Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Do We Need To Get Our Feet Washed From Jesus, If Not, Are We Denying God's Grace?

Do We Need To Confess Our Sins To Stay Saved? Are We Showing Ignorance Of God's Grace When We Confess Our Sins To Him Asking Him To Forgive Us?

Question : We agree that we do not need to confess every sin we commit each day in order to "stay saved," but is any type of confession and request for forgiveness appropriate? For example, is it appropriate for believers to say, "Father, I'm sorry for sinning and I ask you to wash me clean"? Is it OK for us to get our feet washed (using the language of John 13) when we feel the need to? Are we denying God's grace or showing an ignorance of God's grace when we confess our sins to Him, asking Him to forgive us?

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! Confession of our sins is a precondition to having fellowship and intimacy with God. Clearly John the apostle has revealed,
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). In fact John himself told why he has revealed the above truth is to make all believers have fellowship and intimacy with the Father God and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord (1 John 1:3-4), and stay in the heavenly joy to sustain ourselves through the wear and tear of this life. Fellowship with God is the sunscreen and protection cream of heaven with which we keep ourselves from the sun burns of this earth. Also the same is repeated in the same context by different writers of the New Testament :

"14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:14-16)
. In other words, we obtain mercy and find grace from God only when we continue to confess our sins to Jesus who is our High Priest.

"21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:21-25)
. Here in the above verse we see that if we confess our sins to lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness from ourselves, and then continue to hear the Word of God and obey it by the grace of God that we receive after our confession, then James the apostle is saying that we will be blessed in whatever we do through our lives for the Glory of God.

There are some people today who, because they fail to comprehend the extent of divine forgiveness, deny the clear teaching of
1 John 1:9 and teach other to do the same. They say that to pray for forgiveness reveals unbelief and thus a healthy Christian shouldn't experience guilt if he understands Christ's total forgiveness. They say, why seek forgiveness when you already have it? So this brand of false Christian proclamation makes people more guilty of their sins as it get accumulated to deny them constant fellowship with God, and misguide them from the only way to alleviate them of their guilt of sin which is through confession of sin to Jesus who is our High Priest. Thus rather than helping Christians draw near to God (James 4:7-10), they are reinforcing the barrier of sin that interrupts their relationship with God (Isa 59:2; 1:16-17, 18).

For a believer it is important to understand the first thing that happens to him in salvation, it is the eternal thing that God does for Him called as union, and the other is fellowship. These are two important things we need to understand in our Christian life and in the reading of the Scripture, if we mix the two, we will be confused totally. The Bible says that when repent and look to God through Jesus for salvation from sin for the first time in our lives, Jesus comes forwards to forgive of our past, present and future sins once and for all time
(Eph 4:32; Heb 10:14, 15-18), then seals us with the guarantee of salvation which is the seal of the Holy Spirit until the day of rapture in which we will be glorified forever with our glorious sin-free eternal body (Eph 1:13-14). Once we are saved, we are kept that way safe for eternity ahead in that saved state by God and that is why God calls it "eternal salvation" (John 10:27-28, 29-30; Heb 5:9; 9:12). In other words, we did not do anything except believe God and receive Jesus for salvation, God did everything to save us and he has also done enough already to keep us saved for eternity ahead. Therefore, we cannot do anything to undo our salvation by our works. We are saved by grace through faith, kept by God safely through that same faith through grace which is a gift of God and there is nothing we can do to salvation like add a crown for ourselves with our own strength as though salvation is not yet complete with Jesus and that we need to finish what Jesus has started on the Cross (John 19:30; Gal 3:3), but instead we know salvation is complete in Christ Jesus when we received Him as our Savior and now we are hidden with Christ in God (Rom 5:10; Col 2:10, 15; 3:3), and all we can do now is boast about God's goodness and greatness who has given it all freely to us (Eph 2:8-9, 6-7; 2 Cor 10:17; 1 Cor 1:30-31; Rom 8:32). So a believer in Christ is one spirit with the Lord and for eternity he stays that way by the grace of God (1 Cor 6:17). Hallelujah! This is union-salvation. Union salvation reveals that we do not have to confess our sins to stay saved because it is a gift of God given to us, but confession of sins after we are saved keeps us in fellowship with God to make us enjoy His Presence which others wise is not possible. If we fail to confess our sin, we will live a miserable life of condemnation even though we do not have to stay that way as we are always free to choose to confess to God our sins and get cleansed from our sins by the Blood of Jesus.

