A note from our pastor:
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” ~ Ephesians 5:26
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In our study verse this week, the Apostle continues his thoughts regarding Christ and his church. Previously, the relationship has been used to teach on how husbands should treat their wives, but presently the focus is on Christ himself. Furthermore, the church, as used in this verse, does not refer to the visible church here in time, but rather the entire elect family of God.
In the immediately preceding verse, the Apostle established how Christ, because of his love for the elect, gave himself in death for the church. Upon this foundation the Apostle moves to his next thought.
The elect, like all of mankind, was defiled by sin. Being both defiled by the original sin of Adam which is inherited by all people and the sin of their own transgressions. Despite their state of sin, the elect were loved by and promised to Christ from before the foundation of the world, thus it was necessary for Christ to pay the necessary price to redeem his church. By the blood of Christ the atonement for his people was paid and thus they were sanctified in the eyes of God.
Then the Apostle turns to another phrase, ”the washing of water by the word”. First, this phrase is not referring to baptism in any form. Never in scripture do the writers use the idea of washing with baptism. Baptism is a symbol, but it is a symbol of the grave, not of washing. Thus, with baptism out of the question the disciple must interpret this phrase as referring to something with the power to wash.
Neither is this verse referring to the Holy Spirit. Although many times the Holy Spirit is compared to water and there are references to being washed in the Holy Spirit, that washing does not take away the sins of the elect, but only the blood of Christ.
Rather, the washing here is in reference to the pronouncement by Christ of the sufficiency of his sacrifice and of the elect without sin and without blemish. This was prophesied of in Isaiah 53 and fulfilled at the death of Christ upon the cross. Thus, today, the disciples have the completed word knowing how the elect of Christ have been redeemed, sanctified, and washed, truly being made perfect by Christ.
Our Prayers are with you daily,