The Gospel of John
- 1-8 Fruitful Disciples Abide in Christ
- 9-17 Love is Bond with Christ and Brethren
- 18-25 World Hates and Hurts True Disciples
- 26-27 Jesus Promised Holy Spirit Power
Preparatory Reading: Gal 5:13-26; I Cor 13:1-13; II Tim 3:1 – 4:4; Heb 10:26-39; 12:1-17.
- Fellowship with Christ … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/fellowship-with-christ/.
- Drawing Nigh to God … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/drawing-nigh-to-god/.
- Filled with God … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/filled-with-god/.
- What God Calls Fruit … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2006/what-god-calls-fruit/.
- Fruit of the Spirit … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2001/fruit-of-the-spirit/.
- Proverbs 11:30 … https://letgodbetrue.com/proverbs/index/chapter-11/proverbs-11-30/.
- Spiritual Champions … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/spiritual-champions/.
- Parable of the Sower … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
- Love Is the Greatest … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
- Higher Ground … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2015/higher-ground/.
- A. The five chapters (13-17) are fabulously sublime with our Lord’s intimate instruction and promises.
- 1. They take up nearly one-quarter of the book of John and cover only the last six hours of his life.
- 2. Start with John 13:1 and consider its summary introduction of what follows in terms of His love.
- 3. This six-hour, private time with His apostles covered from Passover to Gethsemane (13:1; 18:1).
- 4. Rather than public correction of reprobate Jews; they are private instruction for the eleven apostles.
- 5. Some have called these chapters the Holy of Holies as we enter the presence of God and of Christ.
- 6. If you want to see Jesus, as Greeks asked (Jn 12:20-22), He is here in relational, doctrinal splendor.
- 7. The first two chapters are in the upper room (14:31); the other three are on the road to Mt. Olivet.
- B. If you love Jesus Christ and want to delight in Him and walk with Him, you will cherish every word.
- 1. Jesus here explained to men how to have greater fellowship, love, and unity with God and Himself.
- 2. This is how Jesus addressed His closest friends before leaving them in the world with assignments.
- 3. Do not restrain your love of Christ to be only or primarily conceptual, doctrinal, or soteriological.
- 4. There is so much more to Jesus Christ than God’s redemptive means for your eternal salvation.
- 5. Here are loving rules for fruitfulness, continued intimacy with Jesus, and for enduring persecution.
- 6. While our Lord’s instructions are certainly apostolic and ministerial, we can surely benefit also.
- C. The apostles were concerned and worried about matters, as you will be in the ordinary course of life.
- 1. He had told them He would personally leave and they could not go with Him (John 13:33; 14:28).
- 2. He had told them before of persecution, but He had identified betrayal and denial that very night.
- 3. They knew He had the words of eternal life and spiritual understanding like no one else ever before.
- 4. He knew they were at risk to lose fruitfulness (1-8), slip from him (9-17), and also suffer (18-25).
- 5. These very issues face all zealous Christians, so the remedies taught by Jesus should be heeded.
- 6. We can receive the grace of God in vain, lose our first love and fellowship, and cave to tribulation.
- 7. These eleven men were about to take on the Jewish and Gentile worlds for the kingdom of heaven.
- D. Consider the three main lessons of this chapter for the eleven apostles and for us as their followers.
- 1. Their goal (and ours) is productive fruitfulness, and it can only occur by abiding in Jesus (15:1-8).
- 2. Fellowship, joy, fruitfulness, and unity is kept through obeying God and loving others (15:9-17).
- 3. Persecution by the world is evidence of a relationship with Christ and divine calling (15:18-25).
- 4. We may summarize these three large sections by their goals – fruitfulness, fellowship, patience.
- 5. We may summarize these three large sections by their means – abiding, obeying, and enduring.
- 6. The first two sections are closely related and should not be separated with too much distinction.
- 7. While our Lord’s instructions are certainly apostolic and ministerial, we can surely benefit also.
- E. There are several key questions to answer to grasp our Lord’s doctrine and obtain the offered benefits.
- 1. What does it mean to abide in Christ? How can some be taken away? What is much fruit for most?
- 2. Whose love to continue in? Whose joy is it? Do you sacrificially love? What is His choice for you?
- 3. How are you not of the world? Do you expose the sins of the world? Is their hatred without cause?
- 4. Do you have the identified testimony of the Spirit in you? Do you bear witness of Jesus to others?
- 5. Many discuss distracting details in a passage like this, but the 12 questions condense and apply it.
- F. Jesus’ words in this chapter are personal and practical; they are not difficult, esoteric, or mysterious.
- 1. You should reject any effort to cloud or confuse these words by efforts to make them mysterious.
- 2. The gospel is simple – will you believe, love, and obey Jesus as the Son of God no matter what?
- 3. These four lessons for the spiritual and evangelistic success of His apostles is simple and powerful.
- 4. Men, I want you to be successful, so you must abide in me by faith and obedience after I am gone.
- 5. Friends, you can continue our friendship, realize great joy, and have unity with each other by love.
- 6. Friends, it will get ugly due to Jews and pagans, but it is due to God calling us out of this world.
- 7. Friends, I will keep my word of the comfort, presence, and power of God in you by the Holy Ghost.
- G. The apostles were great men, and you should appreciate them as foundation stones of Christ’s church.
- 1. The Bible gives the apostles great glory by their prerequisites and accomplishments (I Cor 3:10-11; 9:1-12; 12:28; II Cor 12:11-12; Gal 2:9; Eph 2:20; 4:8-11; Heb 2:1-4; Rev 21:14; etc.).
- 2. They were wiser than Solomon, stronger than Samson, did not need Urim and Thummim, etc., etc.
- 3 They have no peers in influence, power, courage, fruit, truth, rank, and utility for your conversion.
- 4. The great mystery of godliness was started by Jesus by continued by the apostles (I Tim 3:15-16).
- H. Why can’t we know John 15 better than any others? What hinders us? Embrace it, and let’s learn it.
***************** Fruitful Disciples Abide in Christ – Verses 1-8 ****************
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
I am the true vine.
- A. Jesus by the Spirit chose a metaphor to instruct the eleven of the source of their power.
- 1. They had been chosen for great ministries, but their productivity required His power.
- 2. The main aspects of this metaphor are a vine, a husbandman, branches, and fruit.
- 3. The vine-branch connection is to illustrate their need for grace and power from Him.
- 4. It would be supplied by His and His Father’s presence/power in them by the Spirit.
- 5. They had had Jesus personally, but now His help would be by the Spirit (Phil 4:13).
- 6. Watch what a grapevine does to bear fruit … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEHKhCjT6Sk.
- 7. The Bible uses vineyards for other lessons … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2009/wild-grapes/.
- B. It is disgraceful many fuss about the metaphor rather than fully explore its true meaning.
- 1. Who cares if Jesus chose vines from pouring the fruit of the vine at the Last Supper.
- 2. Who cares if He spotted a vineyard during the walk from Jerusalem to Mt. Olivet.
- 3. Who cares if He chose a rather lowly metaphor, when before He chose a sheep door.
- 4. Who cares about the details of grapes, vines, farming, pruning, yields, vintages, etc.
- 5. What counts, like the parable of the Good Samaritan, is the lesson and its application.
- C. There are many false alternatives that men revert to rather than following Jesus Christ.
- 1. The only spiritual power in this world is by the strength of Christ through His Spirit.
- 2. Jesus taught in chapter 14 they must hold to His Person and doctrine (John 14:6-14).
- 3. Jesus also taught there they could have greater fellowship with God (Jn 14:15-24).
- 4. There was no power in Moses’ religion, if they returned to Jewish temple worship.
- 5. There is no power in the popes or priests of Rome, for they are but devilish heretics.
- 6. There is no power in Allah, Islam, Mecca, or Mohamed, for they are devilish pagans.
- 7. There is no power in Mormonism, Ellen White, Judge Rutherford, or anyone else.
- 8. There is no power in any man in heaven, earth, or hell but in the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 9. There is no power in mere doctrine and practice, no matter how good and how noble.
- 10. A systematic theology is no source of grace or power compared to Jesus by the Spirit.
- D. For this reason, your focus and a church’s focus must be the preeminence of Christ.
And my Father is the husbandman.
- A. A husbandman here is a farmer that cares for a vineyard to maximize its productivity.
- 1. Husbandman. A man who tills or cultivates the soil; a farmer.
- 2. Vinedresser. One occupied in the pruning, training, and cultivation of vines.
- B. Jehovah is the Vinedresser (II Kgs 25:12; II Chron 26:10; Is 61:5; Jer 52:16; Joel 1:11).
- 1. Even the O.T. had His great goodness to pamper Israel (Is 5:1-4; Ezek 16:1-14; etc.).
- 2. Even the O.T. had severe consequences for kingdom folly (Nu 16:30; I Sa 6:19; etc.).
- 3. The God of heaven set up a kingdom in the days of Rome’s power and rules over it.
- 4. He gave all authority to the Lord Jesus Christ as the King of His spiritual kingdom.
- C. As the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ – as God Himself – He judges His own kingdom.
- 1. Following Jesus is not like following any other man – you must deal with Jehovah.
- 2. He has the authority, the power, the right, and the means to bless or curse anyone.
- 3. The kingdom of God, His churches, ministry, and salvation are not to be trifled with.
- 4. There are severe examples and warnings in the New Testament about His religion (I Cor 3:16-17; 5:1-13; 11:27-34; 16:22; Heb 2:1-4; 6:4-8; 10:26-31; 12:25-29; etc.).
- 5. No matter how Judas is viewed (though only a reprobate liar), God had pruned him.
- D. Jesus had thoroughly taught throughout His ministry the close relationship to the Father.
- 1. Rejecting Jesus and His doctrine was the same as rejecting God and His truth (John 5:23,30; 6:38-40; 8:26,42; 10:30; 12:49; 14:10,24; 15:15; 17:8; etc.).
- 2. The Father loves His Son; any disrespect to Jesus brings God’s wrath (Jn 5:17-23).
- E. If Jehovah is the husbandman, the fact is comfort for needs and warning for backsliding.
- 1. He gives loving favor and power needed for success (Lu 11:9-13; II Cor 1:3-4; etc.).
