|Ephesians 5:25-27 |
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church of believers] with the washing of water by the word,3 [This is one of the critical verses to be understood. The Greek for word in this verse is rhmati <4487>, which in English means: 1) that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word; 1a) any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning; 1b) speech, discourse; 1b1) what one has said. Hearing someone read words from the Bible does not result in any cleansing or sanctifying whatsoever; but the words that Christ speaks to you do result in your cleansing. Now you are to be clean through the word which I have spoken to you, John 15:3; and Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with me." John 13:8.]
27 So that he might present it to himself as a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it would be holy and without blemish.
3 That he might sanctify and cleanse the church with the water of the word. The words you hear from within your heart, and which you keep, practice, and obey are what results in cleansing and sanctification: Sanctify them through thy truth: your word is truth, John 17:17, and Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:3, and Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with me." John 13:8.
George Fox writes of when you are redeemed, sanctified, and justified, in his writing The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded:
"a believer that is justified is a new creature, is past from the death which came by sin, and comes to enter into His rest, where there is no sin. He who is the sanctification, is the justification, and so by their sanctification are they justified; it is one and the same, what sanctifies, justifies....Men are justified by the believing, and in the faith and by the faith, and in believing they overcome, and have victory; and there are mortification, and sanctification, and redemption, and justification, all possessed together in the one, which is Christ, and this to the particular satisfaction. "
In the above, Fox is referring to the first stage of perfection, in which a man enjoys fellowship with Christ and the Father, but is without protection until union occurs.