30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WILL YOU RECEIVE THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL?

29Jan

Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  At the Nursing Home the other day, a friend of mine was inviting residents to come to the church service, some would not come, so he said if he had some cake or something they would.  You laugh, but I could offer you a car or money and you would take it, but how about the free gift of salvation.  Would you take it? Eph 2:8-9 Says For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.  Jesus bought it on the cross and He offers it to you today.  Will you receive the greatest gift of all?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 18:12-27 JESUS ANSWERED HIM, “IF I HAVE SPOKEN EVIL, BEAR WITNESS OF THE EVIL; - JESUS NEVER SINNED

26Jan

John 18:12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself. 19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 "Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said." 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?" 23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?" 24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, "You are not also one of His disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not!" 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did I not see you in the garden with Him?" 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.

 This section has been called by some Jesus’ trial and Peter’s Denial. Jesus honors the Father by trusting in Him through every circumstance and Peter fails miserably.  Peter fails because He did not watch and pray as Jesus told him and the disciples to in the garden when Jesus went to pray. Mt 26:41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." They kept falling asleep and Jesus had already warned Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat earlier in Lu 22:31. Then He singles out Peter in Mt 26:40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Peter fails because he thinks he can’t which contradicts 1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Jesus stands strong because He has prayed and continues to trust the Father.  Peter fails because he is proud, he doesn’t pray for help, and lastly because He did not leave when Jesus told them to leave and let them just take Him. He was somewhere he should have never been. Remember 1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. God will make a way out if you trust Him.

12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.

The commander (Gr. chiliarchos, cf. Acts 22:24, 26, 27, 28; 23:17, 19, 22) in view was the officer in charge of the Roman soldiers. He was evidently the person with the most official authority on the scene. However the Jewish officers (i.e., temple police) also played a part in Jesus' arrest. Perhaps John noted that they bound Jesus in view of Isaiah's prophecy that Messiah's enemies would lead Him as a lamb to the slaughter (Isa. 53:7). Jesus' disciples abandoned Him when His enemies took him into custody (cf. Matt. 26:56; Mark 14:50).

So begins 6 illegal trials – See Chuck Swindoll’s graph 3 Jewish Trials and then 3 Roman Trials

 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.

Mt 26:57; Lu 3:2

The words, They … brought Him first to Annas, provide information not given in the other Gospels.[i]

In the OT the high priesthood was for life and stayed in the lineage of Aaron. However, the Romans had turned this office into a political plumb, purchased by a Levitical family. The high priest controlled and operated the merchandising in the Court of the Women. Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple angered this family.[ii]

Both high priests evidently occupied the same building. One was Annas, the former high priest whom the Jews still regarded as the legitimate high priest since the high priesthood under the Mosaic Law was for life. He served as the official high priest from A.D. 6 to 15 when the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus deposed him. Five of Annas' sons plus his son- in-law, Caiaphas, succeeded him in this office. Consequently it was natural that the Jews regarded Annas as the patriarch and the true high priest and that he continued to exert considerable influence throughout his lifetime. The other high priest was Caiaphas, Annas' son-in-law whom the Romans had placed in the office in A.D. 18 where he remained until A.D.36. Annas was the first of the two men to interview Jesus.

 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. John 11:50

John doubtless identified Caiaphas as he did here to remind his readers of the prediction of Jesus' substitute sacrifice (11:50), not just to identify Caiaphas. This identification also makes unnecessary a full recording of the  deliberations  that  led  to  the  Sanhedrin's  verdict.  That  record  was already available in the Synoptics and was therefore unnecessary in John's Gospel.

 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. Mt 26:58; Mr. 14:54; Lu 22:54

This is a very strong term for “acquaintance” and seems to mean a “close friend” (cf. Luke 2:44 and 23:49). [iii]

There has been much discussion as to the identity of this other disciple: (1) the traditional theory has been that it is the Apostle John because of a similar phrase used of him in 20:2, 3, 4, and 8. Also, another possible connection is with John 19:25, which names John’s mother, who could possibly be a sister of Mary, which means he may have been a Levite and therefore a priest (cf. Polycarp’s testimony). (2) this may have been a local unnamed follower like Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea because of their association with the high priest and his family (cf. vv. 15–16).

As the other evangelists, John alternated his account of the events surrounding Jesus' religious trial. He described what was happening in the courtyard (vv. 15-18), then what was happening inside (vv. 19-24), then what happened outside again (vv. 25-27). This literary technique contrasts Jesus with Peter.

 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Mt 26:69; Mr. 14:66; Lu 22:54

 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." She asked Peter if he was one too, expecting a negative reply, as the Greek text makes clear. Her question reflected some disdain for Jesus. Peter succumbed to the pressure of the moment and denied his association with Jesus (13:37). Perhaps what he had done to Malchus made him more eager to blend into his surroundings.

 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.

Peter’s denial before the servant girl was a striking contradiction to his earlier boast to lay down his life for Jesus (13:37), and his show of offense in cutting off Malchus’ ear (18:10). Evidently the other disciple was also in danger (perhaps greater) but he did not deny Jesus. Peter stood by the fire … warming himself in the cold spring evening, Jerusalem being about 2,500 feet above sea level. This little detail about the cold evening is another indication that the author of this book was an eyewitness.

Peter not only denied Jesus, but He also stood with Jesus' enemies as they warmed themselves in the courtyard of the high priest's large residence.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

 19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. John's version of Peter's denial is quite similar to those of the other Gospel writers, but His revelation of Jesus' interrogation by Annas is unique. None of the other evangelists mentioned it. He probably asked Jesus about His disciples to ascertain the size of His following since one of the religious leaders' chief concerns was the power of Jesus' popularity. Annas' interest in His teachings undoubtedly revolved around who Jesus claimed to be (cf. 7:12,47; 19:4). Both subjects were significant since many of the Jews suspected Jesus of being a political insurrectionist.

From our Lord’s answer it would seem that “His disciples” were understood to be some secret party. [iv]

20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Mt 26:55; Lu 4:15; John 7:14,26,28; 8:2

He ignores the first question so as to protect his disciples, takes the attention off the disciples and puts it on Himself

He was assuring Annas that His teachings were not subversive. He did not have two types of teaching, a harmless one for the multitudes and a revolutionary one for his disciples. He invited Annas to question His hearers, not just His disciples,  to  determine  if  He  had  indeed  taught  anything  for  which someone might accuse Him of being disloyal. The testimony of witnesses was an indispensable part of any serious trial in Judaism.

De 17:6 "Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

 21 "Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said."

This seems to imply that He saw the attempt to draw Him into self-incrimination, and resented it by falling back upon the right of every accused party to have some charge laid against Him by competent witnesses. [v]

He indicts them by showing they don’t care about justice by asking for witnesses which they don’t produce.

 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?" The Greek word rhapisma translated "blow" (NASB) means a sharp blow with the palm of the hand. Jesus' response to this attack was logical rather than emotional or physical. He simply appealed for a fair trial (cf. Acts 23:2-5). The man who stuck Him was not treating Him fairly. This was a case of police brutality. Jesus had shown no disrespect for Annas.  Jer 20:2; Ac 23:2

Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And lMy cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. 

 23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?"

This shows that Mt 5:39 is not to be taken to the letter, but He did by going all the way to the cross.

It was easier to evade the truth or to silence the One who spoke the truth than to attempt to answer the truth. Truth has a self-evident power of persuasion and those who oppose it find it difficult to deny. Jesus pressed this point and exposed their hypocrisy. They knew the truth but loved error. They saw the light but loved darkness

 24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Mt 26:57

Annas  could  not  produce  anything  for  which  the  Sanhedrin  could condemn or even charge Jesus. Therefore he sent Jesus to Caiaphas. The descriptions of Jesus' hearings in the Gospels alternate between Jesus' interrogations and Peter's denials. It seems clear therefore that Annas and Caiaphas lived and interviewed Jesus in different parts of the same large residence or palace. Caiaphas had to interview Jesus to bring charges against Him before the Sanhedrin since Caiaphas was the current official high priest. John noted that Jesus remained bound as a criminal even though He had done nothing to warrant physical restraint.