- 2. You had better use His grace (Luke 19:11-27; Phil 2:12-13; II Peter 2:20-22; etc.).
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Every branch in me.
- A. In what sense are the branches in Jesus Christ? And in what sense are they taken away?
- 1. They can be in Christ legally and vitally, or in Him practically, or in Him falsely.
- 2. Since Calvinists guarantee all elect to persevere with fruit, these are false professors.
- 3. It is a shame to read their commentaries that these are only reprobates in the church.
- 4. Peter described elect with sins forgiven that are fruitless by earthly vision (II Pe 1:9).
- 5. But they cannot be taken away eternally, legally, vitally, or finally, only practically.
- B. Are the branches in Christ the same way they bear fruit, the same way they are removed?
- 1. We truly do not bear fruit in the eternal, legal, vital, or final phases of redemption.
- 2. Therefore, the fruit must be the practical fruit of righteousness and converting souls.
- 3. We truly cannot be taken out of Jesus Christ in eternal, legal, vital, or final phases.
- 4. Therefore, the removal must be limited to the practical phase of lost grace or death.
- C. Jesus soon explained that being in Him was a choice they had to maintain (Jn 15:4-7).
- 1. They were clean practically (v3), could abide or not (v4-8), continue or not (v9-10).
- 2. He had just taught their choice and duty to believe, love, and obey (John 14:4-24).
- 3. Therefore, we choose in Christ in this verse is the practical phase of being in Him.
- 4. These eleven had made a choice to follow Jesus to be fishers of men (Matt 4:18-22).
- 5. Every minister, including apostles, answers a definite choice to preach His gospel.
- 6. Every believer makes a choice to be in Christ and under kingdom rules (Gal 3:27).
- D. Phases of salvation … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-1987/five-phases-of-salvation/.
- E. Are You in Christ? (in the different phases) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2014/are-you-in-christ/.
That beareth not fruit.
- A. What is fruit here? A metaphor or parable is being explained, so we remember the vine.
- 1. What is the fruit of a grapevine? It is bunches and clusters of grapes for wine, etc.
- 2. What is the fruit of apostles or ministers? Preaching God’s word for converting men.
- 3. What is the fruit of Christian church members? Spiritual fruit and helping brethren.
- B. What productivity was expected of the apostles, to whom these words directly applied?
- 1. Jesus called them to preach the gospel and do miracles worldwide (Mark 16:9-20).
- 2. They were to gather fruit to eternal life, which is conversion of sinners (Jn 4:31-38).
- 3. Peter declared in the council of Jerusalem of Gentile fruit by his mouth (Acts 15:7).
- 4. Paul outworked other apostles and got Corinth (I Cor 4:15; 15:10; Rom 1:13; 15:28).
- 5. Our Lord’s parable of the talents/pounds surely applied to apostles (Matt 25:14-30).
- 6. Jesus also taught fruit as the product of both good and false prophets (Matt 7:15-20).
- 7. There are definite rewards for ministerial faithfulness (Daniel 12:3; I Peter 5:1-4).
- 8. Faithful ministers are very conscious of duty to Christ (I Cor 3:5-17; 4:1-5; Jas 3:1).
- C. What other productivity was expected of the apostles and of us also that God requires?
- 1. God saved us to have good works He ordained for us (Eph 2:10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:8).
- 2. Disciples have visible spiritual fruit and good works (Mat 5:16; I Co 6:20; I Pe 2:12).
- 3. Fruit is Christian growth in grace (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:9; Phil 1:9-11; II Pet 1:5-9).
- 4. A true Christian has a changed life by new conduct (II Cor 5:17; Phil 4:17; Gal 6:15).
- 5. What God and Christ have done for us should produce purification (I John 3:1-3).
- 6. The character or fruit of heaven or of hell is rather easily observed (James 3:13-18).
- 7. Fruit of the Spirit … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2001/fruit-of-the-spirit/.
- 8. What God Calls Fruit … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2006/what-god-calls-fruit/.
- 9. Wild Grapes (Isaiah 5:1-7) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2009/wild-grapes/.
- 10. Spiritual Champions … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/spiritual-champions/.
- D. Calvinists make a terrible error when they guarantee fruit and growth of all the elect.
- 1. The doctrine of perseverance of the saints is a heretical lie that ruins interpretation.
- 2. Calvinists reject warnings to the elect by limiting them to reprobate false professors.
- 3. When Calvinists get to Hebrews, they force false professors in at least four places.
- 4. For Calvinist errors in Hebrews … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2014/hebrews-threatening-verses/.
- 5. Persevering heresy … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2006/calvinism-arminianism-and-the-truth/.
He taketh away.
- A. Faithfulness, fruitfulness, and good works do not keep you in any of four other phases.
- 1. God cannot and will not take us from eternal, legal, vital, or final phases of salvation.
- 2. We truly cannot be taken out of Jesus Christ in eternal, legal, vital, or final phases.
- 3. The elect were written in the book of life before the world began and never removed.
- 4. It is impossible for them to be separated from God’s love or lost (Romans 8:28-39).
- B. However, you can lose your place in the practical phase in both Christ or His kingdom.
- 1. God took Eli and Saul and their families out of His church and from His blessings.
- 2. God sends heresies to get rid of those not abiding in Christ (I Cor 11:19; I Jn 2:19).
- 3. He can take away your physical life for disobedience (Acts 5:1-11; I Cor 11:26-34).
- 4. Jesus promised to take the Spirit from Ephesus and to spew Laodicea (Rev 2:5; 3:16).
- 5. Corinth had allowed false teachers in and could lose much (I Co 15:2; II Co 11:1-4).
- 6. A minister can cost himself and hearers practical salvation (I Tim 4:16; Jas 5:19-20).
- 7. You can even remain a visible member but have leanness of soul (Psalm 106:15).
- 8. Paul took care to keep his body under rule to avoid being cast away (I Cor 9:24-27).
- 9. Include such as Judas, the Jewish nation, and other apostates only in by profession.
- 10. God only waits for a period of time, then He brings judgment (Prov 29:1; Rev 2:21).
- C. Jesus’ parable about fruitless trees, Cut It Down … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2006/cut-it-down/
- D. The end of belly worshippers is destruction one way or another (Phil 3:18-19; Pr 14:14).
- E. Calvinists remove any warning like this from the elect by limiting it to reprobates only.
- 1. Their heresy of perseverance of the saints means that all the elect will grow in grace.
- 2. Their best text has nothing to do with eternal life but Jerusalem’s end (Matt 24:13).
And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it.
- A. Though unstated here, these are branches in Christ that bear fruit unlike those put first.
- B. See the earlier part of this verse for the definition and description of God-pleasing fruit.
- 1. We first understand it of ministerial duties by context, so we think Peter’s recovery.
- 2. We then understand it of spiritual good works, so we think chastening (Heb 12:11).
- C. To maximize a vine’s yield, fruitful branches need any extraneous branches removed.
- 1. Purge. To make physically pure or clean; to cleanse; to rid of whatever is impure or extraneous; to clear or free of, from. To prune (a tree).
- 2. Since the metaphor being followed is to perfect yield in a vineyard, purge = prune.
- 3. Prune. To cut or lop superfluous branches or twigs from (a vine, tree, or shrub), in order to promote fruitfulness, induce regular growth, etc.; to trim.
- 4. There is a large field of study for pruning grapevines to boost productivity and yield, with the goals to limit vegetation growth, maximize grape yield with high quality.
- 5. General information about pruning, including vines … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruning.
- 7. Other study … http://www.uwyo.edu/barnbackyard/_files/documents/magazine/2016/winter/pruninggrapevines0116.pdf.
- D. God saved us to be His children, and He will perfect our fruitfulness by various means.
- 1. God will not forsake the work of His hands – His saved sons (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:3-7).
- 2. The best text for increased fruitfulness by chastening is Paul’s doctrine (Heb 12:11).
- 3. The furnace of afflictions burns off dross like a refiner (Pr 17:3; Is 48:10; Zech 13:9).
- 4. Tribulations are wonderful things when viewed rightly (Rom 5:3-5; James 1:2-4).
- 5. The psalmist David understood the value of God’s afflictions (Psalm 119:67,71,75).
- 6. You must get rid of unnecessary weights or He will – like Terah (Ge 11:31; He 12:1).
- 7. God sends faithful pastors to dig and dung fruitless trees (Lu 13:6-9; II Cor 10:3-6).
- 8. Heresies expose and rid a church of junk, but they also approve others (I Cor 11:19).
- 9. God has new purified and purged priests (Mal 3:3-4; I Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:6).
- 10. The Spirit and word combine to instruct and warn men to more perfect obedience.
- E. Once you understand the motive, purpose, and results of purging, you will embrace it.
- 1. Remember – chastening proves love, no matter how severe (Pr 3:11-12; I Cor 11:32).
- 2. The Psalmist described blessing (II Sa 7:14-15; Ps 89:32-33; 94:12-13; 107:17-21).
- 3. The prophets described the blessing (Is 26:16; 57:15-18; Jer 31:18-20; Ha 2:17-19).
- F. If you want purging lifted, then repent with all your strength and give Him His glory.
- 1. Job could have been restored sooner if he had had a better response (Job 36:15-18).
- 2. Since the lesson is for repentance and greater godliness, do both quickly with zeal.
- 3. You will know what the purging or chastening is for, since God is a loving Father.
That it may bring forth more fruit.
- A. The purpose of purging, or pruning here, is to increase the quantity and quality of fruit.
- B. If you want to be a great Christian, praise and prosperity will seldom get the job done.
- 1. You need to have extraneous weights removed and sins repented of for usefulness.
- 2. You need to submit to God especially in those areas where you protect secret sins.
- C. The great Husbandman or Vinedresser in this context is the God and Father of Jesus.
- 1. If you grasp His chastening work, you will rejoice (Ps 119:67,71,75; Heb 12:9-17).
- 2. Manasseh’s best years were after his purging in a Babylon prison (II Chr 33:11-16).
- 3. Did Peter need pruning before Pentecost? Yes, he got it. After Pentecost? He got it.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Now ye are clean.
- A. If we follow the metaphor, then … ye are pruned … ye are fit and prepared to produce.
