Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 22 (05-20-19)
Bob George continues teaching from the book of John, teaching from John 5. Bob explains what religion does, how nonsensical it is, keeping men blind and enslaved in sin and death, in contrast to the attitude of Jesus. Jesus resisted the religious and proud and extended mercy to the humble, who listened to truth and were saved unto new life.
Bob explained the complexity of the Trinity and the functioning of the godhead through the parable of the vine and the branches in John 15. Jesus came to explain the work of the Father and how he and His Father are one. Jesus showed us the working of the Trinity and his total dependence on God the Father as a way of showing us a new way to live just as he did, in total dependence on God. Jesus had the Holy Spirit living in him and listened to the voice of the Father and did only what he saw his Father doing and what His Father told him to do.
Bob explains the nature of all men, spiritually dead, devoid of the Spirit life in Jesus. Jesus came so man can recognize his condition of spiritual death. The law was for that purpose but was not working due to our dead nature that only sees the actions of sin but not why we sin. You do not come to Christ because you are a sinner. You come to Christ because you are dead.
So Jesus explained truth to us so we may see our need, and that need is new spiritual life, a relationship with God, a living person, the Spirit of God to live in you, to guide you and counsel you in all truth, to replace error with truth, with a continual renewing of the mind, to change your emotions and your will to be in accordance with the purposes of God. That life was lost in Adam and that is why Jesus came, to restore that which was lost.
Turn to John 5. Last week, we were talking about the miracle Jesus did at the sheep goat in Jerusalem. At the pool of the sheep gate, he healed a man who had been paralyzed for life. A man who had been paralyzed for over 38 years. The problem with the religious Pharisees, as they thought, is that he healed him on the Sabbath. In the mind of a pharisee, on top of healing on the Sabbath, he told him to pick up his mat and walk and that is against the laws to work on the sabbath, according to Jewish laws. You are going to see the mercy of Christ Jesus and the disgust Jesus has for religion. Jesus did not come on the earth to form a religion. He came to form relationships. He did not come to form Catholic or Baptist religions. He came to give you a relationship with God, to proclaim a way that you individually can know God. It is not the case of “Can you come to God?” It is the case of “Will you know God?” So he came to give that to us, that man can could be restored to the condition before he fell so that we are alive – alive bodily, alive soulish, and alive spiritually. We are living people. He came to give us that life that we had lost in Adam. The greatest gift you and I ever received is the gift of life from God so we can plug into God once again, to know him intimately as Lord, Savior and best friend.
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Now everything about religion is against relationships because religion is concentration on the body at the exclusion of the head. It says in the bible that we lost contact with the head.
They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
We got our emphasis on the body instead of the head. If you did not have a head you are in tough shape, like a chicken with its head cut off, flapping around with blood all over the place, but you are not going anywhere. We have all these churches, organizations and denominations and the whole emphasis is on what we are doing as a body. You go and talk to religious people and all the talk is about what we are doing. Forget the head, we are doing what we are doing. Everything is about what we are doing. We are going to make our plans and ask God to bless them. Is that the way you live the Christian life? That would be like having these fingers getting together and saying, “let us have a meeting and get together to discuss what thumbs are doing on behalf of the head”. Is that Christianity? No, that is religion. Religious people have religious things they like and do not like.
To the Jews they have 600 laws of what you cannot do on the Sabbath. They made up their own rules on top of that.
5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
You see religious people today, orthodox Jews, who observe the Sabbath, on Saturday, you can see them walking to church. Why? Because that would be work. Driving is considered work. I would think walking would be considered work. Don’t you? To them, driving is work, using such a mechanism. Legalists come up with all these ideas of what you can and cannot do if you are going to violate, or work, on the Sabbath. You see Jews today and you will see people standing on a Shabbat elevator. What is a Shabbat elevator? It is an elevator they designed to avoid what is considered work. You cannot push a button, for that is considered work. Yet, walking up a flight of stairs is not considered work! Which one is work to you? Climbing up stairs or pushing a button? Yet pushing a button is considered work! Somebody designed an elevator, that when standing in front of it, the doors open, and the elevator goes up automatically and stops at every floor on the way up so you do not have to push a button and be a sinner for working on the Sabbath. How you get in the room, I do not know. That is the kind of nonsensical things that religious people get engaged in. In Israel today, in August or whatever month it is, and you girls would have on a sleeveless type of dress, you would get spit on, for that is lust. An Eskimo could cause you to lust if you want to lust. But, that is religion.
