“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”
King James Version (KJV)
5:26 That he might sanctify it through the word - The ordinary channel of all blessings. Having cleansed it - From the guilt and power of sin. By the washing of water - In baptism; if, with the outward and visible sign, we receive the inward and spiritual grace.
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify . . . it. The great love of Christ for the church, his bride, is shown as an example to Christian husbands. Christ gave himself for the church. His object was to "sanctify it", make it holy. In order to do this it was needful to cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. All commentators of repute in all bodies refer this to baptism. All in the church pass through the waters of baptism. But the washing of the water would be of no avail without the word. The power is in the word of the Lord which offers the gospel and commands baptism.