- B. In what sense were they already pruned, cleaned, cleansed, or improved? By doctrine.
- 1. Jesus explained within this verse that He intended the things He had spoken to them.
- 2. He had defined many times the character of a disciple (Luke 14:25-33; John 8:31).
- 3. He had illustrated punishment and rewards for performance and fruit (Lu 19:11-27).
- 4. He had faithfully taught obedience as true discipleship (Psalm 40:9; John 14:15).
- 5. He had corrected many errors they foolishly had about Messiah and earthly honors.
- 6. He had exposed the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees – their religious hypocrisy.
- 7. His Sermon on the Mount alone had given them great lessons in true righteousness.
- C. There is a now to be reckoned in this verse, which might take the context back to Judas.
- 1. The previous verse, John 15:2, had certainly laid out their duty and privilege well.
- 2. Jesus had used the word clean relative to Judas (13:10), and Jesus had pruned Judas.
- 3. Jesus had identified a traitor and then showed Judas the door (John 13:10-11,18-30).
- 4. However, Jesus could also have only meant that they were starting with a clean slate.
Through the word which I have spoken unto you.
A. There was a word about Judas in the upper room at their supper (John 13:10-11,18-30).
B. But more so was the word of His doctrine about discipleship (Jn 8:31-36; 14:24; 15:7).
1. The best instruction and warning for apostolic productivity was His word (Jn 12:48).
2. An example of His word that Jesus raised very shortly was of persecution (Jn 15:20).
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Abide in me.
A. Jesus extended His metaphor or parable of a branch (apostles) staying in the vine (Him).
1. The eleven had been with Jesus, but now they had to stay close to Him in absentia.
2. The use of the preposition in should be seen as referring to the metaphor being used.
3. The verse continues by explaining the exact reason to be gained from the metaphor.
4. They would soon be alone … with significant assignments … they would need Him.
5. With Him leaving, they were to choose the closest unity with Him and maintain it.
6. He had explained that their faith, love, and obedience would bring unity (Jn 14:20).
7. The new unity coming would be God in them by the new Comforter (Jn 14:15-24).
8. They could not replace discipleship with Him by anything else – they would suffer.
B. It was their choice – the measured cost of discipleship – that would keep them in Him.
1. This is the practical phase of salvation, which requires God’s blessing and our duty.
2. Paul warned Timothy two personal choices would affect him and others (I Tim 4:16).
3. If they backslid or turned away, they would lose Spirit power (I Thes 5:19; Ep 4:30).
C. What does it mean to abide in Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ to abide in disciples?
1. It is not difficult, esoteric, or mysterious – it is merely the choice of discipleship.
2. Discipleship begins by coming to Christ in faith, which was fully taught in John 6.
3. Discipleship is extended – abiding in Christ – by continuing in His doctrine (Jn 8:31).
4. Discipleship by obedience brings fellowship and favor from God (John 14:15-23).
D. Real Christians, real disciples, real lovers of Christ continue steadily with consistency.
1. Jesus Christ does not change and go up and down and back and forth, at all, ever.
2. Real partakers of Christ continue steadfastly (Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 3:6,14).
3. Real love of Christ is not moved by a bad hair day, bad health day, or bad work day.
E. What are you doing to make sure you abide in Jesus Christ as a true disciple of His?
1. It takes personal discipline and exercise to oppose your lazy flesh (I Cor 9:24-27).
2. It takes the use of the church far beyond sitting in a pew (I Sa 23:16; Heb 3:12-13).
3. He is not very far from any man, but will you embrace Him (Acts 17:27; Rev 3:20).
4. Sermon … Fellowship with Christ … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/fellowship-with-christ/.
5. Sermon … Drawing Nigh to God … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/drawing-nigh-to-god/.
6. Sermon … Filled with God … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/filled-with-god/.
7. Sermon … II Peter 1:3 and vicinity … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2015/second-peter-1/.
And I in you.
A. Jesus promised He would abide in them, if they loved and obeyed Him (Jn 14:18-23).
B. This expanding reciprocal intimacy is the glory of discipleship (Jn 14:21,23; 15:9-11).
C. This is the phenomenal offer of the gospel ignored by most (Eph 3:14-19; Rev 3:20).
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine.
A. First the metaphor – understand the principle of life and vitality supplied by a grapevine.
B. Find the application – it is impossible to be a Christian – Christlike – without His power.
C. The example metaphor of the branch is valid by Christ’s word to our lack of strength.
No more can ye, except ye abide in me.
A. There is power by abiding in Christ – power of the Holy Ghost (Phil 4:13; Rom 15:13).
1. However you forsake or neglect Jesus or grieve or quench the Spirit, you lose power.
2. We lose the strength of conviction, and we lose strength of performance. We lose.
B. Your flesh has no power to do anything good – it is totally committed to wickedness.
1. Paul taught this terrible truth about the flesh repeatedly (Rom 8:7-8; Gal 5:16-21).
2. He confessed his own terrible schizophrenic conflict about good (Romans 7:14-25).
C. We want the fruitfulness of growing in grace and helping others to also grow in grace.
1. But we will worthless to others if we cannot by His strength hold fast (I Tim 4:16).
2. We will also take ourselves down by the reverse fruit of backsliding (Pr 1:31; 14:14).
D. Again … what is it to abide in Christ? To believe, love, and obey Him passionately.
E. If you truly want to abide in Christ more than you have, see the links at the very top.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
I am the vine.
A. Jesus restated the intent of the lesson – He was the source of their power by the Spirit.
1. You cannot, no matter however you try, bear spiritual fruit without Christ’s power.
2. What exactly is the source of strength? It is the Spirit of Christ for spiritual fruit.
B. No need to use true again, for it was stated and is now presumed as the only alternative.
C. They could not, no matter how good or noble, find grace and strength for spiritual good.
Ye are the branches.
A. Jesus brought the general metaphor and parable down to the eleven listening to Him.
1. They were the specific ones that needed the ministerial and personal lesson the most.
2. They had been quite dependent on Him, and they would soon have significant duties.
B. But if they needed the power of Christ in them, how much more do we need the power?
He that abideth in me, and I in him.
A. Jesus makes His abode in those that love and obey Him – it is that simple (Jn 14:21,23).
1. No man has ever rightly abode in Christ Jesus that did not have Christ Jesus in Him.
2. Jesus offers such fellowship and unity to those that love Him (Ep 3:14-19; Rev 3:20).
B. To abide in Jesus Christ is to pursue and seek Him with all you are and all you have.
1. This is not rocket science – the preposition in reflects the metaphor Jesus then used.
2. Rather than make this mysterious, embrace Jesus Christ and passionately obey Him.
C. If you truly want to abide in Christ more than you have, see the links at the very top.
The same bringeth forth much fruit.
A. These men would turn the world upside down, leading all kinds in conversion to Christ.
1. They performed miracles, preached gloriously, ruled authoritatively, and much else.
2. These timid men had not shown such ability yet, but by Pentecostal power they did.
B. Until you have put all on the altar and sacrificially left it there, you will lack in fruit.
For without me ye can do nothing.
A. The eleven, if they relied on their strength and wit, would be unable to rule the kingdom.
B. There is no power in your flesh to do anything of spiritual good that would please God.
1. You can think yourself temperate in things and be void of spiritual fruit without Him.
2. Rather than fleshly discipline like pagans, you must love and obey Jesus as Lord.
3. Even plowing of the wicked is sin, so no matter your actions, they must be in love.
C. Paul could do all things by Christ’s strength (Phil 4:13), but nothing without His power.
D. This is not complicated or difficult – faith, love, obedience to Christ enables the Spirit.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If a man abide not in me.
A. The eleven would be sorely tempted by persecution, rejection, and poor results at times.
1. They could think that their calling was not worth it and go back to fish in Galilee.
2. They could take their ministerial lives easy and end up with little or no fruit for Him.
B. Not abiding in Christ is to quit on Him – to go AWOL – to give up zeal for any reason.
1. Paul drew a careful distinction between being cast down or destroyed (II Co 4:8-11).
2. Not abiding in Christ is to quit faith, love, doctrine, or obedience to His commands.
3. Jesus Christ Himself taught this possibility in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:18).
4. Hebrews has four or more descriptions of it (Heb 2:1-4; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
5. Is it possible to do something this dastardly? Yes. See Hebrews 3:12-13 for yourself.
6. What about Demas? What of other belly worshippers (Rom 16:17-18; Phil 3:18-19).
7. Men can have their faith overthrown, but only by deserting their Lord and His word.
8. There is a worse outcome for backsliders than not hearing the truth (II Pet 2:20-22).
9. Perseverance is a lie … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2006/calvinism-arminianism-and-the-truth/.
C. Real Christians, real disciples, real lovers of Christ continue steadily with consistency.
1. Jesus Christ does not change and go up and down and back and forth at all, ever!
2. Real partakers of Christ continue steadfastly (Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 3:6,14).
3. Real love of Christ is not moved by a bad hair day, bad health day, or bad work day.
D. If you truly want to abide in Christ more than you have, see the links at the very top.
He is cast forth as a branch, and is withered.
