Hebrews Lesson 130 July 3, 2008
NKJ Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
(Reading of the Declaration of Independence…
Many of those who signed the Constitution lost their fortunes. Some lost their lives, and they did not lose their honor because they were men of integrity who were willing to take a stand and to do what was right no matter what the consequences were.
When the Declaration of Independence was first voted upon and passed by the Continental Congress, copies were sent to the newspapers. But, the way they expected it to be disseminated the most was that they sent copies to every pastor in the colonies to be read from the pulpits of the churches so that there the people would hear what they had done in Philadelphia. There was never in their minds this modern secularist wall of separation that modern 20th century judicial tyrants have imposed upon the church trying to straightjacket pastors and churches from speaking out in favor of or against political candidates or political positions.
This is something that has come to an interesting head in recent months here in Houston. There was a pastor of a church over in southeastern part of town who got in the pulpit and endorsed a candidate for political office. One of the groups that runs around the country trying to silence Christians sent a threatening letter to him telling him that this violated their tax exempt status and that because of this he was going to (this organization which I think is the Alliance for the Protection of the Separation of Church and State)… that they were going to file a complaint with the IRS. They did file a complaint with the IRS.
In May (the first week of May), a group of pastors called the Houston Area Pastors Council met at a church in the southeast part of town. I was at that particular meeting. At that meeting they called a press conference. They called a press conference because this Council for the Protection of the Separation of Church and State which is just a cover organization to intimidate Christians and to try and keep the Bible or anybody who is a Christian from utilizing their Christian belief system to evaluate or critique what's going on in the culture. Anyway, this organization is also a non-profit 501 (C) 3 organization.
So at the press conference what we did is we said, "Well, since you are using your 501 (c) 3 status illegally to intimidate pastors so they can't use their 1st amendment right of free speech, we're going to file a complaint with the IRS that you 're violating your 501 (C) 3 status."
That's how we have to do it. We are in a battle today. If we don't stand up and if pastors don't unite…I've been pleased to watch this organization. This is the same organization – if you've been watching the news that when this middle school principal in Friendswood brought the CARE…I never can remember what that stands for - The Council on Arab (something) Relations. Anyway, it's been demonstrated it's a front organization and that they've been…money has been funneled through them to terrorist organizations. You always see one of their guys trot out any time something comes up where Muslims think that they've been offended.
So this principal because two boys (one a Muslim and one not) were bullied by another boy. They were smaller than the other boy. This larger boy picked up a couple of these younger kids and turned them upside down in the trash can. I don't know about you, but things like that happened all the time when I was growing up. I mean boys are boys and kids are kids.
So this principal who happens to have a couple of Moslems in her extended family decided that this was really an issue of antagonism directed toward a Moslem. One kid was; one kid wasn't. So she used that as an excuse to bring CARE in to propagandize the students. Well, the Houston Area Pastors Council which is part of a national group that is acting as a watchdog organization on things like this immediately was alerted about this and they sent their representative over there and they began to raise the proper legal issues with the Friendswood School District. It took about two weeks for that principal to – she couldn't get fired because of tenure, but she got moved into a janitor's closet somewhere.
Now HISD in their wisdom has picked her up to be the new principal of Pershing Middle School over off of Stella.
So we're in a battle today because people don't understand what freedom is any more. You have the freedom to say whatever you want to I guess, unless you're a Christian and then you have the freedom to go stand in a closet and keep your mouth shut. But pastors have always had the right since the very beginning of this nation to be the voice of conscience, the voice of truth, and to take political stands from the pulpit.
There are only two things (just for your knowledge) that a 501(c)(3) organization cannot do.
- The organization, that is West Houston Bible Church or Dean Bible Ministries, cannot officially endorse a candidate. But I can endorse anybody I want to all I want to as long as I want to because I am an individual private citizen in this pulpit. I can say whatever I want to. That has been held up even though it has been challenged recently in the courts in Texas. It has always been a fundamental right of pastors in pulpits in the United States of America that they can say whatever they want to, stomp on anybody's toes they want to, and it doesn't matter how offended anybody gets; they can't sue me. That was challenged recently in the state courts of Texas. Unfortunately all of the idiots that have been appointed to judicial positions up and down the line except for the Supreme Court of Texas thought that pastors should not have that right. Then it went to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court voted unanimously and overturned all of the lower court decisions. So we still have some people on the Supreme Court at the Supreme Court level in Texas that understand the law and are not into judicial tyranny. But, pastors can speak their mind. They can clearly critique and evaluate what's going on in the culture and name names if they want to. The organization just can't officially take that position.
