Mark 1:40-41 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
It is amazing how many people know the proverb, Cleanliness is next to Godliness. It so permeates our culture that you donít hardly get time to breath, before someone is trying to sell you something else that will help make things clean. I Donít know why there is reason for so many different types of soap Ė not just different brands, but for cleaning different things. These days, part of our cleanliness kick is that something should not just cleanse, but it should also disinfect, and even then, there is a tendency to add something else, often unrelated to the primary function Ė such as, fragrance, color, or ???
I think it is important to note, that the proverb "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." - does not come from the Bible, but rather from John Wesley. And when you see it in context, youíll see that his point was not the importance of cleanliness, but rather godliness.
All of this is important, because it was the custom in olden times, that if someone was a leper, they were to stand at a distance, and say UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN. And those who were unclean were to be separated from the rest of society, until they either became clean, or died. The point of the separation was to protect the rest of society from infection. It is perhaps a good point, because these days, since we make no attempt to quarantine infection (or dirt) it seems to be infecting all of society, under the term toleration or even freedom.
Seeing that we already know that it is Godís will for us to be clean (in fact, this seems to be part of the law written in the heart, so that all creation seems to know this much). The task remaining is to find out how it be accomplished. For either we canít get things clean enough, or what is clean, only ends up getting dirty again.
Jeremiah 2:22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord GOD.
Isaiah 1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
Bottom line Ė you canít do it yourself, at least when it comes to sin, and guilt.
Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Bottom line Ė you can turn to God
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
1 John 1:7 the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Bottom line Ė God promises true cleansing