Jesus Burns Away Our Impurities

The only way to purify a piece of metal ore is to put it into a furnace and melt it down. There, in the fire, its corruptions are revealed in the form of dross; they float to the top where they can be removed. Is not the same is true of our stubborn, recalcitrant hearts? God says of us,

“I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass.”

Our corruptions are so deeply ingrained that we barely even notice them; they are alloyed to our souls, and inseparable from us by any common means. Only the fire of adversity can draw them out. This is why it is said that Jesus baptizes us

“with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

His love and compassion are mingled with an absolute hatred of sin:

“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.”

But the process is unspeakably painful and deadly:

“Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?”

Our sins are like the corrosion of a copper pot that can only be cleaned by the most extreme measures. God says of it,

“Set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed.”

And yet, because of the Lord’s mercy we are not consumed. Jesus took all of our impurities upon Himself and suffered the fullness of God’s fiery wrath:

“I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.”

And again,

“The wicked of the earth you discard like dross.”

But now that Jesus has purchased our redemption, He shines like burnished bronze, and no fire can ever harm Him. He who protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace will save us as well:

“When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

Lord, purify my heart by any means necessary, and make me holy, as You are holy!

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”

“Blessed are the pure, for they shall see God.”