An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 48 of 270
blemish'.  When we come to the cleansing of 1 John 1:7 we are in the realm of
'manifest' truth; not 'in the beginning' as in the Gospel (John 1:1), but
'from the beginning' (1 John 1:1); not the Word before time began, but during
a period when He could be 'seen, looked upon and handled'.  Not 'life', but
'life manifested'; not what we are in Christ, but the condition of
'fellowship' with Him; not our standing in grace, but our 'walk in the
'If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one
with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (is
cleansing) us from all sin' (1 John 1:7).
Then, in verses 8 and 9, in contrast to mere lip profession ('if we
say') the apostle puts genuine heart profession ('if we confess').  It would
be easy to dwell on this condition of confession, and to contrast it with the
standing of the believer in Ephesians and Colossians.  The true comparison,
however, is rather with 1 John 2:1,2, where the apostle, after explaining
that he is writing in order that the believer shall not sin, adds:
'If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins' (1 John 2:1,2).
He supplements this by saying later on in the Epistle that 'as He is,
so are we in this world' (4:17), a passage that is comparable with those that
speak of the standing of the believer in Ephesians and Colossians.
The cleansing and the forgiving of 1 John 1 are experimental.  They
deal with the conditions visualized in John 13:10 in connection with the
washing of the disciples' feet.  They do not contradict the concept of
eternal security, but belong to another realm of grace.
The ceremonial cleansing of the Israelite was accomplished by 'the
water of separation', a cleansing medium composed of the ashes of an
unblemished red heifer together with running water.  So, in Ephesians 5:26,
'the cleansing' is followed by a reference to 'washing by water' (loutron).
This word only occurs twice in the New Testament, here in Ephesians 5:26 and
in Titus 3:5, where the apostle speaks of 'the washing of regeneration'.  In
the LXX the word only occurs in the Song of Songs (4:2 and 6:6), where it is
translated 'washing'.  Josephus speaks of the hot and cold springs near the
castle of Macherus, which, being mixed together, made a most pleasant bath
(loutron).  Aquilla also in his translation of the Old Testament, uses the
word on the two occasions when David speaks of Moab as his 'washpot'.  In
spite of the fact that most nouns ending in tron in the Greek denote Greek
instruments, the LXX translators chose louter, instead of loutron, to
translate the Hebrew word for 'laver' (Exod. 30:18, etc.).  Presumably,
therefore, the apostle's use of loutron was intended to remove the idea a
little from the laver itself to the washing associated with it.  There is
certainly no reference here in Ephesians 5:26 to baptism.  The word used in
the phrase 'by the word' is not logos, but rhema, 'the spoken word', 'the
saying'.  Rhema is also used in Ephesians 6:17, where the apostle speaks of
the 'word of God' as the 'Sword of the Spirit'.  Logos refers to the
expressed 'thought', whereas rhema indicates the expressed 'will'.
The 'washing of water by the word' is referred to several times in
John's Gospel.  In John 15:3 the Lord says:
'Now ye are clean through the word (logos) which I have spoken'.