Thu, Nov 16, 2017

John 16

Hits: 73
1 hr 6 mins 52 secs
TH3435
Text Print read

JOHN

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to John chapter 16 as we continue our study through the Word of God.

            Keep in mind that we are in the final hours before Jesus is crucified. The Passover meal has been completed. They are headed out the Temple, through the Brook Kidron and to the area on the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of Gethsemane. And this teaching continues from John chapter 14 on through John chapter 17.

            And as they are traveling, with the remaining time that Jesus has with His men before He is put to death for the sins of the world, He is teaching them, encouraging them because of all that they will shortly be facing.

            For some 3 years now they have been walking with Jesus, but that was going to end. What were they going to do? Maybe they were a little fearful, anxious, worried. Thus, Jesus tells them in John 14:1, Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

            He wants them to put their trust in Him, and that will help dispel their fear. And I think that is a great lesson for us to learn, to put our trust in Jesus and He will dispel or put out that fear in our lives.

            Now there are a few farewell addresses in the Bible. We see Moses and Joshua give some powerful farewell addresses to encourage the people to continue on. And we see that here with Jesus. It is his farewell address to His men!

            Let me share with you, not a farewell speech but a very powerful speech given by Winston Churchill. Of this speech we are told,

            Winston Churchill, one of the greatest orators of the 20th century, was interestingly enough, like Demosthenes and other great orators before him, born with a speech impediment which he worked on until it no longer hindered him. One would never guess this from hearing Churchill’s strong and reassuring voice, a voice that would buoy up Britain during some of her darkest hours.

            During the Battle of France, Allied Forces became cut off from troops south of the German penetration and perilously trapped at the Dunkirk bridgehead. On May 26, a wholesale evacuation of these troops, dubbed “Operation Dynamo,” began. The evacuation was an amazing effort-the RAF kept the Luftwaffe at bay while thousands of ships, from military destroyers to small fishing boats, were used to ferry 338,000 French and British troops to safety, far more than anyone had thought possible. On June 4, Churchill spoke before the House of Commons, giving a report which celebrated the “miraculous deliverance” at Dunkirk, while also seeking to temper a too rosy of view of what was on the whole a “colossal military disaster.”

Worthy Excerpt

            I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

            The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

- http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/08/01/the-35-greatest-speeches-in-history/

 

            As great of speech as that was by Churchill, the one that was given by Jesus to His men is far superior. The reason I say that is because the words of Jesus were not just for a period of time, but they continue on today and minister to our lives.

            He has given to us words of encouragement, of hope, of peace, a look into the future, and even warnings of difficult times but He is with us!

            And we will see that this evening as Jesus continues teaching His men as He is heading to the Garden of Gethsemane!

            With that as our background, let’s begin reading in John chapter16, beginning in verse 1 and let’s see what the Lord has for us as we study through His Word.

JOHN 16

VERSES 1-4

            I don’t know about you, but when Jesus speaks of the persecution that is coming, the martyrdom for their faith, I don’t think that is too encouraging, do you? I would be like, “Not a great half-time speech! I feel like we are headed for trouble!”

            But it was just what they needed to hear! Jesus is warning His men of the coming persecution against them because of their love for Jesus. 

            Why is that so important? Because they needed to be ready, they need to be aware of these things so when they do come, they won’t be surprised, they will not stumble. When Jesus said, These things I have spoken to you that you should not be made to stumble that Greek word stumble is SKANDALIZO, (skan-dal-id’-zo) and it speaks of causing to stumble. The idea here is that of being caught unaware!

            One writer put it like this, “A skandalethron was not a stumbling-block which might trip you up . . . It is used of the spring of a trap which might ‘go off’ when you were least expecting it.” (Tasker)

            Thus, Jesus is warning them that the hatred, the persecution that the world will pour out upon them would be so intense that it could cause them to stumble in the faith, be tripped up! Therefore, Jesus warns them ahead of time so that they are not caught by surprise!

            We too should not be unware of what is happening around us, the hatred, the persecution for our faith. Yes, in this country we don’t see as much persecution for our faith as we see in other countries, but I believe it is coming and we need to be aware so that we are not caught off guard!

