So we’re going to continue in our Living Water series. And today our main scripture is in Titus chapter three. And we’re going to try to unpack a little bit about that. But we’re also going to spend little bit of time at the Last Supper because I think this is kind of a really cool type.
And if you understand, we see Jesus showing us something through the Last Supper that isn’t necessarily obvious, but it really comes into flesh out what we’re talking about. And we’ve been talking about living water, and we’ve talked about the importance of being the hope of the city we live in. But part of that is we need to wash ourselves first. In order to be useful, we have to be clean. We have to be prepared.
And I’m glad you’re here today. I pray that this is helpful to you. The study was very helpful to me, but I want to open up in Titus chapter three, verses four through seven.
But it says For when the goodness and loving kindness of God, our Savior appeared, he saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Savior. So that being justified by His Grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Today we worship God, and this is a worship service. And we talked a little bit about that a couple of weeks ago. We are actually here to worship God.
I love the fact that we can study the Bible. I love the fact that we can bring practical use to the word of God. But truly our reason to be here is to worship God. And we do that because of his loving kindness. We do that because he saw in us something that we don’t necessarily see in ourselves.
We do that because he gives us hope when we’re hopeless.
It says we’re not deserving of this Grace because it’s not something that we’ve earned. It’s not something that we can work for. It’s not something that we can attain through our own efforts, but it’s through his mercy. And it’s God in his mercy has washed us by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. And that’s really what we’re here to celebrate.
God washed us so that he could make us useful. God cleansed us. If you go to Ephesians five, and we don’t have time to unpack that scripture as well, but we use it in marriage counseling all the time. And I love that Paul at the end of Ephesians Five, he says, well, I’m talking about marriage, but really talking about Christ in the Church. And when he talks about the husbands, he says, Christ washed the wife, cleansed her through the word.
And that’s what it is. Jesus cleanses us through his Word.
We experience that cleansing through baptism. When we’re baptized, God cleanses our lives. And then we also have a type of cleansing every time we come together to take Communion and we will take Communion today. In the moment we were baptized, we became his children, and then we became heirs to eternal life. Isn’t that awesome?
We become part of an incredible family. Not because we deserve it. And I don’t know about you, but there are times when I have been blessed in my life in ways that I do not deserve. And it makes me a little uncomfortable.
And I think sometimes as Christians, we get into the mode, well, we do deserve it. We’re good people. And we start getting comfortable. And I pray that we could live our lives a little uncomfortable, that the people around us, when they see us, would be a little uncomfortable.
People are uncomfortable around Jesus. And he was the most accommodating person that anyone had ever met. He had loved like no one else. But they just didn’t really want to be around him. They wanted to be around him, but they really didn’t want to be around him.
He just didn’t know what he was going to say, what he was going to do, or how he was going to challenge you. Wouldn’t it be cool to be salty like that?
Wouldn’t it be cool? I don’t know what’s coming out of this guy’s mouth. I don’t know what the challenge is going to be. That was Jesus.
Paul encourages Titus to be ready for every good work. Now I ask us, Church, are we ready for every good work? Sometimes we are a little reluctant to serve. Have you ever felt that? Kind of hoping I don’t get tapped on the shoulder that nobody asks me to do something? I’ve been there.
But the Church needs to be ready for every good work. Look what it says in Titus three, verses one through three. It says, remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish disobedient, led astray slaves, the various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. We could end the sermon right there.
Paul is a reminder of how to live. And I think that’s a good reminder for us, because I think in today’s day and age, it’s easy to forget these things. It’s easy to just become as jaded and ornery as everyone else.
You know what happens when you’re just like everyone else? Everyone’s comfortable around you. And remember, people weren’t comfortable around Jesus. They shouldn’t be comfortable around Christ followers. They shouldn’t be comfortable around his disciples.
But when we’re just like everyone else, we’re dismissed just like everyone else. So I’d ask us to reflect on our own lives. How submissive are we to authority in our life. Do we buck it? Do we fight against it?
How obedient are we? Facebook fans, do we speak evil of no one and avoid quarreling?
Are we gentle?
Do people see us as gentle? Not weak. Gentle?
We studied it out a couple of years ago. But the idea of meekness isn’t one of weakness, it’s an idea of domestication the wild animal. All of the things that voice in my head, everything that I want to say, I process and take captive and present it through Christ. But do we actually do that or are we just without filter?
Because it’s easy to say, Well, I’m just being honest.
God wants us to be honest, right? Would you rather me lie? Paul says take every thought captive and submit it to Christ. So if your honesty is not Christlike, you need to dominate it, you need to change it. You need to make it submissive to God.
And I love what he says and I love how the ESV translates it. Show perfect courtesy. Those of you who drive on I four. Show perfect courtesy toward all people. I read a book a couple of months ago now, but called Unoffendable. It was a great book.
I highly recommend it. But he said some things. It was one of those books that it’s a really quick and easy read, but a very difficult process because in one of the chapters they’re like, well why don’t you just take the slow line just because. I don’t know, you ever get to the grocery store and you start sizing up the lines?
