Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. [2 Cor 7:1; Heb 12:14; Mt 5:8]
Confession of sin and repentance:
Abba Father…I’ve come before Your Throne of Grace to acknowledge and confess the sins I have committed during the past 24 hours, since I last came before You. Let Your Holy Spirit bring to mind how I have sinned against You in my visible physical life…the wrong things I have done and the words I have spoken or written that others have seen and/or heard.
Enable me to bring to mind how I have sinned against You in my unseen physical life… the wrong things I have done and the words I have spoken that no one else was present to see or hear…especially while driving alone in my car, on the phone in conversation, at home alone, on the Internet, or anywhere or doing anything where no one else was present to witness it. You see the secret, most hidden things I do. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. [Ps 139:11-12]
And especially, enable me to bring to mind how I have sinned against You in my hidden life in my heart…in my mind, my thoughts…the wrong things I have done and said in my imagination that no one else will ever know about but You. You know the deepest, most secret thoughts of a person’s heart…and I am just as guilty of committing these sins within my heart as if I had actually and physically carried them out: Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [Matt 5:28]
I also acknowledge and confess all my sins that have not come to mind at the moment, on the basis that if they were to come to mind, there would be nothing there I know of to be sin but would like to be doing, would want to keep on doing it, and would refuse to give it up for You. Father…I know my heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked above all things; who, really, can know it…only You. And so if there is anything that my heart has hidden from me… let Your Holy Spirit convict me deeply of these sins, and make me painfully and consciously aware of them, so I can turn to You in repentance and ask for Your enabling grace to forsake these sins.
And I acknowledge and confess the sins of unrighteousness in the spiritual realm I have committed against You: my sins of unbelief resulting from a lack of faith… whereby I can not, or will not, trust in You with an unwavering child-like trust in all things; my sins of disobedience resulting from self-will…whereby I do not, or refuse to, obey Your will or accept Your will with an unquestioning child-like obedience; my sins of self-sufficiency resulting from self-reliance…whereby I believe in my heart that I am able to live my life in a manner that is well-pleasing to You through reliance upon the powers of my sin-enslaved human nature, refusing to acknowledge my absolute need to depend upon You with an unreserved child-like dependence in everything.
Father, I acknowledge and confess my sins to You, and I am deeply sorry for them… because whenever I sin against You, it thwarts the deepest desire of my heart to be holy as You are Holy, and to be perfect as You are perfect…for You have told Your children, “As the One Who called you is Holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy;'” and, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” [1 Peter 1:15-16; Matt 5:48] In the power of Your enabling grace, I turn from my sins in repentance; in my heart, I turn from them. Father, forgive me; have mercy on me, a sinner.
Abba Father…thank You for Your promise, thank You for Your assurance, that whenever I acknowledge and confess my sins to You, You are faithful and just to forgive my sins. You are faithful in that You never fail to do so, and just to do so by virtue of the Eternal Power and Eternal Worth of the Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, poured out on my behalf on that cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of my sins. And You are faithful and just to cleanse me of all unrighteousness…You have forgiven me of all I have done, and have blotted out the entire record of transgressions proven against me…erased the entire record of my sins. You removed my sins from me as far as the East is from the West, and have cast my sins into the depths of the sea, never to remember them against me again. You have expunged all of my sins from the record; there is nothing written against my name in Your Book, just as if I had never sinned! And You have conferred upon me the status of eternal righteousness as an accomplished and finished fact. Sin can never again stain my soul and separate me from God, because the Blood of Christ Your Son envelopes my soul, and sin cannot penetrate it.
And thank You, Father, for washing my robes anew in the Blood of the Lamb…for continually washing my garments as they become soiled with sin and I bring them before You in confession and repentance, making them clean again…dazzling and white. Thank You for washing my feet with pure water…for washing the dust of sin off my feet, enabling me to stand before You, to abide here with You in the Holy Of Holies, in the inaccessible light of the glory of Your unclouded Presence, having been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, dressed in the white robes of His Righteousness, pure and holy now in Your sight, without spot or wrinkle or blemish. And thank You for giving me fine, radiant linen to wear…dazzling and white…which are the righteous acts that Your Holy Spirit has wrought in me as I have given Him free reign to do so…that my light would so shine before the souls of men that they would see the good deeds, righteous acts, and moral excellence wrought in me by Your Holy Spirit, and give glory to You, Father, in Heaven.
Thank You, Father, that at this moment in time, after all my years of sins and failure, mistakes and imperfections, I stand before You just as pure and innocent and helpless in Your sight as I was on the day I was born. The most intense desire of my heart going forward is to be pure, holy, and righteous in living out my every day life…in living out my visible physical life, my unseen physical life, my life in the spiritual realm, and especially my hidden life in my heart…in my mind, my thoughts, my imagination.