John did not record what happened when Jesus appeared before Caiaphas and, later, before the Sanhedrin (cf. Matt. 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:66-71). Perhaps he omitted these aspects of Jesus' religious trial because the earlier Synoptic Gospels contained adequate accounts of them. Maybe John considered the meeting of the Sanhedrin that he described in 11:47-53 as Jesus' official condemnation.

 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, "You are not also one of His disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not!" Mt 26:69, 71; Mr. 14:69; Lu 22:58; 24:53

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did I not see you in the garden with Him?"

Peter should not have followed at all since Jesus had gotten them out of trouble at the garden.

There is some discrepancy among the four Gospels as to who asked the questions of Peter: (1) in Mark, it is a maid who asked the first question (cf. Mark 14:69); (2) in Matthew it is another servant girl (cf. Matt. 26:71); and (3) in Luke 22:58 it is a man. It is obvious from the historical setting that one person asked the question around the fire and the others joined in (cf. v. 18).[vi]

Unlike the first two questions in vv. 17 and 25, this grammatical form expects a “yes” answer.

 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed. Mt 26:74; Mr. 14:72; Lu 22:60; John 13:38

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

  • If you live too close to the world, you will get burned by the  

He should have followed Jesus counsel and left.  He goes and denies Jesus 3 times, open to temptation

Luke records Peter sits down at the fire with the wicked

Lu 22:55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

  • No one is immune to failure, Even the mighty fall

1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

  • This section Shows the Glory of God and the sinfulness of man

Robert Robinson was just a small boy when his dad died. In 18th century England, there was little in the way of a social welfare system and this meant that he had to go to work while still very young. Without a father to guide and steady him, he fell in with bad companions.

One day his gang of rowdies harassed a drunken gypsy. Pouring liquor into her, they demanded she tell their fortunes for free. Pointing her finger at Robert she told him he would live to see his children and grandchildren. This struck a tender spot in his heart. "If I'm going to live to see my children and grandchildren," he thought, "I'll have to change my way of living. I can't keep on like I'm going now."

He decided to go hear the Methodist preacher George Whitefield. To cover his "weak" urge, he suggested that the boys go with him and heckle the gathering. Whitefield preached on the text: "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matthew 3:7). Robert left in dread, under a deep sense of sin that lasted for three years.

Finally, at the age of twenty, he made peace with God and immediately set out to become a Methodist preacher himself. Two years later, in 1757, he wrote a hymn which expressed his joy in his new faith:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

This was printed the next year. At first people thought that Selina Hastings, the Countess of Huntingdon, a strong Methodist had written this. Eventually it was learned that Robert was the writer.

In the last stanza, Robert had written:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
Take my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above.

Prone to wander Robert was. He left the Methodists and became a Baptist. Later on, having become a close friend of Joseph Priestly, he was accused of becoming a Unitarian. Priestly and other Unitarians denied the full divinity of Christ. However, in a sermon he preached after he supposedly became a Unitarian, Robinson clearly declared that Jesus was God, and added, "Christ in Himself is a person infinitely lovely as both God and man."

Robert died on this day, June 9, 1790. Had he left the God he loved? A widely-told, but unverifiable, story says that one day as he was riding in a stagecoach a lady asked him what he thought of the hymn she was humming. He responded, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then."

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Jn 18:12–14). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[ii] Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (162). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[iii] Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (163). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[iv] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jn 18:19). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[v] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jn 18:21). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[vi] Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (164). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE YOU GOING ON WITH GOD?

22Jan

In Numbers 32 two tribes of the Israelites decide they want to stay in the land and not go into the promised land.  They were satisfied with what they had and did not want to go on with God instead of getting all that God had for them.  Is this a picture of your life?  Are you satisfied with your spiritual life and not growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as we are commanded?  So many of us miss out on the joy, peace, and abundant God has promised to us because we are not willing to go where God wants us to and so we miss out here on earth and we will not get all that heaven could be for us if we will just trust Him. Will you step out today for God?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/110230052184687338/charity/145555

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 18:1-11 JESUS SAID TO THEM, “I AM HE.”

19Jan

  John 18:1-11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" 5 They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." 8 Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way," 9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none." 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

 After Jesus finishes praying, He goes with His disciples to the garden. John leaves out the fact that Jesus prays again and sweats great drops of blood and His disciples sleep when they should have been praying also. John does this because he is focusing us on the greatness and supremacy of Jesus as the God Man. He wants to show us that the Jews have brought anywhere from 200 to 1200 plus people to get one MAN. The MAN that they could not get no matter how hard they have tried in the past to kill him or capture Him. Jesus shows His authority and power by stepping forward and confronting them with the question who do you seek instead of drawing back and running when they come for Him. They tell Him Jesus of Nazareth and He says I AM; I AM God, the self-existent one, YAWEH. They all are knocked down due to the power in that name. He surrenders Himself so that His disciples will not be killed and to fulfill that scripture that He lost none who were given to Him by the Father. Lastly Peter draws a small sword and whacks off Malchus’s ear and Jesus says put up your sword, Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me? In other words shall I not go to the cross and take all humanity’s sin by taking their place and suffering their hell while on the cross. That is why Jesus came and that is why He had to go to the cross. John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Now, you see, Matthew, Mark and Luke had different purposes. Theirs was not so directly to present Christ as God and thus they include the agony in the garden where we see Him breaking down from the sin and the anticipation. They include the anguish and the sorrow and the crying and the sweating, as it were, great drops of blood. And they include all those things that make Jesus so humiliated. They include the things that humiliate Jesus and make Him suffer. And they make much of that because that's important. But John's purpose is to present deity so you don't find the anguish in the garden, you don't find the crying in the garden, you don't find the sweating and the great drops of blood, you don't find anything degrading or debasing or humiliating at all in John's gospel. In fact, it's just the opposite. Everything that goes on at the arrest of Jesus as John points it out glorifies Christ.

Jesus Christ is in control of the context and the setting of all the events that are going to transpire

and it ought to be a source of great comfort for us to be reminded that God is in control, but we seem to want to step in in the middle of all kinds of things and say "Now wait shouldn't we do it this way? Shouldn't it happen this way?" We don't like surrendering control to anyone, even the God of the universe, right?

 And when things seem so clear, Peter's a good illustration of it, he’s going to protect and prevent his Lord from being arrested. How often we go off halfcocked. We just run into a situation. Ready, fire, aim. There's a great tendency for all of us to try and control things and sometimes we just need to take a pause and step back and say, "What does the Sovereign have going on here and how do I respond?"

 The arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is one of those events that if any of us had been there we would have thought, "Oh my, things got terribly out of control."

It is interesting to note that the arrest took place in a garden. Christ, the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), met the enemy in a garden and triumphed, while the first Adam met the enemy in a garden and failed. Adam hid himself, but Christ openly revealed Himself. [i]

1 When Jesus had spoken these words; He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2Sa 15:23; Mt 26:36; Mr 14:32; Lu 22:39

The Kidron Valley formed the eastern boundary of Jerusalem. The Kidron was also a wadi or dry streambed that contained water only when it rained hard. The Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane lay across the Kidron to the east.

The parallels between Jesus' experiences and David's at this point are striking. Both men crossed the Kidron having been rejected by their nation and betrayed by someone very close to them, and hangings followed both incidents

Another thing you don't find the text, but it's fairly good evidence that during Passover they’re going to slaughter 200,000 plus lambs. That's a lot of butchering and in antiquity, to deal with the blood there was one way in the Temple complex, but as they got more and more in production, they believe they actually dealt a ditch or a slew that went from the base of the Temple area into the Kidron. So we can't be sure of this, but there's a pretty good indication that when they're crossing that's a muddy, bloody river bottom. And they go up then to, John says, the garden. There was a garden.

 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Lu 21:37; 22:39

Judas the betrayer is reintroduced to us in this text. Eight times you'll find him mentioned in the Gospel of John. Eight times you'll find the word betrayer. Six times it's attached to the word Judas. The other two times it’s implied. He is known as the one, the son of perdition, who betrays his friend and he's brought back into the storyline.

