The saints see that in themselves they are still exceedingly deﬁled; and, indeed, to have a sight of the deﬁlements of sin is a more spiritual discovery than to have only a sense of the guilt of sin. This follows every conviction and is commensurate unto it; that, usually only such as reveal the purity and holiness of God and all his ways. Hereupon they cry with shame, within themselves, “Unclean, unclean”—unclean in their natures, unclean in their persons, unclean in their conversations; all rolled in the blood of their deﬁlements;19 their hearts by nature a very sink, and their lives a dung hill. They know, also, that no unclean thing shall enter into the kingdom of God [Eph. 5:5], or have place in the new Jerusalem; that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity [Hab. 1:13]. They cannot endure to look on themselves; and how shall they dare to appear in his presence? What remedies shall they now use? “Though they wash themselves with nitre, and take them much soap, yet their iniquity will continue marked” (Jer. 2:22). Wherewith, then, shall they come before the Lord? For the removal of this, I say, they look, in the ﬁrst place, to the purifying virtue of the blood of Christ, which is able to cleanse them from all their sins (1 John 1:7); being the spring from whence ﬂows all the purifying virtue, which in the issue will take away all their spots and stains, “make them holy and without blemish, and in the end present them glorious unto himself” (Eph. 5:26–27). This they dwell upon with thoughts of faith; they roll it in their minds and spirits. Here faith obtains new life, new vigor, when a sense of vileness has even overwhelmed it. Here is a fountain opened: draw nigh, and see its beauty, purity, and efﬁcacy. Here is a foundation laid of that work whose accomplishment we long for. One moment’s communion with Christ by faith herein is more effectual to the purging of the soul, to the increasing of grace, than the utmost self-endeavors of a thousand ages.
Communion With The Triune God (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2007) p. 330-331