“Philippians 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Evangelicals make a big deal out of saying you can’t be saved by good works –BUT salvation from sins is only the 1st stop in a walk of a lifetime. In fact, too many people think they are through after accepting Christ. Not so. There is much work to do to change the inner personality which leans always towards sin. The Old Testament illustration of this is the brass laver in the tabernacle. After you slaughter your spotless lamb, i.e. Jesus, you walk up to the brass wash basin (laver) filled with water, i.e. the Word Of God, you look at your self and see – whoopps – I have inner flaws.
At this point you are not supposed to be looking at the goodness or sins of other people. 1 Corinthians 11: 28 –examine yourselves. 2 Corinthians 10:12 warns –not to compare yourself with someone else. God has a picture of the real you.
Have you been to a church where people talk about what so-and-so is wearing, or what they are driving, or their children? Stop it. The real you is visible in the water of the word. Look there. Ephesians 5:26 Jesus wants to …sanctify and cleanse … with the washing of water by the word.
The main difference between the brass altar and the brass laver is the difference between “sins” and “sin.” Sin(s) are taken care of on the cross, the altar. Sin – singular- is a process of gradual change as we look into the word of God because it involves not conscious wrong acts, but a pattern of inner personality, i.e. a propensity to sin which does not go away with salvation.
Everything in the Old Testament tells us some truth about the New – and vice versa.