A. Any husbandman worth his salt will not waste time with branches no longer producing.
1. There is a whole science of vine maintenance to maximize their quality and quantity.
2. Wasting nutrients of soil, air, or sunshine on fruitless branches is counterproductive.
3. Grape growers carefully prune off worthless or low-producing branches ever year.
4. In this case of discipleship (apostleship), Almighty God the Father is Husbandman.
B. Is it possible for a truly saved person to be cut off from the vine or power of the Spirit?
1. The question is so ridiculous as to not warrant an answer. Yes, any believer can fail.
2. Why warnings in holy scripture of believers failing of the grace of God (II Cor 6:1)?
3. Saul of Benjamin, the first king of Israel, is a great example of a terrible castaway.
4. Paul of Benjamin, the greatest apostle, feared that outcome for himself (I Cor 9:27).
5. Consider churches at Corinth (I Cor 11:30), Ephesus (Rev 2:5), Laodicea (Rev 3:16).
6. Consider Paul’s warning to Gentiles of being cut off in large scale (Rom 11:20-22).
7. Men can make shipwreck of their faith, even to deny God (I Ti 1:19; Heb 3:12-13).
C. Once a Christian has lost Spirit power (grieved or quenched), He loses His usefulness.
1. Jesus the Head of His church may kill them, remove the candlestick, or spew them.
2. Fellowship and blessing in this life is conditional, and our God is a consuming fire.
3. But there is no lake of fire in this verse, for these are God’s children once in the vine.
D. Do not miss the simile here – as a branch – means Jesus is transitioning to the metaphor.
1. Only sound-bite-addicts rush past this reminder to see hellfire in the next clauses.
2. It is vine branches that are cast forth, that wither, and that are gathered to be burned.
3. Men do not gather backsliding Christians and throw them into hellfire for the devils.
4. Reprobates, or false professors, as Calvinists call them, were never in to be cast out.
5. They cannot wither, for they never had any life or fruit production of any real kind.
And men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
A. Follow the metaphor before building doctrine – dead branches are disposed of by fire.
1. Do not overlook the simile here by words immediately before these … as a branch.
2. Men do not gather false brethren out of churches and throw them in the devil’s hell.
3. We must avoid spiritual application of each detail just like with many other parables.
4. Sappy fairy tales are taken from the Good Samaritan, but only neighbor is defined.
5. How far will you go with the Sower, the Unjust Judge, the Unjust Steward, etc., etc.?
B. Fire in the Bible may not be hellfire at all, but God’s chastening judgment. Slow down!
1. Fire can be God’s chastening judgment short of the lake of fire (Deut 29:20; 32:22; Job 15:30; Jer 4:4; Lam 2:3; 4:11; Ezek 15:1-8; 19:12-14; Nahum 1:6; Malachi 4:1; Matt 3:7-12; Luke 12:49; 23:49; Heb 6:7-8; 10:26-31; 12:28-29; etc., etc.).
2. It is a false conclusion to rush to the heresy of those in Christ being sent to hellfire.
C. What do Calvinists think? Jesus comforted His apostles about reprobates going to hell?
1. The whole idea is ludicrous, for Jesus comforted and exhorted; He did not confound.
2. There is no comfort or help to chosen apostles to warn them of impossible hellfire.
3. There is a metaphor and simile here, and it should be maintained for the role of fire.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
If ye abide in me.
A. Read the conditional, and it most certainly was conditional, matter of power in prayer.
1. This was Jesus’ application of the verses to the eleven – they needed to stay in Him.
2. They needed to continue in faith, love, doctrine, and obedience for powerful help.
B. Let the practical aspect of abiding in Christ sink in lest you turn it into a dark mystery.
1. Prior to this verse, the result of abiding in Christ would be Spirit power for fruit.
2. In this verse, the result of abiding in Christ would be greater power in their prayers.
C. Abiding in Christ is not complex or difficult; it is keeping His words in you by faith.
D. If you truly want to abide in Christ more than you have, see the links at the very top.
And my words abide in you.
A. Rather than Jesus Himself in them, here it is Jesus Christ’s doctrine and commandments.
B. For you cannot have the one without the other, as He had taught repeatedly (Jn 14:15).
C. Abiding in Christ is keeping His words, or His commandments, out of love (Jn 14:23).
Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
A. He had taught them power in prayer already by true and lasting faith (John 14:10-14).
B. Power in prayer is through consistent obedience (James 5:16b; I John 3:22; Ps 66:18).
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Herein is my Father glorified.
A. Our active pursuit of God’s glory should be our preeminent reason for living (Pr 16:4).
B. Though He is the husbandman and must prune us to productivity, He still gets the glory.
C. He has provided initial grace and chastens us … but are you exercised by it (Heb 12:11)?
That ye bear much fruit.
A. These eleven apostles turned the Jewish and pagan worlds upside down by the gospel.
1. Their miracle on the Day of Pentecost caused men to glorify God (Acts 3:1-11; 4:21).
2. Gentiles at Antioch glorified the word of the Lord for His gospel (Acts 13:46-49).
3. The great mystery of godliness was achieved by these few preachers (I Tim 3:16).
B. They also bore the fruit of the Spirit and grew in grace to be very different than before.
C. They took the message of God’s Son Jesus to all men regardless of the consequences.
So shall ye be my disciples.
A. Real disciples, true disciples, or disciples indeed bear fruit by their relationship to Jesus.
B. Disciples indeed were believers who continued in Jesus’ word or doctrine (Jn 8:31-36).
C. Real disciples of Jesus Christ are called Christians for they look like Christ (Acts 11:26).
D. So-called believers without fruit are at the very best at last short-sighted (II Pet 1:8-11).
What does it mean to abide in Christ?
1. To believe on Him, love Him, obey Him, and walk with Him and His words as your guide for life.
2. You must use His Holy Spirit, His written word, His church, and reading, prayer, singing, etc., etc.
3. You must fight and oppose inputs, activities, or persons that turn you from Him in even slight ways.
4. There is truly no depth or difficulty in grasping the concept here … just the fervent desire to do so.
5. See the recommended or suggested links in the introduction to this chapter for many more details.
How can some be taken away?
1. God can take you away physically, but there are worse judgments than death, like leanness of soul.
2. His Holy Spirit can be grieved and quenched to leave you without power to do anything good or right.
3. God can and will raise heresies and cause you to leave this church by your deceived and willful heart.
4. God’s children can make shipwreck and be castaways from fellowship with God and great usefulness.
5. You may not know when you are taken away, for your deceived heart will fool you to justify yourself.
What is much fruit for most?
1. There is ministerial fruit or converting brothers, which only proactive disciples achieve with success.
2. Some of God’s children are trees of life to others, and yet others have no positive influence on anyone.
3. There is fruit of the Spirit and a life changed and conformed to Jesus Christ that shouts God’s grace.
4. There is growth in grace and provoking yourself and others to love and good works for His kingdom.
5. There are good works like a light that can be seen by others for the greater glory of God and Christ.
************** Love Is Bond with Christ and Brethren – Verses 9-17 **************
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
As the Father hath loved me.
A. This is the second section of the chapter and stresses the importance of love for success.
1. This section differs from the vine-branch metaphor and greatly from persecution.
2. We may summarize three sections by their goals – fruitfulness, fellowship, patience.
3. We may summarize three sections by their means – abiding, obeying, and enduring.
4. Jesus explained to them how to have greater fellowship, love, and unity with Him.
5. We can waste God’s grace to lose first love and joy of fellowship with God and men.
6. Fellowship, joy, fruitfulness, and unity is by obeying God to love others (15:9-17).
7. There are key questions to answer for our Lord’s doctrine and the offered benefits.
8. Whose love to continue in? Whose joy is it? Do you sacrificially love? Who chose?
9. Our Lord’s instructions are surely apostolic and ministerial, but we can benefit also.
10. It is simple – will you believe, love, and obey Jesus as Son of God no matter what?
B. The vine-branch metaphor is over, though our Lord will shortly mention fruit again.
1. Jesus before His arrest taught about love between the eleven and God and each other.
2. Jesus had thrived under His Father’s love, and He had loved the apostles similarly.
3. They would need His and the Father’s love to complete the great tasks before them.
4. They would need to love each other to conquer their own sinful ambition and envy.
5. Love is the bond, comfort, glue, energizer, peacemaker, and builder of men together.
6. We cannot emphasize the importance of His repetition here too much – love reigns!
7. Details of Love Is the Greatest … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
C. How did God the Father love His only begotten Son Jesus for sake of the comparison?
1. God does not love unconditionally like so many presume, for objects must be holy.
2. God does not love emotionally like men limited in the flesh, for He is not like a man.
3. God’s love of His Son was infinitely great due to the object and Person’s perfection.
D. God did love His Son benevolently, effectively, personally, and unashamedly, at least.
1. God loved Jesus deeply, for He was His only begotten Son, a tender object for sure.
2. God loved Jesus benevolently, in that His love moved Him compassionately to Him.
2. God loved Jesus effectively, in that His love was with actions and not just words.
3. God loved Jesus personally, in that His love was more than conceptual or doctrinal.
4. God loved Jesus unashamedly, in that He declared His love publicly for all to hear.
5. God loved Jesus unchangingly, which we barely comprehend due to fickle emotions.
E. Jesus the Son of God was a worthy object and Person of His love, but we are surely not.
So have I loved you.
A. The adverb form as … so is powerful, identifying God’s love and Christ’s as similar.
1. In this particular comparison it is not exactly the same due to both subject and object.
2. But the appeal nonetheless is powerful exhortation to have the greatest love possible.
B. Jesus loved His eleven apostles in the same what that God the Father had loved Him.
1. Jesus does not love unconditionally, for He does not love workers of iniquity.
2. Jesus does not love emotionally only, for though a Man yet impeccable in nature.
3. Jesus loved benevolently, in that His love sought out the best for the eleven apostles.
4. Jesus loved effectively, in that His love was active and resulted in labor for them.
5. Jesus loved personally, in that His love was affectionately superior to a mere idea.
6. Jesus loved unashamedly, in that He showed it and will declare it to the universe.
Continue ye in my love.
A. This odd construction requires us to determine subjective-genitive or objective-genitive.
1. Do not be confused or frustrated by grammar here – the outcome is well worth it.
2. Did Jesus tell the eleven apostles to continue loving Him, thus subjective genitive?
3. Or did Jesus tell the eleven apostles to keep themselves as the objects of His love?
4. Many examples of this interpretational choice exist (Lu 11:42; Jn 6:29; Dan 11:37).
5. Subjective and objective genitive case form … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2010/genitive-case/.
