Believe and Obey

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A Promise Kept

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A Gift Not an Order

The text for this week is John 14: 15-21.  In this passage we hear Jesus promising the arrival of the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate, our helper.  This helper will possess the Spirit of truth, that those who believe will receive.  Jesus makes the clear statement that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments and the key new commandment was laid out two chapters back at the Last Supper; love one another, the way God loves you.  In short, Jesus has given us a gift, not a rulebook or set of orders.  The gift is His love and redemption, which we are to pass on to all those God puts in our life.

This is truly comforting news.  Jesus will not, as He says, leave us orphaned.  The world will no longer see Him, but we will because we believe.  This is the gift of God’s love and saving grace that Jesus freely offers the world, and the deeper meaning of this gift to those who accept it.

Did Jesus Just Sneak Some Theology in Here?

Contained in this short passage is the outline of a serious theological point.  Not a complicated one, but an extremely important one.  Jesus makes the claim that even though the world does not know the Father, we do because we know Jesus and believe in Him as God’s son.  More than that, because of this belief, Jesus abides with us and “he will be in you” (Verse 17).

What this means is that if we believe that God’s word is true, the resurrection is real, and that Jesus Christ is Lord, then Christ abides in us.  Christ Himself will dwell within us.  Christ is the righteousness of God, and by dwelling within us we are made righteous before God.  There is nothing we need to do, we simply be…lieve, and are so saved.  Verse 20 is a wonderful summary of this point, “ On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”.  Those who love God have Christ dwelling within them and they will then go and act as God would wish them to; loving one another.

So, the theological point is that there is no button to push, there is no Jesus to manipulate, there is no separation between Jesus and God’s righteousness.  Jesus and the Father are one in being with each other.  To believe in Jesus is to have Him dwelling within your heart and be reconciled with the Father.  Amazingly Good News.  This is one powerful theological punch in just 7 verses.  Ours is to simply believe it, then go out and obey.

Praise Be to God

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