            And think about some of the atrocities against man that have been done in the name of God when the reality is, they didn’t even know Him! 

            It is as Paul said in Romans 10:2-4, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 

            And make no mistake about it. We do see this played out in the early church. 

            In Acts 8:1, as Stephen was put to death for his faith in Jesus we read, Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 

            Paul himself, called Saul here, was also guilty of having this zeal for God but not according to knowledge. 

            In Acts 9:1-2 we are told, Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 

            Also, notice what Paul says of himself as he speaks before Agrippa in Acts 26:9-11, Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.  

            Isn’t it amazing that as glorious a promise that God has given to us, people try to silence it, put out the light just as they did in the early church, they continue to do today!

            Now in verse 4 Jesus said that He did not tell them these things, about this persecution in the beginning, why? Because He did not want to distract them from what He was teaching them. But now the time is coming to an end and they needed to be aware of these things! They needed to know what was in store for them, the persecution that was coming!

 

VERSES 5-6

            They spent 3 years with Jesus, left all to follow Him, and now He is leaving and they are having a hard time understanding this. They were still thinking Kingdom Age. In fact, even after His death and resurrection we see this played out.

            In Acts 1:6-7 we are told, Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’ It is not always easy when you can’t see the reasons why, but God many times tells us not to walk by sight, but by faith, trusting in Him!

            I think the key to why they were missing what Jesus was saying was that as He spoke these words, sorrow filled [their] heart. We can become so overwhelmed by the situations that are before us that we don’t hear what was being said or you don’t inquire more about what was said because you don’t want to know!

            Of this, A. T. Robertson makes this comment, “Now that they realize that Jesus is going, the thoughts of the disciples turn on themselves and they cease asking the query of Peter (13:36.)”

            “What were they going to do when Jesus is gone?” So many questions and yet, so overwhelmed, the sorrow of what was coming was just too much for them and at this point they are silent!

            And I love what Jesus does next. Yes, He is going away, but as He said in John 14:16-18, And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

            Jesus is going to do the same here in John chapter 16, give them words of comfort, of hope as the Holy Spirit will be sent to assist them in the work they are to do!

 

VERSE 7

            In verse 6 Jesus spoke of their heavy hearts because of what they were hearing. And then, here in verse 7 Jesus says, “Nevertheless.

             And the idea here is that in spite of all that is coming, there is a blessing that will come out of this. If He does not go away then you will miss out on something that is so important.

            Keep in mind that in His earthly ministry Jesus was limited to being at one place at a time. We might not think about this too often, but in the incarnation Jesus was limited to being at one place at a time, but now that has changed and it is to our advantage!

            But when He goes to be with the Father, both the Father and the Son will send the Holy Spirit to be with them. Yes, Jesus wanted them to know that it was to their advantage.

            You see, after the death and resurrection of Jesus He sent to us the Holy Spirit who works in all believers at the same time throughout the world.

            It is as Jesus said, However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. John 16:7, The Amplified Bible.

 

VERSES 8-11

            I like the way that one person summed these verses up. He wrote, “Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.” (David Guzik)

            And the work of the Holy Spirit is interesting to me. It is not to act goofy but to convict the world of sin, to show righteousness and to bring about judgment.

            You see, the word used for convict speaks of things that were used in a court to present the evidence and bring about a conviction. Here Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit will convict us or present to our hearts these things and then what we do with them will determine our destiny. 

            As one person wrote, “The Spirit does not merely accuse men of sin, he brings to them an inescapable sense of guilt so that they realize their shame and helplessness before God.” (Tenney)

            Back during the great awakening of 1860-61 in Great Britain, a high-ranking army officer described the conviction of sin in his Scottish town: “Those of you who are ease have little conception of how terrifying a sight it is when the Holy Spirit is pleased to open a man’s eyes to see the real state of heart. Men who were thought to be, and who thought themselves to be good, religious people . . . have been led to search into the foundation upon which they were resting, and have found all rotten, that they were self-satisfied, resting on their own goodness, and not upon Christ. Many turned from open sin to lives of holiness, some weeping for joy for sins forgiven.” (J. Edwin Orr, The Second Evangelical Awakening in Britain)

            And so, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Now what does Jesus mean by these three things? We don’t have to guess because in John 16:9-11 He tells us.

            First of all, in John 16:9 Jesus said, of sin, because they do not believe in Me. John 16:9.

            Let me ask you this question. What sends a person to Hell? 

            I am sure that there are many different ideas out there. Some would say murder, lying, stealing and-so-on. 

            I disagree. There really is only one sin that sends you to Hell and that is your rejection of Jesus! 

            What I want you to notice is that it is not “sins” in the plural form but sin in the singular form. All those other things just determine the degree of punishment you will have for eternity in the Lake of Fire. You see, Jesus is the only provision for sin and if you reject Him, you will die in your sins!

            Yes, those that reject Jesus will receive the punishment for their sins in the Lake of Fire, but the sin that sends them there is their rejection of Jesus!

            Now, I am sure that there are many who feel that they are good enough to get into heaven. They obey God, the follow His Words, they do the best that they can. But when Jesus speaks of righteousness, listen to what He is talking about in verse 10, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more. John 16:10.

            What does Jesus mean by that? He is saying that He is the standard for righteousness and thus, if you are not as righteous as Jesus, you will not enter in.

            In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 

            They were the keepers of the Law and yet Jesus says they fell far short of keeping it, of being perfect. And as good as they were, we would have to exceed their righteousness, which is not going to happen. And the reality is, it is not the righteousness of man but of Christ that gets us into heaven!

            Think about it. Isaiah 64:6 tells us But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. 

            That is our problem. All our good is seen as filthy rags before God! So, what can we do? It seems hopeless and it is outside of Christ.

            But there is good news. You see, Paul tells us this good news in II Corinthians 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

            It is not our righteousness but His imparted to us and thus, we have met the standard not because of what we have done, but what He has done and given to us! 

            And lastly, Jesus speaks of judgment and he says in John 16:11, of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

            Here’s the thing. We do know that there is a day of judgment that is coming. In Hebrews 9:27 we are told, And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.  

            And specifically, here it is speaking of the judgment of Satan and he has already been judged!

            His power over our lives has been broken by Jesus and His atoning work on the cross of Calvary! 

            It is as Colossians 2:15 says, Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 

            Also, in Hebrews 2:14-15 we are told, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 

            Thus, he has no power over our lives unless we let him! The solution to that life of defeat is not this program or that program, but it is as James 4:7, Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

            If that is true, and it is, then what about what I said earlier, “Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.”? (David Guzik)

            I think the idea here is this. Who are you going to side with? Is it going to be Jesus who had our sin judged on the cross of Calvary or is it Satan who was judged and if we follow him we too will be judged!

            You see, if you reject the fact that you are a sinner. If you reject the fact that the only righteousness the Father will accept is the righteousness of Christ, perfection. Then you will be judged!

            Thus, And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. John 16:8.

 

VERSES 12-15

            Why was the teaching of Jesus incomplete? Because His men could not take all that information in. They were not ready for all that Jesus had for them.

            There truly is a progression for learning. Think about mathematics. Before you can learn multiplication and division you have to learn to add and subtract. Once you get the basics down you can move to more complex things.

            And that is what Jesus is saying here. That when the Holy Spirit comes, He will teach them all truth. He will give to them the things that they will need. And the Holy Spirit continues to do that today!

            The Holy Spirit gave to Paul some mysteries that were unknown or not revealed to us in the Old Testament. We see the church, we see the Rapture and-so-on. Also, we see how God has given to us the New Testament. Let me show you what I mean.

            First of all, look at John 14:26, 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 things that I said to you.

            And then in John 16:13 Jesus said, However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

            We see that the Holy Spirit would remind them of what Jesus had taught them and thus, we have the four Gospels!

            Not only that, but the Holy Spirit would guide them in all truth, and we have the epistles or letters of the New Testament.

            And lastly, we see that the Holy Spirit will show us the things that are to come and guess what book that is speaking of in the New Testament? It is the book of Revelation!

            And make no mistake about it, when the Holy Spirit speaks He does so in accordance to God the Father and God the Son. They all work harmoniously together!

 

VERSES 16-18

            As Jesus was sharing these things with His men, they got together and were wondering what in the world was He talking about? They were confused by what He was saying.

