There’s clean, and there’s squeaky clean. Sometimes even the best window cleaner leaves streaks, even though the paper towel squeaks across the glass being cleaned. It sounds clean, but the streaks and smudges left behind mock our attempts at perfection.
Before we experience an awakening of spirit and soul to the new life of Christ that occurs at the moment of salvation, it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we’re pretty clean—moral, upright, honest, hard-working, good people. The enemy of our souls wants to lull us into that comfortable place of being a do-gooder, but the reality of that lie is that the most pristine moral profile we wear still has streaks and smudges that mock our attempt at being perfect in the eyes of the Lord.
There is no one righteous, not even one, Romans 3:10 states. Unless we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus and washed by the Word of God, our streaks and smudges keep us permanently tarnished by sin. The end is an eternity in hell, where there won’t be enough light or water even to try and clean up. No amount of good deeds or right living will take away the stains and penalty of sin.
Jesus said in John 3:5, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” He brought more clarity to that statement in His encounter with the woman at the well when He said, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4:13-14).
Of course, the woman at the well wanted that particular water, and during their conversation, Jesus gently brought up the streaks and smudges of sin in her life that brought conviction upon her heart. As she became more curious about Jesus’ special water, the eyes of her understanding were opened to the supernatural nature of this man who knew the intimate details of her life. Ultimately, she realized He was the Messiah, and she could not keep her mouth quiet about her chance meeting with this most remarkable man.
Water cleanses us in the natural. The water of the Word of God cleanses us in the spiritual. Ephesians 5:25-27 reads, Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word (rhema). Paul prefaced that sentence as he addressed husbands who should “love their wives as Christ loves the Church by cleansing her with the water of the word.” Jesus said in John 15:3 (Amplified Bible), “You are already clean because of the word (logos) which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you].”
The rhema Word of God is the spoken, active, present-tense, proceeding-from-the-mouth-of-God Word for our lives right now. A rhema word is a precise direction of Scripture for a particular person or circumstance. Jesus spoke up-to-the-minute, piercingly poignant words to the woman at the well about the sin in her life. His rhema words penetrated her heart, and the words washed her until she knew that He was her Messiah. What a wash job!
The (logos) Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). That’s a pretty good wash job, too! The logos Word of God refers to the full counsel of God, that is, the whole of scripture. Very few, if any, of us will ever understand the full counsel of God until we meet Him in Heaven. It is inexhaustible but guaranteed to cleanse and renew us every time we read it and allow it to cleanse us.
The more we ingest the Word of God through reading and studying the Bible, the cleaner we become. We are cleansed with the water of the Word. If the woman at the well had known Psalm 119:9, How can a young man [or woman] cleanse their way? By taking heed according to Your word,” she may have stopped engaging in troubled marital relationships and unburdened her soul much sooner. Her squeaky clean heart might have been authentically ready for an eternity with the Lord because she’d availed herself to a power-washing of His Word.
The Lord calls each of us to a deeper level of understanding His Word and His ways through reading the Bible and allowing it to wash us. Clean or squeaky clean? I’m going for the deluxe wash; how about you?
© 2022, Chris Werre