“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
Have you ever been around someone who stunk? There have been many times when I traveled on an airplane that I sat by someone who stunk so bad that when I got off the plane the stench of their body odor seemed to be stuck in my nostrils. Sitting by that person so long caused me to wonder if I smelled like body odor. I had to get around something that smelt good to cleanse the smell of body odor out of my nose.
Sadly, I believe many believers have the body odor of sin on their spiritual bodies. What many don’t understand is that the stench of sin often affects others and their ability to serve the LORD. It is imperative that every believer stays clean from sin. However, the Scriptures give clear advice on how the believer is to take a spiritual bath. Unless you follow the parameters of the Scriptures to stay clean, you will find yourself continually having the sinful body odor that keeps you from being able to influence others for Christ in the manner that you could if you were clean. Let me share with you four steps that the Scriptures give to get a spiritual bath.
First, you must confess your sin to God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It all starts with being honest with God about your sin. You will never get the sinful body odor of sin off you until you come to God and admit your sin. When the Scriptures say to “confess” your sin, it is telling the believer that they must tell God what they have done. The longer you avoid telling God what you have done and your desire to be cleansed from it, the longer you will find the stench of that sin affecting your ability to influence others spiritually.
Second, you must read God’s Word. The verse above says that you are “clean through the word.” You can’t get spiritually clean without spending time in the spiritual shower of God’s Word. Ephesians 5:26 says, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” God’s Word is the spiritual soap that goes into the depths of your life that you never thought sin influenced. God’s Word goes so deep that it pierces the soul and spirit, and goes into the joints and marrow of your life to cleanse the thoughts and intents of your heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Third, you must obey God’s Word. Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” It is not enough to read God’s Word to cleanse yourself, but part of the cleansing comes from doing what God’s Word tells you to do. Many believers never come clean from sin because they never get involved in serving the LORD. One of the greatest ways you can tell if someone is getting away from their old sinful ways is if they are getting involved with the spiritual activities of the church. You cannot be cleansed from sin without “taking heed” to God’s Word which is done thought serving the LORD.
Fourth, you must draw nigh to God in prayer. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” You can’t walk with God and commit sin. Spending time in the presence of God through prayer always helps the believer to stay away from sin. Your desire for sin will dissipate when you walk in the presence of God through the portals of prayer.