Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Cleansing of the Church

Ephesians 5:1-10

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (1-2)

God’s ultimate goal in creating man was to have fellowship with him. But man failed the test and alienated himself from the creator. The holiness and justice of God would not permit an unholy alliance with the fallen man.  Instead of abandoning the man, he had created man in His own image. God made a way to redeem mankind. God in His mercy, even before the foundation of the world had planned for the redemption of man through the “lamb that was slain” (Rev. 13:8).  Ever since the creation of man we see God at work in cleansing and preparing a remnant for Himself. As a prelude to the Cleansing of the Church as found in Ephesians 5:1-10 let us look at the cleansing activity God undertook: 
Cleansing of the World: Man through sin, is wicked and is against God. The wickedness of the world was so great that God decides to destroy the earth with a flood.  God used Noah to warn the people to repent and turn to God to avoid the impending judgment.

Cleansing of a Nation: At the request of the Israelites to have a king, God allowed a transition from Theocracy to Monarchy. Unlike David most of the kings after him turned away from Jehovah and followed the gods of the surrounding nations practicing abominable things which were detestable in the eyes of the Lord.  The penalty was a long captivity in Assyria and Babylonia. When they returned they were rid of idolatry.

Cleansing of the Temple:  As Jesus entered the public ministry, one of the first things he did was to cleanse the temple in Jerusalem. (John 2:12-22).  The outer court of the temple was designated for the non-Jewish people as a place of prayer, but the greedy merchants turned the place into an emporium of thieves. The Lord got rid of the merchants and their goods and  re-opened the outer court for prayer for the gentiles.

Cleansing of the Church: Paul exhorts the Ephesians to lead a holy life (Ephesians 4:22-24). As gentiles came to faith in Christ and joined the church, they carried with them their old way of life and manner of living. Ephesians 5:1-10 gives a long list of things believers should give up, fornication, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talk etc.  There is a grave warning to the carnal Christian, “For this you know, that no whoremonger, or unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Eph.5:5).  Matthew Henry suggests remedy for some of these maladies: “Filthy lusts must be suppressed,.. giving of thanks should be substituted for obscene and profane wit.

Prayer: Lord, help me to guard myself against the sins that would shut me out from your presence.

Thought of the Day: Sanctify and cleanse the church with the washing of water by the word…a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle … holy and without blemish.”

 Mathews T John, NJMTC, Randolph

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