5. God Conquers Fear (Judges 6:1-32, Gideon)Related Media
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part five)
We each have rational and irrational fears. We may not be aware of them, but they're there. The biblical story of Gideon is one of God empowering a man who was paralyzed by fear. Gideon was afraid to act and reluctant to say what needed said. He had to be reminded that God was with him. His story encourages those of us with fears that keep us up at night. We're afraid of failure, or that the image we've worked so hard to create might get distorted. We're afraid of losing what we love. We fear the unknown. Can God's presence unleash us from the prison of our fear-driven paralysis?
Lesson 40: God’s Time or Man’s Time? (John 7:1-13)Related Media
December 29, 2013
A young man came to W. E. Gladstone when he was Prime Minister of England and said, “Mr. Gladstone, I would appreciate your giving me a few minutes in which I might lay before you my plans for the future. I would like to study law.” “Yes,” said the great statesman, “and what then?”
“Then, sir, I would like to gain entrance to the Bar of England.” “Yes, young man, and what then?”
“Then, sir, I hope to have a place in Parliament, in the House of Lords.” “Yes, young man, what then?” pressed Gladstone.
“Then I hope to do great things for Britain.” “Yes, young man, and what then?”
“Then, sir, I hope to retire and take life easy.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” he tenaciously asked.
“Well, then, Mr. Gladstone, I suppose I will die.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” The young man hesitated and then said, “I never thought any further than that, sir.”
Looking at the young man sternly and steadily, Gladstone said, “Young man, you are a fool. Go home and think life through!” (Told by Leonard Griffith, This is Living [Abingdon Press], pp. 48, 49.)
Since the old year is almost gone and the New Year is upon us, I thought it may be profitable to revisit the same text that we studied last time from a slightly different perspective, considering the topic of God’s time versus man’s time. In John 7:6, Jesus says to his half-brothers who advised Him to go up to the Feast of Booths and do some miracles to make Himself known, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.” Jesus was drawing a contrast between how He lived in view of God’s time versus how His brothers lived their lives. I want to develop the thought:
Since life is short and eternity is forever, live by God’s time, not by man’s time.
The first point is obvious, and yet worth thinking about often:
1. Life is short and eternity is forever.
Billy Graham was once asked what he was most surprised by in life. He answered, “Its brevity.” (Christianity Today, 10/06, p. 90) An older man gave this perspective on how he viewed time differently as he aged (Dewey Gill, Reader’s Digest [5/83]):
Days were plentiful and cheap when I was young. Like penny candy. I always had a pocketful—and spent them casually. Now my supply is diminished, and their value has soared. Each one becomes worth its weight in the gold of dawn. Suddenly I live in unaccustomed thrift, cherishing hours the way lovers prize moments. Even at that, when the week is ended, it seems I’ve gone through another fortune. A day doesn’t go as far as it used to.
I can relate to those thoughts! We just came from being with my Dad on his 90th birthday. It was sad to see his declining physical and mental condition. But it was also sobering to think that in just over 23 years, if I’m still alive, I will be that old! Life is short and then eternity is forever!
If Jesus had been born in our times, His parents would have recognized that He was an unusually gifted child. They would have begun His education early, put Him on the gifted child track, and had Him preaching by age 12 when He made an impression on the scholars in the temple. By the time He was 20, He would have a huge international following. With a good public relations man, He could have learned to tone down some of His more offensive comments so that the religious leaders would not have plotted to kill Him. Think how much more He could have accomplished if He had lived to 70 or 80!
But Jesus, living by God’s time, didn’t begin His ministry until He was about 30 and after three short years He could pray (John 17:4), “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do.” Amazing!
If we want to think like Jesus, we need to live with the awareness of how short life is and that one day we will give an account to God for how we spent our lives. In Psalm 90, as Moses thought on these things, he concluded with the prayer (90:17), “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” If none other than Moses had to ask God to confirm the work of his hands, how much more do we need to pray that prayer repeatedly!
