Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 5:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 14 (Select vv. ESV).
Another Helper (vv. 15-17)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – was celebrating the Feast of the Passover with his disciples when he spoke these words to them. Satan had already put it into Judas’ heart to betray Jesus, and so Jesus told his disciples that one of them was going to betray him. Then, Jesus told his disciples that he was soon to leave them, and that they could not go with him then, but that they would follow afterward. But, then he comforted them with the knowledge that he was going to prepare a place for them, and that he would come again to take them to be with him. And, that comfort is for all of us who know him.
When Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, the Holy Spirit was present with them, but he was not living in them. The Holy Spirit came to dwell within the followers of Christ after Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross for our sins, buried, resurrected from the dead, and ascended back to heaven to be with the Father. Now, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us, to empower us to live godly and holy lives, and to teach, counsel, guide, correct, reprove, encourage and strengthen us in the faith. Yet, he does not dwell in all who merely profess faith in Jesus Christ, but in those who were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness.
If We Love Him (vv. 18-24)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
When Jesus left this earth, shortly afterwards he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell all of his followers. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are birthed of the Spirit of God, and the life of God now dwells within us and gives us new life in Him. Because the Spirit of God and Jesus Christ and the Father are one God, it is God living within us; it is Jesus Christ, in the person of his Spirit, living within us, and we, as Christ’s followers, are his body. He now lives out his life through us on this earth. And, we are his representatives. Because Jesus Christ lives, we now live and walk in the Spirit of God.
Yet, it is not enough to merely profess faith in Christ, or to pray a prayer to receive Christ, or to acknowledge Jesus’ existence or what he did for us in dying on a cross for our sins. We must walk (in lifestyle) in obedience to our Lord, not in absolute sinless perfection (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but according to the Spirit of God and no longer in accord with our sinful flesh. This is love for God, to keep his commands. If we say we love him, or that we believe in him, but we do not do what he says, we are liars. If we are persisting in living sinful lifestyles (in practicing sin), we do not know God, and we do not have the hope of eternal life with God or of Jesus taking us to be with him when he does come back one day (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:6).
Peace from God (vv. 25-31)
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
If we are genuinely in Christ Jesus, through faith in him, we have God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, now living within us, teaching us all things, and empowering us to live godly and holy lives. So, if we continue living in rebellion against God in addiction to sin, we do so because we are choosing to disobey God and to go our own way, for he has made the way for us to come out from under slavery to sin, if we will just take what he has given us and apply it to our lives. God makes no provision for sin, nor does he allow excuses for sin against him. He is merciful, and he will forgive us our sins, if we are repentant, but if we continue on a sinful course, and yet claim to have fellowship with him, or to love him, or to know him, then we are mistaken and misguided (See: Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Ro. 8:1-17).
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we have peace with God, but not peace as the world gives. The world is looking for absence of conflict among all people via compromise of faith and conviction and acceptance of all religions as viable and tolerance of sinful lifestyles. But, Jesus said he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword, and to turn even family members against one another. What he meant by that is that he didn’t come to bring peace as the world defines peace, for if we follow him in obedience and surrender to his will, we will be in conflict with the world of sin, and the world will hate us because we have come out from the world.
The peace Jesus gives us is peace with God in that we are no longer in enmity towards God when we submit to his Lordship over our lives and trust him to deliver us out of slavery (addiction) to sin, because of what Jesus did for us in dying for our sins. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. He as crucified on a cross in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk no longer after the flesh, but according to the Spirit. And, He “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
Jesus told his disciples that the “ruler of this world is coming,” but that he had no claim on Jesus, for Jesus did as the Father had commanded him. And, that is why Satan (the ruler of this world) hated him, because he obeyed the Father, and that is why he hates us too, when we do the Father’s will, who is in heaven. And, Satan did come after Jesus, to have him arrested and then hung on a cross to die. But, it was God’s will that Jesus should suffer and die for our sins, and then to be resurrected back to life, so that we might be delivered out of Satan’s stronghold, and no longer be under his control. So, Satan was not the victor in this, for he was conquered through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and on our behalf, so that we might be free from slavery to sin and be bondservants of Christ and of his righteousness, and all for the glory and praise of our God. Amen!
My Jesus, I Love Thee
William R. Featherstone / Adoniram J. Gordon
My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.