B. We choose for several reasons that Jesus exhorted the eleven to retain His love for them.
1. Before proof, see love of God subjectively and objectively (I John 3:16; Luke 11:42).
2. Jesus here taught the eleven that right conduct would keep His loving favor on them.
3. Read the first compound clause of the verse – why switch and reverse to our love?
4. Read the next verse, for it rather clearly explains the concept – obey me for my love.
5. Read the 12th verse, for He clearly knew how to express to them their love for Him.
6. Read the 14th verse, for it clearly explains the concept – obedience for His friendship.
7. Jesus had moments before taught His love conditioned on obedience (Jn 14:21,23).
8. Jesus had moments before given the conditions for God’s and His love (Jn 14:21,23).
9. The great theme in John’s gospel and epistle was God’s love (Jn 3:16; I Jn 4:9-10).
10. Christ’s love of us was the great apostolic motive (II Co 5:14; Ga 6:14; Ep 3:14-19).
11. God’s love of us is incredible grace that exceeds ours of God (Ro 5:6-10; 8:28-39).
12. Paul labored to be accepted by God while on earth – subjective-genitive (II Cor 5:9).
13. Fellowship with God is conditional (I Jn 1:3-7; Rev 3:20; Phil 2:1-2; II Co 6:14-18).
C. It will be objected several ways that God’s love is not dependent on conditions by us.
1. But Jesus had just taught the profound fact God’s love was conditional (Jn 14:21,23).
2. We must do two things – follow the context and remember to rightly divide love.
3. Of course, God’s everlasting love for the elect never varies by their earthly conduct.
D. The great love God had for Christ and Christ had for them was a great matter of concern.
1. They would need and want the depth, faithfulness, and strength of His love for them.
2. Jesus Christ had spoken of God’s presence with Him (Jn 8:16,29; 14:10-11; 16:32).
3. God and Christ’s love for us should be incredibly comforting and motivating. Glory!
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
If ye keep my commandments.
A. Here is a conditional statement to encourage and provoke us, not discourage or threaten.
B. It is amazing – God’s commandments are for our own good, but He rewards us for them.
C. Jesus rewards us by maintaining His love and favor over us and around us for obedience.
Ye shall abide in my love.
A. Whose love is this? – our love of Jesus Christ or His love of us – whose love is this?
1. The language form suggests His love of us, but we are prone to emphasize ours.
2. When it is our love of something, we love it. But this is abiding in another’s love.
3. The future tense shall abide suggests an action upon them dependent on obedience.
4. We should not neglect our love of Christ, for it is our love of Him that obeys Him.
5. But we cannot and must not neglect the reciprocal offer of fellowship (Jn 14:21,23).
6. Fantasizing about unconditional love regardless of conduct contributes to confusion.
7. Problems of Unconditional Love … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2004/lie-of-unconditional-love/.
B. Jesus had taught the eleven repetitively just minutes earlier about greater love to them.
1. God the Father and He would love and reveal to them for obedience (John 14:21,23).
2. See the notes on that section of John 14 to fully appreciate His offer of greater love.
Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
A. How was Jesus the beloved Son of God pleasing Him well? It included His obedience.
B. We follow the form of the words and the overall context to mean God’s love of Jesus.
C. Jesus Himself testified that He always did those things that pleased His Father (Jn 8:29).
1. Consider the text introduced here – John 8:29 – describing the Father’s presence.
2. The clear implication is that God could have left Jesus alone without His obedience.
3. God does leave men, sometime to test and sometimes to punish (II Chron 32:31).
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
These things have I spoken unto you.
A. The final words of Jesus were not to punish them or merely press duty, but to encourage.
B. John 14 had wonderful promises from apartments in heaven to God’s love and peace.
C. The same writer used similar terminology to explain why He had written (I John 1:4).
That my joy might remain in you.
A. We have already established, primarily from 14:21,23, that God and Christ are acting.
1. Thus, we accept and believe the genitive or possessive case of Christ’s joy in them.
2. We had a similar promise by Jesus of giving the eleven His peace (John 14:27).
3. Remember, Jesus would send them another Comforter with lots of joy (Rom 15:13).
B. It is a shame that we have a predisposition or tendency to understate God’s joy in us.
1. God delighted in David (we think of the opposite), and David knew it (Psalm 18:19).
2. God Himself described delighting in Israel rather than forsaking them (Isaiah 62:4).
3. He went so far as to describe rejoicing in joy, even with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
4. If the angels in heaven rejoice over a repentant sinner, how much a faithful saint?
And that your joy might be full.
A. Consistent with the simple genitive or possessive case here, we know it is our own joy.
B. The same writer used similar terminology to explain why He had written (I John 1:4).
C. The Christian religion – God’s love and Christ’s salvation – are for joy as His children.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
This is my commandment.
A. After describing the reciprocity of love again (Jn 14:21,23; 15:9-10), He required love.
1. If God so loved us, then we ought to be able to love each other easily (I John 4:11).
2. If abiding in His love keeps His commandments, then brotherly love is a top duty.
B. Love is the agent that binds and comforts with God and men … and between men also.
1. When we love God supremely, His jealous nature is content, and He blesses greatly.
2. For this reason our undivided love for Him with all our might is the first command.
3. When God loves us and manifests Himself to us, we have the highest motive to obey.
4. As Nehemiah once exhorted, the joy of the LORD, due to His love, is our strength.
5. When a man loves a brother, he will do more for him with greater zeal than by duty.
C. When Jesus states – This is my commandment – all men ought to sit up and take notice.
1. He is the Blessed and Only Potentate and all men will give account of obeying Him.
2. He is the Great Redeemer of men with an easy yoke; all men should crave His rules.
3. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, so His rules are the best.
4. There is no other specific commandment that comes close to His emphasis for love.
That ye love one another.
A. Here is one of many one another duties – this time for the eleven apostles as ministers.
1. This special reciprocal pronoun requires love from each apostle for each apostle.
2. They could not hide behind some general or vague love of the group, as many do.
3. They would have to resolve any individual offences or differences that might arise.
4. There cannot be dysfunction on a team, and the apostles were to have a united front.
5. This same charge to love individual Christians is also for the church (Romans 13:8; I Thessalonians 4:9-10; I Peter 1:22; I John 3:11,14-18,23; 4:7-12,20; II John 1:5).
B. The eleven apostles were to love each other individually; this would provide great help.
1. Rightly understood, this would eliminate differences even on an individual basis.
2. Rightly understood, this would obligate sacrificial help for any apostle needing it.
3. Rightly understood, no apostle would envy or resent any other apostle for success.
C. Details about One Another Duties … https://letgodbetrue.com/bible-topics/index/church/one-another-duties/.
E. Much about love – Love Is the Greatest … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
As I have loved you.
A. Jesus had loved them perfectly in all the ways possible, but sacrificially was His point.
B. They had worked together well for three years, for He had never oppressed any of them.
C. They were to love each other the same way to make sure they were a united powerhouse.
D. The next verse indicates clearly that the point at hand is to love one another sacrificially.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Greater love hath no man than this.
A. Jesus defined how they were to love each other – as He had loved them (John 15:12).
1. The apostles were still not completely clear about His death, but they would be soon.
2. Inside 24 hours the apostles would get the greatest demonstration of love ever made.
3. Though not in a doctrinal lesson about His death, Jesus did describe it well here.
4. He continued His transitions as He then laid out the condition to truly be His friends.
B. Love can be defined, though a complete definition of love is beyond this exposition.
1. Love certainly forgives others’ faults, honors them over self, spends for their good.
2. The highest standard is selfless efforts to help another please God more perfectly.
3. This rule was how Paul served the selfish and proud Corinthians (II Cor 12:12-15).
4. This rule was how the writer here wrote it again in his epistle (I John 3:16; 4:10-11).
C. Love can be measured; it is a false or weak idea of love to leave it nebulous or vague.
1. It is not merely a feeling of pleasure or warmth – for such is often merely sinful lust.
2. Love is sacrificial effort to benefit another – with the ultimate effort being death.
3. A sacrificial life can also be offered by denying oneself to benefit another soul.
4. The apostle writing here warned about the folly of mere words of love (I Jn 3:18).
D. It was this specific aspect of the Lord’s love for them they were to show one another.
E. Much about love – Love Is the Greatest … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
That a man lay down his life for his friends.
A. Here is the measure of the greatest love – giving all you have for another – your life.
1. Thus, losing your life for a cause or person is often stated as the ultimate sacrifice.
2. As Satan presumed well, a man will give anything for his skin or his life (Job 2:4).
3. Remember the definition of love – giving up your comfort for the benefit of another.
4. Dying for a person is the highest measure of the highest definition – glorious indeed.
B. It is important to consider more closely the giving of one’s life for another to be correct.
1. Laying down your life for another is an incredible gesture, but let us see it clearly.
2. A mother may die in childbirth, but she did not give her life for a child; it was taken; she never intended to die, and she did everything to not die, for her joy (John 16:21).
3. A soldier may die in combat, and many might say he laid down his life for his nation; but he never intended to die at any point, and he did all he could to prevent his dying.
4. While we truly appreciate every medal of honor winner highly, let us exalt our Lord; He is the Captain of our salvation and died very differently from these examples.
5. In these dear examples, neither the mother nor the soldier intended to actually die.
6. They both intended to survive, and they used all means at their disposal to survive.
7. They had their lives taken from them against their wills by powerful outside forces.
8. The closest they got to sacrificial love was to die in order to keep another from dying.
9. True love is the conscious and conscientious sacrificial gift of one’s life for another.
10. It involves the willingness to lose ones own life, liberty, and happiness for another.
11. It makes no effort to survive, and it sees only the very highest good for the its object.
C. Jesus did exactly what is described here sacrificially in the fullest sense of the words.
1. His death was not a surprise, as it is in most every other case you might well imagine.
2. His life was not taken from Him against His will as it is in most every other case.
3. He knew His entire life that He would get to die for His people and pursued it firmly.
4. He knew He could stop the pain or outcome at any point, but He did not (Matt 26:53).
5. There has never been a mother or soldier that would not have used preventive means.
D. Let us clearly identify and remember His highest motive in laying down His life for us.
1. His greatest motive was not affection for the guilty but rather devotion to His Father.
2. He came to do the will of God with His human body (Psalm 40:6-10; Heb 10:5-14).
3. He saw the reward of heaven and its joy (Psalm 16:8-11; Acts 2:25-28; Heb 12:2).
4. He saw the pleasure of the Lord and the success of His seed and lived later (Is 53:10).
5. For much more of Christ’s death in Isaiah 53 … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2002/isaiah-53/.
E. Jesus did not die for His friends in some senses, but rather for enemies (Rom 5:6-10).
1. He called them His friends due to the context and His purpose to comfort and cheer.
2. But they and all the elect were truly rebel enemies of God when He died for them.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Ye are my friends.