Do you get upset when your line that you thought was going to be faster is now slower?
Did you ever have any choice thoughts for the person in front of you that has 7 million coupons? I was in Publix one time. I saw a woman go away with three baskets of food and $20. I mean, I stuck around because I’d never seen anything so amazing in my life. Her cart started like $700 and she left and they gave her money.
I’m like, I didn’t think that was true. I thought that was just something that people on TV said. I actually saw a person do it. I’m like, I came home, I said, Wendy, we’re going to coupon.
Then I realized this is hard work. It’s like a full time job. We no longer coupon.
But Paul reminds them this is how God expects us to live. And then he reminded them of how they used to live. Foolish, disobedient, lead astray, slaves to their passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy. Hated by others and hating one another.
My prayer is that we actually are people that used to live that way. My fear is that we may still live this way and we’ll never be the Church we need to be if we do not repent until we are people ready for good works. And you know what angry people aren’t ready to do good.
People who are steeped in their passions and pleasures. They’re not ready to do good. If our life is about ourselves, if selfishness is my God, then I’m not ready to be what God needs me to be. If I’m foolish, if I’m hurtful, if I’m angry, I can’t be the fountain of water, of living water that God wants me to be, and neither can you. So a lot of times we think, oh, I have flaws. That’s fine.
We all have flaws. I have one or two maybe. I haven’t seen them. But Wendy might know. Jesus purified us so that we might be living water for central Florida. He redeemed us.
He made us his possession so that we might be zealous in continuing his work. But I ask, are you zealous to continue Jesus work today?
Those are those points in a sermon you go amen. And everyone says Amen.
But then we get upset if they don’t sing the song that I like or they sing the song that I don’t like. I’ve been that person. I mean, there is a song in Spanish that I absolutely hate. I told my song leader, you and I can’t be friends if you sing this song. It’s true.
It disturbs my spirit.
I don’t know if I have to sing this song I don’t know if I can be a Christian.
You know what? The problem is not the song. It’s me because I made Church about myself. I’m here to consume, and it’s got to be what I want, the way that I want. You know what? I’m not that important. God could take me out. Church would go right ahead. I mean, there’d be hopefully a little crying and maybe a Memorial or something, but you guys would meet next Sunday.
I’m not that important, but neither are you.
So why do we make ourselves the center of Church?
I want to spend some time going through a well known scripture, but I think there’s some word pictures that are not easily caught on. There’s a little bit of typology that is really special, really cool. And I think as we prepare for Communion, it may change the way we see some things. Open your Bibles up to John 13, verse one.
It says now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Now it’s important to understand that the end here is not a measure of time. He loved them to the end of their days, of his days. That is not what Jesus is talking about. That is not what the scripture is saying.
He is talking about extent.
He loved them with his utmost. He loved them beyond measure. He loved them completely. And I think sometimes we think that God loves us for time periods. We’re kind of finite, and we think, okay, he loves me because I’m doing well, but I blew it.
He doesn’t love me. And we get into these cycles. But the Bible says that when Jesus knew his time had come, he loved his disciples completely. I pray that you feel completely loved today.
And then during the Supper, when the devil had already put in the heart of Judas, Simon’s son, sorry God in Spanish to portray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from the Supper. Now, when I was studying this out, this was the AHA moment. What was happening here? What Supper was this? This was the Last Supper, right? And we know what the Last Supper is because we celebrate Communion every Sunday and we talk about it.
And Jesus tells his disciples, as he hands them the bread and he hands them the wine and he says, Take my body and my blood and do this when you’re together as a Memorial to me. So Jesus rose from his Memorial. So basically, he rose from his death. They were celebrating his death at this dinner, and he rose from his death. That’s an incredible resurrection picture because he’s giving them an idea.
He’s showing them what needs to happen after the resurrection. But I think sometimes we don’t get it.
So I think we have to pay attention. What did Jesus do after he rose from the Supper? Verse four says he laid aside his outer garments and, taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a Basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He laid his garments aside. He took his shirt off. Then he took up a towel and he girded himself. He tied it around his waist as if it were a belt. So he took his garments off and dressed himself in the garb of a servant.
But do we understand what he was doing?
We have to know that this was more than a physical act of washing. We have to know because in the next verse, Jesus explains to Peter, he came to Simon Peter and said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? Who said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? Jesus answered him, What I’m doing, you do not understand now, but afterwards you will understand. It was not clear what Jesus was doing because washing feet was something that happened every day.
Peter didn’t understand because there was a deeper meaning. He rose from the Supper. He took a towel, he girded himself. After that, he poured water into the Basin and began to wash the disciples feet, wipe them with the towel that he had put around his waist. Well, let’s think about it for a minute.
What did these guys been doing all day? They’ve been walking around Jerusalem right? Before there were paved roads and sidewalks. It was pretty nasty. And they wore sandals. I don’t know about you.
One time I wore sandals to, it was Six Flags. And I got home and my feet were so disgusting, I swore to myself, I will never wear flip flops or sandals to a theme park again. Because it took a scrub brush and a good minute to get my feet back to a state that I recognized them.
So I can’t imagine what their feet looked like. I think they were probably approaching the house, and maybe they started to think, we don’t have any slaves here. So who’s going to get to wash the feet before we go up for dinner in the house? And maybe Peter was saying, It’s not me. I was just in the amount of Transfiguration with Jesus and all the top guys. Ain’t me.
Thomas probably doubted it was him, too.
And then, as they may have been discussing that, Jesus grabbed the towel and put it around his own waist. But what was the towel?
Washing the disciples feet. Washing the disciples feet was a form of preaching. In the morning, when you expose yourself to the word of God, you’re pouring water into the Basin. You’re getting ready to wash. The water is what washes your feet. But then what does he do?
He dries their feet with a towel that he had around his waist. And the Greek word for towel is Lenty. And it really is just linen cloth. But in the Bible, linen is a picture of righteousness. Look at Isaiah eleven, verse five.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waste and faithfulness the belt of his loin. So Jesus wrapped this linen, this belt of righteousness around him, and he’s washing the disciples feet, but he’s drying them with righteousness. So we need to wash ourselves in the water of the Word. But then we need to apply the Word, and it needs to become righteous living in our lives. And that preaches Church, that preaches when you make a stand for what is right in this world, that preaches without saying anything.
Look at Acts three, verses 19 and 20. It says, Repent, therefore, and turn back that your sins may be blotted out. That times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
So a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had to postpone for the second time our men’s camping trip. Not everyone loves camping. I love camping. When I was single, I would take two weeks a year, and I would just go and hike and camp for two weeks. You know what is not common when you’re camping?
Bathing. Bathing is not common with camping.
And things like deodorant are actually not even helpful because they usually smell like things that bugs like. Flowers and stuff.
I love camping. But you know what’s awesome? When you get home? That shower.
That’s the way I look at this scripture. It’s like, man, times are refreshing. I remember. I remember coming home from camping, just a couple of days with the guys. And when he’s like, okay, go directly, put everything in a garbage bag and go directly to the bathroom.
That’s what happens if we don’t expose ourselves to water, right? We stink.
I wonder if we’re stinky right now, how much we’re exposing our lives to water. The word.
I’ll admit there are times I’ve been a Christian. Now, on the 15th of this month, it will be 30 years. In that 30 year stretch, there have been times when I just have not felt like reading my Bible and I got stinky.
And maybe a better word is dusty. I think it works biblically. Dusty works better. They didn’t expose their feet. Their feet were dusty.
Well, if you remember Genesis, chapter three, dust is the food of the devil. The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field on your belly, you shall go, in dust you shall eat all the days of your life. If we don’t expose ourselves to the consistent cleansing from the word of God, the devil will eat us alive.
I don’t want to be dusty, but Peter still didn’t get it. Verse eight, Peter said to him, you shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I do not wash you, you have no share with me. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. You got to love Peter.
Peter was all or nothing. There was no Gray area in Peter’s life. He’s like, I’m walking on water. I’m sinking right now. He’s like, I’m going to die with you.
Jesus says, you’re going to deny me three times in the same chapter. I think sometimes we’re like that. We’re gung Ho. We’re going to save the world, but we can’t get out of bed.
He says, well, not just my feet, but also my hands and head. And then Jesus said to him, verse ten, the one who has bathed does not need to wash except his feet.
But it’s completely clean and you are clean, but not every one of you. For he knew who was to betray him. That was why he said, not all of you are clean.
It’s not a question of do we need to bathe? We bathed when we were baptized into Christ’s blood. God cleanse us. So we don’t need another bath. But Jesus says to Peter, but you do need to clean your stinky feet.
The spiritual bath was baptism.
First Peter three, verse 22 says, God’s patience waited in the days of Noah. Marshall shared the scripture last week while the Ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons were brought safely through water baptism, which corresponds to this now saves you not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God with Angels, authorities and powers having been subjective subjected to him. Now we’re saved in baptism but we are constantly stepping in the mud and we need to wash our feet in the word. I don’t know about you, but I blow it all the time. Maybe you have an easier, better walk with Christ than I do.
But I blow it all the time. I tick my wife off all the time.
Sometimes not even on purpose.
No. Okay. I’ll try not to be humorous.
That didn’t work? Okay.
I was trying. But we need to wash our feet and we need to wipe them with righteousness. We need to decide to repent and live correctly before God. Verse twelve when they washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place. He said to them, do you understand what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord and you’re right for I am.
If I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I’ve given you an example that you should do just as I have done to you.
Our teacher and Lord is sending us to pronounce his gospel to those around us. Starts here. We need to wash each other. We need to confess and pray and help each other to be righteous. But it doesn’t stop here.
It doesn’t stop with the Church. From here it goes into all of central Florida and eventually into all of the world. We can be living water for central Florida if you and I decided to wash ourselves and the word of God. Right now we’re going to pray for Communion.