By Dionne Sabbay Thompson ( October 10, 2008 )
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works
The purpose of purging is to bring forth more fruit. As Christians, anything preventing the reproduction of the fruit of the Spirit will be purged by the Husbandman, God the Father (John 15:1). Gal 5:16-26 edifies that if we are walking in the flesh than the Spirit will not be reproduced. If we are walking in the flesh than a Spiritual walk is denied access and fulfillment. An unconverted person will manifest the works of the flesh. The purging process is to remove the unchrist-like characteristics (Gal 5:16-21). Anything that is not within the fruits of the Spirit is within the works of the flesh. All fleshly traits even that which is hidden from our view must be given up, purged, crucified (Gal 2:20). Purging is a cleansing process only active within an abiding relationship with Christ.
Once we are abiding in Christ, purging will remove branches not bearing fruits. Any branch that beareth not fruits, hinders perfection of character. Trials and problems are used to purge us in our Christian walk. By focusing on Christ, the defects that hinder our character perfection will be removed by the Pruner, God the Father, the Husbandman. Whom the Lord loveth, he chaseneth (Heb 12:6). The works of the flesh must be purged out, so that the fruits of Spirit can be manifested. “My Father is the husbandman”, thus it is God the Father that does the purging (John 15:1). Skillfully, God removes the sin from our lives, by grace through faith, as we faithfully trust in Him (Eph 2:8). God will remove all that He needs to remove. We need not fight against the providence of the Lord. Trials, a providence, enables the purifying process (Mal 3:1-3, Titus 2:14). Thus, by faith through grace and sanctification we must thank God for trials and tribulation. We must first be born again through the promises of God. Sufficient grace is given to a child born of God, overcoming sin (1John 3:9). Righteousness, virtue and knowledge are taught in 2 Peter 3-18, illustrating a process of sanctified advancement.
Job, a man perfect and upright, endured trials, losing all his earthly wealth, yet through his hardship, he was purified, as gold tried in the fire (Job 1:1, Mal 3:1-3). The 144,000 must fully rest in the Lord, as their hardships will increase, engaging them in serious tests without an Intercessor. As Christians, our characters must be tested and tried. Heb 5 edifies that Christ is the Son of God, who was made in the flesh, yet suffered hardship, standing true with obedience to the Word. We will not be expected to go through trials that Christ Himself did not endure. How do Christians become perfect, you ask? It is through trials. Perfection of character is formed through suffering and hardship; a testing process that Abraham and Christ endured (Gen 22, Matt 36).
Christ was perfect, remaining obedient through hardship and suffering. God the Father is the Husbandman and as per 1 Corinthians 10:13, He is faithful, providing the assurance that we will not be tempted beyond our tolerance. God the Father has promised us grace, allowing us to deal with such trials with a christ-like Heavenly Spirit (Heb 4:16). Grace is sufficient and more than enough for us, delivering us from trials. Deliverance can also be in the form of tolerance and resilience. There is no development of character without hardship. Every martyr was chosen by God for a Divine purpose, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Rom 1:20). Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, sweat drops of blood, pleading for the Father “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt 26:39). Our Savior endured pain for all of us, even those that pierced Him. Be encouraged, advance in sanctification; life challenges may be difficult, but keep the faith, for great is our reward in Heaven (Matt 5:11,12).