 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Mt 26:47; Mr 14:43; Lu 22:47; Ac 1:16

Only John mentioned the presence of Roman soldiers. They carried lanterns and torches to find Jesus. Apparently they thought He might try to hide. They also had weapons to restrain anyone who might oppose their plan to arrest Jesus. Judas served as their guide. He had no authority over them.

John alone mentions the torches, the lanterns and the swords, so if you get this valley in mind, this picture in mind, and Passover always took place when the moon was full, and let's just say there are two hundred carrying torches. It would be a pretty eerie parade from the fortress of Antonio, around the city, across the Kidron Valley, into the garden. And you could probably see those torches coming a long way from the garden side of that ravine. I think the irony is touching that they're bringing torches and lanterns at night to apprehend the Light of the World.

Why so many? Well, you got the crowds and you got the press of, "Messiah could be coming." Probably more importantly though, back in John if you remember, they didn't quite get Him. He slipped away and the Jews were going to do all they can with Rome's help to apprehend Him this time, lest they look foolish going out and trying to find Him. It sounds like a problem we're having right now, doesn't it? We want to find him. Let's send out a big detachment to make sure we can get him.

They were armed with torches, swords, and even clubs. (I doubt that the Romans allowed the Jews to bear arms, so it is likely that the club-bearers were Jews.) It would seem they had prepared for the worst. They expected Jesus to attempt to escape, or at least to resist arrest. They came with torches, ready to pursue Him into the darkness if He attempted to evade them.

 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?"

Jesus in John 6:15 is unwilling to let the popular crowd make Him King. He fights that. Now in John eighteen He's willing to be the sacrifice for them. Jesus seems to do things upside down an awful lot. They wanted to make Him King and now they want to crucify Him and He willingly submits to being apprehended. What you're going to look at in this garden, in my estimation, is the most incredible, powerful, dramatic story in the Bible. What's happening here on the edge of the cross is rich, full of irony and drama, of what's going to happen in the lives of His friends and in His own life.

 Jesus came. They were prepared to take Him by force, but they were totally unprepared for what Jesus is going to do because Jesus is going to control even His arrest.

So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth.

 See the words "went forth?" That word "went forth" is a singular verb that is going to have a word play in a minute. It's a third person singular. He went forth. Now drop down to verse six:

 So when He said to them, "I am [He]," they drew back.

 See the word "drew back?" The word "drew back" has the same exact tense and parsing but it's a third person plural. In other words, get the picture here, the grammar tells us a story. They're coming out -plural- to arrest Him. He should do what? He should retreat because He is about to be apprehended. But what John tells us is that Jesus came out -singular- and they drew back. It's a very important part of John's pen. He's in control of the situation. He is not going to let them apprehend Him on their terms. He is in command of this context.

 5 They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

Both times He answers with the two little words in Greek, "I am." Judas is present. I want you to notice John, the way he crafts this story and Judas is standing with them. If you go back to Psalm 1:1 in your mind:

 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path

 And now we see Judas with the path of those who are going to arrest Christ; the betrayer.

 6 Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.

 7 Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

 8 Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,"

 John is fond of double meanings so when we find the word "I am" in the Gospel of John, our mind goes to what? The seven "I am’s." I am the Bread of Life. I am the Light of the World; the Way, Truth, and Life; the Door; the Good Shepherd. All those we've looked at in detail, right? If you were with us in the Gospel of John earlier, we went back to Moses' discussion with God and the burning bush, remember?

 "Who shall I say sent me to Pharaoh?"

 And God says what? "I am." YHWEH.

 So when Jesus uses the words "I am" they call Him a blasphemer because He's made Himself out to be God. Well, He is God. That's the point of the "I am’s" all through the Gospel of John. So on the one hand, Jesus could just be saying, "I'm the guy you're looking for. I'm Him." Or He could be saying, "I'm God. I am." I vote for the latter. You can do what you want, but I like the picture here that He's saying, "Who are you looking for?"

 "Jesus."

 "I'm God. I am."

He said, "I am." whoosh. "Lest you misunderstand you Jewish, Roman, political, religious officials; lest you misunderstand, I can lay you down. I'm God," Jesus said. "Who are you looking for? I am."

I wonder if the second time they braced themselves, you know? It's the darkest hour in our lens, but He's deity. It looks like the thing is unraveling, but it's according to plan. He knew everything that was about to come upon Him. He is not taken by surprise. 

This is important. John 10:11 says the Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. We have the doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement. Sometimes we think doctrine is sort of dry and dusty and for people who live in seminary towers. Doctrine is very important. It's very important. Why we believe what we believe is essential especially when you look at this Book. The Bible teaches Substitutionary Atonement.

  • Listen, Jesus didn't just die for them; He dies instead of them. He doesn't just go and take the sting away for a while, sort of at bay when they're going to face their issues. He dies instead of them and He says, "They're going to be protected. I'm going to care for them."

 Here is the God man facing crucifixion and He is concerned about His friends.

 "I'm the one you want. Let them go."

 Who's in control? Jesus Christ.

Jesus could have just thought them away, if He can lay them over with a word.

9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none." John 17:12

This was all for a purpose. By throwing the authorities off balance (pardon the pun), Jesus was now able to make a request that they might not have otherwise granted—the release of His disciples. Think about this for a moment. If one of the charges against Jesus was that He was a revolutionary, then His disciples would have been, in present day terms, terrorists. Do you think that under normal circumstances the authorities would have intended to let Jesus’ disciples just walk away? I don’t think so. But Jesus had them so rattled they didn’t attempt to arrest anyone else. Jesus had twice asked them who they were seeking, and twice they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” It was as if Jesus had asked them if they had an arrest warrant, and if so, whose name was on the warrant. Only His name was on the arrest warrant, as it were. So Jesus reasons that if the warrant is only for His arrest, surely His disciples must be free to leave.[ii] And so they did.

John also tells us it's a fulfillment of Scripture. The word fulfill here rings our ears, just like a prophet spoke and the Word was fulfilled; Jesus speaks and the Word's fulfilled but John the gospel writer is going back to John 6:39 when he says this. So here's an unusual fulfilling. Usually a prophet says something and it comes true at some point in time or maybe in the New Testament it comes true. Jesus says it and a few days later it comes true.

 He is the God man who can speak the Word of God because He is God. No word is ever going to fail that Jesus spoke. I hope as we study more and more about the Christ and the Gospel of John that you and I learn the lesson that Jesus Christ is in control. He is not going to fail.

Nothing He has ever said will fail, men and women. He will never leave you nor for sake you. He will never revoke His promise to hold you eternally secure if you've trusted Him. If you've trusted Christ, you will see him face-to-face; not because of what you do but because of what He's done.

 He will never abandon you. If anything Jesus said could fail, it doesn't matter what He said. Nothing He ever said will fail because He's who He is.

Rome may have required the equivalent of an arrest warrant from the Jewish authorities. Only our Lord seems to have been named. While the Jews would have been tempted to arrest everyone there (especially after Peter’s use of his sword), they felt powerless to do so in the light of their interchange with Jesus, which underscored the fact that they had been authorized to arrest only Jesus.

Jesus controls the context, He controls the setting, He controls His arrest, He's in command of that situation, and lastly He's in control of His suffering. Look again at your text. Let's read verses ten and eleven of John eighteen.

 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Mt 26:51; Mr 14:47; Lu 22:49-50

The small sword (Gr. machaira) that Peter used was probably little more than a dagger. His action was foolish, but it illustrates his courage and commitment to Jesus

In using the sword, Peter was definitely disobeying Christ. Christ does not need our protection; the weapons we are to use to fight Satan are spiritual ones (2 Cor. 10:4–6; Eph. 6). Peter used the wrong weapon, had the wrong motive, acted under the wrong orders, and accomplished the wrong result! How gracious of Jesus to heal Malchus (Luke 22:51) and thus protect Peter from harm. Otherwise there might have been another cross on Calvary, and Peter would have been crucified before God’s time had come[iii]

this is an apostle of Jesus Christ.

