Is foot washing still applicable today

Postby Sylvester Osadolor » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:08 am

Text:John 13:1-17.point of emphasis verse 3 and 8 please I want a clarification, because I have attended feetwashing service and this two verses is what is used to buttressed the purpose of feetwashing that it is a mystery where by our inheritance in Christ is delivered and our part in Christ is also delivered. Moreover people have given testimony of deliverance from all kinds of ailments and diseases from this exercise.What is actually the intention of Jesus Christ when He washed his disciples feet, because in my country Nigeria any feetwashing service is a miracle service, it attracts a lot crowds
Sylvester Osadolor

Re: Is footwashing still applicable today

Postby Paul Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:28 am

Welcome to The Path of Truth Forum, Sylvester, you ask about the significance of footwashing.

John 13:1-17 MKJV
(1) And before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come when He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own in the world, He loved them to the end.
(2) And when supper had ended, the Devil now having put into the heart of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon to betray Him,
(3) Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and went to God,
(4) He rose up from supper and laid aside His garments. And He 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, do You wash my feet?
(7) Jesus answered and said to him, You do not know what I do now, but you shall know hereafter.
(8) Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.
(9) Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head.
(10) Jesus said to him, He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. And you are clean, but not all.
(11) For He knew who would betray Him. Therefore He said, You are not all clean.
(12) So after He had washed their feet and had taken His garments and had reclined again, He said to them, Do you know what I have done to you?
(13) You call Me the Teacher, and Lord, and you say well, for I AM.
(14) If then I, the Lord and the 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) Truly, truly, I say to you, A servant is not greater than his master, neither is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
(17) If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He did say to Peter:

“Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8 MKJV).

But He also said to Peter and to the other disciples:

“He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. And you are clean, but not all” (John 13:10 MKJV).

They were clean. How? By physical, literal footwashing? No.

“Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3 MKJV).

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:25-26 MKJV).

It was common practice in those days of dust and sandals that people washed their feet upon entering a home. Of course, they would wash their hands and faces, too, for meals and visiting, from a practical standpoint, although the Pharisees made washing a religious or spiritual issue, which wasn’t right before God.

Jesus used the custom of washing feet that was commonly necessary (not that people would normally wash one another’s feet), and made a lesson of it. The event was a parable or allegory, if you will, not a physical command or duty required, as some suppose.

As physical things going into the mouth don’t defile the spiritual man (Matthew 15:17-20), so external observances like bathing don’t clean a man spiritually, not even water immersion, which was an act of spiritual obedience.

Read the section on Water Baptism. Note that God gave the Holy Spirit, which He only does when one is a spiritually clean vessel, to the Gentiles (Acts 10) before they were immersed in water. He was showing it wasn’t water baptism (though it was a lesser commandment for a time) that made men clean. How much less would footwashing, a common hygienic practice (and not a commandment of any kind), make them clean?

Jesus was speaking of the humble attitude of service towards one another that is required of each member of His Body. He used footwashing to illustrate this; He wasn’t giving a command for a perpetual ceremony as is assumed by some - the Seventh Day Adventists, for example.

So what did He mean when He said Peter had no part in Him if he didn’t allow Jesus to wash his feet? Jesus wanted his cooperation in this event. If Peter wasn’t cooperative with his Lord, how could he have any part in Him? But they could only have part in Him by obedience:

“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23 MKJV).

There’s His Word, again, making a man clean when he keeps it.

God was also teaching an important principle: Though those who by faith receive Christ and are cleansed by Him are wholly clean, their contact with the world necessitates regular washing, by Him and those in Him. No man is an island. We need the Lord and each other. We are our brothers’ keepers. This not only requires humility, but creates it.

Philippians 2:3-7 MKJV
(3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
(4) Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others.
(5) For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
(6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
(7) but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

So it’s true that “footwashing,” that is, humbly ministering to others, holds a “mystery whereby our inheritance in Christ is delivered.” But the power doesn’t come by the physical act, nor does the Lord intend for the physical act to be perpetually performed. The footwashing exercise was merely symbolic, but if we walk in faith we’ll be found doing what it represents in our daily lives, and thus are transformed into the image of Christ.

Romans 12:2-13 EMTV
(2) And do not fashion yourselves after this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and well pleasing and perfect will of God.
(3) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself too highly, beyond what you should think, but to think soberly, as God has imparted to each one a measure of faith.
(10) Be warmly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another;
(11) not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
(12) rejoicing in hope, enduring in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
(13) sharing in the needs of the saints….