- The other thing that a 501(C)(3) organization cannot do is to take an inordinate (I forget what the percentage is, but we certainly wouldn't do that at any level) amount of their budget to support a single piece of legislation. So you can't take 20% or 30% of the church budget to support the passing of a or defeat of a particular piece of legislation.
That's all. See the news media doesn't understand this and you will constantly read…There was an article published on ABCnews.com last week that I sent them an email about because they continue to promote the lie that it's wrong for a pastor to make an endorsement. Yet, this pastor in Houston who endorsed this one particular candidate back in the primary back in March was …when that did go to the Internal Revenue Service and the IRS reviewed it, they said he didn't do anything wrong. Pastors have every right to make statements like that. But we've been intimidated for too long by the liberal socialist Left who doesn't want to hear about absolutes. So, there is going to be a pastoral protest, I think it's the 3rd or 4th Sunday in September, that pastors in this country are being encouraged to get in the pulpit and endorse candidates. I don't know if I'll do that. But I will certainly endorse biblically correct positions.
There are always a few people. I was amazed the last time we had a presidential election. I had been teaching on a series related to the divine institutions and making it just about as clear as I possibly thought I could make it – that one candidate was extremely out in left field for numerous positions that violated the divine institutions and the other one while he wasn't at the very best he at least he wasn't as bad by half as the other one.
Well, in the middle of doing that about two weeks before the election somebody in my church came to me on Sunday saying, "Guess what. There was a woman in your congregation who called into a political talk show the other day (a local one) and said that based on what her pastor had been teaching about what the Bible said were the criterion for elected officials that Christians should be voting for John Kerry."
So I don't know what happens between my mouth and your brain, but there are some people who have things …have their wires really crossed. I just wonder if some people even hear the gospel right after that. That still shakes me up.
So, we celebrate our nation's birthday one more year hoping that we still have freedom in another year. But I thought it would be nice and appropriate as we acknowledge and recognize the freedoms that we have and it's important for Christians…and I want to say this because the question comes up. If we believe in separation of church and state, why does a church – what is the reason that a church in America ...I mean churches in Brazil don't, churches in Indonesia don't, churches in Australia don't; but why is it that churches in America honor military veterans on Veterans Day - those who have given their life for service on Memorial Day? Why should we honor state holidays? We believe in separation of church and state, right? The reason we do is because in this nation uniquely at its founding the government recognized the freedom of every individual to choose on their own where, how and if they would worship and what church they would associate with. That is why we acknowledge as Christians these national holidays, because we recognize that government has been instituted by God; and we honor that. We recognize that this government that we have grown up under, in this government, in these United States, since the establishment of the Constitution has given us the freedom to worship without government interference. So it is an expression of our thankfulness and our gratitude for all of the blessings that we have for the foresight and wisdom of the Founding Fathers of this nation to establish such a government that would continue for this long and provide us with the freedoms that we have enjoyed.
Now there has been an erosion of those freedoms and we are aware of potential loss of even more freedom. But for now, we still have these freedoms and potentially the right to turn things around. It's going to depend upon the people. But so far, as Francis Scott Key recognized in the battle that occurred over Fort McHenry that even though the battle rages over whether or not we will continue to be a free country, the flag still proudly waves.
So let's stand. Alan is going to lead us in the Star Spangled Banner.
We have been studying for the last several lessons the Tabernacle trying to understand where the focal point becomes not just the earthly tabernacle, which becomes the shadow of the heavenly tabernacle which is something we're going to have to think through. I mean I'm not sure what that is all about. There are questions about that that I'm still working through as we approach that study. But to understand this, we have to have a firm and solid foundation of what's going on in the Old Testament in terms of the Old Testament tabernacle that God revealed to Moses. From what we learn in Hebrews, what Moses saw was a shadow image or a reflection of that heavenly archetype. So we've been looking at the Tabernacle in terms of its total composition. Then once we enter in through the gate (the one-way entry into the presence of God), we have begun a study of the different articles of furniture in the Tabernacle.
The first article of furniture we focused on has been the brazen altar. The brazen altar is a type or picture of the judgment of sin. It is a picture of substitutionary atonement – at its very core the fact that at the cross Jesus Christ would bear the judgment for us of our sin.
But as you go through the first chapters of Leviticus, there are 5 different sacrifices that are outlined there. So I put together just a summary chart for us. I'll probably expand this as we go, but just to remind us of these 5 offerings – the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. The only offering of the 4 that was bloodless was the meal offering.
The meal offering was an offering to God of the finest of meal. It could be mixed with oil. It could be baked. It could be fried. It could be broiled and it would be brought to the altar and there it would be consumed completely as a memorial to God's grace. It is called the meal offering or a tribute offering. What all of these have in common is the idea of sacrifice - the blood offerings that is = burnt, peace, sin and guilt offering. They all have at their base a picture of substitutionary atonement.
The burnt offering is the foundational one and it is a picture of the complete payment for sin because the entire offering was consumed upon the altar. In each (in that the one), who brings the sacrifice puts his hand upon the animal indicating a transfer or identification of sin indicates the nature of that payment is that of substitution.
The peace offering which is a picture of our fellowship with God… It is a shared meal. Part was consumed upon the altar and the rest is shared with others in the family – friends, the priests. This was a celebration that the one bringing the offering now had peace with God. It is a picture of reconciliation.
The last two offerings (the sin offering and the guilt offering) both speak of forgiveness. The focal point of the sin offering is on purification for unintentional sin whereas the focus of the guilt offering is purification for specific sin. They each have a slightly different orientation, but the focus there again is substitutionary atonement. So the first thing that happens, the first place of action and activity inside the courtyard, is the burnt offering.
But something else would transpire at the beginning of each shift as it were, as the priest would come in to prepare the sacrifices and the work at the offering. The first thing that a priest would have to do would be to go to the second piece of furniture that is inside the courtyard and that was the laver. The laver was made out of bronze and it was filled with water. The priest would come in and he would wash his hands and wash his feet before he could serve at the altar.
So we need to take a look at the significance of the laver. This pictures Christ as the one who cleanses us from our sins.
Now the laver really isn't mentioned that much in Scripture. There are a few passages I'm going to mention here in Exodus. There is briefly mentioned in terms of the consecration of the priests in Leviticus 8 and it's mentioned in terms of the architecture and the construction of the Solomonic Temple, and then some changes that were made to it a little later on…two or three verses in Kings. That's it. It's not mentioned anywhere else. But, it's important to pay attention to what is going here because the laver is designed to teach a crucial principle for the spiritual life.
In Exodus 30:17-20 we have the order from God for the construction of the laver.
NKJ Exodus 30:17 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
NKJ Exodus 30:18 "You shall also make a laver
The Hebrews word is kiyyor.
of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing.
Now bronze as we saw earlier speaks of judgment. It withstands the fire of judgment, the brazen altar. It speaks of judgment here and so something related to judgment takes place at the laver in terms of the cleansing. It's got a base of bronze for washing.
You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it,
Now the Hebrew word I want you to pay attention to in the original Hebrew text is that word for washing. The verb is rahas. It is a generic or broad based term. It can refer to washing your hands or it can refer to taking an entire bath. The Hebrew word itself does not distinguish between partial washings and complete or total washings. That comes though when you have the Septuagint. The Septuagint, remember, is translated between approximately 200 BC and 100 BC. It was a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek because the Jews in the exile (the Jews in the Diaspora) had lost their facility with Hebrew and so they needed to have the Scriptures in the language that they were familiar with so they could understand it. So the rabbis decided to translate the Old Testament into Greek. The story was that 70 rabbis in 70 days translated the Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek. That's why it's called the Septuagint related to 70. It's often abbreviated with the Roman numeral LXX for seventy. So you'll often see that abbreviation in different places. In the Septuagint the rabbis who all understood the nuance of the Hebrew text did not translate rahas with the same Greek word every time. They understood that in some passages it was a complete washing or bathing. In other passages, it was only a partial washing like the washing of hands or the washing of feet. So when they translated the Hebrew into Greek, they distinguished between these two types of washings. This is very important to understand because of how the Lord Jesus Christ is going to use this later on.
In Exodus 30:19 we read:
NKJ Exodus 30:19 "for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it.
There the Greek word is nipto. Nipto is the word that simply refers to a partial washing – the washing of hands, the washing of feet. In fact the root is used to describe the laver itself.
NKJ Exodus 30:20 "When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die.
Notice the penalty. Failure to wash their hands and their feet, failure to have this partial cleansing every time they entered into the service in the tabernacle would result in the death penalty. God is really making a point here that these guys have to wash their feet and their hands every time they come in. They walk through the gate. They wash their hands. They wash their feet before they can start cutting up the animals to put them on the altar before they go into the tent of meeting. Before they do anything, the first thing they have to do is they have to wash their hands and wash their feet. It's a picture of confession of sin. You know "how dull and boring and mechanical" somebody might say. I've had people say that.
"Every time you start Bible class you always start with silent prayer. You say basically the same thing. We have confession of sin. It's so mechanical."
Well, that's how you teach things. It's called pedagogy. You go through things over and over and over again because on the one hand people need to be reminded of its importance; and on the other hand there are new people coming in who haven't quite learned how significant this is. In the Old Testament the importance of experiential sanctification (because that's the key word that we're going to see here)…
The Old Testament uses the word to be set apart, to be sanctified, to be made holy. It's the Hebrew word qadash which is the counterpart to the New Testament word hagiazo. It has this idea of experiential or ongoing sanctification. Before the priest can serve God, they have to be experientially set apart to serve God for that day. The fact that it had happened the day before or the day before or that they had been completely bathed sometime in the past is another issue.
Now when you look at the Exodus 30:21, the text goes on to say:
NKJ Exodus 30:21 "So they shall wash their hands
and their feet, lest they die.
Repetition is the key to learning. When the Holy Spirit repeats things, you have to pay attention.
And it shall be a statute forever to them -- to him and his descendants throughout their generations."
Then we skip to the next passage. That's all Exodus 30. That's all we have is those verses 17-21.
The next mention we have of the laver is in 38:8. It adds something new about its construction. What was it made from? Okay. It's made from bronze, but where did they get the bronze.
NKJ Exodus 38:8 He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
So it's made from mirrors. So when you would come up to the laver and you looked through the clear water, what are you going to see? You're going to see a reflection of yourself. This is a function of the Word of God.
I want you to hold your place here and turn to the New Testament with me to the 1st chapter of James. Now the first chapter of James (all the way down through 2:13) puts an emphasis on the application of the Word.
"Don't be a hearer only" - which means don't just come to Bible class, listen, take notes and accumulate a lot of intellectual knowledge about the Bible. You have to have intellectual knowledge about the Bible before you can apply it. That's the trouble today.
People say, "Ah, we know too much."
If we only applied a tenth of what we know, just think what great believers we would be. We don't apply a tenth of what we know about any subject in life. The more we know (the more the totality of our knowledge)… we only apply about maybe on tenth of 1% at any given time. So the more the total knowledge, the larger that one tenth of 1% is going to be.
So you continue to learn and grow and you will apply more. But people don't want to learn. I can't tell you how many times….
Years ago I was in a church and I see, "Oh, we just know. You dump so much knowledge on us. It's like an information dump."
Well, you just don't want to learn anything do you?
So James emphasizes. He doesn't say don't be a hearer of the Word.
He says, "Be a hearer and a doer."
Add something to it. Don't just collect information, but apply it.
He gives an illustration. He says in 1:22:
NKJ James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
See the person who just comes and listens collects a lot of information about the Bible but doesn't really think about its application.
Now I remember years ago sitting next to somebody in Bible class and they were taking notes. Just because of the way we were sitting in Bible class, my eye naturally fell on their notes. I noticed that when they took notes that if the point was expressed in an impersonal third person sort of construction, they converted it into a first person construction. "I need to do this." Every point that was given they converted that into "I need to do this" if it would make sense that way.
I thought, "Boy. That really makes it personal, doesn't it?"
That's convicting. Let's move on.
NKJ James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
When you only listen to the Word and you're not thinking in terms of "how does that impact" or "how should that change the way I think, the way I relate to people, the way I respond to situations, how is that going to change me fundamentally?"; then you're in self deception. You're just getting information and you're not thinking terms of: this information is designed to change me.
Then James gives an illustration. In fact what's interesting is I was talking to a pastor just this morning. We meet weekly.
He was telling me, "Have you ever heard anybody interpret James this way?"
He related the fact that he had somebody in is congregation come up and say, "Well, a hearer is somebody who shows up at Bible class. A doer is a person who really understands what it says."
Application is not related.
I thought, "Boy! That sounds like the objector over in James 2."
Maybe you ought to respond by saying, "What do you do with the next verse?"
The next verse says:
NKJ James 1:23 For
if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
Applier of the Word
he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
NKJ James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
So what James is saying here is you wake up in the morning and you go into the bathroom and you look in the mirror and you've got bed head. Your hair is going in 40 different directions and you need a shave. You've got that stubble starting to show up. See that's the value - as we look a little fuzzier around the edges as we get older and our eyesight goes… I look in the mirror and I can't tell if I've shaved or not for four days. That's the trouble. I had a beard for so many years when I didn't need to shave. I look in the mirror and I don't notice that I haven't shaved. Sometimes I'll get somewhere… I did this the other day at Bible class.
"I didn't shave today".
I don't look in the mirror and see myself anymore.
So this is a person who looks in the mirror and says, "You need a shave. Your hair is crazy. Okay."
Now what do you do? You go fix breakfast, have a cup of coffee and forget what you looked at. Well, that's the person who is a hearer and not an applier, not a doer. The person who is a hearer and a doer responds to that.
You look in a mirror and say, "Ah! I need to comb my hair. I look crazy."
If you are a lady you need to put some makeup on. I need to shave…whatever it is you recognize that as you see truth in the mirror, that truth tells you that you need to change something about yourself. The Word of God reflects reality and so we see that which needs to conform to truth.
When you come to the laver, what is reflected in the mirror of the laver is the sin of the individual. He sees himself as he is. So there is a recognition there that we need to look at ourselves, look at the reflection of ourselves to see if there is sin there. If there is sin there, we need to confess it. That's the point of application.
So it's made out of a mirror because we need to look and examine our lives and to see if there is sin there. If there is, we need to confess it.
Now the next time we have the laver mentioned is in Exodus 40. This is at the consecration of the priest when he first enters into service. The laver is mentioned.
NKJ Exodus 40:7 "And you shall set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water in it.
NKJ Exodus 40:12 "Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water.
NKJ Exodus 40:13 "You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.
When the rabbis translated this into the Septuagint, they didn't translate it with nipto. They translated it with louo. This is the initial bathing, the complete washing of the priest. He was bathed from head to toe. This is equivalent to positional sanctification.
Now what does that mean? Those are big words. It means that our position before God is completely sanctified. God looks at us (as the believer as our position for the believer in the Church Age)…our position in Christ is that we are completely cleansed of all sin. We are completely forgiven positionally. But this doesn't have to do with the day-to-day experience of our Christian lives. That's the point of comparison. At the beginning of Aaron's ministry, he's positionally cleansed. They are bathed from head to toe. Then, they would put on their sanctified, set-apart garments. They were anointed and consecrated so that they could serve as priests.
Now there are other things that happened as well related to different sacrifices and offerings. When we get into our study of the priesthood we will look at those. But for now what I want to do is look in the last 4 minutes…Tomorrow's a holiday we'll take 10 minutes. We're going to look at how Jesus picks up on this terminology in John 13. This is as they come together to celebrate the Passover the night before the Lord goes to the cross. He is with the disciples in the Upper Room. Jesus took the position of being the servant. The servant would come to wash the feet of the guests that would come in. But, he's taking this to a new level and he's going to use this to teach a principle.
So turn with me if you will to the 13th chapter of John. I'm just going to make a couple of quick points here because it's fairly obvious. Then we'll see how all of this connects.
NKJ John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
So Judas is an unbeliever. He's not just having the devil put ideas into him. That would be demon influence. But later on it says that the devil goes into him – eiserchomai, the same word used for demon possession. So he is an unbeliever.
NKJ John 13:3 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.
So now after supper He is going to go through this process of washing their feet.
NKJ John 13:5 After that, He poured water into a basin
The word for basin there is related to nipto.
and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded
So He goes from Matthew to Thaddeus to James. Each one sits there and says, "Well, this is interesting", watching Jesus watch their feet. He would wash their feet, wipe them off with a towel that He had.
Then He comes to Peter. Peter has been watching this. Peter's not so sure that the Lord… remember Peter is the one who realizes Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God. He's not so sure this is the right thing for the Lord to be doing.
So in Peter's wealth of human viewpoint, he says:
.6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
We would put it, "Lord, why 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."
