Classic Christianity – Book of John P24 (12-04-18)
Bob George shares from the book of John beginning at John 7:25. What do people do to understand the bible? Do they rely on their own understanding, as the Jews did when Jesus spoke truth from heaven. So many people are confused about truth. The age old question people have asked is “What is truth?”. So do we need to study Greek to understand the bible but yet cannot find Christians in Greece. Do we need understand Hebrews but not all Hebrews are Christian. So do we need to go to seminary to learn hermeneutics or some system of theology? Why is there so much division of who Jesus is?
25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
Halfway through the Tabernacle Feast, Jesus made himself known. Before that people were confused about him, some saying he was a good man and others saying he deceives the people. Jesus, knowing all men are spiritually dead, came to reveal Himself to men, that they might put their trust in Him so that may have life in His name. To understand the words of Jesus, of the word of God, one must have the Holy Spirit living in you. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the meaning of the word of God. You do not need the Spirit of God to understand what the word of God says, a computer can do that. If you don’t know what it means, then might as well not know what it says.
The truth of who Jesus and why he came has to be revealed to men. Jesus came to earth from heaven to bury us under the law, our self-righteousness to make us acceptable to God. So at that time in history, Jesus was preparing men to accept what he came to do, to die on a cross to take away their sins. But if they see no need to come to Christ because their trust is in anything but Christ, such as the law, religion, their best efforts, then they will not seek to be saved from ultimate eternal death. If men do not come to understand how bankrupt they are, how spiritually dead they are, then they will not come to Jesus Christ for spiritual life.
1 Corinthians 2:10-12
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 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.
No one knows the thoughts of someone else. We have no clue of what someone else is thinking. Can you act like you are hearing? You sure can but you could just be pretending. As Bob’s wife Amy once said, there are no glass heads that people can see inside. In same way, no one knows the thoughts of God. So following such logic, how am I ever going to understand what God is thinking. But we, those who are born again spiritually, have not received the spirit of the world, but the very Spirit of God to reveal to us the things of the Spirit. The Spirit of God reveals truth, the things of the Spirit, to men.
1 Corinthians 2:13-16
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“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.
We, as children of God, born again spiritually, have the privilege of participating in the divine nature, learning spiritual truth, setting us free from error bombarded by the world. So what is important is God living in me. No such things as an unimportant or insignificant person if God is living in him.
16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 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.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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.”
As you ponder the scriptures, Jesus came to convict world of sin and righteousness and judgment, about the sin of unbelief in Christ that keeps men condemned already and about Christ’s righteousness because he has condemned sin in sinful man by becoming sin for us and is to be raised to new life so as to offer His righteousness to men.
So then Jesus Christ came to bring new life to men, to make man into a new creation with the mind of Christ and Christ’s righteousness. No longer will you be identified as a Baptist, a Catholic, or a member of a certain club but as a member of the body of Christ, a child of God. The church Bob George was pastor never had membership requirements. If someone is born again, they are already a member.
So then, do you allow the Holy Spirit to express glory of God? When one ponders over John 7, there were all kinds of responses to Jesus. Jesus performed miracles, showed the depth of his love to men, and identified himself as the Bread of Life, illustrating spiritual truth from the physical world, yet many would not believe. There is this tendency to only think in the natural realm, the only realm we have ever known, and reject the spiritual, something foreign to our understanding. Yet Peter responded by a willingness to listen to Jesus, the man of truth. Where else will he hear spiritual truth so he may believe. For many at that time decided to leave and stop following Jesus. Yet in John 6:68, one reads Peter’s response:
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Would you be willing to listen to the man of truth? Or would you walk way from the only source of truth that can save your life?
Like many today, people have no problem talking about God as the man upstairs or good Lord, but whenever Jesus is spoken of people gag. Yet Jesus continues to call out to men, imploring them to listen and reveal to men who he is: the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
I and the Father are one
Come to Jesus Christ for there is no one else to seek. There is nothing else to seek but Jesus. God wants people seeking whom God revealed to us in person of Jesus Christ.
Yet so many fail to believe Jesus Christ, who he is and what he came to do. His own brothers did not believe in him. Essentially they said to Jesus to go have himself killed since you are such a big guy and so smart. Jesus responded by saying that any time is right for you but the right time for me to die has not yet come. The reasons the world hates me is I tell the truth about their sin. Since they remain blind to their state of sin, they see no need to come to me for life. Since what Jesus taught is so contrary to what people have been taught it is vitally important to know truth. Do not just get truth from a teacher for they could be teachers in the flesh.
If someone does not have Christ living in him, then what do they seek as truth, Calvinism or Arminianism or something else. And do you believe something simply because some teacher said so. Do not simply believe because someone else believes it. One needs to be taught properly. If one is taught error, and hears truth, will he not rebel against the truth? God will use a teacher to let you know hopefully what God has revealed through him. But the teacher could be teaching in the flesh, what he had not learned from God, but what he figured out with his own understanding when the Bible says do not lean on your understanding but in all things acknowledge him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Let God direct your path for the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. But if anyone does not know that the Spirit of Christ is alive living in him, teaching him, then he is limited to his own devices – Greek and Hebrew and theology and Calvinism and Arminianism, and all manner of tools and writing but devoid of the Spirit’s revelation. So men are prone to believe something becasue soem teacher taught Calvinism and so he said it so it must be true. No, that is not the way to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Do you believe something because you believe it and why do you believe? Were you taught of the Lord? God gives us His Spirit living in you so that the Spirit who is alive in you can teach you truth and let that truth set you free.
