Posted by: forfreedomalone | 26/11/2013

Are you clean?

“What God has made clean, do not call common.”
Acts 10:15

This quote is from the story of Cornelius who went to Joppa to find Peter. Peter was on the rooftop of the house where he was staying, praying. He there had a vision in which God told him to eat from the beasts he saw in his vision, but he was not happy about this as the animals were ritually unclean and not allowed in the Jewish code. Peter, in verse 14, tells God “I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean”, so here we see that Acts makes a link between ‘common’ and ‘unclean’.

The clear meaning of his vision is not available to Peter until verse 28 when Peter says that God has shown him that he should not call any man “unclean or common”; Peter now understood that the real meaning of his vision was about people and not food per sae.

The opposite of ‘common’ is ‘holy’. Holy means “set apart” and, by expansion, if a thing is set apart it is not ‘common’.
God made it clear to Peter that there was no longer separation between Jews (clean) and Gentiles (unclean) because he now called them all ‘clean’ and Peter had been told, by the angel, not to call unclean what God had declared clean.

It is quite easy for us to say “Oh, yes, Jews and Gentiles are all one now in Christ”, or “There are no foods barred to me, all are clean”, or even “We cannot separate one brother from another, they are all equal in God’s sight”. We would, in every case, believe we were declaring clean or holy what God had declared clean or holy.
But, there is one area where many of us stand on our own understanding and dispute with God.

We frequently declare that WE are not clean or holy. We frequently say “I’m not sure God would do that for me” or “I have not obeyed a certain law, so God is obligated not to listen to my prayer”. Naturally, we are not so blatant about it. We would cloak our dispute in religious language and psychology. We’d point out our faults and failings, all of which would be easily verified by an independent observer. We are not holy in our living. We are not good enough to merit healing, prosperity or forgiveness from God. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

BUT, because of the sacrifice of his son, because of the finished work, because of our faith in him, God says “You are clean, You are holy”.
Do not dispute with God. Do not call unclean what God has declared clean. Do not say your holiness (set apartness) is not so, God has said you are no longer common, no longer unclean. You are cleansed by the blood and are now able to stand in the presence of the Almighty God with boldness and confidence. Not self confidence, but Christ confidence.

What God has made clean, do not call common.


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