A. What a declaration! Let this covenant offer of friendship and fellowship excite you.
1. Think! The Lord of glory while walking told the eleven that they were His friends.
2. They had to be overwhelmed with such a high honor, like Lazarus (John 11:5,11).
3. It perfectly connects to what He had told them about continuing in His love for them.
4. Jesus knew exactly what friend meant, for He distinguished it clearly from servant.
5. In the next two verses He will provide evidence of His serious use of this kind word.
6. Friendship includes transparent communication, which He had done (John 15:15).
7. Friendship included picking, ordaining, blessing, and answering them (John 15:16).
8. He reminded them they had not picked Him for a friend, but He had picked them.
9. Yet, He would use this word lightly in just hours to greet Judas Iscariot (Matt 26:50).
B. As we have in this and the previous chapter, separate eternal and legal from practical.
1. God’s electing grace that culminates in glorification includes everlasting adoption.
2. But there is a practical manifestation and enjoyment of sonship depending on you.
3. There is friendship and fellowship with God and Christ depending on obedience.
4. This is overlooked or neglected by fatalistic thinking about the sovereignty of God.
5. Eternal life is a gift of God’s grace, but enjoying fellowship with Him is your choice.
C. If the Lord of glory chooses you to be His friend, what else can possibly disturb you?
1. It is a disgraceful and disgusting shame that people will groan and moan for friends.
2. If Christ Jesus has set His affection on you, what other friends could you ever want?
3. Paul reasoned that Jesus’ commitment to you should lead to contentment (Heb 13:5).
If ye do whatsoever I command you.
A. The condition is as before – repeated over and over – it is the real measure of disciples.
1. There is an eternal, legal, vital, and final relationship of sonship that is only by grace.
2. However, there is a different and practical aspect of sonship that is by our obedience.
3. True disciples of Jesus hate anyone or anything else (Mat 10:34-39; Luke 14:25-33).
4. Fellowship with God and Jesus requires walking in the light of holiness (I Jn 1:1-7).
5. Folly by a child of God can grieve the Spirit and turns Him to an enemy (Is 63:10).
B. Friendship is a serious matter requiring commitments from both sides for it to prosper.
1. Today’s infantile Christians count “friends” by those “friending them” on Facebook.
2. First, a person must choose another to befriend and love, as Christ did the apostles.
3. Second, the person thus befriended should react favorably, as apostles by obedience.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Henceforth I call you not servants.
A. Remember again the intimacy of final hours with the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
B. Though Jesus told them they were no longer servants, they did not change their opinion.
1. They still referred to themselves throughout the epistles as the servants of Jesus.
2. They also remembered the rule, by Holy Spirit help, of another angle (Lu 17:5-10).
For the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth.
A. Real managers, not the effeminate variety today, operate by information they hold tight.
B. Servants do not grasp what masters must consider, so they are not always informed.
C. This is a basic aspect of employer-employee that Jesus presumed in His instruction.
But I have called you friends.
A. He had just called them friends, and it was a transitional moment of sorts with them.
B. His use of this new title, friends, was not lightly or emotionally made, but intentionally.
For all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
A. He had taught them, especially as shown in this gospel account, His full divine mission.
B. There are many references to the Father being with Him in His life, words, and works.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.
A. Right in the middle of His exhortation about love for their ministries comes a reminder.
B. What glorious words to remind them of their great privilege and also the responsibility.
C. The context here limits these words to their ministries rather than the gift of eternal life.
1. We must always be faithful to context rather than foolishly grab enticing sound bites.
2. Compare John 17:9, where many novices have argued for the doctrine of election.
3. Jesus had before indicated His choice of twelve included a devil (John 6:70; 13:18).
4. He would again almost immediately refer to His choice of the eleven (John 15:19).
D. You are not a Christian by your choice, so forget your propensity for self-government.
1. You are not a member here by your choice but by His good pleasure (I Cor 12:18).
2. Your born-again life and hope of eternal life are all from God, so you owe Him all!
And ordained you.
A. He had chosen twelve to be apostles, and then appointed and charged them to the work.
B. A man’s ordination is the formal and official appointment of him to his office and work.
C. Ordination is more than a job description – it includes the goals and priorities of the job.
1. Notice carefully Jesus identified three goals – fruit, retention, and power in prayer.
2. It is a shame that the ministry is referred to by many as the nonprofit profession.
3. Paul labored more than the other apostles, and he pressed Timothy (I Tim 4:13-16).
That ye should go and bring forth fruit.
A. Here the Lord repeated His directive for the apostles to bear fruit as earlier (Jn 15:1-8).
B. The apostles were to apply themselves by the grace and power of God for conversions.
C. Their greatest fruit was not the fruit of the Spirit but rather conversion of unbelievers.
1. Jesus had taught them about this fruit earlier by the woman of Samaria (Jn 4:32-42).
2. Fruit is also used to describe the changed lives by conversion (Phil 4:17; Col 1:6).
And that your fruit should remain.
A. Not only were they to convert men, but they were to so disciple them as to retain them.
B. We have not done our job saving souls, if we allow them slip away due to our neglect.
1. Paul wrote the Roman church about the fruit he desired among them (Rom 1:13).
2. It is not the seed that springs up, but rather the one that bears fruit (Luke 8:11-18).
3. Soul winning includes and emphasizes returning men to righteousness (Jas 5:19-20).
That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
A. Consider how this promise fits here – Jesus defined friendship as responding to requests.
1. He had just called them friends – a high honor – and here is further good proof of it.
2. He had chosen and ordained these eleven to be apostles, and God would help them.
3. They were to love each other as He had loved them, thus also responding to requests.
B. It is the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man that will be answered (James 5:16).
1. Jesus had given them commands here, and He summarized the love command again.
2. Effectual prayers of ministers – especially the apostles – had to have ministerial zeal.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
These things I command you.
A. Our Lord directed His apostles to their labors and offices with a strong charge to love.
1. He gave this command in the clearest of terms at the Last Supper (John 13:34-35).
2. He had just commanded it again in the strictest of terms in this lesson (John 15:12).
3. Now He summed up all the instruction about their love and unity as His command.
B. Brotherly love, even for apostles, including all that is intended, is the command of Jesus.
1. The strong emphasis and repeated charges to them for brotherly love are significant.
2. If you want to really know the Lord Jesus Christ then grasp His greatest command.
3. Christians and churches get very distracted by many inferior goals and priorities.
4. They make the Great Commission their mission statement rather than brotherly love.
C. What specifically were the things commanded? The things in the preceding context.
1. His previous exhortations to them led logically to the conclusion of brotherly love.
2. We could back up to their leaving Jerusalem (Jn 14:31; 15:1), but it is likely too far.
3. Grasp this section of reciprocal love and obedience with God and men (Jn 15:9-17).
4. Reciprocal love with Christ by obedience connects (Jn 15:9-12; I Jn 5:1-3; 4:20-21).
5. His command to love one another was to follow His example of loving them (12).
6. His example, as they would shortly learn very clearly, included dying for them (13).
7. His friendship with them depended on them keeping all His commandments (14).
8. He had chosen and ordained them to bring forth much fruit, requiring unity (16).
9. All of what He had taught combined to lead to and also to require mutual love (17).
10. John connected love of God and obedience with love of brethren (I John 5:1-3; 4:20).
That ye love one another.
A. He knew they had fleshly ambition and envy, which He had to correct (Matt 20:20-28).
1. Rightly understood, love would eliminate differences even on an individual basis.
2. Rightly understood, love would obligate sacrificial help for any apostle needing it.
3. Rightly understood, no apostle would envy or resent any other apostle for success.
4. Rightly understood, they could be an irresistible force to the world by the Spirit.
B. There is no better cure for sinful ambition and envy than to love perceived competitors.
1. There could easily have been great envy among the apostles, but we do not read it.
2. Peter had disgraced himself by three denials, but the ten submitted to his leadership.
3. Paul rebuked Peter publicly (Gal 2:11), but Peter wrote of him lovingly (II Pet 3:15).
4. Love is the bond of perfectness; it should create totally united churches (Phil 2:3-4).
C. Never forget – Love Is the Greatest … https://letgodbetrue.com/.
Whose love to continue in?
1. God and Jesus promised reciprocal love to those that would love Christ by obeying His commands.
2. This is one of the most glorious promises of the gospel to increase in fellowship with God and Christ.
3. An obedient and passionate Christian can be filled with all the fulness of God for great friendship.
Whose joy is it?
1. It is first Christ’s joy and delight in obedient Christians and then our own joy in delighting in Him.
2. God delights in His people, like He did David, for their obedience and passion toward His worship.
3. God did not adopt children to make them miserable – but rather the opposite, great joy now and later.
Do you sacrificially love?
1. Love is not merely in the heart, and it is not merely in word – it must be in deed and in truth to be true.
2. Jesus laid down His life for us, and true Christians find no difficulty giving their lives to serve brethren.
3. If your love does not cost you effort, emotion, money, and time, then it is not love like Jesus loved us.
What is His choice for you?
1. He chose you to be His child, and if you love Him, you will walk through this life as His dear child.
2. He has chosen you and ordained you to bring forth good works to display His glorious workmanship.
3. He has chosen you out of this world to be different and separate that He might dwell with you forever.
************** World Hates and Hurts True Disciples – Verses 18-25 *************
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If the world hate you.
A. This verse begins a distinct lesson and section that runs for eight verses (Jn 15:18-25).
1. Jesus had taught them to abide for fruitfulness (1-8) and obey for fellowship (9-17).
2. Note the severe change between 15:17 and 15:18 – from love to hate – a new section.
3. Jesus also knew the eleven would be hated, rejected, and persecuted by the world.
4. So this section is to encourage them about what was coming for when it did come.
5. The next chapter states the lesson was to keep them from being offended (16:1-4).
6. The lesson is summarized as enduring what was coming for the prize of patience.
7. Jesus’ wisdom to comfort and exhort so thoroughly is remarkable (Is 11:1-2; 50:4).
B. Jesus comforted and encouraged the apostles by at least ten great arguments to endure
1. The world hated me first, so find your fulfillment following your Lord and Master.
2. The ungodly world will hate you because you are no longer of their ungodly world.
3. Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, chose you out of the world for great kingdom work.
