The Cleansing Word...
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9, NKJV).
We cannot trust our own heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9). The Apostle Paul knew this: “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent,” he confessed. “It is the Lord who judges me.” That beìng the case the only wise thing to do is to keep cleansing our hearts.
We all need cleansing — every day! “How can a young man cleanse his way?” the psalmist asks, then replies: “By taking heed according to Your Word.” (Ps. 119:9, NKJV). “How can a young man keep his way pure?” the NIV has it. “By living according to Your Word.”
The Word of God purifies.
Jesus told His disciples, “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3). Jesus had in mind the “cleansing” of a grape vine by pruning it — cutting off unnecessary growth to make it a more virile plant, directing its energies to produce the best fruit. He is teaching how in a similar way the Word of God purifies the soul. It frees one from corrupt desires, from sin and guilt.
Paul picks up on this in Ephesians… “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5:25-27).
What strategies did the psalmist employ to stay clean, to continue in purity? “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” he explains (v.11). “I recount all the laws… I rejoice in following your statutes… I meditate on your precepts… consider your ways… delight in your decrees.”
The psalmist had learned the cleansing power of a regular time of bathing oneself in God’s Word.
He vows, “I will not neglect Your Word.”
Regarding this, John warns us not to be deceived. He writes,
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:8-9).
“Little children,” he says, ever so lovingly… “let no one deceive you.”