"I'm picturing something. I'm depicting something in action, but you don't understand it right now. But, you will later. But, right now you're not going to understand the full import of this."
NKJ John 13:8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!"
"I'm not going to let you do this. You may be having a teaching point here or an analogy but I'm not going to let you do it."
Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you,
Nipto – all these so far that's the only word used, partial washing.
you have no part with Me."
Now that word "part"…in English we tend to think of it like an actor has a part in a play. He has a role in the play. Too often that's the idea that we get. The Greek word here though is the word miras. Miras is a word used in legal literature usually wills and testaments (last wills and testaments) to indicate the portion of the inheritance that's designated to a person.
When the prodigal son comes to his father and says, "Hey dad! I want to go live my life. I want to leave here. I want to go have fun. Give me my share of the inheritance."
The word that he uses there is miras. It's the same word that's used here. "Part" is a bad translation.
Jesus is saying, "If I don't wash with you, you have no share of inheritance with Me."
That's a powerful statement. It impacts Peter.
NKJ John 13:9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
"Give me a bath!"
So he goes from one end of the spectrum to the other.
NKJ John 13:10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed
Louo – that's that word that described the complete washing of the high priest at the beginning of his service; but it only happened once – at the beginning.
needs only to wash his feet,
but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
That implies that he is only partially clean prior to the partial washing. The issue here is cleansing and the noun here is katharos related to the verb katharizo.
We say I John 1:9:
NKJ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Cleanse us – katharizo. That's that idea.
The important thing in I John - some years ago there was a controversy and this comes up every now and then – do we really need to confess our sin? Some of you remember there was a lot of discussion a few years ago about this. Everybody focuses on " Well, it seems like confession is legalistic." I've heard that many times. Why don't you confess your sins? They miss the point. The emphasis in I John 1:9 isn't on confessing. The issue is cleansing. What do you do with post salvation sin? If you don't need to be cleansed of it, then does it have any impact on your relationship with God?
Trust me in any relationship you have whether it's marriage, whether it's a parental relationship, whether you're the child or the parent, work relationship - if you do something that offends the other person in the relationship, then something has to be done to clear that up before harmony is restored. That's just the way life is.
It's the same thing with God. To think that, "Oh, I can go out and I can sin the 7 deadly sins or whatever and I don't have to confess them or do anything just trust that God is going to automatically forgive me because Jesus died for me" is a recipe for licentiousness - much more so than people think that I John 1:9 is "just confess your sin and it's okay" is a recipe for licentiousness.
Using I John 1:9 means every now and then at least you have to think about whether there is any sin in your life. If you don't have to confess your sin, you're automatically forgiven because you're trusting God to automatically do it; you'd never have to think about the sin. You would really make hay of all the sunshine so to speak.
NKJ John 13:10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you,
He says to Peter….
Actually it's not just "you" to Peter. It's a "y'all" there. It's a plural. "Y'all are clean" meaning all of the disciples. Y'all are clean.
but not all of you."
In other words there is one of you who isn't positionally cleansed i.e. there's one of you that's not saved. But the rest of y'all are all completely clean and positionally saved.
Then John explains what he meant by this.
NKJ John 13:11 For He knew who would betray Him;
He's speaking about Judas.
therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
That is you are not all positionally cleansed or saved.
Then verse 12:
NKJ John 13:12 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?
NKJ John 13:14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
This is a picture of not only divine forgiveness but also forgiveness one to another. That's what he's going to end up teaching after he identifies the betrayer and kicks Judas out between verse 18 and 30. Then He gives the new commandment that we are to love one another as He has loved us. That relates to the grace orientation of forgiving one another which is what He has illustrated. He is illustrating divine forgiveness.
When Jesus washes partially (nipto) and says, "You are all already bathed (louo) so you are all clean; he is using the same terminology and drawing a connection (a continuity) between the Old Testament priesthood service and the New Testament priesthood service and that there's an underlying principle. That is for a priest to serve God he has to be in sanctified relationship. When we sin that experiential sanctification is broken. We become in terms of sanctification - we become unclean. But, when we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness so that we can then continue in our Christian growth and Christian service.
So the laver is a picture and reminder of the fact that the believer needs to be confessing sin and needs to have ongoing cleansing in order to be able to serve God. It is a daily and significant thing that the believer needs to keep close watch on his sins.
With that we finish the outer courtyard. Next time we'll come back and look at what is going on inside the Holy of Holies.