In this passage we hear important words for our Lenten journey. We are reminded of our baptism, the call to repentance, and the promise of forgiveness. John the Baptist tells us that another, Jesus, will come after him who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Baptize means to wash or cleanse. Jesus will cleanse us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we continue to be confronted with our sin in this season, we must remember the words of John quoted in our confessional liturgy: “When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just. He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9) This is what happens when we are cleansed (baptized) with the Holy Spirit. This cleansing frees us from the power of sin and brings a desire to be obedient to the one who gave his life for each and every one of us.
This is God’s work in us. Yet, Paul that we must yield to God as instruments of righteousness. (Rom 6:13) God hates our sin, our self-centered attitude. He loves to forgive and restore. He will cleanse us and conform us to the image of his Son.
Prayer: Our Father and our God, thank you for forgiving our sins, and please continue your work in us to cleanse us from our unrighteousness, that we may live lives in obedience to your perfect will. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Hefner,
Pastor of Shiloh Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.