Classic Christianity – Book of John p8 (10-29-18)
Bob George shares insights from Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman in the book of John. He briefly retells the story with the primary focus on walking in the Spirit and being led of the Lord. He also shares the interaction between Jesus and His disciples, following Jesus return from talking with the Samaritan woman. He shares more fully about what it means to walk in Spirit and in truth, what it means to seek God and what is a believer’s reasonable act of service. He shares several examples of walking in the flesh from his observation of the religious world. He then shares a testimony of his early childhood and later coming to know Christ. He shares the tendency of all believers to have doubts and to be discouraged in their walk or in sharing truth. But one must realize you are believing a lie, as Satan does not want you to finish the race. Yet, God is at work to develop the believer. As we commit to the love of God and walk in His ways, results will come, for God is at work in you and through you and He will send you and provide a assignment specific for you. Bob then shares several testimonies from his own life experiences to more fully explain walking in the Spirit and in truth.
Bob shared a few examples of walking in the flesh among the religious world. Who really builds the church? Jesus will build is church (Matthew 16:18). Yet, what do we observe in the world today? Pastors trying to build a church. But what church are they building? Entertainment centers, where children are kept busy in activities but not hearing a message of truth for their eternal salvation? Could it be that many in the religious world, even the pastors, are not saved themselves? How can they share what they do not know? Recall the story of Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4 where Jesus told her that you Samaritans worship what you do not know, that salvation is from the Jews, and that true worshipers that the Father seeks are those who worship in Spirit and in truth. She knew something about a Messiah to come into the world but did not yet know the Lord until Jesus told her everything she ever did (he must be a prophet to have such knowledge without someone telling him) and he told her that he is the Messiah.
Bob said this statement: “Praying in the Spirit is the opposite of praying in the flesh. Walking in the Spirit is the opposite of walking in the flesh” to help people understand that this praying or walking in the Spirit is not some complicated or mystical thing. When one prays or walks they do so out of love for the one who gave them everything, eternal life and a relationship with one who loves them perfectly. When you know you are loved unconditionally, what matter of response would naturally follow? Would you not be grateful and desire to please the one who loves you and learn to walk in his ways? We also have this example of walking in the Spirit by Jesus Christ.
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.
But, sometimes we are deceived by the response of this world. Someone has a deaf ear to the things of truth concerning God we share, so we have a tendency to get discouraged or give into doubt. Bob shared a testimony where he once got discouraged and decided he was not going to share about God that day. Yet, God had an assignment for him, to meet a person over lunch, and the Spirit overruled his flesh. As questions were asked, and needs of his friend were made known, Bob could not hold back truth, and the person was led to the Lord.
Another common misunderstanding by those who are involved in the religious world is what does it mean to be called? Have you ever heard someone say, “You are called to be a pastor?” But that question is not accordance with biblical truth. You are called to come to Christ. God does not call people to do things but to be available for the Holy Spirit’s use, who does the work through you. He is the one who lives in you, develops you and then sends you to wherever he wants you to go. Are you a professional tennis player, then how will other tennis players hear truth, unless you, as an athlete, are sent to be where other athletes are? How is it that people seem to want to tell us what the Lord wants us to do? Rather, listen to the Spirit and His direction for you.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
To bring out this point, Bob shares from John 6 after Jesus feeds the five thousand and also Jesus message to the crowd in Matthew 6:28-33 with particular emphasis on verse 33. In John 6, the crowds seek out to find Jesus, but they did not come to Jesus to hear a message of truth, but what they could get to meet their physical needs. In Matthew 6, Jesus is providing spiritual truth for the crowds to digest on what is most important for life, which is quite contrary to how the natural man thinks. When one walks in Spirit and in truth, he does not seek money, but seeks to serve, out of love for God and as God initiates. And if one comes to Christ for eternal life, one also will seek to serve others not for what they can get but out of true genuine love and concern for others. What does God promise to those who seek Him first, that your physical needs also will be met. So, does a believer ever need to worry about what they should eat or drink or wear?
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Bob also shared further examples of walking in the flesh, which comes quite naturally to those who do not know the truth and have not come to Christ. Examples of walking in the flesh, default way of non-believers, is to think in the natural and seek after physical needs. The natural man does not to come to Christ but rather seeks to get their physical needs met through selfish means or out of ignorance, not knowing any other way to live.
Many churches today try to build a church, not knowing that God’s responsibility is to build the church. The idea of building church is creating an entertainment center to feed the lost, and although a good thing, the important things of life are left unsaid or undone. Many leaders do not know the Lord or are walking not according to the spirit but the flesh. Jesus will build His church, and His people listen to His voice and respond in accordance with what the Spirit would have them specifically do. Yet, in churches today, the opposite occurs. The leaders plead for people to work for things that do not last. There are many who are concerned about having fun activities for children but not about sharing the message of truth for their salvation. Sadly, Bob knew very few in the Presbyterian church he grew up as a young boy who were truly born again. Sadly, many of them, after going to college, later died of Aids. Yet, in their youth, quite a happening place, with billiard tables or ping pong tables and a place to be off the street and have fun. So, what is church? One does not have to be saved to be emotionally moved by a worship song or to life up hands or even go to church. When a church, God’s holy people, born again of the Spirit, are walking in the Spirit and in truth, what fruit will you see?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
And, who produces the fruit? Spirit What does the member of the body of Christ do? remain on the vine
Bob closes by sharing a testimony of his church upbringing as a young boy and the Holy Spirit at work in him, after being born again in his later years, to reconnect with his non-believing pastor, Charles Spurgeon. The Spirit prompted Bob to reach out to Charles. The pastor was so moved by a thank you letter, for Bob genuinely thanked him for what he did do and for the exposure to religious songs. Bob also shared how he became born again and shared with him what it means to be born again, which, combined with the act of genuine love toward Charles, made an eternal impact. Being very ill at the time, Charles Spurgeon came to know Christ. God will develop His children and He will send them to where He wants them to go. Have you learned to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit? God has a specific assignment just for you.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
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