God's Eternal Presence

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:10:11
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Jesus was leaving his disciples.

“If you love me, keep my commands.” – Jesus instructs us to increase in love and good works after we have come to faith in him.

“The world cannot accept him” – Those who do not believe have not seen God with the spiritual eyes of faith, therefore, cannot know God. Where there are glimpses of him, clarity is needed by witness by the word of faith of others.
“the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.” – Because Jesus ascended, people will not see him again with physical eyes, but those with spiritual eyes will see him forever.
“little while” during which the world will not see Jesus (v. 19; cf. 7:33; 12:35; 13:33; 14:28; 16:16, 17, 18, 19) is the brief separation that his crucifixion and death will bring.

Why the need for the other Counselor? Jesus’ absence, evidently.

The Johannine knowledge or sight of Jesus is that of faith, not of the senses.
Love issues in obedience. The converse, “he who keeps my commandments loves me,” is found at v. 21 (the love then fulfilling itself in knowledge, 1 Jn. 2:3).
For the verb ἀγαπᾶν, [agapeo] as used in Jn. of the love of His disciples for Jesus, see on 3:16.
The phrase [keep the commands] is thoroughly Johannine (cf. 15:10, 1 Jn. 2:3, 4, 3:22, 24, 5:2, 3). It is the phrase used for “keeping” the Ten Commandments (cf. Mt. 19:17, 1 Cor. 7:19); and that the precept “keep my commandments” should be placed in the mouth of Jesus is significant of His claim to be equal with God (cf. 13:34).
He has just spoken of Himself (vv. 13, 14) as discharging in the future the functions of an advocate or Helper and Friend at the court of heaven, in that it is He who will cause to be fulfilled the prayers which are addressed to the Father.
With the sharp contrast between the “world” and the “disciples” in regard to their faculty of spiritual perception, cf. 1 Cor. 2:14. That gift could be received only by spiritually minded men.
The only kind of vision that the “world” has is physical, and with this the Spirit cannot be perceived. Observe that it is not said that the disciples could thus (θεωροῦσι) behold the Spirit.
It is the fuller revelation of Christ which will be made through the Spirit’s illumination: cf. 16:14
Disciples are not “of the world” (15:19): they can, and will, recognize the workings of the Spirit, as they have in some measure recognized Christ for what He was (cf. v. 9).
First it is said that the Spirit of Truth abides μετὰ ὑμῶν, then παρʼ ὑμῖν, and finally ἐν ὑμῖν, the last phrase signifying the indwelling of the Spirit in the individual disciple (Rom. 8:9, 1 Jn. 2:27, 2 Jn. 2), while the other phrases (the former of which occurs also in 2 Jn. 2) lay the emphasis on the fellowship of the Spirit with the disciples collectively, that is, with the Church (2 Cor. 13:14).
“I am coming to you,” after His Resurrection, when the Spirit will be imparted (20:22).
Jesus will have been removed from the world’s sight after His Passion.
He had led them on step by step, in the endeavour to make them understand that it was better for them that He should be removed from their bodily eyes (16:7), and that He would be present with them spiritually. And, at last, He assures them—so intimate and vital will His presence be—“you shall perceive me”
“you will know that I am in my Father” At v. 10, Jesus had indicated that the disciples ought to have reached as far as faith in His ineffable union with the Father; but He now promises that they shall know it, and recognise it as true, when the illumination of the Spirit has been granted to their minds.
the assurance that they might indeed reckon themselves as “in Him” could not be complete until the realisation that they shared His Life (v. 19) was confirmed by the Spirit’s internal witness. This assurance is the highest point in Christian experience.
The teaching of v. 21 is for all future believers. Not only for the apostles, but for every disciple, the sequence of spiritual experience is Obedience, Love, Life, Vision.
to have [the Lord’s commands] in one’s heart, to know them and apprehend their meaning; but τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς is to keep them, which is a harder thing. it is said that love issues in obedience; here the point is, that obedience is the proof of love.
But, my Lord, I want the original promise still; the original, I mean, of those made in this very discourse.
