Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 67 (09-03-19)
Bob shares from the 14th chapter of John. Jesus is soon going to the cross and is sharing final words of instruction and encouragement to his disciples. He is explaining the plan God has laid out for him to accomplish. He is telling his disciples that they should be glad he is going away. For if he does not go away, then the Spirit will not come to them.
Jesus first had to go to the cross. At the cross is where he shed his blood to take away the cause of death, which is sin. Sin is the cause of death, and until that is settled, the next time man sins, he would die again. But once that is done, then he will ascend back to his Father and leave the Holy Spirit to be with man, to those who will receive him and believe in his name. Salvation is receiving new life. New life happens when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside man. That first happened at the day of Pentecost, to those who believed the words of Jesus.
Jesus shared the good news of the gospel with men. But the world cannot accept him and cannot see. Why cannot man see? They have turned their backs on Jesus. They have not taken a hold of the words of life Jesus is sharing. It is like a man invited to see the Grand Canyon. He is right there but he does not see anything. Why? His back is turned. Many people do not understand what Jesus has done.
What is the gospel of good news? Jesus died to take away the sins of the entire world, was buried to prove his death and was raised to new life in order to offer His life to men. Bob often summarizes the gospel this way. Salvation is life. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life, God’s resurrected life. We are not saved by the death of Christ but by the life of Christ. That is precisely why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection we are to be pitied above all people and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred, where he took away the sins of the entire world. Without the resurrection, you are still lost. The resurrection is what produced life. The cross produced forgiveness. You do not raise a person from the dead by forgiving him. You raise a person from the dead by giving him life. The only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus, who loved us and gave himself for us. It is a very practical thing Jesus has done for man. Man is dead and in need of life.
Many people think of salvation as coming forward to get your sins forgiven. That is not true because Jesus died to take away the sins of the entire world, once and for all. Adolf Hitler’s sins were forgiven. That does not mean Adolf Hitler is saved. If he failed to come to Christ to receive life, then he remains dead. Yet people only think in terms of sins, as if God will get you if you sin. Whose sins are greater than another? Who determines the standard of what sins you commit will make you miss heaven? That is erroneous thinking because no one will miss heaven because of sins but because of your unbelief in what Jesus alone accomplished for you. The only sin that is ever going to be attributable to man is the sin of unbelief.
Man’s problem is he is dead. Sin just shows man how dead he is already. The law is like a mirror, helping man to ask the question, “What is wrong with me?” or “What is missing?”, or “What is the meaning of life?” He needs to come to realize that he does not have the Spirit of God living in him. He is spiritually dead and the only life available to him is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
People also rely on their denominational persuasion for truth. This often keeps man blind, trapped and ensnared by the god of this world, Satan, who deceives men. Jesus did not come to form a religion. Did Buddha die for you? Did the pope really down his life for you, only to raise it up again? All leaders of religion have died and are in their graves. The only man capable of raising the dead to life again is Jesus, who is God in the flesh.
Jesus came to solve a very practical problem. Sin and death entered this world through the choice of one man, Adam. God had said to Adam that the day you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, good and evil, you will die. He did and he died. The Spirit of God that was breathed in him at creation left him. Adam became dead to what vacated him, the Spirit of God, due to his sin. That is how sin and death entered the world.
So God looked down on the condition of man, dead in sin, and sent His only Son Jesus to do something for man he could never do. Can man raise himself from the dead? And what if man sins again? What caused death? Sin. What is the verdict for man? Guilty. What was the punishment, or consequence of sin? Death. Who paid the penalty? Jesus? How much did he pay? All of it. Is there any punishment left for man? No. Is there anything left for man to pay? No.
So now that Jesus shed his blood on the cross, which according to scripture, without which there is no forgiveness of sin, what else did God do? Man is still dead. Yes, he is forgiven already but he is dead. What man needs is life. So what did God do to offer life to man? God raised Jesus from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead will raise you from the dead. The only thing man has to do is accept the only life available to him, the resurrected life of Christ. He comes by faith, thanking God for what he has already done at the cross and inviting the life of Christ to live in him. He comes to Christ for life. He accepts the gift of life. It is not something he earned or worked for. He simply receives a gift of life.
That is what Jesus is saying to his disciples and to you and me today. Jesus is the only way to the Father. He is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is comforting his disciples. Jesus tells them the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. There is eternal life in His name. He is saying that that same Spirit will also live in you and be in you forever. Jesus is comforting his disciples, offering them hope of a future, an eternal future. Knowing that right now they are not understanding, he informs them that the Spirit he will send will remind them of all he has spoken and will guide them into all truth. Instead of leading them, while on earth in physical form, the Holy Spirit will live inside them as their counselor. This is why it is better he is going away. Jesus said to them, “Because I live you also will live”. This is eternal life, to know God and His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said to them, “I have told you these things before it happens so that when it does happen, you will believe”. That believing is unto the receiving of life, the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. That is what salvation is.
Turn to the 14th chapter of John. We are in the last days of Jesus prior to his death, burial and resurrection. He was born to die and to be raised from the dead. God had looked down on man and seen us in our condition. When Adam died, we all died. The problem we had is spiritual death. We are born into this world dead spiritually. Death is the absence of life just as darkness is the absence of light.
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.”
The life of God departed from man leaving us with a human spirit dead to the God who created us to be indwelt with the Spirit. God is saying, “How can I solve this problem of spiritual death eternally? Death can only be solved with life. I also have to solve the reason for their spiritual death, and that was sin”.
The average person does not understand. Wherever you go, you hear people stop at the cross. The cross is the bridge that you must cross to enter into spiritual life. But the problem you have is you are dead. To deal with the problem, God had to eternally deal with what caused spiritual death, which is sin. In order to deal with sin, he had to deal with it once and for all.
Jesus came to take sin away from the eyes of God in order to offer you and me the solution to the consequences of sin, which is death, by his resurrected life. In order to offer life, he first had to take away the sins of the entire world, which he did when he shed his blood on the cross. People will say “I believe that”. You do not believe that because then you say, “God will get you if you sin”. No man will ever go to hell because of their sins. Sins have been put on the back of God never to be seen again.
You have people tell you that if you teach that you will cause people to sin. No, you will not. What you have been teaching has not been keeping people from sinning. The issue is, that had to be done. It was an act of God that had to be done in order to offer us eternal life. You are not saved by the death of Christ. You are saved by the life of Christ. You are saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;”
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
The whole issue of salvation is I am dead and Christ came to give me life. Therefore, the only sin attributable to man is the rejection of the Son of God who has come to do that for you. We are fearful because we do not understand that message. Therefore, we have to concentrate on sin. So people in Christendom keep pointing fingers at one another saying, “if you keep doing what you are doing, God will get you”. Is that true? No. Your sin was judged. Where was it judged? At the cross. What was the verdict? Guilty. What was the punishment? Death. Who took it? Jesus. How much of it? All of it. How much is left for you? None.
John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
John 3:18 (TLB)
18 “There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don’t trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.”
1 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.
We were born under the law of sin and death and freed from that by the law of the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. That is precisely why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection we are to be pitied above all people and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred, where he took away the sins of the entire world. Without the resurrection, you are still lost. The resurrection is what produced life. The cross produced forgiveness. You do not raise a person from the dead by forgiving him. You raise a person from the dead by giving him life. The only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus, who loved us and gave himself for us.
1 Corinthians 15:17-19
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
This is why Jesus was saying. I am going to die on a cross to take away the sins of the entire world. Jesus died for Hitler’s sins. He took them away. Was he saved? Not unless he came to Christ for life. What was provided for you then is only received in the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
He did not say, “Come to me for forgiveness”, for you are already forgiven. You do not tell a person, “Come and get get your sins forgiven”. You tell them God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting sins against you. When did he do that? He did that once and for all when he shed his blood on the cross.
10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When were you reconciled? When you were an enemy. What does that mean? When you are lost. You were born reconciled to God the day Christ Jesus shed his blood on the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
We are not saved by the death of Christ but by the life of Christ.
You hear pastors tell people to come forward and get your sins forgiven. Is that true? No, your sins already are forgiven. What a pastor should say instead, if you are to come forward, is this, “Come forward and receive the One who provided that for you. Receive the One who was raised from the dead to now cure your problem, death, by His resurrection”. That is the good news of the gospel.
You do not go around telling people how sinful they are but how dead they are. Yet so many go around telling people how sinful they are. If you are going to gauge people as to how sinful they are, then what system is there to gauge? If your sins are worse than mine? If your sins are worse than mine, then someone else’s sins is worse. The issue is not how bad you are, but how dead you are. If you are dead, you are dead.
