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The Lord's Supper & Feet Washing
Autor: Dorina Madaras  |  Album: fara album  |  Tematica: Cina Domnului
Resursa adaugata de Dorina1980 in 25/02/2017
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The "Lord's Supper" and "Feet Washing" is a soul-stirring experience that contains an incredible in-depth meaning for the Body of Christ. On the evening of the Passover celebration, (the night of His death), Jesus Christ instituted this significant new fellowship practice (The Lord's Supper & Feet Washing) that is an integral part of Christian worship and faith which the Church of Christ MUST participate in regularly.

》The "Lord's Supper" is a visible representation and commemoration of our Lord's death for our sins and resurrection, the glorious hope of His return and a symbol of our present relationship with Jesus Christ. 

》The "Feet Washing" is a visible representation of the ultimate act of love, humility & service and the servant attitude we must have whilst serving others.

➡THE LORD'S SUPPER 

What exactly does the "Lord's Supper" mean? Just as Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, so the Lord's Supper celebrates our deliverance from sin by Christ's death. 

On the same night in which He was betrayed, Jesus was eating His last meal with His disciples. "He took some bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said: 'Take, eat, this is My BODY which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me" (1Cor 11:23-24). They each ate a piece of the bread. When we participate in the Lord's Supper, we each eat a piece of bread in remembrance of Jesus' broken body on the cross, on our behalf.

"In the same manner, after the supper, Jesus took the cup, saying: 'This cup is the new covenant in My BLOOD, which is shed for you. This do, as often as you drink it, in rememberence of Me' (Luke 22:20, 1 Cor 11:25). They each drank out of this cup. When we drink a small amount of grape juice at the Lord's Supper, we remember that Jesus' blood was shed for us, and that His blood inaugurated the new covenant. Just as the old covenant was sealed by the sprinkling of animal blood, the new covenant was established by Jesus' blood (Hebrews 9:18-28) so we can receive forgiveness for our sins and salvation, eternal life! Aleluia! To God be all the glory!!

What does Jesus mean when He says: "Do this (eat bread & drink the cup) in rememberence of Me?"  How do we remember Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper? By thinking, acknowledging & proclaiming about what He did for us, and why He did it! It is in rememberence of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross; His beaten body & the blood He shed and His extremly painful experience. His sacrifice is the greatest act of love in history of the universe! He did not want us to die in our sins but offer us the free gift of salvation!! Thus, by partaking in the "Lord's Supper" we show our deep gratitude for Christ's work on our behalf.

It is ONLY through Christ's death on the cross (His broken body & His blood) & His resurrection that we are reconciled with God, Father; we receive forgiveness for all our sins; we receive the free gift of grace and salvation, ONLY through Jesus Christ, Himself who will return to rapture His Church! We proclaim all this by participating in The Lord's Supper until His return. Our participation strengthens our faith, we grow spiritually, through fellowship with Christ and with other members of Christ's Body (Church of Christ). Aleluia! All glory be to God!

If the Lord's Supper becomes just a ritual or a pious habit, it loses its significance. But when we appreciate what Christ has done for us and anticipate what He will do for His Church when He returns, the Lord's Supper takes on a profound sense of purpose. We must gratefully recall Christ's loving sacrifice for us. Let the reality that we are loved unconditionally,  our sins are forgiven and we will spend eternity with our Saviour Jesus Christ in God's presence, motivate us to love and renew our commitment to serve Him better. Apostle Paul said: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." (1 Corinthians11:26).

Apostle Paul gives specific instructions on how the Lord's Supper should be observed:

(1) We should take the Lord's Supper seriously & thoughtfully because we are proclaiming that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 11:26).

(2) We should take it worthily, with due reverence and respect (1 Cor 11:27).

(3) We should examine ourselves for any unconfessed sin or resentful attitude (1 Cor 11:28). We are to be properly prepared, based on our belief in and love for Christ. 

(4) We should be considerate of others, waiting until everyone is there and then eating in an orderly and unified manner (1 Cor 11:33).

When Apostle Paul said that no one should take the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner, he was speaking to the church members who were participating in it without thinking of its meaning. "Not discerning the Lord's body" means not understanding what the Lord's Supper means and not distinguishing it from a normal meal. Those who did so were "guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Instead of honoring His sacrifice, they were sharing in the guilt of those who crucified Christ.

In reality, no one is worthy to take the Lord's Supper. We are all sinners saved by grace and fall short of God's glory. This is why we should prepare ourselves for this fellowship through healthy introspection, confession of sin, and resolution of differences with others. These actions remove the barriers that affect our relationship with Christ and with other believers. Awareness of our weaknesses should not keep us away from taking the Lord's Supper and partaking in "Feet Washing" but drive us to participate in it.

➡ FEET WASHING

The Word of God teaches us that "Feet-Washing" is connected with the "Lord's Supper"! In fact, John 13:1-17 confirms that prior to the Lord's Supper, Jesus "laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 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." (John 13:4-5) 

Seeing his Master behave like a slave confused Apostle Peter. With much shock and confusion Apostle Peter said to Jesus: "Lord, YOU are washing MY feet?"  Jesus answered: "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." (John 13:7) Though Apostle Peter saw the action of Jesus, he did not fully understand the purpose. Jesus was the model servant, and He showed His servant attitude to His disciples to follow. Washing guests' feet was a job for a household servant to carry out when guests arrived. But Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist, as the lowliest slave would do, and washed and dried His disciples' feet. It was a symbolical action, inspiring a lesson of humility, love and service, intended to teach it to them in such a manner that it would be impossible for them ever to forget it. Had Jesus simply commanded them to love each other, to be humble & serve each other,  it would have been far less forcible and impressive than when they saw Him actually performing the act of a servant.

When the Lord Himself stooped to this lowly task, the disciples were stunned into silence & confusion at this act of humility and condescension, that Christ, their Lord, Master & Teacher, should wash the feet of His disciples, when it was their proper work to have washed His. By washing their feet, Jesus was doing the work of the lowliest of servants hence why Apostle Peter was profoundly uncomfortable with the Lord washing his feet, and, never being at a loss for words, he protested: "You shall never wash my feet!" Every word here is exceedingly emphatic! In other words:"How can the Son of God, the Messiah Himself perform the humble duty of a servant, toward me, a sinner?" This was an expression of Apostle Peter's humility, of his reverence for Jesus, and also a refusal to allow Him to do it. Apostle Peter had often seen the great humility of his Lord, but never saw His condescension so particularly marked as in this instance.

Then Jesus said something that must have further shocked Apostle Peter: "Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me" (John 13:7-8). In other words, unless Apostle Peter had confidence in Jesus to believe that this act of love, humilty & service which He performed was proper; unless he was willing to submit to the will of Christ and implicitly obey Him, Apostle Peter could not be a follower! He would have nothing in common with Jesus; no evidence of possessing His spirit; of being interested in His work, and no participation in His glory. This still applies today to all believers!  Apostle Peter, whose love for the Savior was genuine, seemed to grasp the significance of Jesus' words and take it to the extreme by requesting a complete washing. "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" (John 13:9)

Apostle Peter, with characteristic readiness and zeal, saw now that his whole salvation, the entire question of his attachment to his Master, was involved. If to refuse to have his feet washed was to be regarded as evidence that he had no part with Jesus, he was not only willing, but eager that it should be done; that is, that he should be cleansed entirely.He expressed his whole-hearted desire to be made pure by the work of Christ. 

To clarify the confusion amongst the disciples, Jesus explained the true meaning of being washed by Him. Jesus reminds Apostle Peter that he had already experienced the cleansing of salvation (water baptism) and did not need to be washed again in the spiritual sense for "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." (John 15:3) Through that doctrine of holiness which Jesus incessantly preached unto them, and which they have received, the disciples were now clean. It does not mean that they were perfect, but that they had been under a ongoing process of purifying by His instructions all the time He had been with them. He had removed their erroneous concepts of the Messiah; He had gradually reclaimed them from their fond and foolish views respecting earthly honors; He had taught them to be willing to forsake all things; and He had so trained and disciplined them that immediately after His death they would be ready to go and bear fruit among all nations to the honor of His name. In addition to this, Judas had been removed from their number, and they were now all true followers of the Saviour. Hallelujah! PRAISE GOD!

This truth is just one of several that Christians can apply to their own lives. First, when we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that is permanent and complete through the blood of Jesus. No act can cleanse us further from our sins, as our sins has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ's death sanctifies and cleanses the Church. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for His special sacred service (Hebrews 10:29; 13:12). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the "washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26), given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). AMIN! TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY. 

As true Christians we must be eager of being cleansed from all sin. We must have no reserve. We must not remove, merely, that one evil tendency, but all; that our every thought should be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5); and that our whole body, soul, and spirit should be sanctified wholly and be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23). Our intellect, will,  affections, thoughts, memory, judgment we desire, should be all brought under the influence of the Gospel, and every power of the body and mind be consecrated unto God. AAAMIN! Please help us Lord!

Salvation is a one-time act of justification by faith. However, He who is justified through the blood of Jesus, needs not only to "wash his feet" (John 13:10), by walking holy, humble and undefiled BUT to physically " wash one another's feet" (John 13:14) as an act of obedience to Christ, love & humility towards other members of Church of Christ. This is a specific instruction, a command, an authoritative example from Our Lord and Teacher: "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." (John 13:15)

Jesus did not wash His disciples' feet just to get them to be nice to each other. His far greater goal was to extend His mission on earth after He ascended to heaven. These men of God were to move into the world serving God, serving each other, and serving all people to whom they took the message of salvation. Jesus was teaching them by this expressive act of love, humility & service,  a lesson which they would continue to learn and practice all their lives. Every day they would see more and more the necessity of humility and of kindness to each other, and would see that they were the servants of Christ and of the Church, and ought not to incline to honors and praises, but to be willing to perform the humblest service to benefit the world. 

Jesus Christ, Lord, Master & Teacher gave His disciples decisive and constant proofs of His love throughout His ministry. This was done by Him calling them  to follow Him; by patiently teaching them; by bearing with their errors and weaknesses; and by making them the heralds of His truth and the heirs of eternal life. He loved them unto the end! That is, He continued the proofs of His love until He was taken away from them by physical death only, for He resurrected in Spirit. Aleluia! To God be all the glory! I am confident to say beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, that we too, have  constant proof of God's love for each and every one of His children. ALELUIA!! TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY! Thank You Lord for Your unconditional love! 

Instances of that love, Apostle John proceeds immediately to record Jesus washing their feet and in the institution of the Lord's Supper. Jesus Christ, our Lord & Saviour is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Aleluia!! He does not change; He always loves with the same traits of character; nor does He withdraw His love from the soul. If His people choose to walk in darkness and wander away from Him, the fault is theirs, not His. Jesus has the character of a friend that NEVER leaves or forsakes us; "a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Prov 18:24), "the Lord does not forsakes His saints." (Psalm 37:28). Hallelujah! THANKYOU Lord, for Your faithfulness!

We may, however, remark here that God often does things which we do not fully understand now, but which we may hereafter. He often afflicts us; He disappoints us; He frustrates our plans. Why this is, we do not know now, but we yet shall learn that it was for our good, and designed to teach us some important lesson of humility, love, service and godliness. So He will, in heaven, scatter all doubts, remove all difficulties, and show us the reason of the whole of His mysterious dealings in leading us in the way to our future rest. We ought also, in view of this, to submit ourselves to Him; to hush every murmur, and to believe that He does all things well. It is one evidence of godliness when we are willing to receive affliction at the hand of God, the reason of which we cannot see, content with the belief that we may see it hereafter; or, even if we never do, still having so much confidence in God as to believe that what He does is right. Hallelujah! Lord, please increase our faith in moments we cannot understand Your will. Help us to trust You at all times, in Jesus name!!

As His followers, we are to follow all Jesus' examples, imitate Him in all things, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek superiority, we displease the Lord who promises that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant's heart, HUMBLE (Mark 9:35; 10:44). When we have that servant's heart, the Lord promises, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17). Hallelujah! THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLESSINGS LORD!

Church of Christ, when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not as King and Conqueror, but as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. As He revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came "not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." The humility expressed by His act with towel and basin foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross. For Jesus, it was the display of His humility and His servanthood. Jesus teaches us that "a servant is not greater than his master" (John 13:16). Again, the disciples still did not understand Jesus' teaching, that to be a leader, a person must be a servant. This is not a comfortable passage for leaders who find it hard to serve those beneath them. How do you treat those who work under you (whether children, employees, or volunteers)?

For the disciples, Jesus' attitude of servanthood (the washing of their feet) was in direct contrast to their heart attitudes at that time, as they were  arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24).The most important event in human history was about to take place, Jesus' death and ressurection, and the disciples were still quarreling about their prestige in the Kingdom! Just like the disciples, many believers are wrapped up in their own concerns and cannot perceive what Jesus has been telling us for so long about sin, death, hell, repentance, battles... His return! 

As born-again, faithful children of God, we MUST follow ALL the examples our Lord, Jesus Christ  left behind for us, including the "Lord's Supper & "Feet Washing". Therefore, I highly recommend that you attend a Church of God that practices this glorious celebration and fellowship. We MUST participate in the "Lord's Supper" in order to remember our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and MUST partake in the "Feet Washing" as a sign of humility and love for Christ and each other. Do NOT neglect participating in the Lord's Supper and Feet Washing! Let it remind us of what Christ did for us, what He has planned for our future and live in humility, love, godliness & serve each other to glorify God. This is a specific instruction, a command, an authoritative example from Our Lord and Teacher to follow. If even He, Son of God in the flesh, is willing to serve, we His followers must also be servants, willing to obey and serve in any way that glorifies God. AMIN! TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!

Grace, mercy, and peace  be with you all from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. God bless you all! I love you all, in Jesus name!

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