Robertson's Word Pictures of the New TestamentEphesians 5:26
- That he might sanctify it (ina authn agiashi).
- Purpose clause with ina and the first aorist active subjunctive of agiazw. Jesus stated this as his longing and his prayer (John 17:17-19). This was the purpose of Christ's death (verse Ephesians 5:25).
- Having cleansed it (katarisav).
- First aorist active participle of katarizw, to cleanse, either simultaneous action or antecedent.
- By the washing of water (twi loutrwi tou udatov).
- If loutron only means bath or bathing-place ( = loutron), then loutrwi is in the locative. If it can mean bathing or washing, it is in the instrumental case. The usual meaning from Homer to the papyri is the bath or bathing-place, though some examples seem to mean bathing or washing. Salmond doubts if there are any clear instances. The only other N.T. example of loutron is in Titus 3:5. The reference here seems to be to the baptismal bath (immersion) of water, "in the bath of water." See 1 Corinthians 6:11 for the bringing together of apelousaste and hgiasthte. Neither there nor here does Paul mean that the cleansing or sanctification took place in the bath save in a symbolic fashion as in Romans 6:4-6. Some think that Paul has also a reference to the bath of the bride before marriage. Still more difficult is the phrase "with the word" (en rhmati). In John 17:17 Jesus connected "truth" with "sanctify." That is possible here, though it may also be connected with katarisav (having cleansed). Some take it to mean the baptismal formula.