That is the kind of people Jesus entered into, literally when he was born, and when he started his ministry. When Jesus healed this man, who for over 38 years, trying to get healed, and Jesus healed him and told him to pick up his mat and walk, the religious Pharisees came to him, and said “This is the Sabbath. Who told you to heal on the Sabbath? Don’t you know the law forbids you to carry your mat on the Sabbath?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
They did not care this guy was crippled and now can walk. They cared less. All they cared is that he carried his mat on the Sabbath. So they asked, “Who was this sinner that healed you on the Sabbath?” They accused Jesus of being a sinner because he violated a law that forbids working on the Sabbath. The guy finally identified that the one who healed him was Jesus.
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
These are unheard of words. No one has heard these words before in your life. He said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Essentially Jesus is saying, “You may not work on the Sabbath but my Father is always at work to this day. I too am working.”
Jesus even said to them once, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus essentially said, “Who instituted the Sabbath? You or God? The one who instituted the Sabbath is working today.”
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.
24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him;
So this is how nonsensical the Pharisees think, “It is okay to kill just do not pick up your mat doing it.”
not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
To the Jews, and people today, there is one God, none before and none after. Jesus is saying, “I and Father are one” (John 10:30) and “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). He was making himself equal with God.
So a religious person, like a Pharisee, devoid of the Spirit of God, is thinking like this. “If he is making himself equal with God, then are their two Gods or is there one God? Who is this guy making himself equal with God, proclaiming himself to be God, when I know there is only one God and I do not think he is it? Or does he think there is more than one God?”
Jesus came to explain to us the makeup of God. When you are talking about God you are talking about Spirit.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
You are not talking about flesh and blood. You are talking about Spirit. And what a Spirit looks like and how a Spirit is formed, you and I have no clue. We do not even know, as Jesus said, what the wind looks like.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit
We know the results of it but we do not know where it came from or where it is going. We have a lot of instruments but we do not know where it came from or where it is going. So he says, this is same thing with God.
God the Spirit is made up of God the Son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In the following passage we see all three at work at one time.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
We may not be able to comprehend that but we can apprehend that. By faith it is declared that Jesus said and claimed himself to be God, his apostles proclaimed him to be God and I know he is God. The Holy Spirit of God is identified as God and the Father is identified with God, leaving you with the conclusion that if there is only one God then the the sum total of the three is one. We are led to believe in a different mathematical system. Instead of 1 + 1 + 1 we have 1 x 1 x 1 and that is one God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Jesus is going to tell you and me how to live the Christian life. A better way to say this is this. It is really how to live the Spirit controlled life, how to live under the control of the Spirit of God, who is alive living in you, your only hope of glory. It is not an it, but a he, a Spirit, a person with a mind, emotions and a will.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
That is the work, not of a thing, an it or a power, but the work of a person of the Holy Spirit, a spiritual person, living in you, guiding you into all truth, teaching your mind, controlling your emotions and directing your will to match up with the will of God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Now if you do not understand that then you will have to be guided by something or someone else because the Holy Spirit comes to guide you into all truth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth
The Holy Spirit will guide you into the things of Jesus, the same Spirit that is in Jesus. He is your guide. He is your counselor.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
What is a counselor for? He is there to counsel you, taking the error in your head, that has got you in bondage, replacing it with truth to set you free. Is that not what counseling is for? If you know you need counseling, it is because you know you have error in your mind. Is there anyone who does not have error in your mind? We all have error that continually has to be dispelled with truth. The role of a counselor is to try to identify where the error is and replace it with truth. We come up with our own error. We come up with the idea of what is right and wrong, following the pattern of Adam. When we begin to ignore what God says is right and wrong, good and evil, that is when we get into trouble. I may not be able to do what is right but I never want to deny what is right and I do not ever want to call “good” as “bad” and “bad” as “good”. I want to call sin what God calls sin. I do not want to call it something else. Worry is a sin. It is not a healthy concern. Anxiety is sin. If I am anxious about tomorrow, then I am not trusting Him for my today. If I was trusting Him today, I would trust Him for tomorrow. Faith is trusting God and when we do not trust God then we are sinning.
everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Is that unusual for any of us to be anxious? No. All you have to do is start thinking about bad things going to happen tomorrow. All those things you got to do tomorrow that you cannot accomplish, you are already determined it, and that is all it takes to be anxious. What are you doing? I am not trusting Jesus for today, and if I cannot trust him today, then I cannot trust him tomorrow. So the counselor has to come to us. The Counselor begins to start working in us, teaching us truth, and setting us free with that truth. Jesus is coming to explain that to us.
Jesus is explaining this to us. “Here I am as God in an earth suit and I am telling you how I am living my life. I set aside the prerogative of God to be the dynamic of my own actions, and the cause of my own effect, and I set that aside to live in total dependency of my Father.” He did not have to do that but he did. Why did he do that? To show you and me how to live our life here on this earth. This is what Jesus actually said.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Jesus also said this.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
If that is the case, why did Jesus heal somebody? The Father told him to. Why did Jesus present salvation to somebody? The Father told him to. Why did Jesus feed the five thousand? The Father told him to. Why did he walk on water? The Father told him to. Has the Father told you to do any of those things? Have any of you tried to walk on water recently? What the Father told Jesus to do and what he tells you and me to do are totally different things. But we are still to depend on the instruction of the Father. It is not to sit around and make our plans and ask God to bless it. So we ask the Father, “What do you want me to do? What do you have for me? Not what you have for the group? What do you want me to do in my daily activity of life?”
So Jesus said that he does not do anything unless the Father tells him to. Then he explains why.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
So the Father raises the dead and gives life, and so does the Son when the Father is the initiator of the activity. That ties into the complexity of the Trinity.
In one place, Jesus said I will raise myself from the dead (John 10:18)
In another place, the Father raised him from the dead (Galatians 1:1, Romans 6:4)
In another place, the Holy Spirit raised him from the dead (Romans 8:11)
In another place, God raised him from the dead (Acts 2:24)
Was he raised four times? No, he was raised once. The whole godhead was in action. The whole godhead lives in submission to the instruction of the Father.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
In other words, the Father says, “Son, I am going to judge the world through you. It looks like you are doing the judgment but you are not going to do anything until I tell you to.”
And why is that?
23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
In John 15, looking at the parable of the vine (representing the Father) and the branches (representing Jesus, living in total dependence of the Father), we come to understand this working of the godhead. In this parable of the vine and the branches, you know that the branch does not produce the fruit. Who produces the fruit? The vine. What does the branch do? It bears fruit. Because the branch does not produce fruit, do you dishonor it? No, you praise God for the branch. This is something God put together. You praise God for the fruit. But the branch is where you get the fruit. You do not go to the vine to get the fruit. The honor comes to the branch the same way as it comes to the vine. Do we understand that?
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
What produced death? Sin.
How did we come to understand our spiritual death? Through our sin. If the only thing the law does is produce the fact that you are a sinner, then the law did not complete its work in you. If you go commit adultery, and you know the law says do not commit adultery, and all you look at is “I committed adultery” then the law did not complete its work in you even though you acknowledged you disobeyed the law and therefore you sinned. If the law says “do not steal” and you go out and steal and all you see is “I stole”, the law did not complete its work in you. So if you say to yourself, “I can go to the confession booth to get my sins forgiven” or “I can go to 1 John 1:9 and get my sins forgiven”, or you say, “Yeah, I sinned but …”, then the law has not done anything for you. Until the law shows you why you sin, then the law has not done its work. That is why you do not come to Christ because you are a sinner. You come to Christ because you are dead. The law has to show you something about your condition, not just what you are doing. What you are doing is evidence for your condition. Your condition is that you are spiritually dead. The purpose of the law is to get beneath the skin to show you that you are spiritually dead. Why does Jesus say this.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Why? He wants you to see something about yourself. He wants you to see “what is wrong with me?” When Bob, prior to being a believer, came home from the bar, he did not look in the mirror and say “I am drunk”. No, as Bob looked in the mirror, he said to himself, “What is wrong with me? Why can I not be what I ought to be?” That is the attitude. Now God is getting your attention. He, the sinner, is asking the right question now. What is wrong with you? You do not have a heart. You do not have God’s heart inside. You are empty inside. Your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. The things you do not want to do you do anyway. Why? Because you are spiritually dead. Now the law is doing it’s work for you to say, “Something is wrong with me. I need life”. So when the message of life is presented, then you recognize the truth and say, “What is wrong with me is that I do not have life. And what is missing is I do not have the life of God in me. There is an area in my life that is not working properly. The Spirit of God is not living in me”. So in that day, “I believed the truth. I accepted the life of God, living in me, and everything changed.” How does that change? You are talking about something that has happened to all of us, who are in Christ Jesus, in one fashion or another? How do you explain that?
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
What is new? The Spirit of God is living in you.
Who is the old man? Bob George without the Spirit of God living in me
Who is the new man? Bob George with the Spirit of God living in me
What is different? The Spirit of God living in me
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
God took away the heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh. I was given a new heart.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.crossed over from death
The law killed you. Paul said it was through law that I died to the law.
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
If you died to the law, be dead to it.
I was enslaved to that legalist form of life unto the death penalty until I died and was raised to new life in Him.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death