SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Foot Washing

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Next Page )

Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301

 Re: Foot Washing

In my OP you will see that I did not seek to promote foot washing as some dogmatic ordinance in the church. I do see baptism and the Lord's Supper as close to essential as one can get without ascribing an undue level of mysterious (almost occult) power to the ritual itself.

I do hold to a "symbolic" view of ordinances such as baptism and the Lord's Supper; and I also believe that they are instructive in the actual practicing of them as well. For example, it isn't baptism itself that has power per se (many are baptized in water and will still go to hell), but I believe that there is something powerful and real and spiritual that transpires in the heart when one, seeing the symbolic meaning, yields to the actual practice in a very real and physical way, and there is a faith working together with physical action that in some way is "perfected" (see James 2:22).

[I can hear some shouting, "It was faith and the action of obeying God and living according to your faith - not faith and a dead, religious ordinance," - to which I say, if God has spoken and expects obedience, even if it is a seemingly 'dead, religious ordinance' - then that is faithful obedience to Him and really no different. Listen to John the baptist and Peter: "Repent/Believe and be baptized!" Could one have heard the preaching of John or Peter and supposed themselves to have believed and then not submit to the ordinance of baptism? I think not.]

I believe you can get a glimpse of this in Paul's words: "...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

We know it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and that it is not of works...but here Paul almost weds faith and confession as one complete (or "perfect", James 2:22) act of faith - and he clearly makes public confession of Christ mandatory for salvation. I see baptism as a time when that confession is often made, and also a way to 'confess' Christ with your whole body in perhaps a louder and clearer way than you could with your lips (and identify with Him in His death).

It saddens me that we are so stubbornly extreme with our thinking and set up so many false dichotomies as a result. It is always "either/or" and never "both/and" - for example, one who takes such hard and fast positions as: "foot washing is to be seen as symbolic and not to be practiced as to do so would be to make a dead religious ordinance of it and miss the spiritual meaning."

It's: Either "don't practice it and grasp the symbolic meaning" or, "practice it and miss the symbolic meaning."

Instead of: "It is both symbolic and has practical benefit in the physical observance of it, and we ought not to sacrifice one in favor of the other thinking that they are inherently mutually exclusive."

This, in my estimation, is pride. "I am right and there is no way I can be wrong and I don't need to be taught about humble service by acting out a very humble act of service and there is nothing in the practice of it that I can learn about the spiritual meaning of it - I already know what it entails!"

I do understand and agree that to observe (or rather insist on) foot washing and to fail to serve the body of Christ in other things is to strain at the gnat and swallow the camel, but to refuse the physical as unnecessary and foolish could reveal pride in the heart that disallows Jesus' spiritual cleansing.

As is, in my view, the cause of Jesus' warning to Peter: "If I do not wash you, you have no part with me." In other words, if you don't:

1) see yourself as dirty and in dire need of cleansing, and then

2) realize and admit the fact that you can't wash yourself, and

3) recognizing your helplessness, to humbly submit to letting the Lord and Teacher stoop down and wash you (a vivid reminder of your frailty and helplessness and His humility and love, to have such an exalted King stoop so low to do such a lowly thing says He was the only one who could and we are a mess and helpless),

Then you "have no part" with Jesus. You are lost, unregenerate and yet unclean - having never been born again and "washed with the water of regeneration."

But there are things that we learn by experience and the act of washing the feet of my often stubborn and rebellious step-daughter taught me in an ever more intimate and deep way what it means to serve her and wash her as a servant and not to merely lord over her as a king and demand obedience and honor.

I see Paul yearning for this experiential knowledge of the Truth when he cried: "..that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;" Paul wanted to know Jesus in a more intimate way, and understood that to experience the same things He experienced would help him do this. He could identify with Jesus having suffered rejection by those He loved because he had endured the same, he and John could identify with Jesus being betrayed by a trusted friend because they evidently or likely were too, he could identify with loving God to the last breath because he too (as history/tradition reports) laid down his life for his friends: God and the church.

I also see this in Jesus himself when I see Him being baptized by John. Surely baptism doesn't do anything spiritual for us, in itself. The action of being submersed in water doesn't hold any mystical/spiritual powers, per se.

And even if it did (and it doesn't) - Jesus was sinless and was lacking nothing and it would seem unnecessary for Him to be baptized...surely He didn't need to learn from it...and others may get the idea that He was a sinner and needed cleansing and renewal if he allowed John to baptize Him, no? John's baptism was a baptism of repentance, after all...did Jesus need repentance? What are people going to think?! Oh no!

But that's just the allowing (insisting on) John to baptize Him he was identifying with us dirty humans and being identified with us that aspect of our humanness: our need of repentance and cleansing. I'm sure it was a humbling experience for one who never sinned in His life to publicly practice a ritual that expresses repentance and washing - pride and self glorying would never permit this! Thank God Jesus was devoid of pride and self-glorying!

The "ritual" itself didn't have any special mystical power, but there is no better way to achieve the objective than to practice it publicly.

Do you, Juluis21 and Brenda7, really "stand here" in this forum and claim that there is nothing that you can learn about broken and humble selfless service to your brothers and sisters? Do you assert that you are absolutely sure that there is nothing you are missing? And if not (which I hope and trust that neither of you are so blind as to publicly assert such nonsense, even if in your heart you secretly believe it - as I admit I have and likely do): can you say with confidence that there is absolutely nothing that washing the feet of your brothers or sisters could do to teach you anything about humility or service? Especially the feet of those that have wronged you or misjudged you or rejected you or betrayed you? I hope you will truly take this to heart and ponder these things.

