May Our Souls Be Flooded by the Washing of the Word!

Please observe the contrast between what Jesus says to those who want him dead, “my word finds no place in you” (John 8:37, ESV), with what he declares necessary for being his disciple: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32, ESV). Where do we stand?

May Our Souls Be Flooded by the Washing of the Word! - James 1.22-25

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres,
being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts,
he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1.22-25, ESV)

Those of us who have chosen God as our Father need to be reminded that it is in fact God who chose us first, even before the creation of time itself (Ephesians 1; 1 Peter 1).

Let us address Him a prayer of thanksgiving for having revealed Himself to us through His Word, which abides in us.

Full text currently available in French only Puisse l’eau de ta Parole pénétrer en nous !

Daniel Garneau,
B Th, B Com, MA,
Translation of first paragraph:  June 11, 2018
Translation of first paragraph edited: July 23, 2018
Translation and expansion of footer: July 24, 2018

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This article stems from my taking part in the Cleansing Stream Seminar under the pastoral leadership team of l’Église Vie Abondante, from January to March 2018. It is my  response to the restoration suggested to enter into the Cleaning Stream of the Spirit. Prompted by the material included in the lesson, I felt led of the Spirit to write a prayer built on biblical passages that have been dear to my heart throughout the years.

The title of this article “May Our Souls Be Flooded by the Washing of the Word!” borrows from the imagery of water’s washing power applied to the Word of God when the apostle Paul teaches that husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church: “Husbands, love your wives, as 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, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27, ESV)

I was personally touched by this imagery and used it as the starting point for what turned out to be a prayer of thanksgiving under the form of the presently published article.

It was only later that I realized that the expression used as the basis for the imagery of this prayer is the object of several translations within each language group. In English, for example, we find this expression of Ephesians 5.26 translated in the following manners:

  • New International Version: to make her holy,
    cleansing her by the washing with water through the word;
  • New Living Translation: to make her holy and clean,
    washed by the cleansing of God’s word;
  • English Standard Version: that he might sanctify her,
    having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word;
  • New American Standard Bible: so that He might sanctify her,
    having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word;
  • King James Bible: That he might sanctify
    and cleanse it with the washing of the Word;
  • Christian Standard Bible: to make her holy,
    cleansing her with the washing of water by the word;
  • Contemporary English Version: He made the church holy by the power of his word, and he made it pure by washing it with water;
  • Good News Translation: He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word,
    after making it clean by washing it in water;
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible: to make her holy,
    cleansing her with the washing of water by the word;
  • Darby Bible Translation: in order that he might sanctify it,
    purifying [it] by the washing of water by [the] word;
  • Word English Bible: that he might sanctify it,
    having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word;
  • Young’s Literal Translation: that he might sanctify it,
    having cleansed it with the bathing of the water in the saying.

All of the above translations of Ephesians 5.26 are extracted from Bible Hub.  Their juxtaposition provides interested readers with a degree of understanding of the various shades of meaning that are sometimes difficult to grasp in reading a Bible translation.

 

About Daniel Garneau

Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA, is founder of site Savoir et croire .ca. His primary objectives are: encouraging Christians who lost hope in their capacity of living for Christ; fostering a better understanding of what Christianity is about; contributing to the dispelling of prejudices against those who openly identify themselves to Jesus-Christ in their daily lives and who dare talk about it; helping to increase the mutual acceptance between various Christian traditions who continue to hold faithfully to the Word of God.
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