In 1 John 1:7, we read, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” It has true cleansing power. The Greek word for “cleanse” is “Katharidzo.” My wife’s name is “Kathy.” All forms of that name usually refer to the idea of “the pure one,” or the “clean one.” It’s the word that’s used in the Gospels for “cleansing” lepers as well as external washing. The Pharisees for example, “cleansed” the outsides but left the inside rotting like the corpse in a tomb. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Under the law everything was ‘cleansed’ with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” It’s also the word from which we take the medical term for “catheter.” It’s the tube that is attached to our urinary system to help cleanse the poisons from our system. The blood of Jesus can cleanse us from our sin and guilt. When we cauterize something we purify it. When we speak of a catharsis, we’re talking about a cleansing.

One of the key identifying characteristic of a Christian cult is the blurring of the divine nature of Jesus. Whereas the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus’ conception and birth were miraculous, resulting in a divine presence of God “with us” and a unique physical composition of all man and all God at the same time. It was this miraculous birth, and the nature of His being, that made the shedding of His unique blood capable of cleansing us all of all our sin. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement, said, “The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business.” As with most cults the true supernatural nature of Christ is denied or ignored, yet it’s that divine nature that provides the cleansing power for our sins. Just as Jesus calls the lepers, he calls all sinners to come to him for cleansing. He will wash away our sin and guilt! He will make us whole again. He can because of who He was and is!

The late James Boice wrote, “The gospel of the crucified Christ has been preached in palaces and halls of state, and the mighty of this world have come to him. It has been preached in the dirtiest and most dangerous of the back alleys of our cities, and the weak and outcast of this world have come to him. It has been preached to Americans, and Americans have come. It has been preached in the nations of Africa and Asia and South America, and citizens of those nations have come. It has been preached to children, and children have come. It has been preached to the aged, and the aged have come. It has been preached to the intelligent and the not-so-intelligent, to the socially favored and to the socially disadvantaged, to blacks and whites, to Jews and Moslems and Buddhists and total pagans, and men and women from each of these groups have turned to Jesus as the One who is able to cleanse from sin and lead them in the way everlasting.”