John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Whenever I sweep my kitchen floor, I use my grandmother's old broom and a cheap green dustpan that I purchased at the local grocery store. I am sure there are more progressive versions of the dustpan on the market, but I have never taken the time to search for one, so I just stick with what resides in my broom closet.
My method of sweeping entails sweeping up several different piles of dust and debris into different areas of the kitchen and then sweeping the piles into one large pile and attempting to sweep it into the dustpan. The majority of the matter sweeps easily into the pan, but there always seems to be a fine line of tiny particles and dust that just cannot make the ascent over the edge of the pan. Regardless of how hard I try, the smaller particles either lodge at the dustpan's edge or they slide right beneath my dustpan.
Pictured above is a painting of my broom and dustpan. While working on this painting, it still needed some finishing touches so I sat it in my entrance way to remind me to finish it. I tend to be somewhat of a procrastinator, so the painting sat there for several weeks. In the meantime, a woman came by to pick up her grandson who was over for a play date. She saw the painting and identified with it because she sweeps a lot. She then read the verse that says "You are already clean" and she kind of laughed and said, "Oh, I certainly don't think I am clean, but I do love the painting." I reminded her that she is clean if she knows Jesus, but I understood what she meant and could easily identify with her statement. More than any other truth in the Christian life, this is the one I seem to lose sight of the most. "You are already clean." "What?" I say to God. "It couldn't possibly be. I see the depths of the sin in my own life. How could I be clean?" As David said in Psalm 51, "For I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me." I see the pride, the self-centeredness, and all the transgressions that are "always before me." Then, if I am not constantly reminding myself of the gospel, I tend to forget what Jesus said in the book of John, "You are already clean..."
In my battle with sin, it can begin to seem as if there is a line of dust and debris that just cannot quite make it over the edge of God's dustpan. But then God, in his grace and mercy, says to me, through his word, that nothing could be farther from the truth, and he lovingly reminds me, "You are already clean. There is no line of dust left at the edge of my dustpan. Every speck, whether large or small, has been swept away. I have covered you in my righteousness and made you 'whiter than snow.'"
When I finish sweeping, I take the pan and empty it into the trashcan. The trashcan goes out, is dumped into a large truck, and is driven away. I will never see it again. I will never think about it again. I will never say, "Remember that pile of dirt I swept up the other day." I will not meditate on that dirt. In fact, as soon as it slides off the dustpan into the trash, I will never consider it nor remember it again.
The same is true of our sin if we are in Christ. Hebrews 8:12 says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Psalm 103:10 says, "...as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." "You are already clean," he says "because of the word I have spoken to you."
Thank you, Father, that you have "already" made me clean. Thank you for that word "already" that reminds me that I am clean today, not tomorrow, not when I get to heaven, but "already." Thank you that even though I will always battle with sin in my flesh, you have made me a new creation, one that has already been swept perfectly clean.
In Jesus Name. Amen.