Monday, March 1, 2021
I find it almost impossible to begin a day without a shower. Being clean is essential for me to assure you of having a good day. You see, if you were to approach me some morning when I had not bathed adequately, our relationship could be in danger. You would potentially be exposed to the stench of body odor. It would be unpleasant for you.
But when I have showered in the morning, I can go all day and still feel clean at supper, unless I have engage in sufficient physical activity to undo the effects of the soap used that morning. However, no matter how clean I feel, there are multiple times during the day when I wash my hands. Sometimes I even wash my face. Throughout the day, parts of my body are exposed to dirt, and those parts need to be cleaned. I don’t shower my whole body when only my hands are dirty, but I do wash the dirt off my hands.
Jesus uses this same illustration in John chapter thirteen when peter refuses to allow Him to wash his feet. Yet the teaching of Jesus goes much deeper than just having dirty feet. He is addressing the issue of spiritual cleanliness and the need for constant cleansing from the dirt of sin.
John 13:10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
There are two essential truths for us to consider today. First, Jesus declares to His disciples that those who have believed His words are already clean. They do not need to repeat their spiritual bathing. Unfortunately, there are many people if various churches who are being taught that their spiritual cleansing can be nullified by sin. But here, as Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He assures Peter, and all of us, that by faith we have been cleansed once and for all, and do not need to repeat the bathing of salvation. In other words, when you have been saved by faith, you are permanently saved and eternally clean.
Second, Jesus reminds us that every day we get dirty as we walk through life in this evil world. The sin that we touch and that sticks to us must be washed away so we can fully share in the glory of our relationship with Jesus. However, we must not confuse the need for daily cleansing from the sins we commit with the loss of salvation and the supposed need to be saved all over again. That which is eternal – the life of Christ we have been given – cannot be removed from us. However, sin will interfere with our intimacy with Jesus, and that must be dealt with.
My friends, I have known far too many people who live in fear that they will die after sinning and lose their salvation. Let me assure you that Peter’s words in First Peter 1 are the direct expression of the truth he learned on the day Jesus washed his feet.
1 Peter 1:3-5 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Praise God I do not keep myself saved, for if I did I could never stay saved. I am kept by the power of God!
However, when I sin, as the Apostle John wrote in his first letter to believers, I must confess the daily dirt of my sin, and when I do God is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
By faith we are saved eternally – once and for all. By faith we allow Jesus to wash our feet each day so we can share fully in our relationship with Him. Do not confuse the two, but do not exclude the joy of either.