How we treat others is in due time made manifest; the fruit of our ways will be known to all. Jesus Christ comes in the flesh!

“By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another” (John 13:35 MKJV).

John 17:20-23 MKJV
(20) And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,
(21) that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
(22) And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one,
(23) I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

It is through this spirit of footwashing, giving and receiving in Christ, that the Lord fulfills His glorious mission – “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 KJV).

“But that you, speaking the truth in love, may in all things grow up to Him Who is the Head, even Christ; from Whom the whole body, fitted together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of each part, producing the growth of the body to the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16 MKJV).

So is there some sort of visible power manifest in the physical ceremony of footwashing, like healing and deliverance? Not any more than in any other external practice. No, the act of footwashing carries nothing special in itself, but if there should happen to have been some miracle during footwashing, it would have been because of a transaction of the Spirit of the Lord in the participant’s heart, whether he was the one having his feet washed or doing the washing.

If footwashing attracts a crowd, does it do so more than water baptism or any other kind of event, like perhaps people gathering for prayer and fasting? If footwashing gathers people, the attraction is not because the Lord Jesus Christ is drawing people in this manner; it’s because people are looking for a sensational occasion for pleasure or pinning hopes on acts of the flesh to bring the Lord down from Heaven. It won’t work.

Romans 10:4-11 MKJV
(4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes.
(5) For Moses writes of the righteousness which is of the Law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
(6) But the righteousness of faith says this: “Do not say in your heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down;
(7) or “Who shall descend into the deep?”; that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.
(8) But what does it say? “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”; that is, the Word of Faith which we proclaim;
(9) Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
(10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.
(11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone believing on Him shall not be put to shame.”

Let those people who seek good fulfill the purpose that Jesus demonstrated in allegory by footwashing - serving others humbly, and by and by there will be miracles, all right, and of the greatest sort – life from the dead and new creatures in Christ.

So there’s no miraculous power in the symbolic presentation itself, contrary to teachers who would like to maintain a hold over their followers. The lesson of footwashing is about humility, at least in part, along with service to others.

Victor & Paul
Paul Cohen

Re: Is footwashing still applicable today

Postby Sylvester Osadolor » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:23 am

Greetings Victor and Paul, thank you for the answer that is fully back by scriptures,so comforting,my spirit was held captive to your exposition.Thank you and more grace from God that give the insight to you
Sylvester Osadolor

Re: Is foot washing still applicable today

Postby Nicholas Carpenter » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:22 pm

I "randomly" decide to open this thread and it is a timely lesson in service and love that I needed. I've been coming to TPOT looking to be helped, and not looking to help nearly as much as I aught. I should be more focused on serving rather than being served.

I don't know if someone has gone through this thread to ensure nothing is wrong with it; but the Lord used it to clear up a lie I believed and show me that desiring to serve Him and prove what His perfect and pleasing will is a good thing and something I should want. Proving something just means living out reality because you're already justified by the truth. I may be wrong on that; but regardless I want to prove that being a servant and loving my brothers in Christ is God's will by actually doing it. The same with true repentance and obedience and all the other things I have talked about.

Only God's word can wash me clean. Blessed be the Lord, and those who come in His name.
Nicholas Carpenter
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Is foot washing still applicable today

Postby Victor Hafichuk » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:42 pm

Investigate the Biblical (Greek or Hebrew) meaning of the word, "prove." Strong's Concordance is a good source, freely available online, e-Sword, along with many other sources. We're more talking testing than providing evidence, though both are applicable.
Victor Hafichuk
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:07 am

Re: Is foot washing still applicable today

Postby Nicholas Carpenter » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:47 pm ... imazo.html ... nacah.html ... 2;ro+14:22

Interestingly enough after going through these links as well as parallel verses in the OT; it seems I was missing a fairly important aspect of what it means to "prove" God's will. Who could've guessed?

For instance; God proves us by subjecting us to trials or temptations so that what we choose may be known; whether it will be His will and commandments or our own. When coupled with understanding about the word "prove" in the NT; perhaps it can be said that we are tested to see if we like or "allow" the will of God. Maybe even that we are allowed the honor of doing the will of God.
Nicholas Carpenter
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

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