 When he denies Christ, don't say, "What a fool. You know, I'd have never done that." He was an apostle. God picked him as one of the eleven and then later the twelve cornerstones of the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ. Don't make him something he's not but don't minimize who he is. He's an apostle of Christ. You need to give Peter the benefit of the doubt.

 John thirteen and Matthew twenty-six he swore he'd die for Jesus. I think he meant it. I think he really thought in his heart of hearts, "If it came to it Lord, I'll die for You," and although inept, here's a demonstration of it. I don't think he was showing off. I think his instinctive reaction was, "I'm not going to let this happen. I'll stop it."

Luke twenty-two tells us that Jesus touched Malchus and healed him. Now, if I read the text right, the ear has come off. That's sort of gruesome. He does not kneel down and pick up the ear and put it back on Malchus' head. Maybe I'm reading too much into the story. It just says, "He touched him." And He just touches him. I think He created a new ear. The other question I can't wait to see the answer to is, "Do you think Malchus will be in heaven?"

 It would be a neat story to hear if he is, won't it?

 "Yeah I was there that night."  Talk about an eyewitness account.

 11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

Mt 20:22; 26:39,42

 The Gospels, all four, include this story, but only John tells us the name "Peter" and the name "Malchus." It gives us sort of the air of the detail of an eyewitness. Well, Jesus' response is compassion towards His enemy. He knows these poor eleven guys are totally outgunned. There's no way in the world they're going to win. He says, "Put the sword away."

Peter's brave though misdirected act showed that He still failed to realize that Jesus' death was necessary. Zeal without knowledge is dangerous.

Romans 10:2 Paul says: they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

 Peter had zeal for God, but he didn't understand and so Jesus is going to explain it to him. Now, John the gospel writer does not include the Gethsemane agony. We're talking about the agony in the Garden; the agony in Gethsemane. He doesn't include that and many people say, "Why didn't John include that? He left it out."

Can you imagine what the normal reaction would have been, once Peter had his sword out and was lopping off the ear of the man nearest to him? This was like striking a match in a room filled with gasoline fumes. How quickly and easily both Jewish and Roman arms could have been employed, so that the situation would have gotten completely out of control.

But before anything like this happened, Jesus intervened. It looks like Peter got in only one stroke of his sword before Jesus rebuked him. Our Lord’s words stopped Peter in his tracks: “But Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’” (John 18:11).

Jesus is in the middle of securing the release of His disciples when Peter draws his sword. One wonders if any of the Jewish authorities sought to protest the disciples’ release. Someone might have said, “Wait a minute. We can’t let these men go; just a moment ago, one of these Galileans assaulted one of us with his sword. He even cut off this man’s ear.” I can almost hear the Roman commander respond, “Which ear? So far as I can see this man has two ears.” The commander then goes over to Malchus and inspects both of his ears more closely. “I don’t see any missing ear, nor any blood; not even a scar. Let’s turn these men loose and take Jesus into custody. He’s the one we were told to arrest.” I know it was an intense moment, but there must have been some humor in what took place. Few, if any, were laughing at the time, however.

Peter had a sword in his hand, but our Lord had a cup in His hand. Peter was resisting God's will but the Savior was accepting God's will."

 Well I think he does when he says "the cup" that He has to drink. The word "cup" does not mean a literal cup; that He has this chalice that He's going to use and give to Peter and so forth and so on. He doesn't mean that there's some wooden or Gold cup that's going to go through. The figure of speech is called a metonymy. It's the same in the Lord's Supper; this cup. He's not saying we have a cup in the Lord's Supper; it's what in the cup. It's the content of the cup. That's called a figure of speech.

 So when He says "this cup that He has to drink" he's talking about what is in there that He must consume and go through and this is the wrath of God. Jesus Christ says God the Father is going to pour out His wrath against sin, against man's pride, against man's arrogance, against Adam's fall in all humanity. He's going to pour out the wrath of His holy nature that He must justify that wrath and He must unleash it and His Son is the candidate.

The drinking of a cup is often used in Scripture to illustrate experiencing suffering and sorrow. When Babylon captured Jerusalem, the city had “drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling” (Isa. 51:17). Jeremiah pictured God’s wrath against the nations as the pouring out of a cup (Jer. 25:15–28). There is also a cup of consolation (Jer. 16:7) and the overflowing cup of joy (Ps. 23:5).[iv]

The image was a familiar one to His disciples, and it is not an unfamiliar image today. To “drink the cup” means to go through with a difficult experience; and “not my cup of tea” means saying no to a certain course of action. The fact that some trophies are designed like cups suggests that winners have been through demanding experiences and had to “swallow a lot.”

Jesus was able to accept the cup because it was mixed by the Father and given to Him from the Father’s hand. He did not resist the Father’s will, because He came to do the Father’s will and finish the work the Father gave Him to do. “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8). Since the Father had mixed and measured the contents of the cup, Jesus knew He had nothing to fear.

This is a good lesson to us: we need never fear the cups that the Father hands to us. To begin with, our Savior has already drunk the cup before us, and we are only following in His steps. We need never fear what is in the cup because the Father has prepared it for us in love.[v]

He says, "Don't get in the way of what God the Father's doing. I've got to drink this cup. Don't try to stop it."

 What is John the Gospel writer's picture of glory? Suffering is the way to glory and I think it's ingenious the way the Holy Spirit and the Gospel writer John put it: "I have to drink this cup. I've got to go through this Peter, you don't understand it." We have a zeal, but not for God.

It seems as though Peter can do nothing right. Here he is, trying so hard to prove to Jesus that he will follow Him to the very end, even unto death. And he is right in one sense. He is willing to die. It is he alone who draws the sword and seeks to prevent the arrest of his Master. But in so doing, he is wrong; in fact, he is resisting the plans and purposes of God. His use of his sword would appear to endanger the lives of the Lord and all the disciples. It implied the opposite of what our Lord would later claim before Pilate, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would fight to prevent me being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But now my kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). Peter endeavors to save the Lord’s life when He is committed to voluntarily giving up His life in order to provide “the way” to the Father. Jesus is about to “drink the cup” which His Father has given Him, and Peter would (so to speak) thrust it out of His hands.

This theme of the deity of Jesus Christ, and of His control over all things, is constantly reiterated and reinforced in John’s Gospel.

Well, three people at least in the text try to control Jesus. Number one we have Judas trying to control the situation. His motivation is to control for money; for monetary benefit. We also have the Jews and the Romans and they're going to control God. They're going to control Jesus as a show of power.

 "We're in control. We're going to bring two -1200 hundred+ out to apprehend this guy. We're in control."

 That's pretty impressive control in my book. Then we have Peter and to a lesser extent the disciples.

 "We're going to control it" and they pull out a sword and whack off a poor guy’s ear.  “We’re going to control it.”

 All three attempts at control failed. Jesus is in control of His own arrest. Jesus knows everything and He's in control. Let me give you four or five lessons here about how you and I can sort of deal with this. I can't help the people in your life and mine who try to control you and me but I can ask us who are control freaks, I can help us a little bit with learning how to deal with that tendency.

  • Number one, we need to prayerfully develop a firm resolve to accept what God gives. We need to prayerfully develop an attitude that says, "You know, when this thing comes along and my personality wants to make it happen.  To take charge, to make it work, to right the wrong, to right the injustice.  When that happens, maybe I just need to prayerfully resolve to accept what God's giving.”

 Lack of promotion, unfair treatment with money, some disappointment in life, some injustice. Instead of the love to say, "I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to use the force of my personality to fix this thing."  Maybe the first pause is to prayerfully resolve. "God what am I supposed to accept from Your hand here?"

 I think one of the marks at least in my struggle with the Christian life, and maybe yours, one of the marks of kind of growing up in a Christian life is to realize there are some "why" questions I'm never going to have the answer to.

I think one of the marks at least in my struggle with the Christian life, and maybe yours, one of the marks of kind of growing up in a Christian life is to realize there are some "why" questions I'm never going to have the answer to. Why I can't have children; why I can't find a husband or a wife; why my husband or wife won't be the way I want them to be; why my kids won't follow Christ. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why didn't I get promoted? Why didn't my stocks go right? Why did this injustice happen to me?

