why do we need to confess our sins
We are told to continually confess our sins. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (
). We must remember that one confession does not last a lifetime. There is not guarantee from Scripture that the believer is exempt from ever falling into the same sin once it is confessed. We have an example from the New Testament on our need for daily confession of sins. When people would go to the public baths, they would wash themselves clean all over. However, on the way home, they would gather dirt on their feet. They had to wash themselves again. This time it would not be their entire body, but just their feet that were washed. We find Jesus teaching this to Peter. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. No, said Peter, you shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. Then, Lord, Simon Peter replied, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!
Jesus answered, A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you ( ). Jesus is teaching us the need for daily confession. While our sins have been once and for all forgiven, we need to confess daily our sins before Him to restore the fellowship that may have been broken. I believe The Lord gave a beautiful example of the daily cleansing all believers need. John 13: 4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
Even if an individual had recently bathed, sandaled feet would soon become dirty from going about in the dusty, arid environment. I understand it was middle eastern custom for the householder have his servant wash the guests feet. In this passage we see the very Lord of glory humbling himself to the lowly chore of a servant, a slave by washing the disciples feet. Peter's initial rejection wasn't one of arrogance but crushing humility. I believe he expressed the same sentiment as John Baptist expressed in John 1:27 "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. " Peter felt he wasn't worthy and couldn't allow the Messiah, the very Son of God wash his feet! Who of us is worthy? After Peter's refusal The Lord stated: "if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. " Peter responded, wash me all over!
The Lords next statement in my opinion has tremendous doctrinal significance. V. 10 "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. " Oh, those precious words! "He that is washed" does not need to be re-bathed all over. After I wash your feet you will be completely, totally clean! "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. " Those who are truly born again, born of God, washed in the blood of the lamb only need a regular cleansing to wash off the dirt and contamination of sin we accumulate. We need a regular washing of water by the Word, confessing and repenting of our sins to maintain a right relationship with the Lord. "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. " (Psalms 34:18) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. " (1 John 1:9) "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. " (1 John 1:10)
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