Last week we spent some time focusing on solutions rather than our issues. We entitled the discussion, “Is God’s Word Sufficient?” This week we are going to continue in that theme as we look at “The Cleansing Word of God.”
Not too many of us have looked at the Word of God from this point of view; as a cleansing tool. Lets look at the definition of the word “cleansing” to see if it can enlighten us or maybe give us a different perspective concerning the Word of God. Then let us dig in to see what God has to say about His Word as a cleansing tool.
Definition of the word Cleansing or Cleanse is:
1- To make clean.
2- To remove by or as if by cleaning: to cleanse sin from the soul (that’s interesting).
3- To become clean.
4- To remove dirt, filth, etc, from.
5- To remove guilt from (that’s also interesting).
6- To rid of impurities by or as if by washing (even more interesting).
We could probably continue, but you get the idea. Most of us experience one or more of these definitions daily. For instance after a long day of work who doesn’t feel refreshed with a bath or shower? If you are traveling in your car and happen to get a flat tire who doesn’t want to wash off the grime after changing it? Who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing shower to remove the dirt and sweat after working in the garden? You can see that we all can relate to this concept of cleansing to remove dirt, grime, filth, impurities. Now notice definitions 2 and 5. They say the same thing about cleansing sin from the soul or removing guilt which deals with something within us.
We can easily relate to the cleansing of the external. Most of us, if not all of us, at one time or another have had speck of food or something on our face that we didn’t notice. Maybe our hair was messed up and we didn’t even know it until someone point it out to us. Or there are some people who wouldn’t point it out so all day long we are walking around the office looking like we just got out of bed or had just stuck our finger in an electrical socket, or just had lunch and ran out of napkins. Though we may be unaware of it someone else can see it. Hopefully we somehow manage to catch our reflection in a mirror and notice a big oops!
The thing is, after it’s pointed out to us or after we see it in the mirror we take corrective action. We clean up, wash, or fix what for some is an embarrassing moment. But what about that soulish part? What about the guilt? What about what we cannot see with our physical eyes? What mirror can we use to see our soul? How can we see what God sees when He looks into our souls? That is what we would like to look at today.
In order to get this picture we need to understand that our human flesh is bound to sin. This is why we need Christ who reconciled us to our Father by taking our past, present, and future sins and putting them on Himself at the cross. If we believe in him and who he is – the only begotten son of God, and accept his payment for our sins, then we can invite Him to come and live in our hearts and his sacrifice pays our penalty. We are no longer guilty of sin because Jesus paid the debt on our behalf. Now His Spirit guides and teaches us all things, and His Word which is our blueprint for living will judge the thoughts and intent of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).
In the book of Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT) it says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is.” Go ahead and read the following verse for yourself. In the New Testament Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them this in Mark 7:20-23 (NLT), “And he added, It is what comes from inside you that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
We are confident that there is not a living soul who hasn’t been through several of these in their lives and if you think you’ve bypassed murder then try reading 1 John 3:15. We are not talking biological siblings either. The question we need to ask ourselves is, can we look in a physical mirror and see these things in our hearts? If we can look in the mirror to see if our hair is undone then fix it, if we can look in the physical mirror to see some of our lunch on the side of our mouth then clean it, if we can look in our physical mirror and see that after a long day at work or working in our yard we need a shower, then what about what is within us? How can we look inside of us? If we have a mirror to see the external, is there a mirror for the internal? It is true that what is happening on the inside will reflect on the outside. Remember some of us have at one time or the other walked around with food on our face unware, hair undone unaware.
The Bible teaches us that His Word is our mirror for what is within us. The same way we trust what we see in the mirror to cleanse and fix (corrective action) what is necessary, it is the same way we trust what the Word says about us and take corrective action if something is wrong. This mirror is far more effective once you reach a place where the Word of God becomes an authority in your life. If you haven’t reached that place then you will be deceived believing the mirror is cracked or that it doesn’t give a good reflection of you. Once you trust what you see in the mirror (His Word) then the cleansing and sanctification (separated for good use) begins. His Word is our cleansing portion even if we sin with our bodies.
1 John 1:19 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” After looking in this mirror and understanding that confessing my sins is the corrective action, then believing what I just read is trusting what the mirror said He will do. Confessing my sins and not believing that He will forgive me will cause me to walk still guilty of my sins.
In other words if you see something in Scripture that discribe a sin, whether it’s active or inactive, we need to repent of it and move on. Believe what God said about us, what’s wrong with us, and how to fix the problem. Jesus did not came to condemn us, but rather to save us from the wrath of God to come. If you’re wondering what that looks like just look at the body of Jesus on the cross. Read Isaiah 53. That was meant for us, but thanks be to God, Jesus took our place so that we don’t have to experience that if we put our trust on Him.
Some may wonder, “How can words just cleanse us? I really don’t understand.” The reason is because they are not just words. They are God’s Words design to warn us, protect us, change us. It is a weapon to be used against our enemy, Satan. God’s Words are divine in nature.
This is what we find in Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NIV), “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
And you thought you could never change. According to the above verse He is the one changing you. Still not convinced? How about Ephesians 5:25-27 (NIV), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Can you see the purpose of the cleansing even as it relate to husbands and wives?
We can only pray and hope that mankind doesn’t wait until Jesus’ return to take a shower or bath. We hope that the few Words of God in this blog is sufficient to begin a cleansing process in your lives.
As for us, despite our trials and tribulations it is always refreshing to read, John 15:3 (NIV), “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” We may not always feel that way, but when we look in the mirror of God’s Word, there can be no denying it.
Let us show you how to recognize who you are in God’s Mirror. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry