February 24, 2019 “From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

“From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

Has the Earth ever been without the presence of God? Genesis 1.2 (Amplified Bible, 2015) tells us that the Spirit of God was, even, “brooding” over the darkness and unformed earth. Genesis 12.1-4 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Abram to move to the Promised Land. Exodus 3.1-10 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Moses to retrieve the enslaved Israelites from Egypt. Exodus 13.21-22tells us that God traveled with and led the Israelites by a visible cloud by day that became lighted during the night. Proverbs 21.1tells us that God turns the kings/leaders into the ways He wishes. Galatians 4.4-7 tells us that Jesus came at the appointed time. So, is it not reasonable to believe that God continues to watch over the earth today (2 Chronicles 16.9; Psalm 32.8; Deuteronomy 31.6; Hebrews 13.5-6). Each of these passages reveals the loving God we serve, although unseen by human eyes, except for a period of three years (Isaiah 64.4).

Can you believe in what (Who) you cannot see? How? What is the comparison with things you have come to believe, like gravity, flight, or the taste of chocolate ice cream? What pictures came to mind with these words? What word identifies the Holy Spirit?

John 14.1-31 provides answers to these questions. In these verses, Jesus speaks volumes of theology, which you have heard and might through me in another study. Presently, I want us to learn about the amazing Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke at length about Him in chapters 14-16 because He wants us to be able to converse with Him as the disciples did with Jesus the Son.

So, what does the context of Jesus’ teaching tell us about the Holy Spirit and why is this important?

What do Jesus’ words in verses 1-15 tell us about the Apostles, who were recruited by Him as disciples and chosen by God for Him as Apostles (Luke 6.12-16)?

Verse 1: their minds were “troubled” (John 1.21-38). Why? What was Jesus’ remedy?

Verses 2-5: they did not know Who Jesus was. What should they understand from His discussion of His Father’s house?

Verses 7-11: they had not made the connection of Jesus with Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18. What connection did Jesus make? Why was He surprised? See John 15.24.

Verses 13-14: they had forgotten Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 10.7-8 and their experience, in Luke 10.1-11& 17-19.

Verse 12: what visualization was Jesus planting in their minds that would be fulfilled by verses 13-14? See Mark 16.15-20.

John 14.6-7 are a comprehensive summation of the Name, “Jesus”.

  • the Name is “the way” for coming to Father God (Matthew 13-14; John 14.15);
  • the Name is “the truth” to be learned from and about our Father 
(John 1.17; 37-38a);
  • the Name is “the life” that resides eternally with our Father 
(John 1.4; 57 & 63);
  • the Name is the ONLY portal into our Father’s presence (John 31); and
  • the Son manifested all of the characteristics of our Father 
(Colossians 2.9-10).

“From now on” (John 14.7) speaks of the Holy Spirit continuing the work of Jesus through the Apostles (and believers in future generations; Matthew 28.19-20), as Jesus prays in John 17.18 and The Acts of the Holy Spirit detail as early evidences of John 14.12. He continues in believers to fulfill Matthew 10.7-8 (see John 3.8).

(The following discusses “from now on” (John 14.7) from different perspective. The Apostles and disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), but when do we gain His benefits, and what do these mean?)

Paul states in Ephesians 1.13-14 that believers in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit when we hear the Gospel message. Jesus warns us to be careful what we ‘hear’ each day; see Mark 4.24-25. And, John warns us to discern the source of what we hear, in 1 John 4.1-4. Remember that John’s test question is still appropriate because Christianity depends upon the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7.14) and upon His atoning death and upon His bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.3-4). satan still wants to disprove these realities.

Each Christian is the result of someone fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28.18-20. We heard the Gospel truth and believed in Jesus’ name (John 1.12). At that very moment, we were “baptized into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit” (Matthew 28.19). As I have already taught, “into” is an accepted alternative to “in” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, g1519). But, “into” is more in line with Jesus’ teaching in John 17.20-21, as He begins to explain in John 14.10-11.

