Summary: The second in the series on fellowship in 1 John. These verses describe how Christians are to be cleansed of sins committed after baptism. Most people won’t live in a filthy house but they will let filth clutter their hearts.
If you have ever felt distanced from others, maybe its time you take a bath. Most of us shower every single day because we sweat and work hard. Some work in stinky jobs or in jobs with tons of dirt and dust flying everywhere. Sometimes we just need a bath. How many of you have jumped in a mud puddle and then went home and faced your parents? If I remember correctly my mother had flames coming out of her eyes, nose, ears, and mouth when she saw how dirty and nasty I had gotten myself. Immediately, I had to take off my shoes and leave them outside and then march myself into the bathroom and take a bath. I was dirty and needed a shower. You wouldn’t dare try to get romantic with your spouse without a shower either would you? There is something about smelling really nice and having nice clean teeth that makes that process go much better. Clean just has a feeling to it.
Life wasn’t and isn’t this way in many parts of the world today. Most cannot take a bath any time they like. Most don’t even try to take one daily. Cleansing themselves is important however for health concerns.
Medical Procedures and Facilities
We would never want to subject ourselves or anyone else to improper medical procedures but two-hundred years ago they didn’t really know any different. “In 1818, Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis was born into a world of dying women. The finest hospitals lost one out of six young mothers to the scourge of "childbed fever." A doctor’s daily routine began in the dissecting room where he performed autopsies. From there he made his way to the hospital to examine expectant mothers without ever pausing to wash his hands. Dr. Semmelweis was the first man in history to associate such examinations with the resultant infection and death. His own practice was to wash with a chlorine solution, and after eleven years and the delivery of 8,537 babies, he lost only 184 mothers--about one in fifty.
He spent the vigor of his life lecturing and debating with his colleagues. Once he argued, "Puerperal fever is caused by decomposed material conveyed to a wound . . . I have shown how it can be prevented. I have proved all that I have said. But while we talk, talk, talk, gentlemen, women are dying. I am not asking anything world shaking. I am asking you only to wash...For God’s sake, wash your hands." Virtually no one believed him.” – Boyce Mouton.
If you went to the doctor for a surgery and he told you that he wouldn’t be wearing sterile gloves, wouldn’t be sterilizing any of the equipment he had used for the last operation, and gave you a 1 in 3 chance of contracting a disease, you would probably leave in a heartbeat. Today, sterilization of everything is a big key in the success of so many people living even after the most complicated of surgeries. Not only could the doctors put themselves in danger but they would be putting us in danger as well. I think we hold being clean and pure at a very high standard, especially in the medical industry where lives are at stake. When Amy was actually having the baby, every single nurse had on scrubs and rubber gloves. Every single package whether it was a needle, gauze pad, etc all were prepackaged individually so that no contamination could occur. Everything in that room was as sterile as you can make it. They always used fresh bleached sheets; even in the baby weighing machine it was totally clean. We all value our precious lives being free from contaminants.
House Full of Feces
Speaking of contaminants let me tell you about a house I once helped my landlord clean. It was back when we lived in Moberly, just a few blocks away from our house. I had helped my landlord, Dr. Stan McCreary, do many things and so he asked me if I wouldn’t mind helping him fix up a house he had just bought so that students could live in it. After I had volunteered, he then told me the story behind the house and how he had acquired it. He said that he knew the lady and her daughter who lived there. They always looked clean and even smelled nice. They never looked dirty or unkempt. However, the Department of Human Services got a tip that they should go and check this person’s house because the neighbors could smell it. The DHS people went into the home only to find that these nice clean people had animal feces covering every inch of the house. It had to be the most disgusting sight I had ever seen. I put on my jeans and a shirt and then I put on scrubs over that. I used duct-tape to seal my scrubs around my ankles, my wrists, and my collar. I had two layers of gloves on my hands, a hat covering my head, and a face mask on.