Food for Friday

That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word. Ephesians 5:26

Byers Hole is not a swimming place for the faint of heart nor the delicate of hide. Its cold waters are fed from a mountain stream that seldom warms up much until the middle of summer. But it is a beautiful spot, and dear to the hearts of those of us who enjoyed it during our childhood. One day as a group of us boys arrived, we noticed someone was already at the pool. It turned out to be a man who had grown up in the neighbourhood years earlier and was now living many miles away. We chatted a bit, but he had already enjoyed his swim and was almost ready to leave. Before going, he pulled out a bar of soap, and moved to the lower part of the pool where the water flowed out, and gave himself a good scrubbing. This man not only enjoyed the wonderful experience of swimming at Byers Hole, but also got himself clean. This is a little like what the Lord Jesus does for us when He saves us.

Our Salvation involves something being added, and something taken away. What is added is sanctification, the sealing of the Holy Spirit. What is taken away is the filthy sin that had separated us from God. These two events were performed perfectly the instant we trusted Christ. As far as God is concerned, we are eternally secure and set apart (sanctified) for Him. And we are eternally cleansed from all unrighteousness. That is our standing before God. But it is not always our condition. These are aspects of our salvation that grow and develop as we live as Christians.

I used to feel badly when I heard Christians quote a particular expression: if Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. It bothered my conscience when I realized how far short I was of that mark. But I believe that quote is unscriptural. I know many wonderful Christians who also come up short in a few areas. Is Christ not their Lord? Of course He is. Acknowledging the lordship of Christ in all things is a noble goal that we should all strive for and desire. But it is a goal that we will gradually approach as we strive for it. In practical terms, we who have been totally sanctified positionally will become more sanctified conditionally as we learn obedience and faith.

The devil loses ammunition to accuse us before God as the blood of Christ is presented as having cleansed us from sin. But the devil gathers more ammunition as we allow the world to contaminate us during our daily walk. The dirty language, the lowly actions, the profane lifestyles that we encounter all have their negative impact on us. That is why our text reminds us that our cleansing is by the Word. Only the daily application and study of the Word of God will keep us unblemished by the world around us. If we would be clean vessels for our Master, we must keep the water of the Word constantly applied.

We are sanctified and we are cleansed; something to be thankful for, and something to strive for. – Jim MacIntosh

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