Prayer for purity and holiness:
Blessed Jesus…You assured me, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” [Mt 5:6] Blessed, You said, are those who, in living out their everyday life, hunger and thirst for a purity, holiness, and righteousness of their own that comes from obedience to the Law. You assured me that my longing will be completely satisfied, and I will be filled up to the measure of all the fulness of God…to the richest measure of Your unclouded Presence, a soul wholly filled and flooded with God Himself! I delight myself in You, Lord…and You promised to grant me the desires and secret petitions of my heart that are in agreement with Your will. You promised that if only I would just commit my way to You and trust in You, most assuredly You will do this: You will make my righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of my cause like the noonday sun! [Psalm 37:4-6]
Abba Father…create in me a pure heart. I hunger and thirst for a pure heart; my heart is inflamed with yearning…my heart aches and pines away with yearning…to have a purity, holiness, and righteousness of my own that comes from obedience to the Law. I hunger and thirst to be filled with Your holiness and righteousness in my everyday manner of living. The deepest, most intense longing of my heart is to be holy as You are holy; to be perfect as You are perfect. I insist upon it…not in order to gain anything, but because I already have everything. I am Your child, and You are my Father and my God. I already have the status of eternal righteousness before You…by virtue of the Eternal Power and the Eternal Worth of the Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, poured out on my behalf for the forgiveness of my sins. I am already pure and holy in Your sight, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, having been dressed in the white robes of His Own Righteousness. I already have Your acceptance; I already have Your approval; I already have Your affirmation; I already have Your affection. I already have everything by virtue of having been born into Your Family…born a second time; born again. I am Your child by birth and by blood, on that momentous day when Your Divine seed, planted in my heart, was fertilized by the consent of my will in making a solemn vow before You to be the bride of Christ, and an entirely new life was thereby conceived. I am an entirely new creation…a new being…and I bear the characteristics of God my Father; I have Your spiritual DNA. I am no longer the person I used to be…the old, former things have passed away, and all things from that point forward have become new. Father, let Your Holy Spirit continually work this sanctification within me. It is His work, not mine, and I acknowledge that I am hopelessly powerless, hopelessly impotent, hopelessly helpless to do so through reliance upon my human capabilities and capacities, by my own efforts and strength. Your Holy Spirit alone is the One Who works in me both to will and to do.
No one conceived of God and born into God’s Family deliberately, knowingly, and habitually practices sin, for Your nature, Father, abides within me. Your principle of life, the Divine sperm, remains permanently within me; I cannot practice sinning, because I am born into new life…I am a born again child of God. [John 3:9] I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that everyone born into God’s Family is thereby a regenerated individual and does not make a practice of committing sin. How could I? God’s seed is deep within me, making me who I am. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. The Son of God carefully watches over and protects me [Christ’s indwelling Divine Presence preserves me against the evil one], and the Devil cannot lay hold of me. [1 John 5:16]
By this it is made clear who takes their nature from God and are His children, and who takes their nature from the devil and are his children: those who do not practice righteousness [who do not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] are not children of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ). [1 John 3:9-10] This does not imply, nor claim, my sinless perfection…but represents my heart attitude as a child of God that, so far as I know, I have no unconfessed sin in my life; there is nothing between myself and my Lord Jesus…a child who is yielded habitually to the Holy Spirit and living in close fellowship with my Lord.
Faithful and true believer:
Fiction has painted the picture of a maiden whose lover left her for a voyage to the Holy Land, promising on his return to make her his beloved bride. Many told her that she would never see him again. But she believed his word, and evening by evening she went down to the lonely shore, and kindled there a beacon-light in sight of the roaring waves, to hail and welcome the returning ship which was to bring again her betrothed. And by that watchfire she took her stand each night, praying to the winds to hasten on the sluggish sails, that he who was everything to her might come.
Even so that blessed Lord, Who has loved me unto death, has gone away to the mysterious Holy Land of Heaven, promising on His return to make me His happy and eternal bride. Some say that He has gone forever, and that here we shall never see Him more. But His last Word was, “Yea, I come quickly.” And on the dark and misty beach sloping out into the eternal sea, each true believer stands by the love-lit fire, looking, and waiting, and praying and hoping for the fulfillment of His Word, in nothing gladder than in His pledge and promise, and calling ever from the soul of sacred love, “COME, LORD JESUS; COME QUICKLY.” And one of these nights, while the world is busy with its gay frivolities, and laughing at the maiden on the shore, a form shall rise over the surging waves, as once on Galilee, to vindicate forever all this watching and devotion, and bring to the faithful and constant heart a joy, and glory, and triumph which never more shall end!
It is therefore clear to me that the washing of one’s robes and the keeping of one’s garments relates to this very attitude and habit of looking for the coming of Christ, and keeping in constant expectation and readiness for it as an impending event. And the blessedness of access to and power over the Tree of Life, and of entrance by the gates of pearl into the Golden City, is here made to depend on this very washing of our robes and keeping of our garments. Brethren, as you hope to walk those golden streets, and eat of those immortal fruits, see to it that you have your garments clean and “your loins girded about like unto men waiting for their Lord.”
Watch! Tis your Lord’s command; and while we speak, He’s near. Mark the first signal of His Hand, and ready all appear. O happy servant he, In such a pasture found! He shall his Lord with rapture see, and be with honor crowned!