The Cleansing Power of the Word of God
March 7, 2021
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (John 15:3)
A. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
1. Jesus is speaking to His disciples
2. Speaking to you and me if you are born again
B. I heard recently of two levels of COVID cleaning today: €3,500 and €15,000 – wow!
C. Well, There are two levels of cleaning explained in the Bible:
1. One is by the Blood of Christ – saves us
a. Clearing our SIN-RECORD – blotting it out – gets in the way of seeing our sins
b. A once-off-event at salvation
c. It enables God to forget your sins – to start completely over with us
2. The second level is by the Word of God – sanctifies us
a. Cleansing the stains of our sinful actions and thoughts
b. It washes away the cultural dirt that we get in us daily
D. The Cleansing power of the Blood Sacrifice of the Son of God in our place
1. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood
2. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace
3. 1John 1:7-9 But 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 us from all sin. 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.
4. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
E. But Christians still get dirty on the inside
1. Not to the point where we lose our salvation
2. But when we sin after our new birth, we end up losing our joy, our confidence, our clear conscience, our liberties, and our closeness to God that Jesus gave to us when we got born again!
a. We all WISHED we stopped sinning the moment we believed!
b. Wouldn’t THAT have been wonderful!
c. But that does not take place until heaven!
3. Until that time, we battle against an old nature that still loves sin
4. And every time we sin, we get dirty, filthy, “defiled” on the inside - soiled
a. Something you see on TV, or on media that is dirty, sinful, against nature, filthy words, animal acts, and things that are an abomination to God
b. When you say something that was wrong to say, it not only hurt someone else, it defiled YOU – soiled you!
c. When you did something that was against Christ’s commands…
d. You see, Everything we do has a consequence
5. When Christians sin, they get dirty, but not all the way anymore
a. Before you and I got saved, our soul was wicked all the way through – depraved
b. The moment a sinner calls upon Christ to forgive them, He doesn’t forgive them of some few sins, but He forgave all of them!
c. From that moment, we are clean through and through from our sin record!
d. But we are not cleansed from day-to-day sinning
e. Jesus explained this when He washed the disciple’s feet (John 13:8-10)
1) John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
2) John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
3) John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed [ALREADY] needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
f. It is like a cooking pan on the stove…
1) Cook something on it, and it gets oily, dirty
2) You don’t throw it away
3) You scrub it down to the Teflon, or to the iron UNDER all the grease, or to the metal surface, which is already clean
4) Our souls have been cleansed through and through by the blood of Christ
5) But our soul gets scum on it, that daily needs to be cleaned off and cleansed
F. So, How do those of us who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, get cleansed from sinful thoughts, bad attitudes, lustful desires, wicked imaginations, backsliding, pride, bad habits, and selfishness?
G. THAT is what the word of God is for
1. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to scrub the heart and mind of a believer
2. This Book Cleans up “your way” – your old way of thinking, and old ways of doing things – habits
3. Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
A. The Promised Power of God’s Words (Psalm 119:9,11)
1. Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
2. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
3. Man’s words have power, that is for sure
a. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
b. Words have power, force, energy
c. What you say to someone can so encourage them, or destroy them!
d. So… Choose what you say wisely, carefully, sparingly
e. James 1:19 says be SWIFT/QUICK to hear, but Slow to speak, because what you say usually does more damage than help!
f. Our words, YOUR words can be like a HUG, and they can be like a knife
g. But man’s words have only man’s power
4. God’s words have GOD’S power
a. Think about the amount of power when GOD speaks!
b. Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
c. I have shown you last month what THIS Book can do in the life of a believer
d. Some think it boring, but I know it to be amazing, stabilizing, and life changing
e. What if you actually started LETTING Him speak to you?
5. These words are Purifying, Prescriptive, Pack a Punch, and are Profitable!
a. Like my hand – it can do four different things
b. It can point in the right direction – give directions that keep you clean
c. It can actually scrub something clean
d. It can punch and deflect any attack by an enemy
e. And it can help carry someone or something in trouble
f. This hand and arm can do a lot of good things
g. So can THIS Book also do a lot of good things!
B. Purifying Words (Ephesians 5:25-27)
1. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
a. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
b. John 17:17 Sanctify [CLEANSE] them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
2. They cut, cleanse, and heal as you read, ponder and believe them!
4. Because they speak of Jesus – They are not psychological words, or psychosomatic evaluations – they constantly remind you that JESUS is the answer to every situation and problem and heartache, of HIS perfect work on the cross, His intersession that is going on even right now in heaven for you and me
5. They speak TRUTH and HEALING to the soul (Jesus proved it over & over)
6. They wash away fears, and failures like a flood washes away a dam!
C. Prescriptive Words
1. To prescribe means: To speak a course of action to be followed by the hearer
a. A prescription lays down rules; directs or dictates what someone must do
b. Like a doctor telling a sick patient what to do
1) A doctor doesn’t just listen to your problems, he or she gives you directions, prescriptions to correct your illness or problem
2) Tells you to take a course of antibiotics
3) Tells you to actually take time off from work and get some rest
c. A prescription is supposed to be a command, not just a suggestion
2. But a prescription is no good if not obeyed
3. This Book is God’s Prescription for my life
a. It is my Pattern, my actual Life Manual, telling me what to do, when to do it, and how to do things
b. It is THE instruction book for absolutely everyone, everywhere in this world
1) The manual on child training – handling problem children
2) On Marriage, communication, respect, and love
3) On how to handle depression, discouragement, sorrow, and loss
4) On how to manage stress and troubles
5) On how to run a business, and how to handle money
6) On how to worship, pray, trust God, and enjoy God
c. Millions of books have been written, trying to say what God already written!
d. It is not bad to read books, but not until you have read GOD’S Book! Cover to cover, over and over!
4. That is why God ordained that men PREACH this Book
a. Tell people how GOD says they ought to live
b. Reason with them from God’s viewpoint on life
1) 2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2) 1Corinthians 1:17,18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
c. I do what some people get paid €100 an hour to do… I counsel people every week, for free basically!
d. And EVERY TIME you neglect church, and don’t pay attention to the preaching of the Bible, you are actually booking yourself and your family into a future counselling session that could cost thousands and thousands of euros!
e. WHY WOULD YOU BE THAT STUPID?
f. Don’t stray, and wander off course from what God says
g. Joshua 23:6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep [OBEY] and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside to the right hand or to the left;
D. Punching Words (Jeremiah 23:29) – Piercing Words – cutting to the heart
1. Instead of using your words to destroy another human being…
2. Use the word of God against temptation, Satanic attacks and wrong thinking
a. These words carry quite a punch when used right
b. Jesus used the Bible against Satan himself in Matthew 4… Why?
c. Because it is powerful, like a sharp, two-edged sword!!!
1) Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
2) Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
3. The words of the Bible are THE WAY to defeat our enemy’s attacks, and trickery against our minds! (Psalm 17:4; 119:45)
a. Psalm 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips [GOD] I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. [STAYED OUT OF HIS TRAPS]
b. Look at that! God’s words, when obeyed…
1) Keep a believer off the paths of Satan, and away from His traps
2) Keep him / her from being deceived by Satan
3) Keep him / her free from the bondage of their past and temptations
Memorize Psalm 119:45 And
I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
I seek to learn them, and obey them so that I can stay FREE!
4. Speak them to yourself – memorize them, reminding yourself of God’s warnings
a. Soul… you KNOW what this will lead to, so God right now to help me NOT do it
b. Hey Ledbetter… God’s word says that He has opened a way for me to escape from this temptation, so Lord show me the way out of this, and I will walk it
c. Soul, fly right, stay straight – keep my eyes away from lust, keep my heart from complaining and coveting… there is great reward for living right
5. Speak them to your enemy, the devil
a. Remind him the words of Revelation 20 where he is going
b. Remind him he is a loser in the end
c. Remind him from John 8 that he is the father of lies
d. Remind him from 1Corinthians 6 that you belong to God now
e. Remind him from Romans 8 that nothing he does can separate you from the love of God and your eternal relationship WITH God
f. Oh the value of KNOWING the Scriptures enough to use them as a weapon against our enemy the devil!