It is not an issue of religion, either. It is not the case whether you are Muslim, Baptist, or Catholic, or whatever denominational affiliation you identify with. The issue is, you are dead. Buddha cannot give you life. He is still in the grave. Only Jesus has the empty tomb. It is not a matter of religion. It is a very practical issue. God looked down on His creation and said, “I have to provide a solution for my people. My people have been destroyed by Satan”. So he sent Jesus to take away the sins of the whole world!
2 Corinthians 5:18
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
That is not a religious act. That is a practical act. “My people are dead and I am going to give them life. In order to give them life, I am going to take away eternally what caused their death”. You are a forgiven person. Why? You came to Christ for life.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding
Are you in Him? If so, what do you have? Forgiveness. So does that make you want to go sin. People will say, “Oh, do not tell them that. They will just go wild”. If they do not have the resurrected life in them, that is probably true. But if you have life, then you have Christ Jesus living in you, guiding you into all truth.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
The advocate, or counselor, is the Spirit of truth. When you come to Jesus, you are indwelt with truth. Where are you going to get truth? The Reader’s Digest? No, there is only one source of truth. You have to have a plumb line to build a building. Our plumb line is the word of God. That is where you go to find truth.
What happened in the garden of Eden is Adam decided to choose for himself right from wrong, good and evil. God had said that the day he should do that he would die. He did, he died, and all mankind fell with him. That is how sin and death entered the world.
Jesus is saying, “When I go away, it is good for you that I am going away. When I do, I will send my Spirit to live in you and you will be my body here on this earth. When you were going to find the body 2000 years ago, that was a physical body. My body now will be in mystery form. The world cannot accept Him. The world knows nothing about Him.”
Like all of us at one time, we had no understanding of the Holy Spirit. The world cannot accept him for they neither see him or know him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Colossians 1:26-27 (TLB)
26-27 He has kept this secret for centuries and generations past, but now at last it has pleased him to tell it to those who love him and live for him, and the riches and glory of his plan are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
When did He ultimately come to live in us? On the day of Pentecost is the first day He came to indwell in believers.
19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
I am in Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus is in me.
21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
There are just two commands, which Bob will address later.
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
To obey is to believe the words of Jesus.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
2 He [Nicodemus, a religious Pharisee] came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”
24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Why is it that the world cannot see Jesus? You can take someone to the Grand Canyon and they cannot see it. Why? They have their back turned. That is why the world cannot see Jesus.
Bob shares concerning his former life as a lost person. I knew about him when I went to church, took children there and tried to be a good father but I did not know Him. I really did not want to know what He said because I could also plead ignorance. Your back was turned until you came to Christ. You may have been religious but your back was turned to what He said. Religion is counting on what your denomination says. You may be trusting what religion says but not what God says. Jesus said, “These words belong to the Father who sent me”.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send [to you] in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
That is how we got our bible. The apostles were instructed by Jesus under direct revelation or by those who were with Him. So the Spirit caused them to remember everything that was said to them.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
In this world, all kinds of peace. You can get peace going to a mountain stream with a fishing pole. But when you leave that mountain stream, you go back into the hastles of the world. You can get temporary peace taking drugs but when the drug wears off, you are back to where you were. If we are going to have peace, we must understand that we are justified by faith. That is peace with God.
You have peace with God when you understand Jesus has done it all. Is it not peaceful and restful, the Sabbath rest, when you realize who you are, a child of God? I did not earn it or work for it. I am totally forgiven.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
Do you see what the Christian world has done to annihilate resting. The Christian world works people to death. Everybody talking about church but not Jesus. You have morning and evening services you are expected to attend. Even Wednesday service and all kinds of stuff that exhaust and burns you out, working for Jesus. Everyone has lives to live. You have to come to church, a building on the corner of walk and don’t walk. That is not church. That is a place you meet. The church is the body of Christ. The universal church is born again people all over the world. As you are working and going out to play, who is out there? You and Jesus. Where are you going to do evangelism? Here or out there? Here is just preaching to the choir. Oh, but there might be someone who is not, so we have to shoot him down. Where you work and play, you and Jesus are there together, and you are aware of people. If you are talking to people, you will start hearing the heartaches and trials they are going through. That is when you start applying Jesus, about the hope that is in you. You can share, “I too was in a situation I did not know where I was going. I did not know who I was. Then one day and time in history, Jesus touched my heart and brought me into a personal relationship with Jesus.” It is not my job to work you to death. No, it is to build you up in the knowledge of Christ, to share what you learned with people you encounter. When gathered here, a huge percentage are in Christ. This is a place to grow and be discipled. Where should evangelism and ministry take place? Out there.