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Purifying the Soul (7 of 20)
I Peter 1:22-25
March 9, 1997
Israel had an elaborate purification and cleansing system in the Old Testament. Under the Mosaic Law the holiness of Israel was from the first recognized as moral separation from sin, but it was expressed outwardly by separation from objects designated unclean. Uncleanness contracted through contact with such objects required cleansing. Unclean utensils and clothing were washed in running water; but if a porous earthen vessel became unclean, it had to be destroyed. Metal was sometimes cleansed by passing it through the fire.
People who had become unclean had to separate themselves from the congregation, the length of time depending on the nature of the uncleanness. They were to wash themselves in water, and the more serious forms of uncleanness they were required to offer sacrifice. For persons unclean through leprosy or through touching a corpse, more elaborate cleansing by sprinkling with water mingled with blood or ashes was required.
The unclean Israelite who would not purify himself was cut off from the assembly, because he had defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. (Numbers 19:19-20) In extreme cases you could be executed, if you did not purify yourself.
It was a good idea not to go to worship in the assembly in those days without taking a bath.
The participle translated "purified" is in the perfect tense, which means this is an ongoing process, which began when we believed and continues on throughout our lives. We have been purified from the penalty of sin, we are being purified, and will be once and for all purified from the power of sin. Jesus took away the penalty. We must deal with the power of sin.
Aaron and the Priests of Israel are a type of this process. Aaron and his sons were brought to the door of the tent of meeting, and they were washed with water. Then Aaron was dressed in the garments of the priesthood and anointed with anointing oil. This was the original ...
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