E. Profitable Words (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
1. Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
2. Deuteronomy 11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
3. Now watch how it ends…
4. Deuteronomy 11:21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
5. Speak them to God in prayer – king David did, as well as Hezekiah, and a hundred more! They will bless you as you remind God what He promised you – He cannot deny what He has promised!
6. Speak them to your family and especially your children – these words will bless them better than all YOUR words and arguments and opinions
a. Speak these words like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, king David, and Solomon did, blessing their children with the words of God!
b. You are “Fearfully and wonderfully made” Chloe
c. God had given you life Conor for a GREAT purpose in His will
d. You are God’s gift to your mother and I
7. Speak them to our culture – because they will help it find God
a. Don’t leave all the preaching to me – Jesus said go YE… all of us… into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature!
b. The world will try to resist us and burn this Book - So what!
c. This Book needs to be declared, preached from every corner of this nation
d. It still convinces men of their sinfulness and their need to be born again!
III.Summary – So that This Book Can Clean You Up…
A. Allow Constant Surgery (Hebrews 4:12)
1. Let the words of this Book expose YOU and cut YOU and hurt YOU first
2. Before you want this Book to change anyone else, allow it to change YOU
3. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
B. Feel the Burn! Scrubbing (John 15:3)
1. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
2. The words of this Book are sometimes soft like water, but they are rough like a Brillo pad other times
3. Sometimes Jesus spoke roughly, and got angry, and rebuked people
4. And sometimes He was gentle, and tender, and kind in His words
5. Same with every writer of the pages of this Book of books!
6. Let it cleanse you and scrub you clean as you read it and learn it and believe it
C. Yield to it (John 8:32) - Let it change you – believe it will free you
1. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
2. Remember Psalm 119:45? And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
3. I seek for YOU to guide me and tell me what is right and wrong
D. Saturated with it (Psalm 119:11) – when under pressure, God’s word should ooze out!
1. Most people I know HATE weak tea – the bag has not been allowed to steep enough
2. Well… God hates weak Christians more!
a. Too many only let it in one ear and out the other
b. Do not study the meaning of the words
c. Don’t think it matters
3. Get God’s words DEEP into your heart and mind – let it saturate your thinking
a. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee
b. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly [DEEPLY] in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
4. Read and ponder these words until you understand what God said – takes time
5. Read it from cover to cover until the words of this Book are what you think about
6. Read it until it changes the way you feel!
7. Read it and watch it change the way you LIVE!
E. Walk in it, Don’t Run (Psalm 119:1)
1. Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2. Take a Walk with God
3. Make your time with God a Walk, not a run!
4. Listening to HIM talk more than YOU talking in times of prayer
5. A walk with God will make you go out of your way to stay away from sin so that you can be closer to God – not the other way around
F. Yield to its authority over your life. Obey it as God speaking (Psalm 119:9)
1. If you constantly arguing with THIS Book, you will lose!
2. Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
3. Ps 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me
4. Trust God’s words as more than enough
5. When this Book says something, then that settles it
A. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to scrub the heart and mind of a believer
B. But it cannot and will not work until you know what it says!
C. So, everything Starts with a Choice (Job 23:12)
1. Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
2. A decision today to make the right choice from now on
3. The Bible has to be more important to you than your own needs – chose it over everything else, every day!
4. Choose to read this Bible and learn what God said, and what Jesus said for yourself
5. Choose to believe what this Book says about your soul, and about heaven and hell
6. Choose to believe Jesus is all you need to be forgiven
7. Choose to follow Him!
D. This one Book, over time, when read, learned, and lived by will do impossible things
1. Will save your soul
2. Will save your sanity – make your life stable and mature, without fear
3. Will save your home
4. Will save our nation
5. And will keep us clean
E. Does anyone what that? I do! THEN READ IT, and OBEY IT!