“What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus?” I’ve sung the first line of Robert Lowry’s hymn hundreds of times. Without a doubt, our sins were washed away by Jesus blood (cf. I Pet: 1:18; Rev. 1:5; Eph: 1:7; Col 1:20). Jesus and his followers suggest the waters of baptism are also involved.
- John 3:5(RSV): “Jesus answered, ‘truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’”
- Acts 2:38: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
- Acts 22:16: “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
- Titus 3:5: “he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,”
David spoke of be cleansed with water (Psalms 51). What should we make of all these verses? I’d say it’s about the heart. Ezekiel puts it better than any theologian:
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
God does it all!
God even gives us new clothes. Galatians 3:27 states:“for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” When some come into Christ’s family, they are given new clothes. Why? Because Christ has actually clothed you with Christ. That’s why today’s Gospel is so neat.
The only wedding garment allowed is the clothing Christ provides. Without it, your invitation is not valid