Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 21 (05-15-19)
Bob George shared from John 5 where Jesus asked a man who was an invalid for over 38 years, “Do you want to get well?”. The man was having a pity party. Jesus saw through that and just told him to get up, pick up his mat and walk. Bob addressed the question, “Do you want to get well?” The question, “Do you want to get well?” is a vital question. It is not the fact we can’t but the fact that we do not want to. To someone, the answer may be that he does not want to get well. The issue is are you willing to sacrifice the peace of God that surpasses understanding for a temporary peace that passes away the minute the situation is over? Would you consider asking the Lord to help you be willing to change your want to? So whether the issue is being grumpy, having your own way, depression, addiction, marital problems, or any number of issues, do you want to get well?
Bob then addressed the stupidity of religion when the Jewish leaders griped about Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath. That is what religion still does today. Are you willing to trust the words of Jesus over the words of men? Quit living in your unbelief. The world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus. Stop living in your unbelief in what these religious leaders are telling you. Stop being fearful of them and start learning to trust me. What kinds of things do we hear today? Certain leaders say you should confess your sins to a priest to get forgiveness of sin. Others say you need to keep short accounts with God and that you need to confess your sins directly to God so as to keep in his forgiveness. This is in total contrast to what has been revealed to man from the scriptures. There is no more sacrifice for sin. He sacrificed for sin once and for all, no longer counting our sins against us. For those in Christ Jesus, he has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
2 Corinthians 5:19
For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.
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!
because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Bob continues now in John 5 where the Jews were upset with Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath. What really got them mad was when Jesus said that he is equal with God, thereby proclaiming himself to be God.
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.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
The Jewish leaders were so upset that Jesus was calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal with God. This ties into the gospel of John, the declaration what these people were hearing what Jesus was saying about himself, that he is equal with God. If you are equal with God, then what are you? God. People cannot understand that truth. They do not want to understand that truth. They do not know that God is Spirit.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Truth about what? Who he is. What he is. What he came to do. All of those things about God. Do not put flesh and blood on God. The only face that we have ever had on God is the face of Christ Jesus.
Do you know how the Spirit exists? No. Do you see the effects of it? Yes. You see the effects of the wind when it blows leaves on the ground. You see also the effect of the Holy spirit in the changed lives of men. But did you see the Spirit? No. No one knows what the Spirit looks like.
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 the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
If God, who is one God, exists to us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, do we necessarily comprehend that? Not totally. Do we apprehend that? If we are smart we do. Why? Jesus claimed himself to be God. The Pharisees, who hated him, because he exclaimed himself to be God, heard what he was proclaiming.
Recall also what Jesus replied to Philip who asked him, “Show us the Father?”
9 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’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
But there is only one God. So what can we conclude from that? The sum total of three is one. It is not 1 + 1 + 1 but 1 x 1 x 1. God is three in one. God has communicated that “I and the Father are one” and “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”.
Jesus also said this.
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
What was Jesus saying to these people? You are looking at God. You are looking at God the Son that is totally equal with God the Father. Jesus was and is forever God and found himself in appearance as a man. He took upon himself our humanity, but that is God in an earth suit.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!
So what is his identity? God in an earth suit. As God in an earth suit, in order to show you and me, who are indwelt by God, which is different than being God, clothed in an earth suit, to show us how to live, made himself nothing, took on the nature of a servant, and came to be made in human likeness. In order to show you and me how to live, he said , “I am going to show you how to live as a man and not as God”. So he said, “I am going to tell you the truth about something. What you just saw me do I did because the Father told me to do it.
Scriptures testifies of Jesus total dependence on God the Father, living like a man in total dependence.
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. 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.
49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Jesus, in essence, is saying, “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it and how to say something and what to say. I live in total dependency upon my Father in heaven for all my actions here on earth so I am as a direct reflection of God Himself, of God the Father.” That is how you know God, by looking at what Jesus is doing and what he is saying. Then you are going to know the character of God. So Jesus is living in total dependence on his Father.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
So how are we going to live our lives for Jesus? Are we going out and saying, “Go sick them for Jesus”? Do we go out and come up with our own ideas and go do them and then ask God to bless them?
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Do we sit around and let our fingers have a committee to determine what the thumbs ought to be doing on behalf of the head? Is that our job as leaders to determine what thumbs ought to be doing on behalf of the head? Or is our role to equip people with truth and then let them let God tell them what to do. I would rather have one man doing what God wants them to be doing than having a thousand people doing what I tell them to do. Does the Spirit of God live in you? Is He alive? Is He dead? Is He teaching you truth? Is He taking things of Jesus and making them known to you?
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.”
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.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
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.
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
If He is doing those things, can He guide you into all truth? Can He guide you where He wants you to go? Where He wants you to do may not be what He tells someone else to do.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
1 Corinthians 12:11
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Is that not also what Jesus said to Peter?
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
Peter was in essence asking a question that was none of his business, nothing he should be concerned about Jesus is essentially saying to Peter, “I tell John what I want him to do, and that is not what I have told you to do. So what I tell John should be of no concern to you. What is that to you?”
That is originality. That is what God wants, us as individuals, to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit so He is head and we are the body. God is essentially saying, “So if I want the little finger to wiggle, I say ‘wiggle’. If I want the nose to twitch, I say ‘twitch'”. We are the body and he is the head. You are listening to God. You do not have to listen to man. Listen to God. What is God telling you to do? That is freedom isn’t it? That also eliminates the idea that people in church are supposed to control you. You may have heard, “You need someone to be accountable to”? If you cannot be accountable to God then how can any of you be accountable to a bunch of guys? You can lie to them just as you can lie to God. The Holy Spirit says, “I have got a specific job for you. You do not know what it is. You have to wait around and listen to what I, God, want you to do”. You can live your life to be led by God rather than man. We have people in churches that tell you who you got to marry. Others tell you if you do not do this or that you will go to hell. God made you individually and he will lead you into the path he wants you to go.
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.
God, in essence, is saying, “I will show you what life is like to be led and controlled by the Father. It will not be a life that is griping at people, and at me, because I told him to pick up your mat and walk.” It will not be a religious life. It will be a life to be free in what God wants you to be. Is that not freedom? If you are in the business world, can He use you as a real estate agent? Yes. Can He use you as a school teacher? Yes, absolutely. In the place you are at, God can use you. That work He calls you does not have to be big crusades, for that is what He called some evangelist to do.
This should be your thinking and attitude toward God. “I am a child of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I am available to you, God, to do in and through me for what you want to do in and through me. I am not there to match up to someone else or be a one up-man-ship or to tell others how great we are. I just want to be available to you to do what you want to do in me and through me.”
Bob closed in prayer.
“Father, we thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ for the uniqueness of this life we have, individually saved by you, individually touched by you, indwelt by you, looked upon, not as a group, but as an individual. We are a bunch of individual people who have been touched by the living Christ, who gather together to study your word, to pray together and to fellowship with one another. We thank you for that. Thank you for the stance that many have to take when we are confronted with error, of not being afraid to lovingly express what truth is. I thank you for that as well. So Lord Jesus, continue to guide us. Cause us to ask ourselves the question in regards to things in our lives that should not be, “Do we want to get well”? And if we don’t, make us be willing to be willing. I pray these things in Jesus name and for His sake.”