"If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.—Joh_13:8.
Introduction.—Assembly convened—occasion—supper—Saviour going to leave them—intended to impress upon them the importance of lowliness of mind, condescension, and humility—taught them by his own example—how striking! Peter's rash refusal—the Redeemer's expostulation, &c.
I. Human Nature is defiled.
This is an important gospel doctrine. This defilement is,
1. The result of original transgression.
Adam begat a son in his own likeness. Fountain became corrupt; consequently, streams impure. Tree became bad; fruit bad also. Human nature became diseased; this disease hereditary, all the progeny tainted. This is a doctrine,
2. Established by Scripture statements.
Job confessed it; Job_40:4. David, Psa_55:5, and Jeremiah (Jer_17:19) affirmed it. Christ also taught it, Mat_15:19; so did the apostles, Rom_5:12; Eph_2:3.
3. Strikingly manifested in the conduct of men around us.
All wandering in their own evil ways, following their own devices, &c.
II. Human Nature may be purified.
God hath not abandoned us to our apostasies, but provided means for our recovery and restoration to his image and favor.
1. The blood of Christ is the remedy.
This is that fountain spoken of by the prophet. Zec_13:1.
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains."
"The blood of Jesus Christ cleansed us from all sin." 1Jn_1:7; Eph_1:7, Heb_13:12; Rev_1:5.
2. Word of truth the instrumental means.
Truth makes our defilement evident—manifests the remedy—urges its adoption—presents great and powerful motives to the mind. Joh_17:17; Jam_1:18; 1Pe_1:23; Rom_10:7.
3. Faith brings the mind in contact with the remedy.
"Purifying their hearts by faith." Act_15:9; Rom_9:30; Eph_2:8.
4. The Spirit's influence makes the whole efficient to salvation.
"And I will put my Spirit within you," &c. Eze_36:27. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," &c. Zec_4:6; 2Co_3:6; 1Pe_1:2; Joh_3:5, Joh_3:8; Rom_6:11.
III. Without this Purification, we can have no part with Christ.
1. No part in his favor.
He cannot rejoice in those who abide in impurity; he cannot approve of them, he cannot complacently love or delight in them.
2. No part in his fellowship.
Light hath no fellowship with darkness evil with good; or holiness with sin There must be sameness of mind, and agreeable oneness of spirit, or no fellowship.
3. No part in his saving benefits.
An indifference to holiness, and an unwillingness to be holy, excludes from justification, peace, joy, and all the high privileges of gospel salvation.
4. No part in his public approval at the last day.
"Then shall he say to them on his left hand." Mat_25:41.
5. No part in the blessedness of heaven.
"Blessed are the pure in heart," &c. "For without are dogs," &c. Rev_22:15.
This subject should lead, 1. To careful examination as to our real character. 2. If unrenewed, earnest solicitude after purification. 3. Immediate application to the only remedy provided.