Whitewashed, but not Washed White

    Many decades ago, when clothes washing was done by hand, a washerwoman was very proud of the whiteness of her day’s wash, until therewoodenspoon was a snowfall and she saw her work against the background of the spotless snow. Likewise, we do not realize our true condition, until we see it against the holiness of the Lord. 1

In Isaiah 6, when the prophet saw the Lord in His glory, he confessed, “Woe is me, for I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips.” He realized that he was whitewashed, but not washed white.          

     Commenting on Colossians 3:5, John Wesley said we are told to “put to death” (slay with a continued stroke) “your members” (which together make up the body of sin), “which are on the earth” (where they find their nourishment). “Uncleanness” – in act, word, or thought. “Inordinate affection” – every passion which does not flow from and lead to the love of God. “Evil desire” – the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. “Covetousness” – according to the derivation of the word, means the desire of having more, or of anything independent of God. “Which is idolatry” – properly and directly; for it is giving the heart to a creature.” 2

    When the United States space program was being developed, it was soon learned that spacecraft demanded immaculate housekeeping. In the words of Walter C. Williams, deputy director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center at Houston, “Dirt, debris, and foreign objects within a spacecraft have assumed major importance. We have found that we cannot tolerate even the smallest amount of dirt inside the spacecraft while it is in the weightless state.”

One astronaut’s spacecraft experienced trouble because debris clogged small altitude thrusters. Another was challenged because a tiny bit of dirt clogged the valve of the cooling system. Careful preparation must be made before each flight.3

Likewise, we must “sanctify ourselves.”

© 2017 D & L PublIcations



  1. Vance Havner, The Secret of Christian Joy, Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, NY, Copyright 1938, p. 92
  2. Adult Teacher Supplement, Third Quarter, 1969, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, Copyright 1968, p. 20
  3. Adult Teacher Supplement, Fourth Quarter, 1967, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, Copyright 1966, p. 8