Morning Bible Study
are going to Israel next year in November. Start praying. Start saving. It’s a
great investment in your understanding of the Bible. Flyers in back. First
deposits due in January.
We are on the
Thursday evening before Jesus is crucified, at the event known as “the Last
John 13-17 are
the last things that Jesus will say to His disciples before His death.
14:15-24 Loving God
:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
:15 love … keep
Obedience is important
There is a clear connection between loving Jesus and obeying Jesus.
(1 Jn 5:3 The Message) The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and
they are not at all troublesome.
not at all troublesome –
Even with our flawed human love we understand this. If that girl you are head-over-heels in love
with says to you, “Honey,
I sure wish I had a Starbucks Carmel Macchiato”, wouldn’t you jump to get her
one? It’s no trouble because of your
great love for her.
You are going to have a hard time even saying that you “know” God is you are not doing the
things that God says to do.
(1 Jn 2:3–4 NLT) —3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his
commandments.4 If someone
claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a
liar and is not living in the truth.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are saved by God’s grace
through believing, that it’s not important for you to live a life aimed towards
Our salvation isn’t dependant on our obedience.
salvation is based on Jesus paying for our sins.
Our obedience isn’t always going to be perfect.
We are still sinful, flawed people.
But the ship we call our lives ought to be pointed in the general direction
of God, even if from time to time we get off course.
(Mt 7:21–23 NKJV) —21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter
the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in
that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in
Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew
you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
The greatest evidence you have that you know Jesus is whether or not you
:16 And I will
pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with
– allos – another, other; another of
the same kind
– parakletos (“alongside” + “called”)
– one called alongside to help; helper, assistant, intercessor, comforter (no,
I didn’t say “parakeet”)
world takes this verse as a prophecy of the coming of Mohammed. They consider Mohammed to be the other
:17 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.
:17 the Spirit of
truth – Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit who would be poured
out on the day of Pentecost, not Mohammed.
The Holy Spirit
We have several important truths about the Holy Spirit given here.
Jesus has been with the disciples continually for the last three years,
helping them, guiding
them, even rescuing them.
The Holy Spirit is a Helper of the same kind. He is there for us to do the very same
truth – aletheia (“not” + “hidden”) – what is
true in any matter under consideration
This can be
talking about the objective truth of God – doctrine,
who God is, what God requires, how a person can know God.
The Holy Spirit is not going to be leading people into bad
doctrine. If a group claims to have a
lock on the Holy Spirit, yet what they teach contradicts the clear truth of
Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not the one in control of that movement.
This can also
be talking about the basic idea of truth, honesty,
what is open, what is not hidden.
When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives, He is all
about doing a work of truth in us.
There is nothing we have to hide from others. We are not afraid that people will find
things we’ve hidden, we welcome exposure and openness.
ended one Sunday morning service by instructing his people, “I would like all
of you to read the 17th chapter of Mark’s Gospel before next Sunday.”
The following Sunday, true to his word, he asked the
congregation, “How many of you actually read the 17th chapter of
Mark’s Gospel this past week?” Almost everyone in the pews raised their hands
to signify they had indeed read that 17th chapter.
The pastor then stunned his people by announcing, “Ladies
and gentlemen, there is no 17th chapter of Mark.” Then he proceeded
to preach his Sunday morning sermon, which happened to be on lying.
For the non-believer,
the Holy Spirit is alongside them, nudging them, convicting them, trying to
move them toward Jesus.
When you come to the place where you have opened your heart to Jesus and
you ask Him to save you, to pay for your sins, and to guide your life, the Holy
Spirit comes into
Paul says if the Holy Spirit isn’t in your life, then you aren’t even a
(Ro 8:9 NKJV) …Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not
:18 I will not
leave you orphans; I will come to you.
– orphanos – bereft (of a father, of
parents); of those bereft of a teacher, guide, guardian
It’s one of the hardest things to deal with in life.
Have you ever been in a room full of people and still felt incredibly
I know that feeling. Some of you may
be feeling it this morning.
we have learned that God has now adopted us into His family. Coming to church should be all about enjoying
we still feel alone, even at church.
We might think that when we feel lonely, that there’s something wrong with
In reality, some of the most successful people are also the loneliest
years ago a letter surfaced at Sotheby’s auction house. It was written by Elvis Presley, apparently penned a few days
before he died. The letter was eventually
purchased by Elvis’ friend Wayne Newton, who used the lines in the letter to
write a song.
Elvis Letter” clip.
Look at how
Jesus addresses the “loneliness” issue.
