Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleThe Will That Cleanses
Bible TextMark 1:38-45
Synopsis Salvation is not by the sinners will but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen
Article Type Sermon Notes
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Audio HI-FI Listen: The Will That Cleanses (32 kbps)
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Length 42 min.

Title: The Will that Cleanses

Text: Mark 1: 38-45

Date: October 12, 2017

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


Mark 1: 38: And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39: And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. 40: And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41: And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42: And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.


Our subject is “The Will that Cleanses.” 


Salvation is not by the sinners will but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.


This leper did not come to Christ making demands or boasting of his willhe said unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  What will make a sinner cease trusting his own will and his own ability and come to Christ this way?




Mark 1: 40: And there came a leper to him…


The Spirit of God must reveal to us our desperate need. Out of all that great multitude, only one man came to Christ. Why? This leper knew he was a leper, full of leprosy. He came because he had a need that he believed only Christ could meet. Do you know that you have a need only Christ can meet?


The disease of leprosy was a death sentence. That is why God uses leprosy to describe our sin. Every sinner in his own sin-nature is described by God as a spiritual leper. Did you know that about yourself? 


Man had no cure for leprosy—no man can heal himself of his sin.


Leprosy began unnoticed but very quickly spread throughout a man’s entire body totally eating up his flesh—sin begins unnoticed in our nature but it soon spreads because we are entirely polluted


Psalm 51: 5: 5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.


Psalm 58:3:…[then we] go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.


Isaiah 1: 6: [then it is manifest] From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.


Leprosy destroyed the nerve-endings so the leper could not feel his wounds—sin numbs us so that we do not even feel our need of sin nor our need of a cure


A leper stank—God says every sinner is an abomination—a stench in God’s nostrils.


God required the leper to be isolated with no contact with the general population. He had to warn people, covering his mouth, crying out, “Unclean, unclean!”—so long as we are in our sin, God will not allow us to come into his holy, righteous presence


Revelation 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


Out of all that great multitude, the reason one man came to Christ is because he knew he was a leper full of leprosy.  Is there any one here who knows what a wretched sinner they are?  Do you know your dire need of Christ?


Sin is what we are by nature. We sin because we are sin by nature! This is so of every child of Adam!


Romans 3: 10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15: Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16: Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17  And the way of peace have they not known: 18: There is no fear of God before their eyes.


Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


It is not due to our surroundings, sin is what the natural heart is and sin is the only thing it produces.


Mark 7: 20: And [Christ] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21: For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22: Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.


Therefore, before any sinner will seek mercy, Christ must first cleanse us in order for us to even know our sin—this is done by God’s will, not by our will.


Psalm 19: 12: Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.


Job 6:24: Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.


So the will of Christ by which we are saved begins by Christ sending us the Holy Spirit to purge our conscience from dead works by his blood and convince us that we are nothing but sin—a loathsome disease in God’s sight. May God do so tonight!




Mark 1: 40: And there came a leper to him,…


Salvation is by the will of our Lord giving us a new heart that is broken and believes on Christ.


The leper did not come to the disciples. He did not merely come to Christ’s teachings, telling ‘WHAT” he had learned from Christ’s sermon. He came to Christ!


When you have a little sniffle or a minor ache then you might get curious. You will pick up a book, try to learn what these symptoms might be caused by. Then you might tell what you learned to your family members. But when you are deathly ill, you go to a physician! 


A man who does not know his sin condition may come to a system of doctrine, come to a preacher, come to a profession, come to church. But when a man is given faith to believe God’s own word against him and to believe Christ and Christ alone is the righteousness of God, who alone fulfilled the law of God and makes us righteous then he comes to Christ through faith.  When a sinner is made to believe that in himself his heart is impure and that Christ and Christ alone is the Sanctification who makes his people holy then that sinner comes to Christ the great Physcian!


Where God has given a new heart there will be a fear of God—a reverence, a broken and contrite heart—“And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, [worshipping him, laying on his face before him]” The natural heart demands—the broken and contrite spirit beseeches; the natural heart exalts self—the new spirit kneels down to Christ, worships him; the natural heart is too proud to hit his face—the contrite heart lays face down unable to lift up its eyes. Christ’s parable about the publican said,


Luke 18:13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.


In all my days living at home under my father’s roof and even now, I never have called my father by his first name. It is out of reverence.  This leper came bowed down and called Christ, “Lord.”  When God gives a new heart he gives a fear of God, reverence for Christ our Lord.


This new heart does not boast in self-will but in God’s will. This leper did not come speaking of his own will he came—“saying unto him, If thou wilt,…” We do not know God until we are made to know that salvation is by the will of God.


Romans 9: 15: For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16: So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.


His will elected a people unto salvation in Christ. His will laid down his life perfecting forever those given him. His will draws his people. His will keeps his people and brings us home. Any professing believer who boasts that part of his salvation is by his will has not yet been made to see his total inability. Notice, that we did not set ourselves free from slavery of sin but were made free by another!


Romans 6: 20: For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21: What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22: But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God,…


Therefore, God-given faith comes to Christ believing Christ and Christ alone is able to save me!  This leper came to Christ because he believed on Christ—“saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” At the time, there was no cure for leprosy by medicine, everyone this man had known who had leprosy had died. And up to this point, Christ had not even healed a leper! Yet, this leper believed Christ could cleanse him.


May God give us a new heart, a broken and contrite heart, a heart of fear and reverence for God, a heart of faith in Christ and his will and his ability! Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.




Mark 1: 41: And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.


How does Christ receive the sinner that he has made willing in the day of his power?  Our Lord Jesus moved with compassion.  He said, “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Christ is our compassionate High Priest!


Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Christ put forth his hand and touched him.  We are cleansed by a living union with Christ! We were in him on the cross and he is in us by the new birth.


John 17:23: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;


Christ immediately cleansed him—“saith unto him, I will; be thou clean And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.”  Matthew tells us he healed so that Isaiah 54: 3 might be fulfilled which said, “He took our infirmities and bare our sickness.” In order to speak the sin-cleansing word—to absolve our sins—to make this new creation he had to take our sickness. By that, I mean he had to take our sin and bare our sin in his own body on the tree.  In order to cleanse his leprous people, he had to bear the wrath of God for his people as the one the law looked upon as the leper who must be cut off outside the camp.  This is the oneness represented in the touch. When the Lord Jesus enters us in Spirit and speaks his word, immediately we are cleansed of our sin.




Mark 1: 44: And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.


What was it that Christ made this leper a testimony of?  All these things were God’s law the leper IN THE DAY OF HIS CLEANSING.


Leviticus 14: 1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: 3: And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; 4: Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds…


Why give this law since leprosy was incurable by men?  This law had never been fulfilled in Israel because no leper in Israel had ever been cleansed by the priests or their washings. What was this leper bearing testimony unto before the priests?  Christ made this man a testimony that Christ is the High Priest and Offering which that law pictured and therefore Christ is the end of the law for those Christ has cleansed.


Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.


Sinner, come to Christ the Light just the way this leper came and this is the promise of God: 1 John 1: 7: if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                  Amen!