Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Well, I'm all for being clean. I really wondered where this saying got it's origins. Not in the Bible. While looking about, I found this neat tidbit:
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS - "This ancient proverb is said by some to have come from ancient Hebrew writings. However, its first appearance in English - though in slightly altered form - seems to be in the writings of Francis Bacon. In his 'Advancement of Learning' (1605) he wrote: 'Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.' Near two centuries later John Wesley in one of his sermons (1791) indicated that the proverb was already well known in the form we use today. Wrote Wesley: 'Slovenliness is no part of religion.'Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.'" From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). There are a couple more details in "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996): ".According to the fourteenth edition of 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,' it is an old Hebrew proverb used in the late 2nd century by Rabbi Phinehas ben-Yair. First attested in the United States in the 'Monthly Anthology and Boston Review' (1806). The proverb is found in varying forms."
The book of Leviticus does deal with the issue of cleanliness and impurity so that Israel would be clean as a sign of separation from the surrounding nations. But the New Testament points out cleanliness in relation to the cleansing of the believer's life.
1Jn. 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
2 Cor. 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Jms 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Eph. 5:26-27 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Personal Life Application: More important than my outside cleanliness (or my stinky kid's)...is the condition of the heart. Oh, what a beautiful opportunity to ponder the wonderful washing ability of the sacrificial blood of my Savior, Jesus. There is no sin He cannot forgive! If I am loving God with all my heart, soul and mind, I will be confessing my sins...in all its disgusting grossness...and He will wash me CLEAN. I'm praying that I will not run from confession of sin but that instead God will show me my YUCK...so I can be rid of it and closer to Him!
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." Isaiah 1:18
In the next few weeks I'm going to look into some others for Thursday's Nice, but nope! It's a fun blogging activity...and hopefully enriching as well. Here are some I have gathered thus far...
Moderation in all things.
To thine own self be true.
Pride comes before a fall.
This too shall pass.
God works in mysterious ways.
Money is the root of all evil.