John 13:6-11; 18-30
When Jesus knelt to wash the feet of His disciples, not only did he teach us about servant-hood, he also taught us about our need to be be made clean by him.
1. Only those who are cleansed by Jesus are truly God's people and have the promise of eternal life.
No matter what culture may say, the Bible says that the only way we can be made right with God is through a personal relationship with Jesus. He told Peter, "If I don't wash you, you will have no part of me." We are all stained with sin but the blood of Jesus can make us white as snow.
Many of us carry the burden of guilt because of past sins, mistakes, and failures. In the movie, Seven Pounds, Will Smith's character makes it obvious he carries the weight and guilt of a past mistake in his life. He tries earnestly to redeem himself.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot wash away the stain of sin. But Jesus can.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
2. Confession and repentance are needed for a Christian's ongoing spiritual growth.
There is a difference between justification and sanctification that we need to understand. Justification is God's declaring us right with Him the moment we place our faith in Jesus. Nothing can change this. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit transforms into the likeness of Jesus. One happens in a moment. The other in a life-time. Peter did not need to be washed (justified) again. That happens once in the life of a believer. He would need to confess and repent of sin throughout his life. Hence, he would need his feet washed but not his whole body.
A genuine Christian cannot lose his salvation; but he can lose the joy and assurance of his salvation and a close experiential relationship with Jesus.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12
3. External religious activity will never cleanse the stain of sin from your life, only a genuine heart-centered, relationship with Jesus can do that.
Judas walked with Jesus for 3 years. He ate with Jesus. He had his feet washed by Jesus. Still, the externals meant nothing since his heart was cleansed through genuine faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. His heart was motivated by greed, power, national freedom, not love for Jesus.
Sunday School, church attendance, baptism, Christian relatives, will not make you right with God. Only Jesus!
Have you come to a point where your responded to God's gracious offer of salvation? Have you chosen to make Jesus your Savior and Lord by sincerely asking Him into your life?
4. If you do not give Jesus the throne of your heart, Satan will eventually take it.
In verse 2, the devil put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. In verse 27, Satan entered the heart of Judas. Continual hypocrisy, rejection of Jesus, compromising of truth will harden our heart towards God and open our life to the influence of Satan.
Continuing to sin makes it easier to sin as we no longer are affected by our conscience. The Bible calls this a seared conscience, reprobate mind. (Romans 1:28; 1 Timothy 4:2)
There are two ways to relieve your guilt:
1. Harden your heart to truth until you no longer care. This leads to death.
2. Give your heart to Jesus and let Him cleanse it!