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I never cease to be amazed and excited when the Holy Spirit reveals yet another example from the Old Testament that speaks directly to us today. A great example came up in chapter three of Paul’s letter to Titus…
Titus 3:3-6 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
First, take a look at the literal translation of the word “renewing.” In the Greek it is a composite of the words kainos and ana; new and again. The renewing of the Holy Spirit is a continuing operation in each and every believer. And that process – the making new again – is typified in the Old Testament Tabernacle. Consider the way it was laid out.
At the entrance stood the “lost sinner,” and at the other end stood the Holy of Holies; the presence of God in His holiness. But what is important for us is what lay between the two.
- First was the “altar.” The sinner first approached the altar and was convicted that he needed a “cleansing” from sin. And that meant that he needed to bring a sacrifice to the altar and shed its blood… nothing but the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin.
- Next he comes to the “laver.” It was made of highly polished brass mirrors whose purpose was to reveal the fact that even a believer can’t take a step in this world without sinning. It was only the water in the laver that could wash away that sin, and that meant that he needed a recurring cleansing. Jesus sacrifice secured our radical cleansing and the Word inspired by the Holy Spirit ensures our recurring cleansing,
Jesus died for our sins but just as He washed the feet of His disciples to rid them of the dirt and dust from the world, so the Holy Spirit uses the Water of the Word to cleanse us from the corruption of the world in which we live. The corruption that leads to the sin that continually besets us. That is why John told us that as we look on the “laver” each and everyday we are reminded that we need a continual cleansing…
1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
The Holy Spirit is the laver that stands between us and the Holy of Holies. He is the One who reflects our image and reminds us that we need not only God’s forgiveness on a daily basis but also His cleansing of all the unrighteousness of the world that we have allowed to attach itself to us. Paul gave us a reminder of the importance of the laver coming right after the altar…
2 Cor 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Although our body continually wears out, the new man (our renewed nature – our reborn spirit) is replenished every day by the washing of the Word and the power of The Spirit… Truly we are “new” and “new again.”