“Why you slipped over this text? Was it not (I appeal to the Searcher of your heart!) because you was conscious to yourself that it would necessarily drive you to that unhappy dilemma, either to assert that forever, εις τον αιωνα, [into the “age-long” (whatever age in which the church exists)] meant only sixty or seventy years; or to allow that the text must be interpreted of the ordinary operations of the Spirit, in all future ages of the Church?
And indeed that the promise in this text belongs to all Christians, evidently appears, not only from your Lordship’s own concession, and from the text itself.
True, the world cannot receive him; but all Christians can and will receive him forever.
Jesus’ return to the Father makes possible an intercession through him that will not be refused.
“Whatever you ask … I will do” (vv. 12c, 13). This advocacy of Jesus would seem to be enough (v. 14).
Yet, another position is proposed as equally necessary. Its condition is love of Jesus and fidelity to his commands (v. 15) is the believer’s response to Jesus’ demand of love and obedience.
Jesus is “seen” by his disciples as a “living one,” and they are seen as persons who shall live in him.
Hence the office of the Spirit of truth will be to help disciples “see” Jesus throughout the still enduring time before the parousia. “That day” from Jewish eschatology.
John uses it to mean the day of Jesus’ coming to his disciples (v. 18), but since they are to know on that day not only the coinherence of Father and Son but also their own in him (v. 20b), it refers as much to the continuing presence of Christ to the believers for whom the Gospel is written as to the past disciple-witnesses of the resurrection. An awareness of the Christ life within is made the condition for knowing something of the relation of Jesus to the Faith.
“he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” – Jesus is the disciples advocate presently, but he will ask for another; advocate, instructor, or encourager (probably all forms being complementary)
Jesus had been with them as Helper and Friend on earth only for a short time, but the “other Paraclete” would be in fellowship with them “for ever,”
This “other” is God’s great gift for the meanwhile. The community lives, not in virtue of an absent Lord and Teacher, but a present and abiding Spirit of truth. Jesus is seen through this Spirit even when he, Jesus, is unseen. There is continuing life in Jesus for those who know the Spirit (v. 17).
“the Spirit of Truth” – The Spirit reveals, testifies and defends the truth as it is in Jesus.
But there are other, more subtle advantages which will accompany this Gift at its bestowal. The Spirit of truth will dwell with those who obey Jesus and be within them as someone they know in a way that the world cannot (v. 17). There is the possibility for Christians of living in truth because Truth lives in them.
Abides with - the Spirit leading Jesus’ disciples; the Spirit is presently their guide and source of power, similar to the prophets’ relationships with God.
the Spirit dwelling in the believer—making them, when they choose to follow God’s will, a testimony by which others can see and understand God.
The Spirit keeps them loving God and others, as Jesus has loved people.
Keeping Jesus’ word or commandments is the condition [result] of enjoying the Father’s love and the abiding presence of Father, Son, and Counselor-Spirit.
“you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”Because the Spirit lives in those who do believe in Jesus Christ, God is with us forever.
“I will come to you.” – Jesus will return to be with them forever.
“Because I live, you also will live.” – Because Jesus was resurrected to life, his disciples with also be raised to life to live with him for eternity.
“I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”Those who believe in Jesus Christ do live in fellowship with God by divine invitation when God is revealed to them.
Summary in Verse 21, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” The commands of Christ are written on the hearts of those who believe and they obey them; Christ will reveal himself to believers more abundantly.
Obedience is the hallmark of Jesus’ disciples, the proof that they love. God will love the lovers of the Son in a special way. The Son, in turn, will reciprocate the love of the individual disciple and manifest it through them to all others.
The resurrection of Jesus is in anticipation of the last day; but also a self-revealing of the glorified Jesus in his disciples well before the final day of revelation.
The future is made present in a way that everyone can understand.
Our Mission: Continually ask for a refilling of his Spirit, that you might grow to love God more, and thereby, grow to love others for fully. (Fasting for a Refilling)
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