            I like the way Godet put it. He said “Where for us, all is clear, for them all was mysterious. If Jesus wishes to found the Messianic kingdom, why go away? If He does not wish it, why return?”

            For us, we wonder why they did not get it. But understand we are looking back at the completed work, they were looking ahead to the completed work! We have the Holy Spirit opening up to us the things of God, they did not!

            Think about it. He was going away, to die. They would not see Him. He was going to rise the third day, which they did not get. And then they will see Him again!

            But they too will understand these things as the Holy Spirit will open their eyes to the truth after the death and resurrection of Jesus!

 

VERSES 19-20

            What is Jesus speaking of here? He is speaking of His death and how His death will bring them great sorrow. And yet, the world will rejoice over the death of Jesus!

            Not a great time of encouragement here and yet, Jesus says, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. John 16:20.

            Did you hear that? Jesus does not say that He will take away or replace their sorrow with joy, but their sorrow will be turned into joy. When did that happen? When Jesus rose from the dead! He is speaking of the resurrection!

            And as we read on we will see that Jesus is going to use the picture of a woman who is giving birth and how that sorrow of having a child would be directly connected to the coming joy that her child has been born into this world.

            In other words, the joy of the death of Jesus is directly connected to the coming joy of His resurrection.

            Look at this picture.

 

VERSES 21-22

            The comparison here is perfect. Jesus speaks of a woman who goes into labor and the end result of that labor is that she brings forth a child. And in doing so, she forgets all the pain of the labor because of what was born out of it.

            The pain of His death upon His men was going to be like that. It will be very difficult, and yet, that will all be forgotten in the light of His resurrection. That is what was born out of His death!

            Now, here is an interesting question. Why would their joy remain? 

            Because it was not based upon outward circumstances but upon the Lord and thus, no one can take that joy from them or us.

            And look at their lives; they are a testimony of that joy as they endured death with joy in their hearts, willing to die for their faith in Jesus.

            A great example of this joy is seen in the death of Stephen for his faith in Acts 7:54-60 as he just got done sharing his faith in Jesus with these religious leaders and they responded as follows, When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” 

            Also notice what John tells us in I John 1:1-4, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life - the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us - that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 

            Our joy should be full, it should be overflowing because our joy is based in Jesus and no one can take Him away from us!

            I like the way that my pastor, Phil Ballmaier, summed this all up for us. He wrote,

            The principle is simply this: God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution, but by transformation. His illustration of the woman giving birth makes this clear. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy.

            In birth, God does not substitute something else to relieve the mother’s pain. Instead, He uses what is there already but transforms it. 

            Every parent knows what it is like to have an unhappy child because a toy is broken or a playmate has gone home. The parent can do one of two things: substitute something else for the broken toy or absent friend, or transform the situation into a new experience for the unhappy child.

            If Mother always gets a new toy for the child each time a toy is broken, that child will grow up expecting every problem to be solved by substitution. If Mother always phones another playmate and invites him or her over, the child will grow up expecting people to come to his rescue whenever there is a crisis. The result either way is a spoiled child who will not be able to cope with reality.

            The way of substitution for solving problems is the way of immaturity. The way of transformation is the way of faith and maturity. We cannot mature emotionally or spiritually if somebody is always replacing our broken toys.

            Jesus did not say that the mother’s sorrow (pain) was replaced by joy, but that the sorrow was transformed into joy. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy! And so it is in the Christian life: God takes seemingly impossible situations, adds the miracle of His grace, and transforms trial into triumph and sorrow into joy. “The Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing” (Deut. 23:5; see Neh. 13:2).

            Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave, and Potiphar put him into prison as a criminal; but God transformed that hopeless situation of defeat into victory. What others mean for evil God can use for good, Rom. 8:28 [And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.]

            King Saul’s murderous pursuit of David only made him more a man of God and helped produce the psalms that encourage our hearts today.

            Even Jesus took the cross, a symbol of defeat and shame, and transformed it into a symbol of victory and glory.

- Pastor Phil Ballmaier, John 16:19-22

 

VERSES 23-24

            Notice that the access to the Father is through Jesus and now that we are His we can approach the Father and freely speak to Him. 