 You know men and women, when you hang onto that "why" it'll rot your soul. I'm not saying you don't wrestle with it. I'm not saying you don't pray through it. I'm not saying you don't learn from it. I am saying that there may be a time when you have to set that why question over here and go on with life. I think that's part of growing up in the Christian life. Some whys are never going to find an answer.

  • Secondly, how do we deal with being control freaks, I think we need to channel our desire to control other people and channel that control fondness back to our own soul and say, "Father through Your Holy Spirit, can You control me?" So when your Type A boils up and your temperament and your Myers-Briggs justifies your existence on this world and you can be that way because you are an E or whatever, you know? And you've got the power and you've got the money and you've got the experience and you've got the whatever and you say, "I can do this thing." Well, maybe. You need to say, "God, You need to control me because my ego is way out of line here."
  • Thirdly, don't try to prove your faith by the sword. I'm not saying we're not going to mess up and fail in the Christian life. I'm saying the tendency is, "I'll pull the sword. I'll play the Trump card. I'll use the force of my position, my rank, and my experience. Because I'm the parent and you're the child I can just bark at you." Don't pull the sword to prove your faith. when you and I pull the sword to prove our faith the Malchus's of life never get their ear back.
  • Lastly, true power and true control is when you and I are in submission to the will of God. You want to be in control? Then you submit and obey God. You want to be controlling the power? Then you submit to God's authority for your life. Jesus Christ is the most powerful man who ever lived and He is submitting to a higher authority; He is submitting to His Father and He's going to take the wrath of hell for you and me.
  1. Here it is in summary form. I've got to relinquish my control, I need to ask His Spirit to help me be controlled and I need to rest in the outcome no matter what happens because Jesus Christ knows everything and He is in control.
  2. You know, if there is an opposite of this control issue, it's got to be contentment. I think of Philippians chapter four where Paul says, "I've learned the secret of being content no matter what my circumstances are. I've learned I don't have to be in control of even my environment. I’ve slept in nice beds and I’m right now in a hole in the ground a grate over the top of me and I'm content in whatever circumstances I find myself."

And you know that word contentment means enough; that you come to a place when you say, "This is enough. I have enough."

 It's a wonderful application of the passage that you and I in the course of our life are going to have all kinds of trauma and trial and things go awry with our kids, with our grandkids and we're going to try and rescue and rush in. Yes, we help. Yes, we come along side, but to take a deep breath and say, "He is in control. I am not. I'm responsible for my response to Him but there's not a lot I can do about many of the trials of life."

And it doesn't mean we won't weep in the midst of times of weeping.

 It just means that we understand that God is in control.

 If your tendency is to draw the knife, just take a breath and wait and see what He will do.

I was looking at a passage in Luke's Gospel recently where Luke talks about Jesus instructing Peter to throw out the net even after Peter's been fishing all night. It doesn't make any sense to Peter to do this and yet he says, "Master, at Your word I'll do it." He does object a little bit. He says, "You know Lord, we finished all my and we didn't catch anything, but at Your word we will do what You say." I think that’s a good word for us.

There are times when we look at what God calls us to and we say, “You know this doesn't make any sense to me," but do we respond with that kind of committed obedience? Do we trust and obey? That's a key theme in John's Gospel.

It is an amazing thing to read the first verses of John 18 and to realize that Jesus made no effort to save Himself, while at the same time He was saving His disciples. He saved their physical lives by His deeds and words in the Garden where He was arrested; He saved their spiritual lives (and ours) by His death at Calvary. Peter momentarily put his trust in his sword, rather than in his Shepherd. Only Jesus can save anyone from their sins, and from divine condemnation. Have you trusted in Him for the forgiveness of your sins? He is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for His sheep.

May God grant that you are one of His sheep, and that you will rejoice in His salvation, and in His sovereignty. What peace there is in knowing that the Good Shepherd is the Sovereign Son of God, whose promises and purposes always come to pass. In a day when there is much chaos and danger around us, how good it is to know Him Who is in control.

 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 

Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

 

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE YOU MISSING OUT ON GODS BEST?

15Jan

Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  Has God has laid on your heart something that He wants you to do, if so you need to do it.  God does not call those with the great abilities, but He gives great abilities to those He calls.  God says He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the wise. Unless we trust God and step out by faith we will not be able to see what God can do through us.  In Heb 11:8 Abraham responded by faith to the call of God and he went out not knowing where he was going. So have you responded to God’s call? Are you going to trust Him Or are you going to miss out on God’s best for your life – and lose out forever on what could have been?

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 17:21-26 JESUS SAID FATHER, I DESIRE THAT THEY ALSO WHOM YOU GAVE ME MAY BE WITH ME WHERE I AM, THAT THEY MAY BEHOLD MY GLORY WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME;

12Jan

John 17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

(NKJV)

 

In this section we see Jesus saying He has given us His glory that we will be one. The earthly sufferings of our Lord are part of His glory (John 12:23; 13:31-32; 17:1). And it is this glory—the glory of servant hood and of sacrificial service, which our Lord has given to us, His disciples. As Jesus was glorified by His coming to this earth, being rejected by men and put to death, so His disciples are also given the same glory, the glory of suffering for the sake of Christ: Secondly, He prays for us to have the same love that the Father loves the Son with.  This is a love which will prompt one to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

 

  1. At the end of verse 21, it's a purpose clause in Greek, .. in order that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." to whom did Jesus come when He came to this earth? To the world, right? Why did He come? Did He come that men might believe in Him? Yes He did, didn't He? Do you think Jesus wants men to believe on Him? Do you think He does? Do you think He meant what He said when He...when He wept and said -- You will not come? Do you think He meant it when He said -- You will not come unto Me that you might have life? Do you think He meant it when He said -- Believe? And receive Me? Do you think He meant that? Do you think He really loved the world, do you? I do. Do you think He really wants the world to believe? I do. Do you care that He wants the world to believe? Do you care that He does? If you do, you'll be one. Because it is oneness that makes the world believe. You see, it's right there. In order that the world may believe. Believe what? That Thou hast sent Me. They must believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ. And right there in a nutshell you have the salvation gospel.
  2. The purpose of unity is evangelism.

 22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

Joh 14:20; 1Jo 1:3; 3:24

Christ indwells the believer, the Father indwells Christ, we’re to be one with them. 

  1. The goal of this unity in these verses is two-fold.  That the world believes God sent Jesus Christ and that the world will see the love God has for Christ and for others. And again we see this message of Christ being sent, that’s a very important part of the Upper Room Discourse and the prayer.  That they will see His divine mission.

The power and the potential for oneness is there, it's all there, you see, for a wholly, loving oneness, it's all present. There is no basic reason in terms of our nature as Christians for division within the body, there is none. Consequently, all division that comes is contrary to the Christian's new nature. All division that comes is then classified in I Corinthians 3 as the mark not of spirituality but of carnality because if we all have commonness at the point of existence in the new nature, in the indwelling Spirit, common glory then the only excuse for division would be sinfulness violating the principle of the new nature. And that's why Paul hammers on it so hard and calls it carnality. Division is always carnality. Whenever there is division, strife, envy, it is not of the Spirit; it cannot be because that is not what God designed us to be. He designed us to be one

"And the glory which Thou gave Me, I have given them that they may be one even as we are one." Now look at that verse again. You know what He said there? In effect, He said this -- Father, I gave them the ingredients so that they may be one ... now I pray that they will be, right?

