Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 15, 2019

“He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean”

Today’s devotion comes from John 13:5-11.

“Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.  So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”  Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!”  Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”  Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”  Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean;  and you are clean, but not all of you.”  For He knew the one who was betraying Him;  for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”  John 13:5-11.

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“He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean”.

We are “completely clean” in the sense of that Christ has bathed us, so that we have “no spot or wrinkle or any such thing” and are “holy and blameless”.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14.

We still need our feet washed in the sense that although we have been bathed and are a slave to righteousness and do not practice sin (Romans 6:17-23 and 1 John 3:7-10), we still do sin.  Our feet still walk in a dirty world so to speak.  We need to confess our sins, and we need forgiveness of our sins and cleansing from all unrighteousness.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:8-9.

“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.  Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.  Selah.”  Psalm 32:1-5.

Other doctrine teaches that it is up to man’s alleged free-will to repent, to wash his own feet so to speak.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  Christ is the One Who grants repentance and Who washes our feet.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Article 4.  Although the weakness of the flesh cannot prevail against the power of God, who confirms and preserves true believers in a state of grace, yet converts are not always so influenced and actuated by the Spirit of God, as not in some particular instances sinfully to deviate from the guidance of divine grace, so as to be seduced by, and to comply with the lusts of the flesh;  they must, therefore, be constant in watching and in prayer, that they be not led into temptation.  When these are neglected, they are not only liable to be drawn into great and heinous sins, by Satan, the world and the flesh, but sometimes by the righteous permission of God actually fall into these evils.  This, the lamentable fall of David, Peter, and other saints described in Holy Scripture, demonstrates.

Article 5.  By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith, very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes lose the sense of God’s favor, for a time, until on their returning into the right way of serious repentance, the light of God’s fatherly countenance again shines upon them.

Article 6.  But God, who is rich in mercy, according to his unchangeable purpose of election, does not wholly withdraw the Holy Spirit from his own people, even in their melancholy falls;  nor suffers them to proceed so far as to lose the grace of adoption, and forfeit the state of justification, or to commit sins unto death;  nor does he permit them to be totally deserted, and to plunge themselves into everlasting destruction.

Article 7.  For in the first place, in these falls he preserves them in the incorruptible seed of regeneration from perishing, or being totally lost;  and again, by his Word and Spirit, certainly and effectually renews them to repentance, to a sincere and godly sorrow for their sins, that they may seek and obtain remission in the blood of the Mediator, may again experience the favor of a reconciled God, through faith adore his mercies, and henceforward more diligently work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

Article 8.  Thus, it is not in consequence of their own merits, or strength, but of God’s free mercy, that they do not totally fall from faith and grace, nor continue and perish finally in their backslidings;  which, with respect to themselves, is not only possible, but would undoubtedly happen;  but with respect to God, it is utterly impossible, since his counsel cannot be changed, nor his promise fail, neither can the call according to his purpose be revoked, nor the merit, intercession and preservation of Christ be rendered ineffectual, nor the sealing of the Holy Spirit be frustrated or obliterated.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE
Of the Perseverance of the Saints of Canons of Dordt.

“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Acts 5:31.


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