An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 53 of 270
of the whole body.  'The face' (Matt. 6:17), 'the hands' (Matt. 15:2; Mark
7:3), 'the eyes' (John 9:7,11,15) and 'the feet' (John 13:5,6,8,10,12,14; 1
Tim. 5:10) exhaust its usage.  Nipter is a 'bason' (John 13:5) not a bath.
There is a verse in Leviticus that uses the three words louo, nipto and pluno
with precision.  We give the LXX version:
'And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed
(nipto) his hands in water, he shall wash (pluno) his clothes, and
bathe (louo) himself in water, and shall be unclean until evening'
Let us now turn to the thirteenth of John.  There is wondrous humility;
the Lord of glory took a towel and girded himself, and began to wash the
disciples' feet.  Apparently everyone was held speechless at the wonder of
it, until the Lord reached Peter, and this impetuous man giving voice, no
doubt, to what was passing through the minds of all, said, 'Lord, dost Thou
wash my feet?'  After hearing the Lord's reply, but without stopping to
consider that the act was evidently symbolic, Peter continued, 'Thou shalt
never wash my feet'.  To this the Lord patiently replied: 'If I wash thee
not, thou hast no part with Me'.  We can forgive the sudden rush of feeling;
we can sympathise with the impetuous soul and with his complete volte face,
as he contemplates with shrinking and horror, life having no part with the
Saviour.  Away went every scruple, as he said: 'Lord, not my feet only, but
also my hands and my head'.
Again the patient reply, correcting the doctrine but apprising at its
true worth the love that prompted even the mistake,
'He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean
every whit' (John 13:10).
Let us translate this verse again a little more carefully, paying
attention both to the tense of the verb and of the actual words used for
'He who hath been bathed, has no need except to wash his feet, but is
altogether clean'.
Here we have the important distinction which the Scripture always
makes, but which some teaching concerning holiness appears to confuse,
namely, the complete sanctification of the believing sinner -- holy,
unblameable, unreproveable in the sight of God -- the consequence of the
Offering of the Lord Jesus Christ, and having no reference to merit or
demerit on the part of the sanctified; and progressive sanctification, the
practical outworking of this acceptance in the daily cleansing that goes on
while the believer 'walks in the light', even though walking here below.  He
needs the washing of the feet continually, that is, cleansing from the
defilement of daily contact, but so far as his standing in Christ is
concerned, 'he hath been bathed' and a repetition of that is unthinkable.
Clothing.  The sage of Chelsea, Thomas Carlyle, is not quoted much today, but
some readers may remember his book, Sartor Resartus.  We remember a village
policeman, who would never have been able to tackle Carlyle's book,
nevertheless giving an exposition of Carlyle's philosophy of clothes, saying: