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In Our Master's Footsteps
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In Our Master's Footsteps

God calls Christians to forsake the sinful influences of our society. He also commands us to walk daily in the footsteps of Christ, imitating him in our words and deeds.

Peter explains that God enables us to be like him in his nature. "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:3,4).

Footwashing is a call to such a godly Christian life. We are to walk daily with our Lord, following his examples each step of the way.

Participating in His Holiness

Our feet represent our behavior and lifestyle. The Lord Jesus cleanses all our past sins through baptism. But we still need to continue our lives in a world filled with temptations, immorality, and godless values. We must leave our former life of sin and detest sin as much as God detests it.

To continue living in sin after we have heard the truth is to "spurn the Son of God," (Hebrews ) because it is a disregard for our Lord Jesus' sacrifice.

It grieves our Lord to see his children sin, knowing that sin brings on us troubles and hurts. Sin is a serious matter to God, so serious that he "did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). God loves us so much that he paid the greatest price to deliver us from sin. If we are willing to rely on Christ to help us overcome sin, he will create in us a new heart after the image of God.

We also need to let the word of God "wash our feet," by listening to and obeying the teachings of the Bible. The word of God keeps our feet from straying. A psalmist writes, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalms 119:105 NIV). God's word directs the way that we should go in life.

Footwashing teaches us that Christ continues to wash us through the word of God. Every believer of Christ must accept his Christian duty to always abide by God's commands.

Participating in His Body

Jesus commanded his followers to wash each other's feet. He expected his followers to live with each other as he lived with them--gentle, patient, and loving.

He also wanted them to teach all who were to be baptized into his name to obey everything he had commanded them. "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20 NIV). Jesus Christ continues to live among believers through the teachings of the church.

David, a king in Israel, said, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord!' Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!" (Psalms 122:1,2). Jerusalem was where God's temple resided. For Christians, Jerusalem symbolizes the church, the body of Christ. To let our feet stand within the gates of Jerusalem is to remain in the community of believers and adhere to the gospel of salvation which God has given to the church. Christian life goes hand in hand with church life. When Christians gather and worship in Jesus' name, the Lord is there among them. The grace of the Lord, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit flow out through the church to each member. The church, by means of sermons and Bible studies, delivers Christ's teachings for us to live by. Having part with Christ, therefore, also means being part of the church.

Participating in His Love

After his last meal with the disciples, Jesus left them these words, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John ,35). Love is the mark of Christians, because "God is love." (1 John 4:8). When we receive footwashing, we receive Christ's call to share God's love. We are to love others with the love of God.

We must love by humbly serving others. Jesus exemplified such humility. In the ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman world, the washing of feet was often the lowest form of servitude, a task delegated to slaves. But Jesus, the glorious king of heaven, got down and washed the feet of sinners. Most amazing of all, he even washed the feet of his betrayer! The loving example of our master compels us to do likewise. Jesus said, "I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (John 13:15-17). If our master bows down to serve us, his unworthy followers, how much more ought we to serve each other! True love is not merely a feeling or a philosophy. It is demonstrated through actions. By washing our feet, Christ sends us to love our neighbors, and even our enemies. Christ laid down his life for us while we were still his enemies. He wants us in turn to lay down our lives for others, even if they are ungrateful. We must dedicate our feet to go into the world and bring the good news of salvation to everyone. May our footprints be the imprints of God's love in the world.

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Publisher: True Jesus Church