Sometimes a congregation or denomination takes the bread and wine part of the service as a matter of rote (a memorizing process using routine or repetition without full comprehension, a mechanical routine marked by unthinking repetition) and many congregations and denominations have abandoned the foot-washing part altogether. If you do not believe what is written in this commentary ask God if it is true OR prove it/them wrong by scripture. Some might say; "But that was to the disciples, not us!" The disciples, for effect, were the coming church (Acts 2:1-4) through the Holy Spirit (1Tim. 5:10) and that is expected in the NT church.
Read the scriptures, pray for God's revelation and let His Holy Spirit lead you. The communion/foot washing service reveals the pride/humility condition of your soul. (JOHN 13:3-17 esp. V.14-15) Jesus said; "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought (necessary, as binding, must, should) to wash one another's feet." (V.15) "For I have given you an example, that ye should (duty, necessity to come hereafter) do as I have done unto to you." ALSO: (Phil. 2:5-8) Christians are instructed to have the mind (have a sentiment, by implication to be mentally disposed in a certain direction, think, set the affection on) of Christ.
WHAT CAN BE MORE PLAIN? DO IT! The Son of God washed man's feet, He told us to wash one another's feet SO: THERE ARE ONLY THREE EXCUSES, all unacceptable, TO NOT WASH A CHRISTIAN'S FEET; UNBELIEF, OR PRIDE, OR LAZINESS, OR ALL THREE. If your congregation does not practice the complete communion service as set forth in scripture and you want to know what it's like go find a congregation that does practice the complete communion service.
Prepare yourself correctly according to the scripture given in this commentary and go partake of the communion service with that selected congregation that does practice the "full" communion/foot-washing service and you will be amazed. All you have to tell them is you are a (John 3:3-8 & 1Pet. 1:23) born again Christian and wish to share their communion service with them.
Don't be afraid, they are God's people too and they will welcome you with open arms and tender hearts AND: there will be no strings attached. There is nothing you can lose except your pride and fear and you will gain a closer relationship with Jesus.
Here is the similarity by number between Israel's Passover and the Church's Passover. There are seven interactions between God and man that are the cause/effect of the relationship between God and Israel (Passover as a nation) AND: God and the Church (Passover communion by individuals in the Church as a group) BECAUSE:
(John 1:29, 1Cor. 5:7 & Rev. 5:6-9) Jesus is the Church's Passover! #1) God makes a promise (Ex. 3:1-8 & 12:13) to Israel AND: (Luke 24:45-49 keywords: all nations & Acts 10:42-45 keyword: gentile) to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people).
#2) God gives a command (Ex. 12:18-22) to Israel AND: (Rom. 10:8-13) to the Gentiles. #3) People physically obey; (Ex. 12:28) Israel in Egypt AND: (John 6:44 & 12:32, Acts 2:14-39, 8:26-31 & 10:1-8) lost people (unsaved) who respond to God's drawing. #4) A spiritual event through the power of God follows (Ex. 12:29-31) Israel in Egypt AND: (Matt. 28:18-20 & Acts 15:3-9) people who accept salvation and become part of God's Church.
#5) Deliverance from bondage with shed blood which means a life is the cost of deliverance (Ex. 12:21-23) for Israel AND: (Rom. 5:8-9, Col. 1:12-14 & Heb. 9:11-26) shed blood and a life (Jesus) is the cost of deliverance for Christians.
#6) All definitions are from Strong's concordance of the Bible and as you can see all Biblical quotes are from the KJ Bible. You can see my agony of choice in the true story about how this writer chose that Bible in the article About the Writer on this website. You may laugh, cry, curse, be astonished or all four because I serve an astonishing God. You will be affected emotionally. Let us read the whole scripture of (John 13:2-17) because it is the basis of a modern day church controversy, usually denominational. (V.3-5) Jesus had eaten supper with His disciples. He arose, girded Himself with a towel, poured water into a basin and started washing the disciples feet. (V.6-12) Jesus had a conversation with Simon Peter concerning the importance of what Jesus was doing and revealed that there was a traitor in their midst, (John 13:21 & 26-27) Judas Iscariot.
(V.12-17 verbatim) (V.12) "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments (defined: outer apparel, robe or cloke), and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?" (V.13) "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." (V.14) "If I then, your Lord and Master have washed your feet; ye also ought (necessary, must) to wash one another's feet." (V.15) "For I have given you an example (exhibit for imitation or warning, specimen, adumbration-> internet definition: portend, foretell, prophesy, forebode, foreshadow, indicate, signify), that ye should (to come hereafter) do as I have done to you."
(V.16) "Verily, verily (surely, surely), I say unto you, The servant (slave involuntary or involuntary, subserviency) is not greater (larger, elder, stronger) than his lord (supreme in authority, controller, Master as a respectful title, God); neither he that is sent (ambassador of the gospel: an ambassador is someone who represents his country in a foreign country. Just before a war a country calls its ambassadors back home, see 1Thess. 4:13-18 and think rapture, the catching away of the church. also see 2Cor. 5:20) greater than he that sent (to send) him." (V.17) "If ye know (be aware, perceive, understand) these things, happy (supremely blessed, fortunate, well off) are ye if ye do them." SO:
Israel and the Church are each instructed to physically commemorate their Passover in a specified celebration that commemorates their particular deliverance, (Ex. 12:11-17 keywords: memorial & ordinance) Israel, composed of Jews, throughout their generations AND: (John 13:2-17 esp. V.14 keywords: ought: defined: necessary, must AND V.15 should: defined: to come hereafter) the deliverance of the Church, composed of individual Christians, while it exists on earth.
#7) Both Israel AND: the Church will have to fight to maintain their deliverance (the book of Joshua and the rest of the OT) Israel physically AND: (Matt. 16:24 & 24:13 & Eph. 6:10-18) the Church spiritually. This writer is not attempting to bring the Church back under the law of Moses, nor is he saying the Jews are automatically saved because of their race, nor is he trying to mix together Israel's Passover and the Church's Passover communion/foot-washing service.
The war between God and Satan is carried out physically through Israel and spiritually through the Church. As a matter of fact, Israel's OT physical struggle is a type, a foreshadowing, even a physical prophesy, of each individual Christian's spiritual struggle. Think about it: Israel crossed over into the Promised Land and landed neck deep in wars that are still going on.
People were promised spiritual salvation. They became Christians as soon as they crossed over (salvation event, born again) and became part of the Church and, just like Israel, (1Pet. 5:8-11 & Eph. 6:10-18 esp. V.11-12) they landed neck deep in a spiritual warfare that is still going on if you are living in this world.
Satan didn't have to fight you when you were a lost sinner because he already had you right where he wanted you; then you changed sides (got saved) (Matt. 13:24-30 & Eph. 6:11-12) and you became his enemy! (John 14:15-26 & 1John 4:4) Jesus, in His Holy Spirit personality, lives within Christians and He is greater than the world, (Matt. 8:27-32 & Rev. 20:10) He is greater than the devil and (Rev. 20:11 thru 21:7) through Jesus, Christians, YOU, are the winners.
THE OLD TESTAMENT PHYSICAL PASSOVER: (Ex. 7:1-4) God had decided it was time for His chosen people, Israel, to be removed from bondage in Egypt so they would be free to serve Him. The war of wills between God, Noah and Satan, Pharaoh was almost over.
(Ex. 8:22, 9:26 & 10:23) Except for the land of Goshen where Israel lived, Egypt was a wasted land that had been (Ex. 7:17 thru 10:29) devastated by God's nine great judgments (plagues) that had left Egypt a (Ex. 8:14) stinking, (Ex. 10:12-15) stripped nation peopled by (Ex. 9:10-11) sick, (Ex. 9:19-25 esp. V.20) scared individuals who were led by their (Ex. 8:32 & 9:35) proud, hard hearted Pharaoh.
The seven highlighted numerical points listed below indicate the relationship and the difference, as shown by the definitions, first, between the Old Testament Passover (Hebrew: skip over, exemption, offering) and second, the New Testament Passover (Greek: to experience a sensation, passion, to spare).
God gave Moses the final Passover instructions to: Point #1: (Ex. 12:15) "Put away the leaven (representing sin) out of your houses and (Ex. 12:15-39) make you unleavened dough because leaven is a sign of pride and pride cannot serve God.
Point #2: (Ex. 12:1-6) Prepare you a lamb, kill that lamb, and (Ex. 12:7) strike the door posts on each side of and the one above the door (lintel) of your houses with the blood of the slain lamb because (Ex. 12:12) this night I will pass through the land of Egypt, I will execute judgment, and I will smite the firstborn of man and beast." (Ex. 12:8) God told His people to roast the body of the slain lamb and eat it with unleavened bread and “bitter herbs”.
Point #3: (Ex. 12:13) "When I see the token (evidence) of the blood upon your houses I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt."
Point #4: (Ex 12:11) And they were to eat THE PASSOVER SUPPER fully dressed and ready to leave.
Point #5: (Ex. 12:14-17) Then God ordained (keep and practice) the ordinance: “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial (to remember) and ye shall keep (to preserve) it a feast (a giddy festival of celebration) to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance (law) for ever.”
(Ex. 12:29-33) God executed the tenth judgment, there was a great uproar and pitiful crying among the Egyptians because cold, cold death had visited every Egyptian house and their firstborn lay dead and God’s people were set free to go worship Him.
(Ex. 14:1-31) But Pharaoh had a change of heart due to (V.5) greed, anger and pride and he led his Egyptian army after God’s people to bring them back into bondage, (Ex. 14:9-12) the children of Israel were horrified at the sight and cried out in great terror.
BUT: (Ex. 7:8-12) As the sign of the serpents had prophesied (Ex. 14:24-30) Pharaoh and the Egyptians were supernaturally swallowed up and destroyed (Ex. 15:4) by the waters of the Red Sea after God’s people, Israel, had walked through the Red Sea (Ex. 14:29) on dry land.
NOTE: Some scientists and scholars say the Red Sea, at that time and place, was only about three inches deep. ISN'T GOD SOMETHING; He drowned the whole Egyptian army in three inches of water!
Point #6: Then God’s people (Ex. 15:1-21) sang their song of praise unto God, (V.20) played musical instruments and danced with joy and praise because:
(Ex. 15:1) Point #7: God had triumphed gloriously in their lives.
THE LAMB OF GOD who would be the blood sacrifice for the Church: (Luke 2:41-42) The Jews still faithfully kept the Feast of Passover when Jesus came and they still keep it today. (Luke 3:23 & 4:18) At thirty years of age Jesus started preaching, (Mark 2:7-12) forgiving sins, (Mark 5:2-15) casting out devils, (Matt. 4:23-24) healing the sick (John 11:38-45) and raising the dead. (John 14:1-11) Jesus claimed equality with God and that He and God were one.
Jesus prophesied (Luke 9:22) He would be slain (Matt. 20:17-19) by crucifixion and He would be resurrected the third day. Jesus said after His resurrection He would ascend into heaven and then (John 14:26) God would send the Holy Spirit (Gal. 4:6) to live within the souls of believers. Read the "Jesus" commentary and "Who is the Holy Spirit" article in "The Holy Spirit and You" commentary if you wish to know further information on this subject.
(Acts 2:1-8) Jesus’ prophesy of the coming Holy Spirit was completed and fulfilled on Pentecost (the fiftieth day) after Passover. (John 14:1-3) Jesus said He was going to go prepare a place for Christians and He will return (1Thess. 4:13-18) and take us with Him to that place at some future time.
THE NEW TESTAMENT SPIRITUAL PASSOVER: (1Cor. 5:7) Jesus is the New Testament Passover sacrifice for each individual Christian and for the Church as a whole. (Luke 22:10-20 & John 13:1-17) Jesus was keeping the celebration of the Jewish Passover supper (unleavened bread) with His disciples. According to Jewish Law the ceremonial washing of hands and feet had already been done before they could eat their meal.
(Luke 22:19-20) Jesus took the unleavened bread (representing sinlessness), broke it, distributed the pieces to His disciples and said; “This is my body (which was sinless) which is given for you: this do in remembrance (recollection) of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”
It is imperative for you to pray and meditate upon the fact that (Heb. 9:7-28) the Sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus, was ushering in the NEW SPIRITUAL Grace Covenant (testament) Passover He would soon put into effect with His blood while He was keeping the feast of the OLD PHYSICAL sacrificial Blood Covenant (testament) Passover (Matt. 5:17-18) mandated by the Jewish Law that all Jews celebrate.
JESUS, OUR SPIRITUAL PASSOVER, WAS CELEBRATING THE PHYSICAL PASSOVER WHICH HAD RELEASED HIS BLOOD KIN, THE HEBREWS, FROM BONDAGE IN EGYPT! (ROM. 8:15-17) WHEN YOU WERE SAVED THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS you were released from the bondage of sin and YOU BECAME AN HEIR OF GOD; A JOINT HEIR WITH JESUS, BLOOD KIN (HIS BLOOD) (EPH. 2:8-22) AND YOU ARE NOW AN EQUAL MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD!
(John 13:4-17) Then Jesus girded Himself with a towel, poured water into a basin and washed the disciple’s feet. Jesus sat down again and asked; “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also (V.14) ought (must, owe) to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye (V.15) should (abide, commit, to appoint) do as I have done to you. Verily, verily (surely, surely), I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy (extremely blessed) are ye if ye do them.”