After we are saved we still have the sin nature within us and that leads us in to sin when we are not careful to avoid it by trusting the Holy Spirit continually with our will and using His power to overcome by faith
(1 John 1:8; 2:1-2; Jam 1:14-15, 13, 12). God and sin cannot go together, so when we sin what will happen is that God will restrain the conscious of His Presence which we enjoy in fellowship with Him and that is what is death, which is separation from His Presence. Though God does restrain His precious Presence when we sin, he does not leave us not forsake us as He has promised to us (Heb 13:5). And He has promised if we choose to confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness to bring back the consciousness of His Presence so that we could again have unbroken fellowship with Him again (1 John 1:9).

Of course we all sin now and then, but if we walk in the light of His Word that comes as a guidance through the Holy Spirit to keep us in fellowship with God Himself
(Psa 119:105), then automatically all our sins will be cleansed by blood of Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit to keep us in fellowship with Himself and also one brethren with the other (1 John 1:7). So it is not just appropriate for believers to say, 'Father, I'm sorry for sinning and I ask you to wash me clean,' it is mandatory for any believer when God the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin their lives (John 16:8). But other wise we do not have to bother what sin we have sinned in our thoughts and actions each and every day, because staying in fellowship with God through His Word and the Spirit automatically keeps us cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Praise the Lord!

Here is
John 13:3-17, "3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

Why did Jesus wash the feet of His disciples? Jesus washed the feet of his disciples to show how even though we all are children of God, we need to humble ourselves before God and others if we are to serve them all with the grace of God (1 Peter 4:8, 10; 5:5-6; James 4:5-6). Actually a feet washer in a place will be the slave who will do it, but Jesus has made Himself to come in to the form of a human bond slave of God that He wanted his disciples also to likewise learn from Him (Php 2:5-6, 7), as God expects all his born-again children to become in the likeness of the Character of Jesus to glorify Him (Rom 8:29; Matt 5:48). Also Jesus clearly expressed the union part of the salvation that people experienced when they were forgiven of their sins once and for all time by God when they were born again, get bathed or immersed in water [i.e. baptized] and receives God's Holy Spirit they become spiritually clean, but after that a person starts to walk toward the destination that God has marked for his child (John 21:18-19, 21). At that time Jesus was symbolically saying to apostle Peter that only his feet will get dirty walking in sandals of salvation on the filthy roads of Palestine in the first century thus comparing it with a sin nature that makes us dirty (Eph 6:15), therefore made it imperative and crucial for all believers that their feet be washed through confession for wrong doing of sins to God and others before a communal meal or fellowship with God through Jesus' body and blood start to take place (1 Cor 11:27, 28-29, 31; 2 Cor 13:5-6; 7:10; Rom 10:10-12; Matt 5:23-24; 26:26, 27-28), especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence, a believer's life which is transparent and who have reclined to follow Jesus in humility will begin to show some sinful dirt outside that will get accumulated in their life due to the sin nature that is within them (Psa 51:2-4, 5-6, 7). Therefore Jesus has told that they who were bathed by the Word of God's forgiveness by being born again through the Word He has spoken over them, need only to be washed further in their feet which is the confession of sins to God after they were saved (Eph 5:26; John 8:34, 36; Matt 9:5-6; Luke 5:20; 7:47-50), thus a believer who is clean being born again only needs to be washed of the sins of their sin nature in their day to day lives because they are already in eternal union with God as His child for eternity ahead which conveys that God positionally and literally in His sight has already forgiven all their past, present and future sins. Having a humility before God and others to acknowledge our sins when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit will bring a cleansing of our heart and soul through the blood of Jesus from the sin we have done in our daily life to maintain the fellowship part of salvation with God (Jam 5:15-16). Hallelujah!

To your question, "Are we denying God's grace or showing an ignorance of God's grace when we confess our sins to Him, asking Him to forgive us?" As we have seen above through the expounding of the John 13 Scriptures, we are not denying God's grace or showing an ignorance of God's grace when we confess our sins to Him, but on the contrary we are receiving God's grace and thus get established in the grace of God to be clean and pure like Jesus through our confession of sins to God and men which washes our heart that is evil and make us tainted by its nature of evil when left unchecked (Jer 3:13, 14, 22; 17:9, 5; Mark 7:8-9, 20-21, 22-23). So finally it is not ignorance of God's grace, but rather the knowledge of how to receive mercy and God's grace in the time of our need that makes us to confess our sins to God and thus enjoy God's abundant grace which in turn makes us to reign on this earth spiritually over sin, sickness and death for the Glory of God (Heb 4:16; Rom 5:17).

Much Blessings....


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