What were the ingredients? What is it that we have that makes us one positionally? The beginning of verse 22, the third word, what is it? Glory. What is the glory of God? It's all of His attributes, all of His essence and all of His life put into us. You say -- You mean I have the life of God, the essence of God, the attributes of God in me? Yes you do. In whom? The Holy Spirit ... the indwelling Christ. You say -- You mean that I have the glory of God? That's right and the glory which Thou gave Me, I gave them that they may be one. You know what is the basis of our positional oneness as Christians? That we'll have the same glory. Right? We all possess the same Spirit, the same indwelling Christ, the same divine life, the same divine nature, the same divine essence has been planted in us and that's the basis of our unity. Do you see it? Positionally we are one because we have common glory ... the common Spirit. And you'll notice this fantastic thing in verse 22, the glory which You gave Me, I have given them. God manifest Himself in Christ. Christ manifests Himself In us. In John 1:14, it says: "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory." And whose glory was it? The glory as of the only begotten of the ... of the Father's glory ... in Christ.

Colossians 1:27 says: "Christ in you the hope of glory.

You say -- Well, surely, we didn't receive the glory of God. Listen to this. John 1:12: "But as many as received Him, to them gave The power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name." All right, we believe, we receive the right to be children of God.

John 1:16 "And of His fullness have all we received." Did you hear that?

You say -- You mean to tell me that God in His own life, in His own essence, in His own glory abides in me?

Peter said in II Peter 1:4 that we have been made partakers of the divine nature. We are to be glory bearers to the world, Christ in us.

John 17:10 it says: "All Mine are Thine and Thine are Mine and I am glorified in them.

23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Col 3:14

Let me address a very practical application about this.  I think sometimes we get theologically out there, but the fellowship that’s going to occur in this prayer, remember John writes first John also?  And one of the key topics is fellowship.  This prayer is praying that we will be one in God, one in Christ, we will be as Him so that the world will know that He was sent.

Now, a very practical way to look at that is:  Your friendships and mine within the body of Christ, the intimacies that we enjoy with other believers, is a huge invitation to the world.

  • But when you talk to your friends in the world about your friendships with other Christians, there’s a hole in their heart that beats.  They’d love to have authentic friendships.  They’d love to have real people they could trust.

 And they look at you and me with sort of a sense of awe and dismay.  How in the world can you have a friend like that?

Now the world isn't even going to know where Jesus came from and the world isn't even going to understand the love of God unless they see oneness.

And so, the gift of divine glory unites us into one body, all tied together by the common divine life, all tied together by a common salvation, a common indwelling Spirit. And you know something? If there's not oneness in the body, it goes against God's very design as well as the prayer of Jesus.

If we are not one, if we do not exist as one, then the world has been given the right by God to determine two things. And here they are: if you and I don't live together as one, number one, the world can look at you and say -- You are not a Christian. Right? Sure. They're not about to evaluate us on our doctrine, they don't understand doctrine. But if they hear that Jesus preaches love and they watch you and you don't live it then they're going to say -- You are not a follower of Jesus. And God gave them the right to say that because it says right here in our text that we are to be one that the world may believe that we really belong to Him.

In John 13:35 Jesus said: "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples if you have love one for another."

Number two, the world may say you are a Christian, but they'll follow it up by this -- Christianity is meaningless. You see, the world can judge two things if you're not one and I'm not one, if we're not one in the body, the world can judge two things -- number one, we're not followers of Jesus at all; number two, being a follower of Jesus is meaningless. Right? Meaningless.

God has given the world the right to determine whether Christianity is valid or invalid on the basis of your oneness with other believers

 24 ¶ "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Joh 12:26; 14:3; 17:5; 1Th 4:17

  1. Every Christian who dies goes to heaven because Christ prayed that this might be so (v. 24), and the Father always answers His prayers (11:41–42).

Christ prays that the disciples will see His glory.

He prays; for our eternal fellowship. He prays for our oneness and then for our eternal fellowship.... You say -- you mean that Jesus Christ wants to spend eternity with me? And it is hard to understand, isn't it? You mean He wants me around forever? I mean, that's love.

verse 24, one of the most thrilling statements that a Christian will ever read: "Father, I will or desire," and that word is a deep rich word, it means "I have total pleasure in, I delight in my high desire is that they also whom Thou hast given me," that is all believers, "be with Me where I am." Is that a fantastic prayer?

 I want to be with Him, but He also wants to be with me.

Jesus' desire is that we be with Him where He is to see His glory. Now wherever it is that He is, it's going to be where He displays His glory, right? So it's not just a prayer for this group of disciples to walk with Him down to the garden, you know. That's not it. Wherever it is it's going to be where His glory is on full display. So, it's going to have to be after His earthly life is over because when He came to earth; His glory was veiled, wasn't it? It was veiled. And Philippians 2 tells us that He humbled Himself, that He emptied Himself. That is, He set aside the free use of all of His attributes and restricted Himself to obedience to the Father's design and He came into earth with His ... with His glory veiled. Only one time did He unveil a little bit of His glory on the mount of transfiguration, He pulled His flesh aside and they saw

That means, the believer must be in the presence of Christ when He is in full glory. That's Jesus prayer.

First of all, just the fact that He says that they may be with Me where I am is fulfilled in a spiritual sense even in this life. Is Christ with you all the time? Why sure. Didn't He say: "I will never leave you or forsake you?" Didn't He say: "Lo, I am with you always?" Always. Is there any time in the life of a Christian on earth when Christ is away from him? No

All right, so Christ is here but what He's talking about here is being with Christ in glory. That is when Christ is in full glory after He's been exalted at the right hand of the Father. Now, there are four aspects to this

First of all -- death. You don't ever really get to be with Jesus and see His full glory until you have the wonderful privilege of dying.

In Luke 23:43, I think it is, Jesus said to the thief on the cross: "This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." The key to that's not paradise, the key to that is with Me," see. That thief, from the moment that he received Jesus Christ, was to be with Jesus Christ.

Second Corinthians 5:7-8 lays it right down simply and clearly, it says this, verse 8: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

Philippians 1:23, he loved the Philippians and he said it would be nice to come and see them, but I've got another desire. Verse 23: "I am in a straight between two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better." Having a desire to depart and be with Christ. That's what happens when a believer dies ... instantly into the presence of the glorified Christ and beholds His full glory.

2nd, the rapture - John 14:3, remember that verse? "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there ye may be also." That's the rapture. I'm going to come and get you, you're going to be with Me.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

there's a third area, even in the kingdom. You say -- There's some who had the view that we go to heaven and then when Christ comes back to the kingdom we stay up there for a while. Not so. If Christ is coming back here, we're coming with Him because we're going to be with Him where He is, wherever it is.

He didn't say in the prayer I want them to be with Me in heaven -- cause that wouldn't do. He's going to be back on the earth and He's also going to create a new heaven and a new earth. He just says - Father, I want them where I am -- and so we just go where He goes, see. And if it's the kingdom, we'll be there.

Jesus always promised presence whether in heaven, whether in the kingdom, whatever it was.

  • the eternal state is the fourth one. What about eternity, the new heavens and the new earth, are we still going to be with Him?

Revelation 21:3: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men." And certainly if you compare that with John 1 you find out who it was the tabernacle with men, it was Jesus Christ. "And He will dwell with them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them and be their God." It goes on to talk about what God will do. The presence of God, God with us, Emmanuel. Who is Emmanuel? Jesus Christ. In the eternal state pictured in the new heaven and the new earth, we will be with Christ.

In My Father's house are many dwelling places." And they all are in the Father's house. You have a room in the Father's house. The focus is on Christ and you're with Him. Not 8 blocks down and 4 blocks to the right ... you're with Him.

it's exciting to realize that you will be the constant companion of the glorified Jesus for all the eternal ages

Psalm 16:11, the Psalmist said: "In Thy presence is fullness of joy at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore."

The security of the believer is also in view here as He prays for all that the Father has given Me, that they be with Me where I am. If you were a love gift given to the Son by the Father, you will be where He is forever.

1John 3:2: "We shall see Him as He is, we shall be like Him." We shall be like Him. Oh. What a fantastic thing. When Christ who is our life shall appear, Colossians 3:4, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

the confidence in His prayer.

Verses 25 and 26 are just a long "Amen" that's what they are. They're just a long "so let it be, Lord." The requests are ended and the last two verses just breathe the confidence that Christ knows the Father will hear and answer

  • The Triune God was active in redemption even before creation.[i]

 25 "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

Joh 7:29; 8:55; 10:15; 15:21; 16:3,27; 17:8 Vocative O  means have mercy, O Lord

This is referring to Jesus’ revelation of the Father’s character and plan of redemption for mankind (cf. vv. 6, 11, 12). The term “known” is used five times in vv. 25–26.

He is pleading His right to pray and our right to God's blessing.

 26 "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." Joh 15:9,15; 17:6 (NKJV)

  • This is the perpetual mission of Christ to make the father known

This either refers to (1) the continuing revelation of Jesus through the Spirit who clarifies His teachings; or (2) the salvation (Passion Week) events about to occur. The context of the passage implies #1. Salvation involves a person and a message, a decision and a lifestyle, an initial faith and a continuing faith. It involves both the Greek connotation of “know” and the Hebrew connotation of “know.”[1]

He has asked the Father things for 25 verses and now He says -- Father, let it happen, we're Yours, and then, Father, I close with this -- I know You're going to hear and answer and I'm going to continue to do My part as well. Do you see it there? I have declared Thy name unto them and will declare it, will continue to declare it. Father, I'm going to keep on doing my part. This is Christ's promise to continue the work of salvation. It's a pledge to God that Christ will redeem those that the Father gives Him. He asks the Father to respond to His requests and then He says I'll be faithful to My part.

  1. This is a beautiful look at what prayer should really be. It's praying and asking the Father to do what He's promised to do and then saying and I'll continue to do what I know You want me to do. It's not really very fair to pray to God and ask God for this, that and the other thing when you're not willing to do what you know God wants you to do. It's not really fair to spend all your time praying for your unsaved friends when you're not willing to walk over to them and share Jesus Christ with them. Jesus says -- I'm not just asking for You to do it, I'm going to do My part to redeem them.
  2. In v. 26 Christ promises further revelations of the Father, which He gave to the apostles through the Spirit. He asks that we might enjoy the love of the Father in our daily experience (see 14:21–24).[ii]

We may summarize the major parts of this prayer as follows:

In vv. 1–5, Jesus emphasized salvation and the gift of eternal life (v. 2). In vv. 6–19, He dwelt on sanctification: “I have given them Your Word” (v. 14, NKJV). Verses 20–26 focus on glorification—“I have given them the glory” (v. 22, NIV). These gifts take care of the believer’s past, present, and future.

Note also the wonderful assurances of the eternal security of the believer in this prayer: (1) Believers are the Father’s gift to the Son (v. 2), and God will not take back His love gifts. (2) Christ finished His work. Because Christ did His work completely, believers cannot lose their salvation. (3) Christ was able to keep His own while on earth, and He is able to keep them today, for He is the same Savior. (4) Christ knows we will finally be in heaven because He has already given us His glory. (5) Christ prayed that we might be in heaven, and the Father always answers His Son’s prayers (11:41–42).[2]

 

 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

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Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

For twitter We spread the gospel to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

 

[1] Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (158). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (259–260). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

[i] Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (158). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (259). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL CHRIST ALONE JOHN 3:16

8Jan

Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  John 3:16 -17 says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  Did you hear that?  Jesus did not come to condemn you, but to save you through His death on the cross.  So what would you say if God asked you why should I let you into my Heaven?  Will it be I am trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation?

 

Where do you stand? Are you in Christ or lost and without Christ?

 What do you think it takes to go to Heaven?  Good works, church membership, baptism, communion, Keeping the 10 commandments, I have done more good than bad? I hate to tell you none of these will.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today. www.hisloveministries.podbean.com  #HLMSocial www.hisloveministries.net  https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

JOHN 17:20-21 JESUS PRAYED THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US, THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU SENT ME OR JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS CHURCH

5Jan

John 17:20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

 Here Jesus is still praying for us believers and is praying again that we would be one as the He is with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  They never fight over who gets to be the Father, who gets to be the Son or the Holy Spirit.  They are always one and in unison on everything because they have one purpose as we do also.  He is praying that we would be one in Them, THAT (here is the purpose) the world may believe that Jesus was sent by the Father and when they do that they will be saved.  That is it people, when we believe Jesus is who He said He was (God in Human Flesh), that He died for our sins, and we trust in that, we are saved. John 5:24 says if we don’t honor the Son, we don’t honor the Father.  When we live as we ought to in harmony with our faith others believe in Jesus.

Now He begins to pray specifically for all believers of the future and He kind of sweeps into the future and gathers up all the believers who will ever be saved in all the ages to come and He prays for them.

So, the subjects then for whom He prays are true believers ... who shall believe through the testimony of the gospel recorded in the New Testament by the Apostles and early disciples.

  1. Notice verse 20, and we see the subjects of His prayer

 20 ¶ "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

Neither pray I for these alone." And that's interesting because that's a negative statement. Neither pray I for these alone. That's the third negative in the 17th chapter. There are three things in this chapter that Jesus doesn't pray for. Number one in verse 9: "I pray not for the world." Number two in verse 15, "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world," the removal of the believer from the world is not the prayer of Christ. He wants us here. The third negative, verse 20: "Neither pray I for these alone." I don't just confine My prayer to these disciples and Apostles alive now. He reaches out. Verse 20 says: "... but for them also who shall believe on Me through their word."

Do you realize that you appear in the 17th chapter of John if you're a Christian? You say Me in the Bible? You're in there. You're one of the biblical heroes ... right there. You say -- Where's my name? See the word - them -- that's you.

"For them who shall believe on Me." Now that is an indication of a true believer, a true Christian is one who believes on Christ. Now what is meant by that statement is a total involvement and a total commitment to all that Jesus is and all that He said. In Acts 16:31, the Word of God says: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." God wants faith. God does not want your works, He does not want your religion, He does not want your being super religious. He does not want your activity; He does not want your membership in the church. He wants your faith commitment to the person of Jesus Christ. And that's the only kind of person who ever knows God, whoever knows Christ and that's the only person for whom Jesus intercedes. There are a lot of religious people but they are not those for whom Jesus prays. To be a part of Jesus' intercessory work, you must believe.

Watch how it is that they're going to believe. Now, get the picture. Jesus is praying and the disciples are gathered around, they're hearing what He's saying, see. It's going into their little computers, see. And they're hearing all of this stuff. And they've heard all of His prayer up to here and it must be exciting by this time. And now He says -- I pray for them also who shall believe on Me through their word. Whose word? The eleven Apostles that are standing around Him. And, of course, those that were associated with Him. And you can imagine their reaction ... Us? See. I mean, they were weak, frail, just ... their faith was infantile.

By the gospel preached by the Apostles and disciples, will all the generations believe ... those who will believe. Now, that's a very confident statement, you know that? That is not a wish, that is the confidence of omniscience.

I wasn't led to the Lord by an Apostle. Yes you were ... let me show you how. Before the Apostles died, not only did they preach and teach and found the church but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they wrote the New Testament. And I don't care whether it's directly from reading the New Testament or indirectly from somebody sharing you the principles of the New Testament, your salvation goes right back to an apostolic origin or to at least a disciple of Jesus Christ in the early years. All of us find our basic concepts in terms of Jesus Christ and God and the gospel, right here in the pages of this book ... whether you know it or not, you're directly or indirectly related to apostolic messages and proclamations.

Romans 10:17 and it's commonly translated "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Now that's a true principle ... faith does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God ... but the Greek there says this: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by a speech about Jesus Christ. Did you get that? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by a speech,' rhēma not logos, about Christ not God. The accurate reading is Christ. It is the apostolic preaching of Christ that brings faith ... whether from a pulpit indirectly or whether directly from someone reading the Word of God, whether on an individual share basis, it all goes back to a speech about Jesus Christ delivered at one time or another by an early Apostle or disciple.

And so, you and I merely have the privilege of taking apostolic gospel committed unto them by the Holy Spirit, the gospel of the first disciples, and handing it to men today and thus the salvation of the entire church of Jesus Christ goes directly or indirectly right back to those men.

I can get excited about reading this because I can get excited about Jesus praying for me two thousand years ago.

Jesus just gets ready for the sheep not yet born ... prepares everything so that when they're born things are right.