The Son of God, the Savior, the One who came from a place called forever to give His life that we might live; was humbly washing men’s feet. How can we do less? Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, was physically demonstrating humility (a soul attitude that affects all physical actions) (1Pet. 5:5-7) because humility is essential for a Christian to please God due to the fact that (Prov. 6:16-19) God hates a proud look and (Prov. 15:33, Micah 6:8, Matt. 23:11-12, Phil. 2:5-8, James 4:6-10 & 1Pet. 5:5) God resists a proud person.
In the above scripture when Jesus said the words "ought" and "should" Jesus made it an ordinance (Ex.12:14-17) just like God did to the Hebrews (Jews) concerning their Passover.
(Luke 22:19-20) THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNION SERVICE consists of the consumption of a small piece of unleavened bread (representing sinlessness) which represents the sinless, broken body of Jesus who was beaten, whipped, crucified and killed as (Rom. 5:11 keywords: but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement) the atonement for our sins (2Cor. 5:21) "when He became sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." on the cross at Calvary. I personally have great joy (Rev. 21:27 thru 22:5) that I am going to heaven to be with God instead of (Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V.10) hell and the lake of fire with the devil.
Next a tiny cup of the fruit of the grapevine is consumed by each born again Christian and that represents the blood of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 26:27-29) which was shed in at least two bloody beatings by the temple guard then the Roman soldiers, a horrifying scourging by the Romans, an awful crown of thorns and finally on the bloody cross at Calvary where He died for the remission of our sins. BUT: (Mark 15:17 keyword: purple and Matt. 27:28 keyword: scarlet) Jesus' robe tells it all. Purple denotes royalty. And my Lord Jesus is a (Mark 15:26) King on the inside (Matt. 26:28 & 1John 5:7) bleeding for His people on the outside.
(John 13:4-17) Then each Christian, just like Jesus’ example, wraps a towel around their midsection over their clothes and, men to men and (1Tim. 5:10) women to women, they choose a partner or partners and gently wash each other's feet then dry their feet with the towel girded around them.
(1Cor. 5:7) Jesus IS the Christian spiritual Passover because God SEES His Son’s blood which CLEANSED Christians of our sins and He PASSES OVER us without judgment because (2Cor. 5:21) Jesus SUFFERED OUR JUDGMENT at the cross.
THE FEAR: All of the above appears easy to understand and should be a glad event in the Christian life. But the scripture that teaches us how to experience the communion part of the service also strikes terror into the heart of the immature and unlearned Christian.
(1Cor. 11:23-33 esp. V.27-32) “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily (unfit), shall be guilty (liable) of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine (test) himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup."
"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (unfit), eateth and drinketh damnation (condemnation) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak (feeble) and sickly (infirm) among you, and many sleep (to decease). For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
THE PREPARATION FOR THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNION/FOOT-WASHING SERVICE IS A TIME FOR SELF-JUDGMENT! This scripture is not designed to strike terror into any Christian’s heart. This scripture does give warning just how serious Jesus is about the communion/foot-washing service and what it cost Him to initiate it.
It also gives instructions about one’s personal preparation to be worthy to join the service. (James. 4:10-17 & Col. 3:12-14) Christians are commanded to be like Jesus and (Phil 2:8) He was humble as a lamb even unto death.
The communion/foot-washing service is of extreme importance to Christians because the events leading up to the service and the service itself provide an opportunity for a type of cleansing, renewing, strengthening and blessing (made happy) which cannot be found in any other Christian service. It is a “special service of experiencing with Jesus" which He said we must do.
NOTE: Yes, the communion service can be prepared for by a simple prayer from a contrite and broken heart as illustrated and described in (Psa. 51:1-17). BUT: the communion service will have a much deeper meaning and significance if preparation is made as is illustrated and described below. END OF NOTE.
These given numbers show how the New Testament Communion/foot-washing "Spiritual Passover" Service corresponds by given number to the Old Testament Physical Passover Celebration given above. FROM FEAR TO JOY: Point #1, part 1: The first part is GETTING RID OF THE LEAVEN (SIN) in our lives. (Ex. 12:15) In preparation of keeping the Passover the Hebrews were instructed to search their houses, remove every speck of leaven and eat unleavened bread (get the leaven---sin out of your house and out of your body) a week, seven days, before the Passover celebration. (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus fasted forty days before He was confronted and tempted by Satan. Surely we can fast 2 or 3 days to show God we need Him more than food! Also every time you feel your belly rumble you will be reminded to pray; I know that for a fact!
