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Sunday School Lesson - March 7, 2021
"The Nature of God"
God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Rev. Robby Gallaty wrote our lesson for today. It comes from the book of John. The Reverend starts out talking about the Trinity and how difficult it is to have complete understanding of how the "Lord God Almighty! God in three persons, blessed Trinity" can be one. I have heard a lot of explanations, "there are three joints in a finger", "mix blue, red, and yellow paint and you get brown," "how the stem from poison ivy develops three leaves," etc. The author also gives one about "Saint Paddy" when he went to Ireland and how the people there were having trouble understanding the Trinity. He reached down and picked up a clover from the ground. He explained how the clover had three distinct leaves, but it was just one plant. Now I am afraid if you are looking for a jug head like me to give you a better definitive answer you are out of luck. I just know that the Trinity refers to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and they are not three Gods, but only one God. He has always existed since before the beginning of time and will always exist - eternally. He has created everything including you and me. He controls everything. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is worthy to be worshiped.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient us: Philip had seen, witnessed and experienced much in following Jesus, but had not yet seen God the Father with his physical eyes. Did he have to see the Father in order to believe Jesus was the Son of God? None of the other eleven apostles felt that way, or at least expressed it. Who knows what was going through Phillips mind? Maybe he thought that such an experience would bring life-changing assurance and courage. It seems that Philip was slow in comprehending the truth of God in Jesus Christ; but his limitation was that of all men. Moreover, he did not have the advantage possessed by those who view the events of Jesus' ministry in the light of history. Today people would probably say Phillip was from Missouri, the "show me state."
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Something in the mind of Phillip made him reluctant to accept the concept and evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was actually Almighty God in human form. The concept in itself is mind boggling. Phillip had seen the miracles. He had witnessed Jesus bring people back to life and yet he felt like he had to see the father to believe in what Jesus had told him.
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ... Could Jesus have stated the fact of his deity any more clearly than here? All that he had said of himself as the door, the good shepherd, the living water, the Son of God, the Son of man, the light of the world, the bread of life, the way, the truth, and the life coupled with his mighty works and miracles - all of this had still left Philip unable to take the great step of faith in Jesus as God; and there seems to be in the Savior's words here an element of wonder that Philip had somehow failed to take it in.
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Jesus just flat out asked Phillip if he believed Jesus was who he said he was. "Phillip, don't you believe that I abide in the Father and the Father abides in me?" I am not sure abide is a strong enough word. It's as if Jesus is a part of God and God is a part of Jesus This was for Philip's benefit. I don't know what Phillip was thinking, but he must have believed what Jesus was saying. We often say something sometimes without thinking. I know I do this sometimes myself and it just comes out the wrong way. Jesus went on to say that He did not do the wonderful miracles him all by himself, but God the Father did the works through him.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
Jesus repeats himself in verse 11 to emphasize the relationship between Him and God the Father. Now Jesus is again telling Phillip and the rest of the disciples that He abides in God and God abides in him. If they have any doubts about this, just look at the miracles Jesus has performed. No one short of God could have done them.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
And I will pray the Father, Here Christ speaks as Mediator between God the Father and the 11 Apostles. He promises his disciples, that he would intercede for them with God the Father. This is as an encouragement to them. They were to ask the Lord for what they wanted or needed, in the name of Jesus. They were really troubled at the news of the departure of their leader and he wanted to comfort them. They really loved Jesus and did not want to lose him. He was the reason for their being together. Like a human leader, he was the common thread that held them together. They believed in him and now they felt like they were being abandoned.
and he shall give you another Comforter.
We see that we have the Son of God praying to his Father to send the Holy Spirit down to comfort the apostles and all believers. This is the Holy Trinity at work. Jesus had been a comforter to the apostles for three years. Now he would not be physically around them anymore. The Holy Spirit is another Comforter completely different, but also the same as
Jesus. The Holy Spirit takes the things of Jesus and imbibes Himself into the lives of the Apostles and anyone else who is a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus left the Apostles, but he left a replacement. That replacement was sent here to direct the Apostles and the lives of all believers in a Godly manner. If you are a true believer, the Holy Spirit also will talk to you and guide your life. When you are about to intentionally do wrong, the Spirit will shout at you. The message may not be in English, but you will feel the message in your heart and soul. If you don't get the message, you might want to examine your relationship with God.
that he may abide with you for ever:
The Holy spirit will enter your life whenever you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior for as long as you live; and unto the end of the world. The Holy Spirit will not only direct your life in a Godly fashion, but he will also comfort you when you undergo the loss of a loved one, and just face disappointment in your daily life or even in the life to come. Jesus said the Spirit would "abide with you forever."
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Even the Spirit of truth, or the Holy Spirit who leads men and women into the truths of the Gospel into understanding and obedience to God's Word. He gives boldness unto testifying and confession of sins'
whom the world cannot receive; The natural man who has not obtained salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can not understand the truth of the Gospel which is led by the Holy Spirit. Because they have no understanding of the Bible or God's love, they have no affection towards them. because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; because the Holy Ghost is a spirit, lost men and women can not see him, feel him, nor know him. They have no spiritual discerning.
But ye know him; for he dwelleth with you; when you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. He gives you guidance in everything you do. When you do something against God's will, the Holy Spirit will let you know you have done wrong. You need to make whatever you did right and ask forgiveness from the Father though the name of Jesus Christ. He will also let you know if you are about to do something spiritually wrong. Listen to him. Do not go against His will. If you do sin anyway, your conscience will bother you until you make it right with the person you sinned against and the Lord. Even if you make it right, there will always be a scar in your heart.
and shall be in you; When Jesus Christ comes into your heart, He will be there forever. You may sometimes stray off the path of righteousness, but the Holy Spirit will still be there giving you love and correction.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
I will not leave you comfortless The Holy Spirit came into the Apostles shortly after the death of Jesus. So when the life of Jesus was drained from him at Calvary, His Spirit came into the lives of his disciples forty days later. The power of the Holy Spirit was shown in Acts when the Spirit showed up during Pentecost. Peter boldly preached the Gospel and over three thousand lives became believers.
I will come to you; And he did! Three days after Jesus died, He arose from the dead and walked, talked, ate, and had fellowship with His disciples.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; Jesus was seen walking and talking with many people after his death and resurrection, but it wouldn't be long before He had to go back to Heaven. He would shortly ascend to His Heavenly home. Then the world will not physically see him again until his second coming.
but ye see me; now, and shall see me after my resurrection; and they did. After his suffering death, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive .He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).
Because I live, ye shall live also: What a remarkable statement! Just let that sink in for a moment. Jesus is saying that he will live forever into eternity. Those people who place their faith in this son of man and Son of God, will also live forever into eternity. We did not earn this benefit, no matter what good and great deeds we do on this earth, we are still sinners and do not deserve it. The only thing we have to do to live eternally is believe and have faith in this Jesus and the grace of God will fall upon us. We will live with Him forevermore in heaven. In a sense, death is a blessing. Our time on this earth is limited. If you live to be an old man or woman or die as a young person, you are still going to die. If you live to be an old person, your body will start failing you. It will take on more aches and pains. You will become weaker as the days and years wear on. But whether you are young or old when you die, if you have placed your faith in Jesus, you will receive a new eternal body. This is a body that will never wear out and will last forever more. You will be with Jesus! If your family and friends have placed their faith in Jesus, they will be there with you too! What a blessing!
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father; Jesus abides in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and They abide in Jesus. They share the same nature, the same perfections, the same glory and He is equal to Them. They are equal parts of the Trinity:
and you in me: The disciples abided in Jesus just as the branches in the vine we talked about last week, and as body parts or (church) members are to his head. They were loved by him, chosen by him, righteous by him, will be risen by him, and made to sit together in heavenly places with him:
and I in you; He was in their hearts and abided in them. Their bodies would also become temples for the Holy Spirit. He would be living in them, dwelling in them and filling them with grace and glory. The union between the Father and Christ, and between Christ and his people and the Holy Spirit, shall also be an eternal relationship.
23 Jesus Answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him , and make our abode with him.
Judas (NOT Judas Iscariot) had asked Jesus a question in verse 22, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?"
Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words; - by his "words" He means His ordinances and his commandments, ( John 14:21 ) , which are observed by those who truly love him. and my Father will love him: God from all eternity; has loved His creation man. He became angry at Adam and Eve because of their disobedience. Like a father in today's world gets angry because of disobedience from his own children. But he still loves them. Also, like an earthly father, God never stopped loving his children. The Lord had to discipline his children, just like the earthly father disciplines his own. When a child gives obedience to his parents he is showing love towards them, that child is often given a reward. It's the same thing with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Show them (Him) your love through your obedience and He will reciprocate. In this life and the one to come.
and we will come unto him: I (Jesus) am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, will each come unto him; not locally and visibly, but spiritually and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints (believers) are the dwelling places or temples for the living God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This may not be always discerned by believers. However, it is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: These words may have respect to the profane world, who, have no affection for Jesus. They pay no attention and have no regard to any orders or ordinances of His. The Father also takes a lot of notice of this, and the word which ye hear, is not mine, but the Father's which sent me: that is, it is not only my word, but my Father's also. These sayings are not mine as a man. The Word which you hear is not a scheme of things of my own. The Word is not from earth, but from heaven. My Father has a vested interest in it. He judges those who hear, receive, and keep the Word and those who don't. Jesus said this to gain a greater regard and attention to his word, his truths, and ordinances. By the Word his disciples were to expose the sin of those who despised and rejected them. Rejection of the Word was not only casting contempt on him, but on his Father also.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
These things have I spoken unto you, Jesus told his disciples many things concerning his Father, and his Father's house. These things had to do with subjects concerning his being in the Father, and the Father in him and things about keeping his commandments, and the advantages and benefits of following them: being, yet present with you; Jesus is telling his disciples that He would not be present with them much longer. While he was present with them, he wanted to tell them of things in a brief concise manner, which might be of future use and instruction to them.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, The word Comforter used here, signifies an "advocate," a patron, who pleads and defends, the cause of another. This might be before kings and princes or wayfaring strangers and beggars.. This help is from the Spirit of God, who
assists apostles in speaking and witnessing to all people for Christ's sake. They would so thoroughly plead his cause so as to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. It also signifies a "comforter," and this was also what the apostles needed. The Comforter is explained to be the Holy Ghost; which may be a more clear and explicit account of him. The term Holy Ghost very distinctly points out the third person in the Trinity, who is Holy, and equal with the Father and the Son. The Comforter gives assistance in the form of tranquility and peace to believers in time of need..
whom the Father will send in my name. The mission of the Spirit is here ascribed to the Father, but not to the exclusion of the Son, who is also said to send him. He speaks of his being sent, "in his name;" that is, at his request, through his mediation and intercession. This does not imply inferiority in him to the other two persons of the Trinity, since he who is sent by Christ, and in his name, is also the sender of Christ; but it denotes the joint consent and agreement of Father, Son, and Spirit, in this affair:
he shall teach you all things: this is the proper work and business of the Spirit, to teach, interpret, and explain all things which Christ had said to them; to make them more plain and easy to their understand; to instruct them in all things necessary to salvation, and to be known by them, that they might teach others:
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you. which through inattention, or want of understanding in them, had slipped their minds, or even forgotten by them. This accounts for how the Apostles some years after the death of Christ; at different times and places, and without consulting each other, could write about the life, actions, sayings, and sermons of Christ, with all the minute circumstances attending them.
Parts of this lesson were taken from:
The Holy Bible, King James version, World Bible Publishers , Iowa Falls, Iowa, Old Testament, John 14:8-11,16-20,23-26.
The Wycliff Bible Commentary. The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago,1968,
John 14:8-26, pg.1104-1106.
LifeWay, Bible Studies for Life, Personal Study Guide, Spring 2021, "The Nature of God" Robby Gallaty, pg.15-23
With written records dating back to 1904, it is safe to say that this church has been a spiritual influence in this area for over 100 years. The church has experienced a lot of the blessings of the Lord over this long period of time and is still being blessed.
Through it's youth ministry and it's senior citizen ministry, the church hopes to minister to people of all age brackets.
Not only does the church have a desire to be a spiritual influence in this area, but also through our prayers and financial support of missions, we hope to help carry out the great commission of getting the Gospel to all the people of the world.