 He says “through their word.”  He’s now talking about through the apostle’s word, through the disciple’s word, through what they teach and preach about Jesus Christ.  Now, you may have been raised in a tradition or heard the word “apostolic teaching.”  Maybe you’ve heard the word “apostolic teaching of the cross.”  Maybe you were in a denomination that had apostolic in the title.  What we mean, a lot of things by this, but what we mean, this is a good text to talk about it, is that when we talk of apostolic, it’s the word that God gave the apostles and then, subsequently, they write what we call the New Testament.

Jesus only prays for one thing while we're here on earth. He prays for a second thing but it has to do with us in heaven ... only one thing while we're here on earth.

  1. Secondly, we see the requests. He only makes two requests: one of them has to do with the world here and one of them has to do with the world up there.

In terms of our life here He only prays for one thing - that they all may be one

21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. Joh 10:16,38; 14:11; 17:11,22-23; Ro 12:5; Ga 3:28

Now, if the natural man cannot evaluate our accuracy in Christianity and evaluate the power of Christianity and cannot really discern the person of Jesus Christ and all that He can do in a life through our doctrine, there's only one other way they can do it and that's through the testimony of our oneness

But Jesus is not praying for a church apart from doctrinal purity.  He’s not asking for unity apart from belief.  In fact, to be one is to be as He is one and His Father and His Father is in Him.  So there is some non-negotiable information that this unity has to be based on.  He’s praying for unity that we may be one with Him just like He is one with His Father and His Father is one with Him.

The Gospel has to be the centerpiece.  Paul says, “If they preach another Gospel, let them be anathema.”
Let them be cursed!  If you modify the Gospel, if you alter it, if you add to it, if you take away from it, Paul says, Anathema!”

 You can’t be unified, you can’t have unity with “churches” that don’t hold to the same Gospel that the New Testament, that the Scriptures, teach.  By grace, through faith, apart from any contribution or work of man so that no one can boast.  It’s a free gift of God.  The Gospel that He lived, He died on a cross, He was buried, the third day He was resurrected from the dead and any and all who believe and put faith in Him are granted eternal life.  You cannot negotiate that.

Religious people who call for unity are not necessarily doing a good thing.  So, don’t always feel, sort of, put off or uncomfortable when they want to play ball and you don’t.  

 And this is the oneness that He’s talking about.  Not a unity across party lines.  Not a bi-partisan religious community.  This is a very narrow unity agreeing with the Father and the Son.

READ OUR DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

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Because we want the unity that’s in Christ and in His Father; not in the world religion or the world community.

Now, He's talking about a spiritual oneness and we'll take it apart a little bit so we can see what it means. In Ephesians it talks about unity and the unity of the body and what it means. But what He's basically ... has in mind is the oneness of a holy life set against the defilement of an unholy world. And Jesus says -- If you were only one, in a separated, unified holiness where the world could look at you and say they're different and they're all different, it must be real. But the world looks and says -- one of those and one of those and one of these and everything and they don't know if we go together or if we don't go together. And we all claim the same thing and it all comes out different.

Apart from Jesus Christ, the world is a shattered, broken, ruined disunity. In Christ, we become one. The only problem is we don't always manifest that oneness in our practice, do we? Positional unity is already ours; you are one in Christ because of salvation. I'm one with you; we're one in the body, aren't we? But that's positional oneness. What Christ wants is that experiential oneness where our position becomes our practice, right?

Ephesians 2:14, now here is positional oneness. Now you have to understand the difference between position and practice or you'll never understand Scripture. Your position is what you are in Christ; your practice is how you act. And sometimes you don't act like what you are. Right? Verse 14: "For He is our peace who has made both one." Now that's our position. Jew and Gentile have been made one. He has broken down the middle wall of partition having abolished in His flesh," "the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; to make in Himself of two," that is Jew and Gentile, "into one new man.” Christ has made believers one in Christ -- positional. Verse 16: "That He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross." We are one positionally.

Then down in verse 21, we have been built into one building. In verse 22 we are built to an habitation, built together. There's oneness.

Over in chapter 4 it says -- one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, one, one, one. Positionally we're one. We all belong to Jesus. We all belong to the body. We've all been born again. We're all one.

Verse 12: "The pastor, teacher and evangelist are for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Did you know that the pastor is not supposed to do the work of the ministry? He's supposed to perfect the saints and they're supposed to do the work of the ministry. That's what it says.

For what reason? Verse 13: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith." You say -- Wait a minute; I thought we were already one. We are positionally. What's he talking about here? Your practice. You are one, but he says I'm going to give you all the basics and all the things you need to become one visibly before the watching world.

Now, we're one in Christ but we don't act like it. So, Jesus prays that we be one. In First Corinthians 12:12: "For as the body is one," that's us; we're all one in Christ, every believer around the world, "has many members and all the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ." We're one. Watch verse 25 to 27: "That there should be no schism in the body." In other words, we can be one and not act like it, can't we?

But as long as you've got an open heart to care for everybody within in sight and anybody in the body of Christ-the same as you care for everybody else, where's the division going to come, there can't be any division. No schism in the body.

And then he says -- If one member suffers, we all suffer. If one member's honored, we all rejoice with him This is the practical oneness that he watts that Jesus prays for.

  • That they all may be one," how? "... As Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee.

Jesus is talking about here is a unity that has nothing to do with form and pattern at all; it's a spiritual oneness that exceeds that.

And sadly, the cause of Christian oneness has all through history been injured, violated and hindered. You know why? Watch this one, because men have consistently loved their organization more than they've loved each other. They have become selfish either in loving themselves or their little organization more than they love others. And that has caused division.

  • Jesus wants a oneness of love possible only in holiness. Now let me go back and give you the principle I gave you last week. The only way we can be one, watch it now, the only way we can be one is when we're all holy.
  • Does the Father love the Son? Does the Son love the Father? In an infinite capacity? Yes. Are both of them separate from sin? Yes. And thus, the kind of oneness analogous to the Father/Son oneness is a oneness of holiness and love ... separate from sin and in love with each other. That's what Jesus prayed for.

I Peter 3:8, "Finally, be ye all of one mind.

  • You'll never be blessed in your Christian life until you learn how to really unite yourself with others in holiness and love. Anytime there's division, it's a manifestation of two things ... unholiness, sin, carnality, call it what you want; secondly, a lack of love. That's it.

all you've got to do is just worry about being like Christ and you don't have to worry about adjusting to everybody else.

There's so many keys to our oneness, we've talked about them in our series on the body, ministering your spiritual gift to each other. Have you done that? Have you been ministering to others? Do you have the gift of mercy? Have you got some of the other gifts, teaching, gift of faith, praying? Have you been ministering to others? How about fellowshipping with each other? fellowship means loving each other, means rebuking each other if you see a brother in sin. It means helping the weaker brother, the legalist. It means forgiving. It means bearing each other's burdens. It means restoring a brother taken in a fault. Have you been doing that? How about praying for each other, have you done that? Is your prayer life geared for others? Our oneness is to be like that of the Father and Son ... a oneness in them. And the highest type of spiritual oneness exists between them.

They're one, aren't they? But are they still two distinct personalities? Sure they are. Is the Father still the Father and the Son still the Son, they're one and yet two? We don't understand that, do we? We don't worry about it, we just don't understand it. Now watch this. We're one in the body, right? One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope, one Spirit, one body, we're all one, one, one, one. And yet, do we lose our distinct personalities? No. Do each of us have separate gifts of the Spirit? Sure. Do each of us have separate ministries And abilities? Sure. We are still different and yet we are ... what? ... one. So, in that way we're also analogous to the difference between ... to the oneness of the Father and the Son. They're one and yet distinct persons ... we are and yet distinct persons. So, in that sense, we're one.

Some of the things we learn from the prayer are:
The Father sent the Son. 

  • The Father is in the Son to do the work.
  • The Son is in the Father.
  • The Son only does that which the Father told Him to do.
  • The Son obeyed everything perfectly and has perfect fellowship with His Father and cannot wait to be back in glory with His Father.

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