NKJV - 26 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.
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My understanding of the purification in which Paul and his companions would have participated prior to entering the temple involved the use of a "mikvah" (or "mikveh"), which was a bath used for ritual immersion. For maximum usefulness, the source of the water in the mikvah was a spring or underground well of flowing (or "living") water, rather than a stationary body or collection of water (although not all ritual purifications required such a water source). In addition to cleansing prior to entering the temple, such purification was also required in the Bible for people after events such as childbirth, menstruation, nocturnal emissions, and contact with a dead body (Leviticus 15:19-30; Leviticus 19:18-19), as well as for restoring inanimate objects that had been made unclean through contact with such activities or situations to a ritually clean status (Leviticus 11:32).
In Paul's day the purification process was guided by an outdated or old covenant with men's traditions mixed in. We have a new and better covenant that is not guided or ruled over by the traditions of man. Only Jesus can make us clean of sin and the practice of unrighteousness or fleshy behavior. We can read the word daily, fast and pray. These continued strategies help us put down the desires of the flesh or our old nature. But if we do not practice self-control, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, meekness, gentleness and faithfulness to our God, our witness is done in vain to those closest to us. We must practice first what we preach before we get results. Otherwise we just become hypocrites in the eyes of all, including our God. But his mercy endures forever and his kindness is greater than life itself. Mercy reigns (supreme) if we shall but humble ourselves and repent. Forgiveness is absolutely free if we shall but cast down our pride and humble ourselves before our merciful creator. Holy behavior develops as we hear and see with open eyes the imperfections in ourselves and make efforts to correct our wrong behaviors in public and in private. When I restore a car I am in a constant state of remembrance of how imperfect I am and in need of God's mercy. I have almost perfected my patience with people, but with automobile restoration I am in a constant state of temptation to get fleshly about the stupidity of the auto design being in conflict with the human anatomy and constant need of better or modified tool design. When I am at the end of myself, I remember to call out to my God and suddenly an idea, solution, or yes, a tiny miracle just manifests itself. Yes, He's an amazing God, so large, so magnificent, yet he knows and helps me and us--every time we humble ourselves before him and admit I am beside myself and need his help ever again on this. Whatever this might be in your life, he cares and wants to help. Amazing! His love is abounding to the humble and the meek who have put down their foolish pride and surrender all and raised the white flag of surrender. Is your white flag flying high?
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