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Degrees of Cleansing


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#1 JD Fitz

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:01 AM

We all know the story and the apparent moral taught to us in Sunday School: "Be thankful".  Except maybe there is more to the story. - Richard Dahlstrom brought this out in a recent podcast sermon from Seattle's Bethany Community Church (https://podcasts.app...i=1000439414955)... In short, Luke 17 tells us about Jesus' encounter with 10 Lepers.  He "cleanses" 10 but only one returns to give thanks and praise, having recognized that he was "healed".  

 

The differences in words may be significant: 10 "cleansings" (Greek word which translates to our word "catharsis")  but only 1 "healing" (Greek word translates as "salvation" ).  We normally think of the word "salvation" as a cathartic event which seals our eternal future.  But many stop there and don't follow Christ or even recognize or thank him for his great work in our lives..  Certainly being cleansed from sin's power IS cathartic - we are forgiven, justified, but maybe not fully "healed".   Romans 5:10 argues that we've  been justified /reconciled by the death of Christ, but "much more" will we be "saved" by his life!  Following Christ "heals" - sanctifies us.  We therefore accept both Christ's death for cleansing and follow him for our "healing and salvation:  We are healed from our prior life and habits and thereby enter into the life for which we have been created and called.  As Jesus says to the returning leper: "Your faith has made you well"

 

 What do you suppose happened to the other nine? 

 

JD Fitz

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#2 Charles Miles

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:51 AM

Interesting question and I have never thought about it before except in the vein of not expressing thankfullness for something they could not do for themselves.  Just my thoughts here, so please do not ascribe any deep theological meaning.  It has always been my belief that justification was the "making right" of the person. Sanctification comes slower but should be a continuous thing until we stand before the throne.  In a kingdom, if a person is justified, he/she is right with the king and may approach the throne as a righteous citizen of that kingdom...meaning there are no charges pending against him/her. 

 Because of this story, I thank God every day for His Grace and His work through Jesus to justify my soul. Does that make me "more justified" than the lepers who didn`t return to thank him? I don`t know, but what I do know is that I am a blessed and justified man who is so grateful for what He did for me that I just can`t stop thanking Him. 

  Your question...Are there levels of cleansing? Well Jesus put it this way in the story of washing the disciple`s feet. One who has taken a full bath need not repeat it, but simply wash the feet(the part of us that continually comes into contact with this world) daily. I`m pretty sure He was not discussing washing with soap and water(although most of us take a daily bath, thank goodness) but repenting

 of sin we may have done during worldly contact every day. I do understand that Jesus died for all sin for all time, but you know, I don`t want to stand on that carpet in front of God`s throne one day with dirt on my feet when all I had to do was repent and ask His forgiveness for mistakes made in a daily walk.

  

May God bless you, and He will because He said He would,

 

Charlie



#3 Tkulp

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:26 AM

JD,  Good thought and question!

 

I see two distinct types of people represented in this incident.

 

One type may be thankful, but focused on obedience to the instructions to show themselves to the priests, and being able to return to normal life and society, forget the healer (Deliverer).

 

The other type of person is grateful to God, from deep within the heart, resulting in a radical expression of appreciation to the source of the cleansing and deliverance.

 

The man that returned was not just thankful; he fell on his face and worshiped Jesus with a deep sense of gratitude and gratefulness (KJ “giving him thanks” G2168; to be grateful, that is, (actually) to express gratitude (towards)).

 

Is it possible that this man was not just healed and delivered of a surface skin disease cleansing, but because of his deep gratitude (true repentance??) also received a deep spiritual soul cleansing from all the internal issues that had caused his surface skin disease, of leprosy, in the first place?

 

If so, for him, the leprosy was gone for good.

 

The other nine could have a re-occurrence of the external disease, if they did not stop the internal spiritual problems that allowed the disease to infect the body.

 

This idea would be supported in the account of the healing of the lame man by the pool.

 

John 5:14  “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”



#4 Twiceborn

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:21 AM

After reading about the wise and foolish virgins, the good and bad fish, I wonder if this truth about the lepers is also a Spiritual lesson about the true convert and the false convert.  The true convert being thankful, the false convert lacking thankfulness and the fear of the Lord..

 



#5 Tkulp

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Posted Yesterday, 07:26 PM

Twiceborn,

 

Considering your choice of words I tend to get different pictures when I read 'false convert'. A convert is one that changes. To be a false convert I see someone that pretends to be something that they are not in order to gain profit from their deception. Paul talks about that type of individual. I see a man pretending to be spiritual to gain the woman that he wants.

 

I do not see the virgins in the same light as the worthless fish or the tares, false wheat. I would leave Jesus' description alone. Jesus, when He talked of the virgins, was talking about those that are pure and have experienced the Holy Spirit. All ten of the virgins feel asleep but only the wise had enough of the Holy Spirit to carry them through the extended wait or darkness. Jesus called those that did not have enough of the Holy Spirit (the oil), foolish.

 

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus describes two types of people that hear His messages. The wise, that do what they hear, and the foolish, do not do what they hear.

 

So with the nine that failed to give thanks. I believe that they were happy and excited to be well but, like a large group of people today, that call themselves by the name of 'Christ',  they are not really grateful for the price that was paid for them to be able to be 'born again'. Yes, I believe that the nine were really happy and excited about being healed, so excited that they forgot about the healer.

 

Those that follow in their steps today are the ones that get "saved". They are so excited about the idea that they are going to heaven, that they forget, or never hear, that they are to die to themselves so that the Spirit of Christ could dwell within their mortal body.

 

They treat the blood of Jesus like common bath water. Daily asking forgiveness for the wrongs in their lives that they make no effort to crucify, get rid of or let the Holy Spirit remove. They do not want to take the time or effort to go back and thankfully get to know the Deliverer. Their eyes are still on the world and a self centered life.

 

The fact that they have not turned around to look at the Deliverer and willingly take up their cross to follow Him in gratitude and appreciation would not make them 'false' but 'blind' and/or 'deceived'.  They are in spiritual darkness.

 

Like the nine, they are not thankful for the deliverance from the power of sin so that they could live a holy, obedient life now but are focused on worldly affairs now that they are healed. The one leper, that turned around and came back, was just as excited about his healing, deliverance, but turned around, taking time to worship the Deliverer.

 

So today which is more important in peoples lives? The idea of eternal security and heaven .........or the crucified life with the Holy Spirit's power living intimately within, creating a holy life, free from the world and it's attractions?