2. Jesus’ brothers were living by man’s time: Their time was always opportune.
Jesus told His brothers that they could go up to the feast whenever they wanted to go, because their time was “always opportune” (7:6). The implication is that they were not living under God’s time, as Jesus was. D. A. Carson (The Gospel According to John [Eerdmans/Apollos], p. 308) says that Jesus meant “that what they did was utterly without significance as far as God was concerned.” We can draw three implications about what it means to live by man’s time:
A. Those living by man’s time are not living under the lordship of Christ.
As John 7:5 adds, “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” As we saw in our last study, Jesus’ brothers had grown up with Him, so they knew Him better than most people would have. They had heard His teaching and seen some of His miracles. They were good, religious Jews, who observed the various feasts in Israel, such as this Feast of Booths. But they didn’t believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. They probably did not see their need for a Savior from sin, because they thought of themselves as good, religious Jews in comparison with the pagan Gentiles.
So if you want to live by God’s time and not waste your life living by man’s time, the first order of business is to trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. When you are born again, you repent of the sin of living for yourself and you begin to live for the glory of your wonderful Savior and Lord. You realize that if He is Lord of all, then He is Lord of your time. So you begin to seek Him earnestly to figure out how He wants you to spend your life. If you determine your goals and priorities apart from submission to God and His Word, then you’re living by man’s time, not by God’s time. Such living is ultimately futile.
B. Those living by man’s time go along with their culture apart from Christ.
Jesus draws a sharp contrast here between His brothers’ time and His time. If you’re using your time as our culture does, you aren’t living by God’s time. The brothers went up to this religious feast but they went without Jesus. They went because it was the thing that all Jewish men did at that time of the year. It was a God-ordained ritual, but they did it without reality because they did it without Jesus and without faith in Him. They were living by man’s time, not by God’s time.
We, of course, live in a godless, corrupt culture that exalts selfish pleasure and materialism as the ultimate aims in life. To go along with our culture and live for those fleeting pleasures is obviously to waste your life. But it’s possible to be a part of the Christian wing of our culture, to go to church and go through Christian rituals (such as communion) and yet leave Jesus out. You’re just doing it because it’s the thing that other Christians do. But that is to live by man’s time, not by God’s time.
C. Those living by man’s time operate by worldly wisdom, not by God’s wisdom.
As we saw last time, Jesus’ brothers offered some worldly-wise advice on how He could advance His “career.” They may have meant well, but as I pointed out, their advice was in line with Satan’s temptation for Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, have the angels float Him gently to the ground, and impress everyone with His miraculous powers. The brothers’ advice was, “For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” (7:4).
As Carson points out (ibid., pp. 306-307), by the world, Jesus’ brothers meant, “to everyone,” but John no doubt saw irony in their comment. We already know that such a display of Jesus’ miraculous powers would have the multitude clamoring to make Him a political Messiah (6:14-15), but it would not have resulted in genuine faith (2:23-25). In one sense Jesus had no intention of showing Himself to the world (14:22). And yet in another sense (Carson, p. 307), “it is in Jerusalem where Jesus reveals himself most dramatically—not in the spectacular miracles the brothers want but in the ignominy of the cross, the very cross by which Jesus draws all men to Himself (12:32) and becomes the Savior of the world (4:42).” The cross is foolishness to the wise of this world, but to us who are called, it is God’s power and wisdom (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
One of the books that has most impacted my life is Shadow of the Almighty [Zondervan], by Elisabeth Elliot. It’s the story of her first husband, Jim Elliot, who was martyred at age 28 in Ecuador (along with four other young men) by the fierce Auca tribe that they were seeking to reach with the gospel. When he was a college student, Jim had written (p. 15), “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Recently the news featured the story of chemistry teacher Ronnie Smith, a young husband and father who was shot to death by Muslim radicals while he jogged in Benghazi, Libya. He was there to show Christ’s love to those lost and hopeless people. I saw an interview with his wife, who said that she loves and forgives those who murdered her husband. The world would say that to go to a fierce, primitive tribe or to a dangerous place like Benghazi to share the gospel, is not wise. But God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. In the epilogue to Shadow of the Almighty (p. 246), Elisabeth Elliot wrote,
W. Somerset Maugham, in Of Human Bondage, wrote, “These old folk had done nothing, and when they died it would be just as if they had never been.” Jim’s comment on this was, “God deliver me!”
