This expression has priceless meaning when applied to ones personality and not just cleaning or bathing the physical body using soap and sponge. In a particular community, there is a similar statement that goes deeper than exterior cleansing. It goes thus: “I am filthy hungry and someone is hawking bath-soap; without stopping or cleaning the filthy hunger, the hawker remains irrelevant at that point in time”. In other words, any thing that comes first in ones need should be given the priority attention it deserves. The window through which one needs to look at this topic involves mainly the spiritual aspect of a person, especially a Christian believer. It is easy to clean the individual body, even if one has taken some time off from regular bathing and applying all sorts of lotions and creams. Cleansing the “youness in you” or the spirit being or the inner man remains the point of reference of this post. No one can neglect the physical cleanliness, no matter what. Physical hygiene is only part of manner that makes man before God and mankind.
The above fact is stressed in 2 Corinthians 7: 1. It says: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (KJV) Paul described this situation as self-purification for it is the desire of God Almighty that WE His people (through Christ Jesus) must be clean outwardly and inwardly. In Paul’s concluding letter in 1Thessalonians 5: 23 he states: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV). This has to be so because with all the evils in the world one needs to seek God’s help to be able to cleanse ones heart of ungodly thoughts, words and actions.
In the duality of man, clean body needs a clean heart to aspire towards meeting God’s standard. This is the reason why God told Moses to tell the Hebrews to clean or wash their body before meeting God in order to hear details of His holy will to be made known to the children of Israel while in the wilderness. “And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day; for the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” Exodus19: 10-11 (ASV). This was preparatory to bringing them close to God and hear God’s voice as a means of certifying all that Moses had always told them and more he would still say to them.
King David was the chief of all characters in the bible who knew how best to cleanse his body, soul and spirit. To fully understand what self-cleansing really means, one has to say it loud that it is a conscious effort that a believer puts in to get rid or purge self, of all unrighteousness. It involves destroying and doing away with all non-fruit of the spirit thoughts, words and deeds. The Words of God constitute light to lighten the darkness surrounding a child of God. In the words of Jeremiah in chapter 4: 14 , it says: “Jerusalem wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou mayest to be saved. How long shall thine evil thoughts lodge within thee?” (ASV). In Romans 6: 12-15, it is written: “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that he should obey the lust thereof: neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace? What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid” (ASV).