OUR LORD'S WORDS MAKE US CLEAN
In the book of John chapter 15 verse 1 - 4 , Jesus, speaking to His Disciples, said:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
This passage marks a puzzling doctrine where the words Jesus spoke cleansed His listeners.
What does this mean?
Paul the Apostle mirrors this concept in the book of Ephesians 5 verse 25 - 27.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Here, the bride of Christ attains sanctification by being subjected to the washing of water with the word.
The effect of God's word on his people is to cleanse them of spots, wrinkles or such blemishes leaving them holy and blameless.
In John 17 verse 16 - 19, Jesus said:
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
In this case, God's truth sanctifies us and God's word is truth so the doctrinal position of the cleansing power of the word of God is strengthened.
How does the word of God cleanse us or by what principle or law do the words of God purify us?
Firstly, the word of God, because it is truth, will accurately judge our thoughts and intentions. Subjecting ourselves to the word of God exposes our wrong internal attitudes that we cultivate and we are given the opportunity to correct our hearts and discard the delusions about ourselves that we so easily adopt into our lives.
Hebrews 4 verse 12 says this about the word of God's ability to expose the hidden condition of our hearts.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The word of God is sharp and acts as a scalpel that can reach deep into our human structure to the very boundary of our souls and our spirits. At this depth, the thoughts and intentions (the contents of our hearts and our true motives) are laid bare and the word of God gives us the tools to excise them if they are misplaced or inappropriate.
Secondly, the word is like a mirror that reflects back to us our true status related to our personal attentivenes and obedience to God.
James chapter 1 verse 22 - 24, says it like this;
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
As much as we possibly can, we should stay under the teaching of word of God so that the process of sanctification can reach completion in us. We should let the word of God continually wash us and over time, we will find that we have been transformed and refined to be closer to the image of our Lord Jesus.
Bless our Lord.