John 16:1 ESV
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.”
What are “all these things” that Jesus said to his disciples to keep them from falling away? Well, if we go back to John 13 we read about what Jesus said to his disciples at what we now call “The Last Supper.” First he taught them a lesson through a live example of washing their feet. Peter insisted that Jesus would never wash his feet, but Jesus said, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” This was not just about physical washing.
So, then Peter suggested that Jesus wash all of him, but Jesus told him that the one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. But not all of them were clean for one of them had already set out to betray Jesus. His name was Judas. And again, this is about more than just physical washing with physical water. And Jesus gave them this example that they should wash one another’s feet.
So, what is the lesson here? When we believe in Jesus we are made spiritually clean, but what comes next are our walks of faith symbolized by our feet. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. We need that daily cleansing of our walks of faith, that daily renewal, for we don’t just “get saved” and we are good to go. We are also “being saved.”
And the Scriptures teach us that we are to exhort one another daily so that none of us is hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And we are to speak the truth in love to one another so that none of us is led astray by men in their deceitful scheming who are teaching all sorts of winds of doctrines, and so we build one another up to maturity in Christ. And we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and we are to use our spiritual gifts in the areas of ministry to which the Lord has called each one of us for the greater good of the whole body to help us to walk with Jesus.
[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]
And then in John 14 we read where Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” “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.” “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.”
So, what lesson was Jesus teaching here? It is not enough to just say that we love him or to just profess that we know him or that he is our Savior, but we have to obey him. We have to do what he says we must do, and we have to not do what he says we must not do. For if we do not, we do not love him and we do not know him, and he does not know us, and we do not have eternal life with him. So we need to take this to heart.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13]
And then in John 15 he taught us that he is the true vine and we who believe in him are his branches. As his branches we are to bear spiritual fruit for the kingdom of God in keeping with true repentance. There should be evidence in our lives which says we are believers in Jesus, such as our walks of holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord, and such as in how we love other people and how we no longer are walking in sin.
But if that evidence is not there, if we are not bearing fruit for the kingdom of God in keeping with true repentance, and if we are not abiding in him and if his words are not abiding in us, then he takes us away and he throws us away like branches, and he throws us into the fire and we are burned. But if we abide in him and his words abide in us, although he will prune us, and it will be painful, it will be for our good to help us to mature in our Lord.
And then he let us know that if the world hates us who are following him with our lives, i.e. those of us who have proven ourselves to be his disciples, that we are to know that the world hated him before it hated us. And “the world” included the religious rulers and influencers within the temple of God, many of whom were instructors of the Scriptures, and it included his fellow Jews and even some of his own family.
John 16:2-4 ESV
“They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”
To make application of this to our lives today, this is to let us know that those who hate us are not just the people out in the world, and even all of them do not despise us, although they do not believe the same as we do.
Jesus’ primary persecutors were the religious who claimed to believe in God, and who claimed to be teachers of the Word of God and instructors in truth and righteousness. And if we are following Jesus wholeheartedly, and if we are doing and saying the kinds of things he did and said, other “Christians” and pastors and preachers of the word of God will hate us, too.
Why will they hate us? Mainly because we are standing on the truth of God’s word and we are walking with our Lord in obedience to his commands and we are no longer walking in sin and we are teaching what is true and we are not compromising with the world and with fleshly gospels. But many of them are. Many teachers of the Word today are not teaching the true gospel, but they are teaching an altered and diluted gospel which does not put sin to death in the life of the “believer,” but which allows sin to continue to reign.
And if you are one who is holding on to the truth of the gospel and if you are at all verbal about your beliefs, you may be invited out of some institutional churches and you may be encouraged to go someplace else where you will be a “better fit.” And they will do this because they were warned in their training about people with “strong convictions,” to not have them in their “churches.” For they are looking for people who will be in compliance with their marketing schemes and business goals.
And they will do these things because, even though they claim genuine faith in Jesus Christ, they don’t really know Jesus intimately, for they are not really following him, but they are following other humans and their marketing schemes and goals, instead. And they are doing what they tell them to do even if it disagrees with what the Scriptures teach they must do. And they are teaching that diluted and altered gospel message which appeals to human flesh rather than putting sin to death.
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.