There is a ton of scripture that uses the image of God burning away sin. Commonly it is a refining fire, burning away the unhealthy, unholy, and unclean in us yet leaving behind the precious, holy, and true. From the Old Testament to the New, this refining fire is a terrifying image of God. Who wants to have parts, even the Godless parts, of their soul burned away?
What if the image weren’t a refining fire but a spiritual antibiotic? How much more would be welcome God’s cleansing work in our lives if we thought this way? Taking away the bad and leaving the good is still the metaphor, but with a more familiar twist.
The point is that God promises to take away the bad within us, and if we are truly following Him and seek His will, this is our main goal anyway. And with the promise to take away the ungodly comes the promise to encourage the godly in us. This is grace, that God loves us so much that He takes a hand in helping us fulfill our life’s goal: to become like Him.