One does not have to go to seminary in order to understand the bible. More often than not seminaries are like cemeteries, a detriment to coming to the knowledge of the truth by the Spirit of God but rather to lean on one’s own understanding through techniques such as hermaneutics and study of Greek. It is vitally important to allow the Spirit to discern spiritual truth. God will use teachers but Bible says you do not even need teachers.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Yet God does provide teachers to supplement your effort in learning truth but not to substitute your effort. Do not fall into the error of believing something because so and so says so. You sit among a church and someone says what is this contrary to that? Then the legalistic controls people to tell them what they must believe. That is why people do not teach grace because they cannot control you. Have you ever heard someone say if you do not believe in so and so then you are not a member of this church. If you do not believe in the tithe, then what have you been told? To leave or submit to a 3 month teaching campaign with a pledge?
The key to coming to truth is the attitude of the heart. Ponder again over this scripture.
If any of you really determines to do God’s will, then you will certainly know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.
The desire in your heart is where attitudes are formed. Do you want to do God’s will? That is a matter of the heart. Now we cannot do God’s will in the flesh, but the desire is there.
Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
When work for the honor of God Himself, then you will know whether teaching is from God. God will reveal himself to those who diligently seek him.
Pondering over John 7, starting at verse 20, what can you discern about what kept the Jewish leaders blind to truth? Here they are accusing Jesus of being demon-possessed. What kind of pride and ego is this to say this to God! Jesus proved Himself as God with his miracles and love. Here they are blinded by religion, their hypocrisy in doing work on the Sabbath by circumcising a child on the eight day that happens to fall on the Sabbath yet accusing Jesus of working on the Sabbath by healing a man. They are making judgments based on what the law says, but devoid of any understanding of the intent or purpose of the law.
Bob addresses another way they remained blind. The Rabbis study the scriptures, having read about Melchizedek and how the promised Messiah will come from the order of Melchizedek, without genealogy having no beginning and no end. That is to say no one will know where he comes from. The scripture is true in the spiritual realm for Jesus did come from heaven but all the Jews could think was in the natural. Was he not Jesus the carpenter’s son, the son of Joseph? So we know where Jesus came from but no one will know where Jesus comes from. So they were blinded and would not accept that Jesus is the Messiah, claiming him to be a mere man, despite the overwhelming evidence of the miracles Jesus performed and the wisdom by which he spoke.
Jesus continued to reason with men but many stubbornly refused to believe.
28 So Jesus, in a sermon in the Temple, called out, “Yes, you know me and where I was born and raised, but I am the representative of one you don’t know, and he is Truth. 29 I know him because I was with him, and he sent me to you.”
30 Then the Jewish leaders sought to arrest him; but no hand was laid on him, for God’s time had not yet come.
31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed on him. “After all,” they said, “what miracles do you expect the Messiah to do that this man hasn’t done?”
32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were in this mood, they and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Jesus. 33 But Jesus told them, “Not yet![b] I am to be here a little longer. Then I shall return to the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me but not find me. And you won’t be able to come where I am!”
Again, thinking only in the natural realm, they questioned what he meant when he said where I am going you cannot come. They were filled with pride from their rabbinical training through Moses in whom they put their trust and said in their heart, “How dare Jesus says he knows more than me”. They boasted in their religious heritage and training under Moses not realizing God originated the training, but they failed to understand for they were unwilling. The attitude of the Pharisees, unlike many religious people today, is “How faithful, how religious, and look at the good I do. How dare this man confront someone like me.” They were unwilling to be buried by the law set against them so they may seek a savior in Christ Jesus and receive his mercy and grace
So look at the Rabbis. Did they believe the Messiah is to come? Yes, but then when he came they did not recognize him. When one holds onto error, such error crowds out the truth. Look at the evidence! How do you know who the Messiah is yet to come when genealogy is all gone. How many more miraculous signs will some Messiah you are looking fro will do than what has already been done? How much greater he has to be than Jesus was! What if day comes and you find out that Jesus really was the Messiah that already came. Yet he responds that would not surprise him one bit. So he condemns himself because the truth is known but he willingly rejects the truth! Amazing!
So after Jesus died, the Pharisees and Sadducee looked for him, and as Jesus prophesied they would look for him and not find him. He indeed did rise from the dead and his body was never found. The tomb was empty.
Again, the religious leaders, blinded to truth, could only think in the natural realm. What do you mean we will look for him and not find him?
35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Maybe he is thinking of leaving the country and going as a missionary among the Jews in other lands, or maybe even to the Gentiles! 36 What does he mean about our looking for him and not being able to find him, and, ‘You won’t be able to come where I am’?”
37 On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.” 39 (He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him; but the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet returned to his glory in heaven.)
Jesus later told his disciples that it is good he is going away, for then the Holy Spirit will come to you and live in you and reveal to you truth that you cannot understand now. The Holy Spirit will remind the disciples all that he ever told them and then they will know the truth. So too with all men. When one is born again spiritually, the Holy Spirit takes residence in a person and the Holy Spirit teaches men the things of God, the spiritual truth that Jesus brought from heaven and proclaimed to men. The true church today is people of God, born again. His body is only those in Christ Jesus. Jesus is exiled so to speak, yet lives by His spirit in the hearts of men who came to Christ for life.
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