May He deliver us all from living by man’s time, in worldly wisdom, rather than by God’s time, in His wisdom. To understand how to live by God’s time, we must look at how Jesus lived:
3. Jesus lived by God’s time: He submitted fully to God’s plan for His life.
Throughout John’s Gospel, there is the repeated theme of Jesus’ “hour,” which refers to the cross (2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 16:32; 17:1; see Luke 22:53). But here (7:6, 8) John uses the Greek word that refers to an opportune time. Jesus means that the God-appointed time for Him to go up to Jerusalem and reveal Himself was not yet at hand. In other words, in contrast to His brothers, who lived by the world’s agenda, Jesus lived by God’s agenda. This meant five things:
A. To live by God’s time, be directly accountable to Him for how you spend your time.
Jesus always had a sense of obeying the Father with regard to His use of time. He did not allow His own mother to determine when He should turn the water into wine, but He did it as the Father directed Him (2:4). Here, He does not allow His brothers’ advice to govern when He went up to the feast, but went in response to the Father’s timetable. He was accountable to the Father to do everything in His life and ministry as the Father directed.
I’ll grant that it’s not easy to determine God’s will for the specifics of our schedules, whether it concerns the major decisions in life or the daily and weekly schedules that we all must make. But we can determine our overall priorities and goals from the wisdom of God’s Word and prayerfully seek to use our time with the awareness that we will give an account to God for how we spent the time that He gave us. If I may be gently blunt, to spend countless hours watching TV or playing computer games is not a godly way to spend your life.
One New Year’s Day when I was in college, I spent the entire day watching all the college bowl games. By the end of the day, I felt rotten, as if I had stuffed myself on junk food all day. I realized that I had just wasted a precious day of my life. I swore off my TV addiction and have never gone back.
B. To live by God’s time, live with the purpose of glorifying God and accomplishing what He has given you to do.
Jesus came to do the Father’s will and to accomplish the Father’s work (4:34). He finished it in three years, as we have seen (17:4). Jesus’ purpose should be our purpose, namely, to glorify God on this earth and to accomplish whatever it is that He has given each of us to do.
Obviously, God does not call everyone to be a foreign missionary or to serve full time in ministry here at home. But He does call us all to live in such a way that we glorify Him in everything we do (1 Cor. 10:31). All behavior begins in our hearts or thoughts (Mark 7:21), so begin there, by ordering your thoughts in line with God’s Word (Phil. 4:8). All our behavior is to be governed by God’s love, which seeks the highest good for others (Rom. 12:9-10; 1 Cor. 13; 16:14). Also, God has uniquely gifted each one for service so that we might glorify Him (1 Cor. 12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). So figure out what He has gifted you to do and structure your schedule so that you can do it.
C. To live by God’s time, develop a harvest mindset that views every situation in light of eternity.
As we saw in the story of Jesus with the woman at the well, the disciples had a temporal mindset. They were focused on getting Jesus to eat His lunch so that they could get on with their journey. But Jesus had a harvest mindset. He turned their focus toward what God was doing with His encounter with the woman and the Samaritans in that village (4:31-38). Jesus was aware of God’s perspective in every situation. He never acted out of selfish motives, but only for the purpose of furthering God’s kingdom. He told us that in contrast to seeking all the things that the world so eagerly seeks, (Matt. 6:33), “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
You’ve got to figure out how that verse applies to your sphere of influence. It may apply to rearing your children to know and follow Christ. It may apply to helping a family member, friend, co-worker, or stranger whom you meet come to know the Savior or to grow in Him. Ask the Lord to give you a harvest mindset.
