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The Word of God is both the means and the purpose by and for which humans may be made clean enough to be born as children of God.
"3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
"That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word"
The English word sanctify is used to translate the original Greek word of the Holy Scriptures, pronounced hag-ee-ad-zo, which means to set apart for holy use. The words sanctuary and saint are also directly related to this principle. God's true people are set apart to Him, made clean in His eyes, by their faith and obedience to Him by His Word.
The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) made the sanctify and faith connection with an analogy of marriage in which "he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."
"5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
"1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made by him [see Christ The Creator}; and without him was not any thing made that was made ... 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3,14 KJV)
Fact Finder: Is the entire world going to be washed with the Word?