He did not say,
“Hey guys, I’m going to leave, but I’m not going to leave
you as orphans, you’ll have each other ...”
But He did say,
“I will come to you”
When we're feeling lonely, I think we ultimately need to focus on finding
fulfillment in Jesus.
Yes, we do have each other.
Yes, as the Body of Christ, we belong to each other, and need each other.
But in reality, people are going to fail you. Church will even fail you.
The deep inner loneliness can only be met by Jesus.
Jesus said He’d be with us.
(Mt 28:20 NKJV) …and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
(Heb 13:5 NKJV) … “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We need that breakthrough in our lives where we grow in our awareness that
we are not alone. David wrote,
16:8–11 NKJV) —8 I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory
rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. 10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor
will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your
presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
:19 “A little
while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I
live, you will live also.
:19 you will live
This is the hope of the resurrection.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested
facts in history.
I can know for sure that there is life after death for all who believe in
Jesus because of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.
(Jn 11:25–26 NKJV) —25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and
believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
:20 At that day
you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And
he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest
Myself to him.”
– emphanizo – to manifest, exhibit to
view; to show one’s self, come to view, appear
It’s a word
that speaks of bringing something into the light.
The word doesn’t just mean that mentally we’ll understand more about him,
but that there is a sense in which we will see Him better, know Him more.
NAS - I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him
NIV - I too will love him and show myself to him
NRSV - I will love them and reveal myself to them
Jesus is talking about closeness
with this kind of believer.
:22 Judas (not
Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us,
and not to the world?”
To teachers of small groups:
Notice how Jesus is interrupted by His disciples as they keep asking Him
questions, asking Him to clarify Himself.
Peter interrupted (John
13:36), then Thomas (John
14:5), then Philip (John
14:8), and now Judas.
:23 Jesus answered and said 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
:24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you
hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
:23 My Father
will love him … make Our home with him
Jesus has been describing the pathway to intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God
Jesus gives us a formula here:
Intimacy = Love
What is intimacy?
a married person, you might think beyond sexual intimacy and think in terms of
the closeness you experience with
your spouse over time as two very different people learn to live together.
“Branyon – Adam & Eve”
Isn’t it amazing that two very different people can
a mother, there is a special bond that develops with your nursing baby, a connection that not many others know
might be a close friend, a communion
where you share your heart with
another person. You know you can trust
them with your deepest secrets and they in turn share themselves with you.
Jesus said this
intimacy with God involves:
loved by Him (vs. 21)
manifested to us (vs. 21)
at home in us (vs. 23)
Spurgeon: “In the biographies of eminent saints, you
will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very
special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of His
person; yea, so
have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to
be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well nigh on the
threshold of it—for when
Jesus manifests himself to His people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in
embryo; it is bliss begun.”
God wants you to know intimacy with Him.
We love God in response to His love for us.
(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
(1 Jn 4:19 NKJV) We love Him because He first loved us.
Our love is simply in response to His great love for us.
Lawrence (1600’s) was a cook in a monastery.
He learned to press meaning into virtually every action of his day. Listen to the profound things this simple
cook wrote about:
“I turn my little omelet in the pan for
the love of God. When it is finished, if
I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who
gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king. When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a
straw for the love of God. People look
for ways of learning how to love God.
They hope to attain it by I know not how many different practices. They take much trouble to abide in His presence by varied
means. Is it not a shorter and more
direct way to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the tasks
one’s lot in life demands to show him that love, and to maintain his presence within by the
communion of our heart with His? There
is nothing complicated about it. One has
only to turn to it honestly and simply.
Worship is more than just singing a song.
(1 Jn 2:5 NKJV) But whoever keeps His
word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in
recently licensed pilot was flying his private plane on a cloudy day. He was not
very experienced in instrument landing. When the control tower was to bring him in for a landing, he started
thinking of the hills and the towers and buildings in that area and began to
get panicky. In a calm but stern voice the command came, "You just obey instructions;
we'll take care of the obstructions."
-- David Seamands,
Living With Your Dreams, p. 79.
Jesus wrote a
letter to the church of Ephesus about their first love:
(Re 2:4–5 NKJV) —4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left
your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do
the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand
from its place—unless you repent.
Notice the relationship between “love” and obedience.
Jesus told them they had “left their first love”. The way back to their first love was to turn
around and “do the
first works” – to get back to obeying Him.
His threat to them was to remove the lampstand from its place, from His
presence. Loss of first love is a loss
of intimacy with God.
intimacy with God? Here’s a
Repeat as needed.