            You see, we can’t approach the Father in our own righteousness, which are like filthy rags, but as we have the righteousness of Christ imputed into our lives by faith, and thus, we can approach Him! What a glorious promise that is to us!

            Now what does Jesus mean when He says, Until now you have asked nothing in My name? I think Clarke sums it up nicely for us. He said, “Ye have not as yet considered me the great Mediator between God and man; but this is one of the truths which shall be more fully revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.”

            And please understand that God is not obliged to answer our prayers because we put the tag, “In the name of Jesus” on it! Not at all.

            That is not some magic formula that causes God to respond. Asking in the name of Jesus means you are asking as Jesus would ask and thus, you are abiding in Him, you are obeying Him and your requests are not going to be worldly but spiritual.

            I am not saying we can’t pray for a job or this or that, we can. But we have made prayer into something that it is not, a get what you ask for mentality. Prayer is getting what God wants in our life!

            Dr. James Boice put it like this, “Much of modern prayer, even by serious Christian people, is useless and ineffective because the people involved approach God thinking that he is obliged to grant their requests because of something they have themselves done for him.” (James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John, Vol. IV, p.314)

            Let me say this. Praying in the name of Jesus means we are coming on the basis of His merit and not ours! May we not forget that.

 

VERSES 25-28

            Notice that you don’t have to ask Jesus to ask the Father but you can speak directly to the Father because of the work that Jesus has done for us. 

            Now this is interesting because some believe that we need to go through Mary to intercede for us, others say the dead saints, but Jesus tells us we can now go directly to the Father ourselves!

            And keep in mind that we were never to go through dead saints or anyone else. Jesus is the Mediator between God and man, PERIOD!

            Morris puts it like this, “The reason that Christ will not intercede for them is now given. There will be no need. The Father Himself loves them. He does not need to be persuaded to be gracious. In this case the ground of acceptance is the relationship in which they stand to Jesus.”

            Now listen again to the wonderful news that Jesus is telling His men and us. Jesus said, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. John 16:27.

            Also, in I John 4:19 we read, We love Him because He first loved us.

            In fact, God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we can fellowship with Him once again.

            Think of it like this, “A pulse doesn’t make the heart pump, but it is evidence of it. Our love for God doesn’t make Him love us, but it is evidence that He loves us.” (David Guzik)

            I like that and it does fit perfectly!

 

VERSES 29-30

            They didn’t completely understand yet, but they are learning.

            And here is a couple of problems that I don’t think they fully understood. First of all, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Dark days were ahead for them.

            And it is out of that that their faith will be tested. And Jesus will be dealing with that aspect in a minute. You see, He knew them better than they knew themselves and it is out of their failure that they will look up and Jesus will empower them to do the work that is before them.

            In fact, Morgan wrote, “They declared that their belief in the Divinity of His mission was confirmed. They were perfectly sincere. They felt that they had at last passed beyond the region where it would be possible to doubt. How much better He knew them than they knew themselves!”

            We too must be careful because the Lord has warned us of so many things and if we think we can stand; look out, we have given the opportunity for us to fall. We can stumble if we lose sight of what Jesus has warned us about!

            Think about this for a minute. In a world that is full of wickedness, we are surrounded by evil; we ourselves are inadequate to deal with the problem. The only way to deal with it is to draw close to God, not to go down that path, and as trials and testing’s do come your way, don’t fight them on your own, ask the Lord to keep you, to help you! In other words, when we are in the middle of these testing’s, don’t leave us in the middle of them, but see us through them!

            I like the way that George Adam Smith illustrated this. He was on a mountain-climbing tour of the Alps and on one particularly high peak; he ran to the very edge and looked out at the awesome view of Switzerland below. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind came up and threatened to blow him over the edge. His guide, several feet away, yelled out to him, “Mr. Smith! On your knees, sir! The only way you’re safe up here is on your knees!”

            And George Smith thought, “How true, the only way we’re safe is on our knees because Satan would like to blow us away.” You see, we need the protection of our heavenly Father, for trying to stand on our own, we will be blown away! But the Father brings stability to our lives, He is what anchors us down and keeps us safe! Don’t let us come under the sway of temptation that will overpower us and cause us to sin!

            Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, don’t think too highly of yourself, and He will lift you up. If you lift yourself up, then you are in a place where you will fall. Not because God hates you, but He wants you to see what is in you and that you can’t stand apart from God!

            Listen to what Jesus now tells His men who said, . . . ‘See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.’ John 16:29-30.

 

VERSES 31-32

            Notice how Jesus opens up here. He says, “Do you now believe?” I like the way one writer summed this up for us because we take it as a question, but it really is not a question. Listen to what I mean. He wrote, “The words Do you now believe? can also be taken as a statement. This is preferable, as it brings out better the emphasis laid upon now in the original. ‘You do now believe, but your belief will soon be shaken.’” (Tasker)

            As I have said, their faith will be tested, and as things reach their climax, they will scatter, they will hide, most will not even go to the cross to witness what will take place! In other words, their faith is going to be shaken! 

            And make no mistake about it, God knows us better than we know ourselves and thus, we need to listen to Him. Bruce put it like this, “Jesus read their hearts better than they knew. Not only could he answer their unspoken questions: he could assess the strength of their belief in him. It was sincere and genuine, bound up with their love for him, but it was about to be exposed to a test such as they had not imagined.”

            Now think about this for a minute. They all are going to forsake Him in His time of need and yet, He tells them He is not alone. Why? How can that be? Because the Father is with Him!

            And yet, when Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary we see Him cry out, . . . ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Matthew 27:46. (Psalm 22:1)

            Why did the Father turn His face from the Son? It was because the sins of the world were placed upon Him, He was made sin for us! And thus, that sin separated Him from the Father for those three hours before He gave up His Spirit and died for our sins!

            And let me show you His love for us. He was alone that we might never be alone! Praise God for that! He was forsaken that we might never be forsaken! Praise God for that!

            In other words, God loves us more than we will ever know and was willing to pay in full the penalty for our sins! That truly is amazing, this grace that God has given to us!      

            Now if this chapter ended here with these words it would be very discouraging to us, but it doesn’t. So, let’s read on and see what Jesus has for us.

 

VERSE 33

            Let me ask you this question. Did Jesus promise us peace? I think most people would say, “Yes, of course He did. He said that our peace is in Him!”

            I get it, but I don’t think that is correct. You see, He did not promise us peace, He offered peace to us. He said, in Me you may have peace.

            It is something that is offered to us, a peace in the midst of turmoil, a peace when things are falling apart, a peace that surpasses all understanding, and that peace is there for us to have as we rest in Jesus!

            There truly is no real peace anywhere else! Thus, we need to stay focused. We need to keep our eyes upon Jesus. We need to trust in Him because everything around you will be shaken, there will be tribulation, not might be! 

            Again, this is not a promise of peace but you can receive it if you want, it is up to you.  The world’s peace is empty; Jesus can give to us a peace that surpasses all human understanding. He can give us a peace as we go through the storms of life! 

            It is as Jesus said in John 14:27, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  The question is, “Do you believe?”

            We have sung this song before here at Calvary and I think it speaks volumes of where we are to place our lives, in Jesus. For in Jesus we have the victory. In fact, that is the name of the song, Victory in Jesus. It goes like this,

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Then I repented of my sins;
And won the victory.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood

Refrain:
I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing power revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, ‘Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,’
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory.
Refrain
I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory.
Refrain

- Victory in Jesus was written by Eugene Monroe Bartlett Senior

            So once again we see words of comfort that Jesus is giving to His men. Yes, great tribulation will come upon them for their faith, their faith will be tested, but what the world has for you and what Jesus has for you is night and day apart.

            The world is coming against you, Jesus is for you. And in Him we find peace in a world that is coming against us. Don’t lose sight of that fact.

            Next time, as we move into John chapter 17 we get into Jesus, our Great Hight Priest, and His prayer for His men and then for all of us to come and believe. This truly is the Lord’s prayer and it is beautiful and powerful. And we will see that next time.

            As I close this evening, let me leave you with this to think about. We need to understand and make no mistake about this joy that God has for us. There is joy when we permit God to transform our sorrow into joy! There is joy when God answers prayer! And there is joy when we overcome the world! Our victory is in Jesus, never forget that!

Powered by: Preachitsuite