It reminds me of our efforts to purify ourselves of the “sin which so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1, NASB).”
In Mark 9:1-8, Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James and John. Verse 3 tells us Jesus’ garments “became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” This verse reminded me that no matter what I do on this earth, I cannot purify myself; I cannot save myself; “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).”
I can continually scrub myself; continually whiten my clothes; continually whiten my teeth; but my efforts to cleanse myself are futile. Sin in this life will always be present; an ever present temptation; a constant struggle we cannot win on our own. It is only through our faith in Christ Jesus that we are able to find salvation from sin and its eternal death. There are many things in this life that promote themselves as cleansing our life, but none will purify us like faith in Jesus Christ.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. – Romans 6:5-7
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