Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult.
The Greek Word “Hagnizo”, a verb (action word) means pure (chaste), to purify, cleanse from defilement, is used as follows.
Ceremonially – In the ceremonially cleansing spoken of in John 11, the Jews were following the Levitical law when anyone touched anything considered unclean. See Leviticus 11 – 17 for the various kinds of cleansing.
John 11:55 – And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
Acts 21:24, 26 – Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.
Morally – the heart
James 4:7-10 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Morally – the soul
1 Peter 1:22-23 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
1 John 3:2-3 — Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Purification for All
To the Gentiles as well as Jews.
Acts 15:8-9 – So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
- All Men:
Titus 2:11-14 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Sanctification, like purification, is an act of divine grace. We may ceremonially go through some ritual but it is the act of God’s divine grace that purifies or sanctifies. The rituals do not do the work, but it is an internal spiritual work done only by God. It is the Word of God and the Spirit of God which purifies and sanctifies. The basis on which God performs this act of grace is the blood of Christ’s atonement
Psalms 51:7 – Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
John 15:2 – Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
I Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
What we fail to understand, many times, is that when we are saved, we are forgiven from “past, former” transgressions, and the work of the Spirit in our life is a purifying and sanctifying agent to set us apart to new works, a new life style, a changed mind, a new man.
Psalm 51:10-11 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence