Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 2 (04-02-19)
Bob George teaches from the book of John, with particular focus on the doctrine of the Trinity. He encourages the listener to let the Spirit of God teach you doctrine through the word of God. Bob addresses such topics as knowing what the word of God means (doctrine), what is the doctrine of the Trinity and where the doctrine of the Trinity comes from, what does the Spirit look like, what do you believe and why do you believe it, the role of the Holy Spirit in teaching you the meaning of His word, the application of doctrine to your life, the conflict of the flesh and the Spirit, choices as a child of God, who can become a child of God, law and grace before Moses, and law and punishment. He shares from supporting scriptures to encourage the listener to internalize truths concerning Christ and yourself. His hope, and the hope of those in Christ, is for the listener to understand personally the forgiveness of sin and the receiving of new life in Christ. You can walk in that new life today. Bob emphasized again that truth is revealed to men through His word. There is no other way to understand the meaning of God’s word except by the Spirit of God.
Here are many of the questions Bob shared to test one’s understanding of doctrine.
Who is the Word?
Who was in the beginning?
Who is the “our” in the passage: “Let us make God in our image?”
Was scripture profitable for doctrine? How?
Did those leaders in the time of John understand what the word said?
What does the Spirit look like?
What does wind look like?
Where did the doctrine of Trinity come from?
What is the doctrine of Trinity?
Are there people who do not believe the doctrine of Trinity? Why?
What do you believe and why do you believe it? Because a Baptist or Presbyterian minister told you?
Did God mean what he said and said what he meant?
Do you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you the meaning of His word?
Do you let the Holy Spirit lead you to apply spiritual truths to your life about God and yourself?
As a child of God, can you participate in the fleshly nature? in the spiritual nature?
Was there law before Moses? Can you cite an example?
Was there grace in the garden of Eden? Can you cite an example?
Was there grace before the law of Moses? Can you cite an example?
I encourage the listener to meditate on these scriptures and ask God to reveal truth to you through the Holy Spirit.
Word of God for doctrine 2 Timothy 3:16
John the Baptist – Witness to light John 1:20-23, Isaiah 40:3
Trinity John 1
Lying to the Holy Spirit Acts 5:3
Who raised Jesus from the dead? John 2:19, 1 Corinthians 6:14, Galatians 1:1, Romans 8:11
What does the Spirit look like? John 4:23-24, John 3:6-8
(compared to wind)
Truth revealed by Spirit of God 1 Corinthians 2:11-12, Luke 10:22
Natural Man vs Spirit Man 1 Corinthians 2:14
New Birth John 1:13, 3:3
Indwelling of Spirit in those who believe 1 Corinthians 3:16
Mind of Christ 1 Corinthians 2:16
Divine nature Romans 1:20, 2 Peter 1:4
New life prepared 1 Corinthians 2:9
Choice to participate in flesh or Spirit Galatians 5:16, Ephesians 2:3
Conflict between flesh and Spirit Galatians 5:16-18
Law before Moses (garden of Eden) Genesis 2:16-17
Grace in the garden of Eden (not the fig leaves) Genesis 3:21
Law of Moses; Grace through Christ John 1:17
So, do you base doctrine on what Bob shares, or by what a preacher of whatever denomination tells you, or do you let the Holy Spirit teach you through His word?
Can you affirm through the word and the Holy Spirit, that what Bob shares is true? Do you need Bob’s testimony or has God revealed this truth to you?
What does John tell us about this person named Jesus? In John 1:1, we come to understand that Jesus is the word and the word is God so Jesus is God. We also learned that Jesus is also the one who created all things. In Jesus is life and he is the light of the world and through His word all men might have life. Jesus came to the Jews and they did not receive him. Yet anyone who believes in his name, Jesus, has the right to become a child of God, not by natural birth from mom and dad but by a spiritual new birth, being born of God.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
From verses 1-2, about the word and the word was God, along with verses 6-7, about the testimony of John the Baptist concerning a man sent from God, who is called the light, and verses 9-11, about that true light who was coming into the world and through whom the world was created, what conclusions can be made?
Do you all agree who the word is? Jesus is the word. Only Jesus fits that description. He came to dwell in flesh and can be identified as the word through whom the world was created. So one can substitute “word” in John 1:1 as follows: “Jesus is the word, Jesus was with God and Jesus was God. God is with God.” There is a plurality somewhere.
We read about this plurality of God in Genesis when God created man.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness
Who is the “our”?
We also read about this plurality again when God confuses the language of men at the tower of Babel, because of their sinful pride and rebellion. That is where all the different languages of the world originated.
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
Who is the “us”?
There is a plurality with God. Did the Old Testament saints understand that? No. Did they know what it said? Yes. Did they know what it meant? No.
The difference between teaching and doctrine is evident here.
Jesus is declared to be God and also declared to be with God. This is where the doctrine of Trinity came from.
We also read in scripture where the Holy Spirit is declared to be God. Peter spoke to Ananias, and later also to his wife Sapphira, identifying the Holy Spirit as God.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
One can read a declaration in the bible that Jesus declares himself to be God (John 1:1, John 10:30, John 8:58, Matthew 9:1-7), that the Father declares Himself to be God (John 10:30, John 14:9-11, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6), and the Holy Spirit declares himself to be God (Genesis 1:2, John 15:26, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 2 Peter 1:21). In one place in the scripture, John observed the Holy Spirit come upon on Jesus like a dove and heard a voice from heaven saying that Jesus is His beloved Son. This is where we observe all three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, interacting together.
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Jesus said, I will raise myself from the dead (John 2:18-21. John 10:17-19). In another place, one reads that God will raise himself from the dead (1 Corinthians 6:14). In another place, one can read where the Father raises him from the dead (Galatians 1:1). And in another place, one reads where the Holy Spirit raises him from the dead (Romans 8:11). He was not raised four times.
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 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.”
1 Corinthians 6:14
By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
We are talking about the Trinity, three persons in one and all persons are one and the same God yet distinct persons from one another. The confusion is that we fail to comprehend that God is Spirit.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
What does the Spirit look like? Jesus, in a conversation with Nicodemus on what it means to be born again of the Spirit, compared the working of the Spirit to the working of the wind. You cannot see the wind but you know its effect on the leaves during the fall whenever it blows. Just as you cannot see the wind, you cannot see the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, you know the Holy Spirit is there by the change in the lives of men.
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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 do not know what the Spirit looks like so quick trying to put flesh on it. The Spirit, God, exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is only one God. These are statements explaining doctrine. It is not 1 + 1 + 1 but 1 x 1 x 1.
Are there people who do not believe this, the concept of the Trinity? Yes. Do they know what the bible says? Yes, but what they understand in teaching is not what you and I understand from the Spirit, who are born again. So what is true? Is it my understanding of the word of God? Does God means what he says and says what he means? The only way we understand what it means is when the Spirit reveals it to us.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12
11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
God gave you the Spirit living in you so you can comprehend what the Spirit is teaching. There is no other way to understand the meaning apart from the Spirit revealing it to you.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Bob, what do you believe? Jane, what do you believe? Baptist, what do you believe? Presbyterian, what do you believe? And if your answer to any such question is this: “then that is what I believe”, then you missed the point. You do not believe anything with such an answer. You only believe what someone told you. God wants you to believe what you believe. The only way to have confidence in what you believe is when you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the meaning.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
There are people who will pay all kinds of things to know what you know. There are those who have no clue what you know because you have the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit has revealed these things to you. Recall the words of Peter, whom the Spirit revealed to him who he was.
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
Since the resurrection, for those who have become a child of God, the Son of God indwells you. You have the mind of Christ with the ability to participate in the divine nature.
1 Corinthians 2:16
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Can I also participate in the fleshly nature? Yes. Is that a choice? Yes. I can choose to listen to my flesh. Every time I do I get into trouble. I can also choose to listen to the Spirit, and participate and listen to that voice, and yield to it. There is a war, a conflict, between the flesh and the Spirit. The only way to conquer the flesh is to learn to walk in the Spirit.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
So John testified of this grace we received in Jesus Christ when we believed. Notice also that we all received grace in place of grace already given. What does that mean by the phrase, “in place of grace already given?”
Was there law before Moses? Yes. Where is one example? In the garden of Eden.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 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.”
There was law and there was punishment. You cannot separate law from punishment of the law.
Was there also grace in the garden of Eden? Yes, God sacrificed an animal, presumably a lamb, to clothe them when they were found to be naked. The clothing God gave was not the one they sewed with fig leaves. For the interested listener, check out the article at “https://askjohnmackay.com/did-god-kill-animals-clothe-adam-and-eve-or-did-he-create-new-skins/” that answers the question: “Did God really kill animals to clothe Adam and Eve, or did He create new skins for this purpose?”
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The law given to Moses was for the people of Israel, the people of God. God rescued the Jewish people from slavery out of the land of Egypt through Moses. Prior to Moses, God initiated his plan of action for the salvation of the world starting with his dealings with the Jews through the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who all had a unique encounter with the living God. Through the Jews the promise was made of a coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Was there grace before the law of Moses? Yes. Consider the promise given to Abraham, identified in the word as a man of faith, whose belief was credited to him as righteousness.
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”
17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies
The grace of God in its fullness, fully recognizable now, came through Jesus Christ. There is a dividing line between the law and the grace we live in today, the cross.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
No one has seen God but Jesus, the exact representation of God in the flesh, who is identified as God, the one and only, has made Him known.
The Levites, the tribe of the Jewish people under an Old Covenant system, asked who Jesus was.
9 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” [Isaiah 40:3]