Friday, September 25, 2015

John 14: 12-27 comments: no fear

12 ¶  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Jesus promises His Jewish disciples that, because of their belief in Him, they will not only repeat the miracles He has done but will do greater works because they will be on earth much longer than He allowed Himself on this mission to save humankind.

Peter healed the lame in Acts 3. Paul healed people from disease and injury and perhaps death (see Acts 20:9-12). The Apostles and their spiritual descendants crossed oceans and deserts and mountain ranges to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ far and wide. Millions faced death and imprisonment as martyrs. Poverty and want was the fate of many more millions denied rights and privileges for their faith in the countries where they lived including those countless multitudes murdered by being burnt at the stake, strangled, or by other such vicious methods.

He tells the eleven remaining Apostles, who God was preparing to use for His purpose after He was no longer walking physically among them, that whatever they ask in His name, He will grant it. This does not give them a special warrant to go against God’s will as laid out in the Scriptures but confirms to them that He will be active in their mission.

    15 ¶  If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Here is a clear statement of what it means to be a Christian. If His followers love Him they will keep His commandments. He commanded them and us to;

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Again, He will repeat this command.

John 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you…17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

John will repeat this most basic of Jesus’ commands for the church.

1John 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

This is a common thread throughout the letters of the New Testament. We cannot be Christians unless we care for one another in love and respect and that is never said to include controlling, bullying, self-righteous, or dominating behavior.

The promised Comforter is the Holy Ghost, as will be declared in verse 26. The Holy Ghost, as does God the Father, and Christ the Word of God, indwells the believer by the Spirit.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Here is evidence that you cannot lose your salvation as the promise of the Comforter is for ever.

    18 ¶  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Jesus promises them something they, at this time, do not understand, that proof of who He is will be provided at His resurrection and ascension. The believer that follows Jesus’ commands loves God and is loved by Him. Just read the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Matthew, chapter 5, and the ‘Sermon on the Plain’ in Luke, chapter 6. Pay attention to the things Jesus said to His Jewish disciples and the things that Paul confirmed for Christians everywhere and in every time and give up your fear, your paranoia, your bigotry, and your anger. Trust in Christ. The attitude made popular by the movie Network of, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” is not what Jesus Christ left for us to represent Him by.

The three parts of God will live in the believer by the Spirit.

    25 ¶  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Holy Ghost is the One who teaches us as we read the Bible over and over, from cover to cover, as long as we are alive. It is the Holy Ghost who blesses us as we have daily Bible reading with our children with understanding of God’s word. It is the Holy Ghost who shows us what God wants from us. While Jesus is not walking on earth at present, the Holy Ghost is here to show us, through God’s words in His Book, who God is and what His will is.

Christ here tells His disciples to not let their hearts be troubled or to let their hearts be afraid. He does not tell them to collect as many swords, spears, catapults, and knives as possible so they can hold up against the Romans. He does not tell them to be afraid that perverts are going to take over their country. He does not tell them to read the latest prophecy expert and spend one second crying about the end of the world coming this weekend. He tells them to not be troubled or afraid. From Job to Revelation one very important theme of the Bible is to trust God as He has it all under control and nothing will happen that He doesn’t cause to happen or allow to happen for reasons we may never know in this life. From ISIS to the Federal Reserve at no time are we justified in our fear, fretting, worry, or rage. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

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