• Michael Haldas

Clean and Unclean


“Clearly, the Lord created an opportunity never available to the human race before: to cleanse, purify, and restore the conscience to a right relationship with God. The Lord says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me” (Mt 11:29). United to Him in His Passion, we may now offer ourselves “through the eternal Spirit” (Heb 9:14) to be restored as whole persons… For our part, we must exert ourselves, taking the Cross into the depths of our hearts. We watch, pray, repent, and practice self-control. The Holy Spirit will help us make these works life-giving rather than futile, works that truly cleanse and restore the new life in Christ within our very being.” (Dynamis 3/28/2015)

“To cleanse ourselves means that by the promised of God, we embark on a sustained struggle for holiness. This cleansing includes genuine sorrow for our sins, confession and repentance. It means willful avoidance of sin arousing situations, reconciliation with those we have wronged, and resolute practice of Christian virtue, and cleaving to God through faith and prayer. It calls us to participation in the holy sacraments. Is this too difficult for us humans? Yes. Thus it is the Holy Spirit, who cleanses us from every stain, and heals our infirmities, who empowers us to live this life of peace with God and repentance before Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 7:1)

“Though you know Christ, you may believe that you have to work hard to make yourself good enough for God...If you are carrying a load of guilt because you are finding that you can’t be good enough for God, take another look at Jesus’ death and what it means for you. Christ can heal your conscience and deliver you from the frustration of trying to earn God’s favor. Bring your guilt-ridden life to Christ, confess your inability to clean up your own conscience, ask Him to forgive you…Nobody is beyond redemption, and nobody is so full of sin that he or she cannot be forgiven and made clean.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 9:12-14, Psalms 65:3)

"Do not be anxious about unclean thoughts. Consider a basket full of wet clothes. If we leave the clothes in the basket for a long time, they will surely rot; the same will happen to our thoughts. If we do not put them into action, they will disappear by themselves in the course of time." (Abba Poimen the Great)

“Washed and waiting. That is my life—my identity as one who is forgiven and spiritually cleansed and my struggle as one who perseveres with a frustrating thorn in the flesh, looking forward to what God has promised to do.” (Wesley Hill)

“Cleansing ourselves is a twofold action: turning away from sin, and turning toward God.” (Life Application Study Bible 1 Corinthians 7:1)

“To cleanse ourselves means that by the promises of God, we embark on a sustained struggle for holiness. This cleansing includes genuine sorrow for our sins, confession, and repentance. It means a willful avoidance of sin-arousing situations, reconciliation with those we have wronged, the resolute practice of Christian virtue, and cleaving to God through faith and prayer. It calls us to participation in the holy sacraments. Is this too difficult for us humans? Yes. Thus it is the Holy Spirit, who cleanses us from every stain and heals our infirmities, who empowers us to live this life of peace with God and repentance before Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians7:1)

“In all our busyness and with all the distractions that come our way on any given day, it is easy to forget that repentance is the only possible way we can embrace holiness. Since we sin daily and fall short of the glory of God, repentance is the necessary ingredient that allows us to grow spiritually. The holiness we seek is not unattainable, for a saint is not someone who never sins, but rather someone who is constantly cleansed of sin by repentance.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“The purity that God seeks is primarily moral and spiritual. We are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit” (vs. 1). “Flesh” is the term used for human desires, thoughts, feelings, and actions when they function in detachment from God. Human life apart from the Lord, without fear of the Lord, leads to bitterness and filth in our flesh and spirit… The apostolic exhortation to live in purity directs us toward an awakened consciousness of our desires, thoughts, and feelings as they precede our actions. If we would be cleansed, then we must find and identify the workings of the flesh within ourselves. Then, aided by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to expel “all filthiness of flesh and spirit.” (Dynamis 8/20/2015)

“The crucial factor for enabling us to “live for Christ” is to cast off efforts to look good. That is the way of the world. Strive, rather, to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts that we may hear the Lord speaking in us - in the depth of our being.” (Dynamis 8/20/2012)

#AbbaPoimentheGreat #WesleyHIll #AbbotTryphon

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