NOTE: The preparation for the communion/foot-washing service SHOULD begin by preaching or teaching and prayer in the Church service BEFORE the Sunday service in which the communion/foot-washing service is held so the congregation will have TIME to prepare themselves by fasting, Bible study, prayer and meditation (1John 1:1-10) so they will be clean of the sin (leaven) in their lives and in the correct frame of mind in actual soul felt appreciation for what Jesus has done for them.
Following the normal order of Christian services that will make it three to seven days of preparation but the scripture does not specify any specific length of time appointed to this Christian preparation for communion service. END OF NOTE.
Every Christian must closely examine their life because there are three types of sin.
A: PLEASE READ (Matt. 23:23 & Rev. 21:7-8 keyword: overcometh which is defined: conquer, prevail, get the victory): The sin of omission which is not doing what the Bible and Holy Spirit tell us to do. EXAMPLE: (Matt. 11:29) Jesus said; "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek (gentle, mild, humble) and lowly (humble, humiliated) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Do you love Jesus enough to try to learn (study your Bible, pray, ask for understanding) how to build an ever closer personal relationship with Him? (John 14:23 keywords: If a man love me, he will keep my words) DO YOU?
B: PLEASE READ (John 8:34 & 1John 3:3-5): The sin of commission which is doing what the Bible and Holy Spirit tell us not to do. EXAMPLE: Do you have any porn (pornography) in your house? What do you watch on TV or your phone? (Eph. 6:10-18) Are you steadily building your armor stronger through our Lord and developing the ability to recognize and stand against the devil? Are you taking your helmet of salvation seriously based on the word of God? Are you praying in the Spirit? Are you helping your Christian brethren when they are in trouble spiritually or financially? When the Holy Spirit quietly runs the thought through your brain; "Maybe I out to turn this off and read my Bible or go in there and pray and thank God for His sacrifice for me." DO YOU or do you continue with your entertainment?
C: PLEASE READ (Matt. 7:1-29 & Col. 3:5-17): The sin of attitude which is having a worldly attitude which is an un-Christ like attitude. (Phil. 2:5) "Let this mind (to have a sentiment or opinion, set the affection on, be like, be of one, be of the same) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" Did Jesus have pride, selfishness, greed, malice, covetousness, lust, anger, hatred and etc. Did Jesus hurt or gossip about those who love Him (Eph. 5:11) Did Jesus have any fellowship (co-participate in, communicate with, be a partaker with others) with the works of darkness (ungodliness, immorality)? DO YOU?
(1Cor. 11:23-33 esp. V.28) Examine yourself closely and be honest with yourself about yourself is the key to proper preparation for the communion/foot- washing celebration.
LEVIN (SIN): (Luke 17:10) Jesus said; "---when ye shall have all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." Owning up to being a failure as a Christian in embarrassment and recognizing you are not really the kind of Christian you portray yourself to be (remember Ex. 12:8) are “bitter herbs” for the individual Christian to admit to God.
Have you done everything God expects of you? Really! Exactly what great, wonderful and important things have you accomplished for God? Me neither! (Psa. 8:1-4 esp. V.4) What am I that God is mindful of me. All you or I have given God is the burden of us. Remember the old fashioned “bitters” that made the stomach feel better as they cleansed the body systems? SO: Confession of failure and sin before God is spiritual "bitter herbs" that will make you feel better as your soul is cleansed of sin!
LEVIN (SIN): (Heb. 12:11) “Now no chastening (disciplinary correction, chastisement, instruction, nurture) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them (Christians, us, you and me) which are exercised (training, instruction, and disciplinary correction) thereby.” Do not think you are unique in your problems with sin! (Rom. 7:17-21) The apostle Paul had the same problems fighting against sin (1John 1:8-10 keywords: we, us, our) in our spiritual war against the world, self (carnal nature) and the devil all Christians fight.
We as Christians must remove the sin (leaven) from ourselves and THE ONLY WAY to do that is through our birthright which was given to us when our born again experience (Rom. 8:15-17) made us members of God’s own personal family and by this birthright (1John 1:7-10 - 2:1-2) we have the right to ask our Heavenly Father to cleanse us of our sins (leaven) (1John 1:7) through the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:13-16) at Jesus', our "Great High Priest, throne of grace. (Heb. 4:15) Jesus was tempted (tested) just like us but He did not sin. BUT HE KNOWS HOW HARD IT IS FOR US! YIPEEE! YAHOOO! HE KNOWS AND HE WILL CLEANSE US WITH HIS BLOOD! Is that a wonderful reason to rejoice? YES!
