“And everyone who has this hope on him purifies himself, even as that One is pure. ” 1 John 3:3 (Read 3:1-10)
Because Jesus Christ suffered and died upon the cross for the sins of the world and rose again on the third day, our hope as believers is in heaven. We look forward to that Day when our Lord and Savior returns and changes us to be like Him that we might live with Him forever in His heavenly kingdom!
And, since our hope is in heaven, we purify ourselves, even as our Lord and Savior is pure. We remember that Christ Jesus came into the world to redeem us from sin and undo the works of the devil. Therefore, since we have been redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus, we now seek to live for Him rather than continuing on in the wicked works of the devil.
In fact, the Word of God says: “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous. He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning” (v. 7-8); and, “Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother” (v.9,10).
To put it simply, the one who continues on in sin and disobedience is not of God but of the devil; but the one who purifies himself and practices righteousness shows evidence that he has been born anew of God and trusts in Christ Jesus and his Savior.
It is true that one cannot become a Christian by works. But it is also true that one cannot be a Christian without works, for the fruit of faith in Jesus is amending one’s life and seeking to live in accord with God’s perfect will which is revealed to us in the Scriptures. A man is not justified by works, but a justified man works (cf. Eph. 2:8-10).
Therefore, since Christ died for our sins and is risen again, since God is gracious and merciful to us and forgives our sins and gives us a place in His heavenly kingdom, the Scriptures call upon each of us who trust in Christ Jesus to purify ourselves just as He is pure, to begin conforming ourselves into the image to which we were called, to live for Him who died for us and is risen again (cf. 2 Cor. 5:15; Rom. 8:29).
O Lord Jesus Christ, with Your shed blood, cleanse me from all my sins. By Your Spirit, purify me as You are pure and grant that I seek to conform myself to Your image. Amen.