4. It is simple logic that if they persecuted the Master they will persecute His servants.
5. They rejected my perfect truth and wisdom, so they will also reject your preaching.
6. They will hate you for my name’s sake, so the hate is between them and me, not you.
7. Their hatred is not only against you, nor only against me, but against God Jehovah.
8. My preaching exposed their hypocrisy and sins, so they are full of hate and violence.
9. My works also exposed them: my miracles proved I had a divine mission from God.
10. I will fulfill scripture foretelling their hatred and violence against me without cause.
C. The issue here is not a possibility of the world hating the apostles, for it certainly would.
1. Jesus in the next verse confirmed that the world already hated the apostles and why.
2. As we have met with it before, Jesus sometimes reasoned subjunctively for its effect.
3. The apostles were treated like filth and the offscouring of all things (I Cor 4:9-13).
4. Though they were the wisest and most powerful men the world had ever witnessed.
5. They were beaten in a day or two of first preaching and Stephen killed within weeks.
D. The world of the ungodly is as much a world in Jesus’ and John’s usage as elect world.
1. World. The inhabitants of the earth, or a section of them. Usually qualified: A particular division, section, or generation of the earth’s inhabitants or human society.
2. John used world with wide latitude, at times intending the opposite of other uses.
3. Jewish rulers were His chief enemies, but they said the world had believed (12:19).
4. Many examples could be raised to show a limited use of world (Lu 2:1; Rom 11:12).
5. The world mostly intended here is the various rulers and factions of the Jewish state.
6. It included unbelievers of Jews and Gentiles, for all hate truth (Ro 1:18-32; 2:1-24).
7. Jesus and His gospel are opposed to the world and vice versa (Jas 4:4; I Jn 2:15-17).
E. Hate is a very strong emotion. The world says it hates hate, except for hating Christians.
1. What pagans and the RCC and daughters have done to Christians is beyond words.
2. Paul hinted at such atrocities when closing out his Hall of Faith (Heb 11:35-38).
3. When, not if, America has hate legislation, it will allow hatred of Bible Christians.
4. When, not if, America has hate legislation, it will often punish Christians hating sin.
5. The violence against Jesus – a perfect Man that did great good – is hard to grasp.
6. When Jesus prayed to the Father, He told Him that the world hated them (Jn 17:14).
7. Like Cain, and from Satan, hatred leads to all lying slanders and torturous deaths.
8. You must never allow it to rise in your heart for a brother or any without just cause.
F. Let us embrace their hatred of us, as Jesus taught (Mat 5:10-12; Luke 6:26; II Tim 3:12).
1. Paul foretold the vicious perversity of effeminate Christians against us (II Tim 3:3).
2. The apostles should have been encouraged by the Lord’s arguments, let us stand up.
3. They will slander, hurt, and kill us (if they could) in the name of their Jesus (Jn 16:2).
4. If or when persecution comes, let us embrace the fact we are now more like our Lord.
Ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
A. Jesus advised them – when you feel their wrath, remember back to how they hated me.
1. The apostles saw the Jews irrational hatred of Jesus many times (John 5:16-18; etc.).
2. Jesus had told His earthly brothers that the world hated Him well before this (Jn 7:7)
3. The main issue at stake must be retained – their hate was by the devil (Jn 8:37-45).
B. The comfort was in the fact the eleven were abused like their Lord (Phil 3:10; Col 1:24).
1. When we perceive persecution rightly, we should rejoice at any similarity to Jesus.
2. Persecution is evidence of heaven and judgment of them (II Thes 1:4-6; Phil 1:28).
3. Let us make sure our persecution is due to His gospel and not faults or sins of ours.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
If ye were of the world.
A. Jesus comforted them – the world hates you because you are not part of the world. Joy!
1. The world is the domain, lifestyle, and philosophy of the devil and all wicked men.
2. We do not want to be part of the world – we hate the world and its ways (James 4:4).
3. The world has nothing to offer that has not been exposed as perverse (I Jn 2:15-17).
4. The world’s ideas are a sure standard of what is wrong – reject it (Luke 16:15; 6:26).
5. The best candidate for office is the one the educators, entertainers, and media hate.
B. When Christians are persecuted, if they submit to worldly sinfulness, persecution stops.
1. The world must get everyone to think, talk, and act the same to justify their lusts.
2. They hate private and home schools, for children grow up without their evil agenda.
3. Therefore, they try to make inroads via entertainment that similarly corrupts morals.
4. Therefore, they try to force their scope and sequence for education on all teaching.
C. God chose us out of this world, which should thrill us, and its reward (II Cor 6:14-18).
1. Noah was chosen out of this world, and look what happened to all the world’s fools.
2. Israel was chosen as God’s nation, and look what happened to any enemy nation.
3. While Paul was in a Rome rental house, God killed 1.1 million Jews in Jerusalem.
4. The more you hate the world, the more you love God, for they are fully antithetical.
5. The more you befriend the world, the more you hate God, and God hates you as well.
The world would love his own.
A. The ungodly and wicked world around us loves anyone that will approve of their sins.
B. There is a separation between Christians and the world that must not be compromised.
1. Let us commend various Dutch Reformed groups for their excellent, The Antithesis.
2. There is absolutely no difference today than between the first born – Cain and Abel.
3. True Christians hate sin and sinners, and worldlings hate Christians (Prov 29:10,27).
But because ye are not of the world.
A. The reasoning is simple – the world loves it own and hates all those not agreeable to it.
B. Birds of a feather flock together, but those birds will destroy those leaving or opposing.
C. This world is going to the hell of hells, and it behooves us to hate it as it hates Christians.
D. Are you different enough in character, philosophy, speech, and lifestyle to irritate them?
But I have chosen you out of the world.
A. The reason the apostles were not of the world was by electing grace and ministry grace.
B. We must see both, because the latter would have no effect without the former. Glory!
C. The point – giving the third comfort/exhortation is that Jesus made the choice, not them.
Therefore the world hateth you.
A. Men, the reason the world hates you now and will hate you later – you are not of them.
B. When understood correctly, this is great comfort, for wise men want to be very different.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Remember the word that I said unto you.
A. This is an important point – when God reveals truth and teaches us – do not forget it.
1. There is value in all doctrine and revealed wisdom as long as you do not forget it.
2. Solomon warned often against forgetting truth (Prov 3:1,21; 4:4-6,13,21; 6:20; 7:1).
B. The Bible is full of comfort, but if you forget it, then you are vulnerable to destruction.
1. James warned that you should know the nature and benefit of trials (James 1:2-4).
2. James warned that you should know that befriending the world opposes God (Ja 4:4).
3. Peter warned you should know that no isolated scripture can teach error (II Pet 1:20).
4. Paul stressed retention (Rom 6:3,16; I Cor 3:16; 5:6; 6:2-3,9,15,16,19; 9:13,24; etc.).
C. Jesus taught them this rule, which they should have applied (Matt 10:21-25; Jn 13:16).
The servant is not greater than his lord.
A. This is the simplest logical argument – arguing from the greater to the lesser. Grasp it.
1. If a rule applies to a more valuable thing (a related thing), then it applies to the lesser.
2. To illustrate the logical rule, how did Paul end Corinth’s lawsuits (I Cor 6:1-5)?
B. Are you aware that the Bible expects you to think logically and rationally about truth?
1. The Bible is logical; God is infinitely logical; salvation is logical; wisdom is logical.
2. A sermon (PP), The Logic of Faith … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2010/the-logic-of-faith/.
3. Catholics and other false religions are illogical – denying reason and our experience.
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
A. Here is the logical argument – since masters are greater, they will surely persecute you.
B. I am the Lord of glory; they have no compunction about hating me – they will hate you.
If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
A. Here is the logical argument – since masters are greater, they will reject your preaching.
B. I am the Lord of glory; they have no heart/mind for my preaching – they will hate yours.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake.
A. Here is another argument of comfort for the apostles – all the pain will be due to me.
1. They should not take it personally, for it was truly due to the Person they preached.
2. If they were to deny Jesus, as Paul was pressed by the Jews, all could be peachy.
B. The three things listed so far in this short lesson are hatred, persecution, and rejection.
Because they know not him that sent me.
A. Here is another rule for comfort though partially related to the one before it in this verse.
B. Men, the Jews and the world will hate, persecute, and reject you because they hate God.
1. The reason Jesus Christ was so offensive to the world was their hatred of Jehovah.
2. The ministry of the apostles could be traced back to Jesus and then to Almighty God.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
If I had not come and spoken unto them.
A. Here is another argument – clap for the wisdom of Jesus Christ to build a glorious case.
B. The Jews and world hate me and will hate you for exposing their religious hypocrisy.
1. The rulers of the Jews had it made – take the tithes and divorce for only burnt toast.
2. Jesus used much of His ministry to condemn the hypocrisy of the Jewish leadership.
They had not had sin.
A. Rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim 2:15) – of course the Jews had sin before Jesus.
B. Their sins would not have been exposed to their own consciences and the whole nation.
C. Paul used this same kind of language to say he had no sin before the law (Rom 7:7-13)
But now they have no cloke for their sin.
A. The Jews could no longer hide their sin (as under a cloak) due to Jesus exposing them.
B. He had blasted them and exposed their hypocrisy, and men marveled (Matt 7:28-29).
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
He that hateth me.
A. Men, let me repeat. The Jews and the world do not hate just me – they are God haters.
B. You know Jehovah. You know Almighty God. Truly, the world rebelliously hates Him.
Hateth my Father also.
A. The wicked men, Jews and Gentiles alike, will abuse you due to their hatred of Jehovah.
B. Do not take it personally, as I do not take it personally – they are depraved God-haters.
C. You know the outcome, for you know the scriptures of world history (Pr 11:21; 16:5).
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did.
A. It was more than preaching that exposed their wicked hypocrisy; it was also my works.
B. My works went far beyond anything contemporaneous or historical by any prophet.
1. The quantity and quality of my miracles were clearly evidence of a divine mission.
2. I did not have to pray for a miracle like other prophets before me; I simply did them.
They had not had sin.
A. Rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim 2:15) – of course the Jews had sin before Jesus.
B. Their sins would not have been exposed to their own consciences and the whole nation.
C. Paul used this same kind of language to say he had no sin before the law (Rom 7:7-13)
But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
A. The Jews fully know that only God could give the power for such miracles (John 3:2).
B. Thus, they know I am of God, but my life and doctrine cause them to hate both of us.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
But this cometh to pass.
A. What I have told you will happen is not an accident, surprise, or chance event with God.
1. There is no surprise to Jehovah, and there should be little surprise to us knowing it.
2. The turn of events in your life, even if you have a role, is by His total control of all.
B. It is crucial to always remember the sovereignty of God in all matters of providence.
1. Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
2. Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6)
3. Sermons, Dominion of God … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2007/dominion-of-god/.
That the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law.
A. The Jewish hatred of me and what they will shortly do to me was prophesied long ago.
1. If events are prophesied, no matter how bad, we may know God is in total control.
2. Jesus gave a rule of prophesied events for comfort and faith (Jn 13:19; 14:29; 16:4).
3. It was written in God’s word, thus it was also written in their law they wore in public.
4. Fulfilled prophecy is a wonderful thing to comfort us and to confirm God’s word.
5. Fulfilled Prophecy … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2010/glory-of-fulfilled-prophecy/.
B. There are prophecies about the world hating and persecuting us as well. Take courage!
1. When there are prophecies of circumstances we can presently see, it is our blessing.
2. God has identified the events He will bring to pass, and He has chosen us for them.
3. The perilous times are a fantastic prophesy, but God chose us to oppose them. Glory!
4. Perilous Times prophecy … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2000/perilous-times/.
They hated me without a cause.
A. David made this glorious prophecy, and it is applied to Jesus (Ps 69:4 cp Jn 2:27; 19:28).
1. David had enemies that hated him without any cause, but Jesus endured much more.
2. Psalm 69 is a wonderful Messianic Psalm that deserves attention for its prophecies.
3. For much more about Messianic Psalms … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/messianic-psalms/.
B. Isaiah explained Jesus was taken from judgment without violence or deceit (Is 53:8).
C. If you do not love the Lord Jesus Christ – He is altogether lovely – you die (I Cor 16:22).
How are you not of the world?
1. If you are saved, if you think you are going to heaven, you are not of this world; how do you show it?
2. We are warned strictly in the N.T. to be separate from the world (II Co 6:14-18; Jas 4:4; I Jn 2:15-17).
3. How much has the world’s philosophy and lifestyle affected your thinking, your speech, and actions?
4. We should condemn the world by our speech and actions to be like Noah before the great day of fire.
Do you expose the sins of the world?
1. A godly, Biblical life is a wonderful, God-ordained way by which you can expose the world (Pr 28:4).
2. Salvation should result in a changed life that reproves the world of their wickedness (Eph 5:8-17).
3. We must live in the world, but we are not of the world, and we should take the high road above them.
4. You need not preach, leave tracts, or argue; does your life condemn them by its love, joy, peace, etc.?
Is their hatred without cause?
1. Do you have enemies? The word of God here and elsewhere says you should have them (II Tim 3:12).
2. Are your enemies due to your godly lifestyle? Because any other reason is your sin (I Pe 4:1-5,12-16).
3. Is their hatred with cause? You should live to be perfectly innocent (I Pet 2:11-12; Acts 24:13; 25:7).
4. If you have anything in your life that justifies persecution, you deserve it and more. Be like our Lord.
**************** Jesus Promised Holy Spirit Power – Verses 26-27 **************
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
But when the Comforter is come.
A. Jesus had promised this Comforter earlier as the Holy Ghost of God (John 14:16,26).
B. He confirmed again that what He intended by Comforter was the Spirit of truth (15:26)
C. Why did Jesus insert here another repetition of His repeated promise of the Holy Ghost?
1. His lesson at hand to the eleven was coming persecution (John 15:18-25; 16:1-4).
2. Promise of the Spirit had been made and would be so again (Jn 14:15-26; 16:7-15).
3. Jesus had just listed the Jews’ rejection of His word and His miracles (Jn 15:22-25).
4. The reason the apostles would be persecuted was their testimony of Jesus Christ.
5. They would not be alone in recall or declaration – they would have Spirit power.
6. Delight of the apostles and damnation of the Jews was truth about Jesus by the Spirit.
7. The apostles were special men to be eyewitnesses of Him Whom the Jews hated.
8. They shortly commenced ministries to reprove the world by the Spirit (Jn 16:8-11).
9. While empowering their hate-inducing ministries, He was also the great Comforter.
10. These men after receiving the Holy Ghost were fearless and suffered and died gladly.
D. The apostles’ testimony of Jesus would be the last straw before He destroyed Jerusalem.
1. Jesus had foretold this order of events carefully to the Jews (Matthew 23:29-38).
2. He then told His apostles the great tribulation coming on the Jews (Matt 24:1-39).
3. When they had preached in all the world, then the end would come (Matt 24:14).
4. Peter and Paul warned that generation of coming wrath (Ac 2:20,40; I The 2:14-16).
5. For glorious details of 70 A.D. … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2005/witness-of-70-ad/.
Whom I will send unto you from the Father.
A. This promise by our Lord fulfilled O.T. prophecy and was the great event of Pentecost.
B. Jesus won this great gift from God by His death and resurrection to give to the church.
C. He had promised this gift earlier and was now explaining it to the apostles (Jn 7:37-39).
Even the Spirit of truth.
A. Why did the world hate Jesus and kill Him without a cause? Because He told the truth.
1. He directly condemned the Jews for their devilish hatred of His truth (John 8:40-45).
2. It was His truth, confirmed by miracles, that exposed their hypocrisy (Jn 15:22-25).
3. Most Christians today hate Bible truth and have chosen fables instead (II Ti 4:3-4).
B. The Spirit that God would send through Jesus to the apostles was the Spirit of truth.
1. He would empower them, give them recall, and inspire them to bear witness of Jesus.
2. They had personal knowledge of Jesus, but they would also have supernatural power.
3. They would reprove the world, either Jew or Gentile, of hypocrisy, sin, and unbelief.
Which proceedeth from the Father.
A. These words do not have anything at all in any respect whatsoever to eternal procession.
1. The Nicene Creed, by groupies of Origen and stooges of Constantine, invented this damnable heresy to fit the square truth of scripture into the round hole of Gnosticism.
2. They made the Word of God a begotten god; they made the Spirit a proceeding god.
3. They claim their formula defines and defends the Trinity, but it rather destroys it.
4. The Word and the Spirit are equally God in every respect as the Father was or is.
5. If you are not familiar with the RCC heresy … https://ccel.org/creeds/nicene.creed.html.
6. If you are not familiar with the RCC heresy … https://reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/.
7. If you are not familiar with the heresy … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2003/the-sonship-of-jesus-christ/.
8. You may find the Westminster Confession of heresy in the Trinity Hymnal (#850).
9. The 1689 Baptists copied the Westminster, but they pulled eternal from proceeding!
B. The Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father only in the plan of salvation for human grasp.
1. Jesus Christ as Redeemer received the gift of God’s personal presence for the church.
2. This promised gift was given by the Father to Christ, Who in turn gave it to men.
3. The Bible is clear about this procession (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:33; John 14:16-17,26-27; 15:26-27; 16:7; Acts 1:4-5,8; 8:14-19; 10:43-48; 11:15-18; 15:7-9; 19:1-16; Luke 24:49; Joel 2:28-29; Zechariah 12:10; Galatians 3:14; Rom 8:14-17,23; etc.).
4. What is the Gift of the Holy Ghost? … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2017/gift-of-the-holy-ghost/.
He shall testify of me.
A. The promise and prophecy about the Holy Spirit was to declare truth about Jesus Christ.
B. How would the Holy Spirit testify of Jesus? External, internal, apostolic, or the Bible?
1. He testified externally by apostles (Luke 21:12-15; Acts 1:8; 2:4; I Cor 12:3,7-11).
2. He testified externally by miracles (Acts 4:29-31; Romans 15:18-19; Heb 2:3-4).
3. He testified internally to believers (Romans 5:5; 8:14-17,23; Eph 1:13-14; 3:14-19).
4. He testified internally by confirmation (I Jn 2:20-27; 3:24; 4:13; 5:6-8; Jn 14:20-26).
5. He testified by empowering/inspiring the apostles (Mark 16:14-20; Acts 15:22-29).
6. He testified by inspiring the scriptures (II Peter 1:19-21; II Tim 3:16-17; Rev 19:10).
C. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ; He does not testify of Himself as Charismatics.
1. Charismatics and Pentecostals yuck it up about the anointing they presume to have.
2. They would do much more than blaspheme by repetitive and trite usage of “Jesus.”
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
And ye also shall bear witness.
A. The apostles, the eleven here, would also bear witness of Jesus Christ in their own way.
B. While we need not separate Holy Spirit witness and apostolic witness, we see the also.
1. The apostles in their own experience could testify with anecdotal evidence of Jesus.
2. They used it from time to time to confirm His resurrection (Acts 1:3; 10:41; 13:31).
Because ye have been with me from the beginning.
A. The apostles were special as male eyewitnesses of the life and resurrection of the Lord.
B. This was the basic and most crucial aspect of being an apostle – an eyewitness of Him.
1. The replacement for Judas Iscariot had to meet this strict criterion (Acts 1:15-26).
2. The apostle Paul met this strict criterion (I Cor 9:1; 15:7-10; Acts 22:14-16; 26:16).
C. The basis for Christianity is great – eyewitnesses of resurrection without counter proof.
Do you have the identified testimony of the Spirit in you?
A. If a person is truly saved, they have an internal witness by the Spirit of God’s love (Ro 5:5; 8:15-16).
B. If a person is truly saved, they have the power to live a fruitful and productive life as a true Christian.
C. Are you confident of eternal life and have the evidence and assurance of it by Spirit-produced fruit?
Do you bear witness of Jesus to others?
A. Do you desire to speak about Jesus Christ to others or are you ruled by this life like a belly worshipper?
B. Do you have experience with Him and knowledge about Him that you gladly want to tell others about?
C. Is there anything more important in your heart and mind to share with others than Jesus of Nazareth?