Point #2 is already taken care of (Heb. 9:28; 1Pet. 2:24; 1Pet. 3:18; and Rev. 1:5) because Jesus, the Lamb of God, was killed at Calvary and His blood was applied to our lives when we were saved and thus we are marked by His blood just like the Hebrew's "two side posts and upper door post of the house" were marked by a lamb's blood. THINK ABOUT THIS:
(Gen. 12:7) The threshold was not marked with the blood of the lamb! Why? If they desired they could go back outside the protection of the blood (Gen. 12:23 keyword: destroyer) and be destroyed by the destroyer! This corresponds very well with (John 10:28-29) "and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" when Jesus (John 10:19-24) was answering questions. No man can take us away from Jesus or God but we are free to leave (Mark 12:30 keyword: love) if we, you and me, don't love Jesus enough to desire (John 14:15 keyword: love) to keep His commandments as is shown by (Rom. 1:6-7, 18, & 24-28, 1Cor. 9:27, Heb. 6:4-6, Rev. 3:5 & 16, and 22:18-19) and be destroyed by the destroyer.
LEVIN (SIN): This paragraph is a practical application, a first-hand experience, that tells how to get rid of the sin (leaven) in your life and make sure you are worthy to experience the communion/foot-washing service. (Matt. 11:29-30 & John 14:26) When God burdens you; OR: (Rev. 12:9-11 keyword: accuser) the devil accuses you; OR: (1Tim. 1-5 & Heb. 9:14) your own conscience condemns you; OR: (Heb. 12:9-11) the Holy Spirit using the Holy Scriptures chastises you, you must recognize God is talking to you.
God always loves you, extends mercy, offers hope and causes you to feel like praying in humility. The devil, your enemy, always tries to make you think you have lost it all, makes you feel hopeless, that you don’t have a chance, EVEN that you are really not a Christian and that you would be a big hypocrite to attend the communion/foot-washing service. Your own human nature (the flesh) always tells you it’s all right to miss “this,” just one, communion/foot-washing service, take the “easy way out” and stay home.
When you feel you are unworthy to experience the communion/foot-washing service, go right back to the beginning where you were first saved because the only way you knew your sins were forgiven and that you had been saved (born again) was because God told you through the Holy Spirit when He took up residence within you (your soul).
No human, no devil, nothing can change the reality of that event. (Eph. 5:1-2) And God, just like any good parent, but better, is waiting with wide open arms and a warm heart to welcome an errant child back into a right and loving relationship you should have never left in the first place.
It is important for you to realize the reason you are having this spiritual battle is because you ARE saved, you are a Christian and Satan, the devil, does not want you to get closer to Jesus. If you were not saved you wouldn't care! Plainly put; the world (Egypt) and the devil (Pharaoh) are racing after you to bring you back into the bondage (slavery) of sin. (2Cor 11:3 Yes, it is that simple. Yes, Christians do sin but our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son of God, is also (1John 2:1) our advocate (intercessor, consoler) with God.
You can take comfort from the fact every real Christian who joins in the communion/foot-washing experience fights the very same battle, to whatever degree, that you fight and it is for the very same reasons! (Matt. 13:18-23 then 47-50) Those who are not real Christians do not care if they offend God.
Point #1: 2nd part: (Rev. 12:10) Satan presents his evidence of your sin and accuses you before God; but when we ask forgiveness through prayer, (1John 2:1) Jesus takes His office as our advocate (intercessor) and (Heb. 4:14-16) presents His evidence that you are a born again Christian, that you have repented, you have asked forgiveness and asks God to wash away your sin with Jesus’ own precious blood. For a scriptural and exact article concerning forgiveness and how the high court of heaven works please read the article Backsliding: The Failure Principal in the menu of the Sin in Church commentary. Of course all you Christians who say they have never sinned please stand up and wave; we want to see you and tell you how you have called God/Jesus a liar! AND:
Point #3: the sin (leaven) is gone from you (Acts 3:19 & Heb.10:14-22 esp. V.17) and forgotten.
You will not forget your sins because that is the way we learn; (Heb.8:12) but God does forget them, they will never be brought up again. Do not let yourself become confused by memories of your sin when God has removed the sin burden. The devil will jerk you around over this, like a chicken killing hound does a dead chicken, if you let him. The sins are gone; SO LET IT GO!
Many congregations and even whole denominations have forsaken all, or part of, the communion/foot-washing service as a useless historical church function and that’s a shame because they rob themselves and it’s a disgrace because they are in disobedience.
(read these-->John 14:15-26 then 15:1-15) Christianity is not some old, dried up, dead historical thing; it is a passion for a current spiritual state of personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 2:22) We are a habitation of the living God through the Holy Spirit and we are the children of the living God. AND: Jesus told us to participate in the communion/foot-washing service.
(1Cor. 11:30) One reason so many Christians today are spiritually weak (feeble) and sickly (infirm) and even spiritually asleep (to decease) is because they don’t understand the importance of the communion/foot-washing service AND: they miss a very special experience.
They miss the spiritual growth brought about by this soul strengthening service; they miss the opportunity to receive the personal spiritual renewing brought about by the (1Cor. 5:6-8) “spiritual spring housecleaning of the soul” to remove the sin (leaven) from their souls in preparation to join the communion/foot-washing service; they miss the renewal of their loyalty to Jesus and they miss the joy of experiencing the passion of Jesus’ warm personal blessing when we join in the service that is a reminder of Jesus’ personal sacrifice that set us free and made us part of His family.
Point #4: (Ex. 12:11) Just like the physical example of Israel being dressed and ready to leave Egypt, (Rom. 3:24-26 & 5:8-10) Christians are spiritually dressed in Jesus’ (Rom. 5:18) justification, (1Cor. 1:30) righteousness and sanctification and are ready to leave this Egypt called Earth and go to Heaven to serve our Lord in freedom.
(Luke 22:19) After breaking the bread and giving it to them and saying this is my body which is given for you Jesus said; Point #5: “this do (necessary duty) in remembrance of me.” It doesn’t matter where in the order of the service Jesus said “this do” because He hooked all three things together, the bread (His flesh), the cup (His blood) and foot-washing (His humility) when He performed them as a complete service; three, the Biblical number of completion.
With His “this do” statement Jesus set the ordinance (law) for His Church (Ex. 12:14-17) just like God did for the Hebrews (Jews). (Rom. 15:11; Eph. 1:6; Phil. 1:11; Heb. 2:12 & Heb. 13:15-16) Point #6: Then you need to praise God right where you have just finished praying and receiving forgiveness because (2Cor. 2:14 & Col. 2:14-15) Point #7: God has triumphed gloriously in your life and you, and all of us, sure need to think deeply about that and tell God out loud how great He is, what He has done for you and how you feel about it.
Just think a minute: We are on a planet that is hurtling 67,000 mph, on a 93,000,000 mile, 365 day orbit around the sun. It is spinning at 1,000 mph with one revolution every 24 hours, the fragile atmosphere of air surrounding the earth is not ripped away by the speed the earth is traveling and the moon tags right along with us. A phenomenon called gravity holds us to the planet so we don’t float away.
Scientists can measure all these things but they really don’t know how these phenomena happen. Fresh water is needed to sustain life. All the rivers of the earth carry mankind’s pollutants into the salt seas to be destroyed and the land is cleansed. Then clean salt free water is evaporated up into the air where it forms clouds which carry the water back over the land to fall as rain and start the process of life and cleansing all over again.
Trees breathe in (absorb) carbon dioxide and breathe out (produce) oxygen while air breathing creatures and people breathe in (absorb) oxygen and breathe out (produce) carbon dioxide; thus they provide “breathing” for each other. Trade winds and jet streams of air blow across the planet for some “unknown” reason.
Nobody really understands how great currents of water flow in the oceans. Science teaches that man’s body is made up of cells, which are composed of molecules, which are comprised of atoms which contain a nucleus with electrons revolving around the nucleus just like the sun and its planets.
In these cellular molecules science discovered DNA which identifies each person as a one of a kind individual. Now science discusses even tinier parts they call “engines” that deliver energy, nourishment and etc. throughout each individual cell in our bodies. With all this knowledge science and medicine still don’t know where life comes from or where it goes.
It is written (2Tim. 3:7) that there are men who ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. God dismisses all their theory and speculation with (1Tim. 3:16 & Col. 1:12-17 esp. V.17) by Jesus all things consist (to set together in existence). All this is a good reason to admire and praise God. If you don't understand Jesus' identity please see the commentary The Holy Spirit & You the menu article Who is the Holy Spirit. It will totally clarify the below paragraph. Please, please read (John 1:1-4 & V.14, 1John 1:1-2 keyword in all: Word and 1Tim. 3:16 then 1John 5:7 keywords: and these three are one) I have witnessed for forty-five years and I have never talked to a Christian who knew God's true scriptural identity.
“In His own Image”: (Gen. 2:6) "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." The ground was damp! (Gen. 2:7) “And the Lord God formed (to squeeze and mold into a form especially as a potter: Hint: a potter uses fingers) man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” PICTURE IT: God carefully squeezed together and molded the dust of the damp earth and crouched there for a while viewing His supreme creation.
