~ “Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness” ~
This posting is a response to a blog entitled “7 Things You Won’t Find in the Bible… I Dare You to Look.” I am taking that challenge! The second listed phrase was “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” I would agree that the phrase is not found in our English Bible—but what about the principle behind the phrase?
Words by themselves are meaningless—it is only when we attach meaning to the words that communication occurs. The principle behind this phrase can be found in the Bible, but the phrase can be heresy when different meanings are behind the words and the phrase.
“Cleanliness is next to godliness” ~ The author of that piece provides the following verses. His citations actually support the principle!
(1) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
(2) “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).
(3) “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
(4) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).
(5) “So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Is “cleanliness next to Godliness”? Based upon the whole Scripture it is clear that God wants His children to be clean—particularly morally and spiritually.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW