That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26-17 (KJV) emphasis mine
This passage is speaking of us; the church. Jesus sets us apart (sanctifies) and cleanses us, but how? I decided to take a closer look at some of the words in this passage to dig for deeper meaning and understanding.
The meaning of the Greek word that is translated as cleanse is to make clean, purge, purify; literally from physical stains, dirt, and disease; and in a moral sense, from the defilement of sin, or the guilt of sin.
In the original Greek, the word washing refers to a bath or laver. It speaks metaphorically of the Word of God as an instrument of spiritual cleansing.
The word water is used symbolically for the Word of God’s cleansing nature.
So, God uses His Word to set us apart from sin and from the world and to make us clean from the defilement of our flesh and spirit. According to the law of Moses, the priest would wash himself in a laver, a big basin of water, before entering the holy place in the tabernacle. It symbolized the need for being clean and pure to enter the presence of God. Today, purity is still needed to minister to the Lord. However, it is accomplished differently than the way the Old Testament priests accomplished it.
Just as we take a physical bath to be clean in our bodies, we take a spiritual bath with God’s Word. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin (I John 1:9), and the Word cleanses us from any defilement, or dirt, we accumulate from the world. For example, as we go through the day dealing with the world, we pick up some “dirt” and need to be washed. We may have picked up bad attitudes that need to be replaced. We might be thinking wrong thoughts because of the influence of being in the world. So, the Word washes away wrong mindsets and renews us to think in line with God’s Word again.
The purpose of this washing in God’s Word is to make us clean and spotless, and it sets us apart to Jesus. We are to have no wrinkle or spot- no defilement- so we can be presented as holy for Jesus when He comes to take away His bride before the seven year tribulation.
So, instead of struggling to be clean or to stay clean, get in the Word to take your spiritual bath. Let God’s Word cleanse you daily, so you are always living clean and free. As we stay in the Word, it keeps us undefiled and ready for Jesus’ return. The Word is always working in us, making us ready for His appearing.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6 (KJV)