The carefully crafted earthen shell of the ear, the wonderful bridge and slightly flaring nostrils of the nose, the beautiful features of the face, jawline and throat, the strong arch of the chest, the long powerful arms and legs, the graceful, perfectly formed hands and feet and the earthen traces of veins under what would become living skin. AND:
The earthen outline of the hair, eyelids that covered the slight bulges of the man’s eyes, the lifeless earthen brain in its earthen case that would become living bone----everything perfect----the earthen spinal cord in its flexible housing; the molded earth that would become ligaments, tendons, nerves, glands and internal organs had all been carefully fashioned in their places.
God had to already love the man He was forming. Surely God's great heart of love was racing when He lovingly touched the earthen cheek. God must have stroked the earthen hair that covered the earthen skull and admired the earthen brain it housed. Perhaps God looked down the long centuries to a time when a disciple named John would carefully record what God’s Son Jesus would say to a woman named Martha;
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (Ex. 3:14 & 2Pet. 3:8) Time meant nothing to the Creator. God must have knelt there some more to simply admire His handiwork; His greatest creation, “In His own image”.
God must have looked at the cold, grey, lifeless features before Him and thought of all the trouble, pain, anger, sorrow and grief mankind would cause Him. (Prov. 18:24 & John 15:13-15) Only out of loneliness springs the desire for a friend and God wanted friends. (Rom. 5:8 & 1John 4:8) Only out of love springs the need to be loved (John 14:21 & 16:27 and Mark 12:29-30) and God wanted to be loved.
God knew forced love brings only hatred and created love is nothing, robotic. (Josh. 24:14-16, Isa. 1:18 & Matt. 12:30) God knew that for love to mean something it must come from a free soul that has the power of reason and choice.
(Eph. 4:30 keyword: grieve & 2Pet. 3:9 keyword: longsuffering) That's what caused the expression of sadness on God's beautiful, glorious features and sadness in His soul too (Luke 23:33-46) because God knew this creation and his progeny would one day cost God the life of His own dear Son. (Gen. 22:17) God knew man would populate the earth until they outnumbered the stars and He knew they would hate each other and kill each other because of greed, race, religion and politics.
(Matt. 7:13-14) God understood relatively few people out of all the multitudes of them would accept Him and worship Him (John 4:23-24) in spirit and truth. Just a tiny bit longer God looked; “In His own image”----- (1Thess. 5:23) -----spirit, soul and body: God loves, He can be hurt, He can suffer, He can be happy, God can smile, God can be angry, God can be infinitely tender, God can feel pity so there had to be excitement too.
God is love and when you give love you need to receive love. We are in God's own image and we are the same way about love; we want someone to love us for who we are and what we are; we know love given without love returned is emptiness.
To have someone love Him for who He is and what He is of their own free choice was God's whole point in creating mankind! With aching love and tender excitement God bent gracefully forward and gently breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils and the man instantly became a living soul then the breathing started.
The man’s chest surged as he gasped and drew his first shallow breath of air, his heart began to pound as his breathing became regular and the man’s body started glowing with the pulsing flow of warm blood, his innocent eyes fluttered open and, from just a few inches apart, Adam (to show blood in the face) and his Creator stared into the eternity in each other's eyes. This is another good reason to admire and praise God.
In spite of all these mighty and wonderful works listed above, the thousands of years that are gone forever and the thousands of millions of people that have passed from this life; in spite of how you had lived the God of glory took time to notice you among the squirming, striving, sneering billions of people on earth.
Remember how you felt when you understood (Rom 5:8) that God loved you when you were lost in the darkness and sin barred your way to His light? Remember how you were hung right there on the awful horns of hopeless and helpless? Remember your prayer apologizing for your sins and asking, even begging, God to save you?
Remember the timelessness when you touched the forever of God’s kindly, gracious, tender, loving soul? Remember God's tender love, incredible grace and tender pity when He saved you and you were almost stunned and limp with relief that it was done? Remember how you felt so safe (Rom. 8:14-17) when God made you a member of His own personal family (Eph. 2:8-9) without cost to you because your Salvation was a free gift.
All this, more than anything else, deserves your SONGS AND PRAYERS of praise because your salvation was, and is, an intensely personal experience between God and you. Point #7 AGAIN: God has triumphed gloriously in your life. YOU ARE READY TO GO TO CHURCH AND PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUNION/FOOT-WASHING SERVICE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE A JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF GOD'S VICTORY IN OUR LIFE.
God Bless You.