Even if you have done it before and it was empty and devoid of meaning, could that be because your heard was hard and empty of love and devoid of humility (in this area, at least)? I know that the Israelites practiced the religion God had ordained and gave them Himself and apparently to many it was just that: empty and devoid of any meaning and left the heart cold. Was that the fault of God or His religion? I say not.

I encourage you all (especially Julius and Brenda) to consider that there doesn't need to be such a dichotomy and false idea that to practice the 'ritual' makes it necessarily dead and meaningless and the spiritual/symbolic meaning is lost. I would encourage you to consider that there is some essential spiritual truth that God can convey to your heart and spirit in the practice of an ordinance mixed with faith and humility and love.

I would reckon to say that those who so readily mock and/or denigrate the practice of a ritual that others have been truly and deeply blessed in observing and also assume that those who assert that there is benefit in the 'ritual' are 'missing the point' - are very deficient and ignorant of the depth and reality and practice of the humble love that Jesus was teaching in washing His disciples feet; and the fact that they so publicly and boisterously come against it so quickly reveals that they are ignorant of just how deficient they are and are revealing themselves to be; and would likely benefit the most by allowing those that they oppose to wash their feet.

~ Forrest

 2016/7/29 12:27Profile

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1770


I always thought Salvation Army did not practice breaking of Bread because the vine that they tasted tempted many of the fellow soldiers to go back to their old drinking habits again. Hence inorder to prevent such temptations, they considered it better not to break bread or have communion.


 2016/7/29 12:44Profile

Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301

 Re: Pride

Perhaps those that are so offended by foot washing are the ones who don't see themselves in dire need of the other members of the body and the cleansing effect of 'the edifying of itself in love'?

Perhaps some think, perhaps like Peter may have felt: "This is unnecessary, there is no desperate need for it nor any benefit in carrying out such an embarrassing and humbling exercise, we can do without it."

And perhaps, like Peter, they are the ones who are most in need of the humility that submitting to such a ritual may just administer to them.

Blessings, my beloved brethren. Let us love one another in all humility (which I know I often fail miserably at, and at times even spectacularly) and consider humbly following the Lord's example and identifying with Him in this blessed means of grace.

~ Forrest

 2016/7/29 12:54Profile


George Fox on The two Suppers:

"And here you may see now, that Christ called his followers to this marriage supper, after he was risen and ascended into heaven, at the right hand of God; and is not this the last supper that Christ called his people to, after he was ascended, namely, the marriage supper of the lamb; yes, such that had taken the elements of bread and wine with Christ at his last supper, the same night that he was betrayed, before he was crucified, in remembrance of his death until he had come. And John, who was one that took it in remembrance of his death until he came, said, in 1 John 5:20, after Christ was risen and ascended, ‘We know that the son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ, (mark, in him), and this is the true God, and eternal life.’ And this John spoken after Christ had risen and ascended. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear."

 2016/7/29 12:55

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37574
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



I always thought Salvation Army did not practice breaking of Bread because the vine that they tasted tempted many of the fellow soldiers to go back to their old drinking habits again. Hence inorder to prevent such temptations, they considered it better not to break bread or have communion.

Yes brother, this was one of the major reasons why they did this. Other holiness groups used grape juice, the Welch Grape Juice company was actually founded by a holiness methodist preacher for juice that stores long for communion!

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/7/29 12:59Profile


Greg wrote:What also does not sit right with me is that the Lord's Supper and water baptism were practiced by ALL early church people, any secular writing such as Joshephsus or the Didache bear witness to this practice.

I personally have not found an account of a dissenter group in the early Church times that practiced "no baptism" and "no Lord's Supper". Would there not be at least 1 small group if this were the truth the Apostles practiced?

I agree that the practise continued but there is no evidence that it was all of the people in each church that practised the two sacraments. It would have been available in all churches but only the enlightened and Spirit baptised would not partake which has always been in lower figures.

I believe that the Celtic believers in the 4th and 5th C were not partakers but have no evidence as such and their beliefs and practices were not the usual ones.

 2016/7/29 13:06


1 Cor 11:

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

Greg what do you understand as 'eating unworthily' and 'not discerning the body'?

 2016/7/29 13:12

 Re: pride

Making a public show of how humble we are is ....... pride

 2016/7/29 13:18

Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301

 Re: Eating Unworthily

Greg what do you understand as 'eating unworthily' and 'not discerning the body'?

I know you asked Greg and not me, but as this is a public forum (and a thread that I started on foot washing that is being sidetracked), I will endeavor to answer your question:

I believe the "eating unworthily" and "not discerning the Lord's body" is clearly explained in the immediate context:


But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

~ 1 Corinthians 11:17-22


I believe that clears up what he means in the following verses.

~ Forrest

 2016/7/29 13:22Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1634


There is a spiritual reality behind everything we do. That doesn't dispense with the doing. That would be actually quite a Gnostic proposition.

Words are symbols of deeper realities, yet we speak the gospel in words because by it men are saved.

Communion is symbolic, but the reality we are commanded to observe and remind ourselves by it is one that needs the symbol to internalize it. I am just sort of flabbergasted at any suggestion to the contrary. Wow.

Foot washing. I am not saying it is an ordinance. But, Jesus said do it. He said to baptize and be baptized. Now, some of us may look for ways to dismiss the need of baptism, but you are on your own if you do. The NT is clear. I don't see how the greater lesson of washing the saints' feet replaces the act when the act serves the lesson. If Jesus thought His disciples capable of holding these realities and serving them sufficiently without His commands and without the symbols, He would not have commanded them to be done.

We can spiritualize all we want, and that is good, but it does not in any way abate the command of Jesus.


 2016/7/29 13:22Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy