Ephesians 5:26 describes a double action:
- The Living Word of God – Jesus
- The words of God – the Scriptures.
In both the Jewish and Gentile cultures, before a bride was presented to the bridegroom she received a “cleansing bath”. She was then dressed in her bridal clothing and the groom received her as his wife.
Jesus, as the Word of God incarnate John 1:1-4), gave Himself as a sacrifice for His Bride-to-be, the Church (see Revelation 1:5; Titus 2:14). We are cleansed from sin by His blood, being justified by faith in His Name for salvation. The blood of Jesus provides the Church with a “washing”-a cleansing from sin in our lives. For this we will give Him praise now and throughout all eternity! HALLELUJAH!
But there is a second truth at work here that can have tremendous effect on our daily lives if we apply this principle. In John 15:3, Jesus said to His disciples, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “The Word of God has a cleansing power. This cleansing power of the Word of God acts in both a spiritual and soulish dimension.
God Almighty has so designed His Word that it can cleanse, restore and rebuild our minds and our spirits as we read it, study it, and open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. There are many good books that say many good things; but there is only one Holy Bible, which is “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
We live in a sin-filled and broken world where we, as leaders, are often exposed to the brokenness of others. This can weigh heavily on our minds and in our spirits. We can have the added burden (If our own failures because we, too, sometimes fail and fall short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23).
But there is a remedy -a regularly daily “bathing” in God’s Holy Scriptures! God’s Word has power in it, the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word has a tremendous inward, purifying effect in the heart and mind of the believer in Jesus Christ.
Without Spot Or Wrinkle
Reading the Scriptures daily can give us the strength to repent and replace sin with God’s righteousness, peace, joy, guidance, and strength! When we read the Word of God, it will often have the “mirror” effect (mentioned earlier) and reveal our sin. But God is so good! The same Word that reveals our defilement ALSO provides us with A MEANS OF CLEANSING!
So, then, we are cleansed from condemning sin by receiving the free gift of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross; and we are cleansed from the stains of this world by the living power of the Word of God. Both work together to make us a fit Bride, “not having spot or wrinkle”.