Sanctify and Cleanse

Ephesians 5:25-26.”Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it: The He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.”

I chose to repeat verse 25 because these two verses are all one sentence, and verse 26 depends on verse 25.  Jesus gave Himself up for His bride in order to sanctify her (make her holy, set her apart for a purpose)  and to cleanse her from sin through the washing  of the Word of God.

This last phrase is not a reference to baptism. If it were, then salvation through baptism would be taught clearly in other portions of scripture. It is not.  Rather, it is a reference similar to “Wash me. . . . .and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).  The Word of God is the agent of cleansing from sin.

I heard a pastor once who said that his primary job was not to be a good pastor, a good father, a good administrator; instead, it was to make sure that his wife could have the closest walk with God that was possible.  I like that. It reflects Jesus sanctifying His bride, and cleansing her through the Word of God.

That’s your job, husbands. Your primary job, after obedience to God, is the spiritual well-being of your wife.


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