This seems to be Paul’s understanding in Romans 5.1-5 where his word “access” infers “into”. Faith in the name “Jesus” (John 1.12) becomes our “access” “into” union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (John 17.21). Thus, the paralytic was healed by faith in Jesus’ name (Acts 3.1-10, 16; 4.12). This is because health is included as part of the name Jesus. (Acts 4.12; Proverbs 3.8, 4.22)

Faith “into” Jesus’ name was His explanation to Nicodemus of the Kingdom of God, in John 3.1-8, about 2.23. We are led by the Spirit (“wind” in verse 8; Strong’s, g4151) to do His work, which Jesus summarized in Matthew 10.7-8. These are our “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name of Jesus (John 16.14-15).

God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name Jesus (John 16.14-15).

Could this be the meaning of Jesus’ use of “through” in John 14.6? It is only through His name, Jesus, that we enter the presence of God. Remember that the Word was God and took on flesh (John 1.1, 14) and was given the name “Jesus” (Matthew 1.21; Luke 1.31), which Jesus the Son said is the name of His Father (John 17.12).

Is this Name how Jesus is One with His Father (John 14.10-11; 17.22-24)? If so, then the name “Jesus” is the only way Christians can come to the Father’s house, which is a library of truth (John 14.6; 1.17; 18.37). Jesus has given us His Name (John 17.22)!

The Holy Spirit will help us to understand what that means (John 14.26).

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Praise God!!!

Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

 

February 3, 2019 Washed by Love

Washed by Love

Some Christian denominations include sects that take Jesus’ instruction in John 13.14-15 (Amp) literally; they wash one another’s feet as a practice of worship. Is that what Jesus meant? And, how is washing someone’s feet an illustration of Jesus’ “new commandment” to love one another, as He had loved the disciples; John 13.34-35?

What “love” is Jesus presenting? The Greek words philein, and agapan are two of four that parse our word “love” to give greater understanding. Phileinlove is about personal affection and regard someone has for another person. Agapan love enhances this affection and regard to a higher degree of commitment.

Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21.16-17 illustrates the contrast.

The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, “_Agapan_ has more of judgment and deliberate choice; _philein_ has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the ‘Lovest thou’ (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger ‘I love’ (Gr. philo) in its room. (Easton’s; “love”)

Peter seems to be expressing his desire for the warm, personal relationship with Jesus that he enjoyed before denying Him. However, Jesus seems already past that stage and is desiring Peter’s commitment to the evangelistic task ahead. On the third try, Shepherd Jesus gently agrees with Peter as a place for beginning to grow the desired commitment that would fulfill Jeremiah 23.4.

Only in one other exchange does Jesus use phileowith His disciples. In John 15.15, He elevates them from servants to friends, distinguishing between the two as revealing what He has heard from Father God. Servants don’t need to know what their masters are thinking. But, friends deserve to understand out thinking and rationale.

Understanding the connection of washing feet and love comes from connecting John 13.8 (“’Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.’”) to John 13.34 (“‘Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.’”). The act of washing someone’s feet is like restoring an errant follower of Christ to righteous living (James 5.19-20). Paul expresses the same encouragement in Hebrews 3.12-19.

This is the great need of your day. satan’s devices for stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10.10a) are subtle and clever, like a serpent trapping its prey. Jesus’ disciples faced similar deceptions from the Pharisees and traditions of their day (Mark 7.13).

But, Jesus “kept” His disciples from such harmful philosophies by teaching them what God was telling Him (John 15.15; John 12.49; John 5.19-20; John 1.18). Thus, in His Lord’s Prayer in John 17.6& 11-12, Jesus states that He “‘was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me’”. This is John’s “love” in 2 John 6.

This is the degree of commitment (agapan love) that Jesus requires from us. We are to warn fellow believers by washing satan’s filth which becomes attached through our living in a fallen world; Hebrews 2.1.

References

Amp. Amplified Bible (2015 Edition). www.olivetree.com.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019 . www.sozoclass.com.