D. To live by God’s time, use reasonable prudence, but do not put personal safety above doing the will of God.
Jesus stayed in Galilee because the Jews were trying to kill Him (7:1), but when it was God’s will for Him to go to the feast, He went. We see the same thing in John 10:39-11:15: Jesus was ministering out of the reach of the Pharisees who were seeking to kill Him, but when it was God’s time, He went to Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Jeremy Lundgren, our former youth pastor, is writing his master’s thesis on the theology of risk and safety: when is it right to protect yourself from possible harm versus expend yourself for the sake of the gospel? On some occasions, the apostle Paul escaped impending threats to his life (2 Cor. 11:32-33; Acts 17:10, 14; 22:18), but at other times, he was willing to walk into what almost certainly would result in either persecution or death (Acts 19:30-31; 21:11-13). I can’t give you a hard and fast rule for determining when to risk your life for the sake of the gospel and when to use caution and escape. But we all should have the mindset that our highest aim is to glorify God through the gospel. Sometimes that may entail exposing ourselves to substantial risks.
E. To live by God’s time, be willing to confront our godless culture.
Here, Jesus confronted His brothers’ worldly perspective. He never backed away from confronting the worldly or godless views of those He came into contact with, even though it inevitably led to His death. When He went to have lunch with a Pharisee, Jesus deliberately did not follow their custom for ceremonial washing before the meal and then He laid into the Pharisee for his hypocrisy in cleaning the outside of the cup, while inside he was full of wickedness. When one of the lawyers present heard Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees, he said (Luke 11:45), “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.” Did Jesus reply, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any offense”? No, rather He said (11:46), “Woe to you lawyers as well!” And He proceeded to expose their many sins. Jesus always confronted the godlessness around Him.
This doesn’t mean that we should be rude or insensitive. Paul tells us that our speech should be both gracious and seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). He tells us not to be quarrelsome, but to be kind to all and to correct with gentleness (2 Tim. 2:24-25). But probably most of us need to be a bit bolder than we are to speak out against godlessness when we encounter it. I appreciated reading that Rick Warren recently told Piers Morgan on CNN with regard to Warren’s opposition to homosexual marriage, “I fear the disapproval of God more than I fear your disapproval or the disapproval of society.” (http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/06)
To review and offer some specific action points, here are some steps to help you live by God’s time so that your life counts for eternity and isn’t wasted because you lived for man’s time:
(1) Make sure that you have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and that you are fully submitted to His lordship. Apart from that, anything that you do will be empty and vain at the judgment.
(2) Write out a one-sentence purpose statement for your life and two or three short-term goals that will help move you in that direction in the coming year. Granted, Jesus probably didn’t write out His life purpose in a single sentence, but He was clear enough about it that He knew when He had accomplished the Father’s work (John 17:4). The same could be said of the apostle Paul. He said (1 Cor. 9:23), “I do all things for the sake of the gospel.” He said that his aim was (Phil. 3:10), “That I may know Him.” He told Timothy (1 Tim. 4:7), “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” Those aims are all in line and show that Paul lived with God’s purpose in mind.
(3) Clear your life of clutter and busyness that do not relate to your overall purpose. Kevin DeYoung’s recent short book, Crazy Busy [Crossway] is helpful in this regard.
(4) Figure out what God has gifted you to do and begin serving Him now. Don’t wait until some “better time” in the future. You may never get to such a time. Start now. What is your “mission field”? Who are the 8-15 people with whom you have regular contact that you can influence for Christ? God wants all disciples of Jesus to help make disciples who make disciples.
(5) Don’t despise the mundane as the place where God wants you to serve. You don’t have to go to the mission field or go into full time ministry to serve the Lord. You can serve and glorify God daily in your present circumstances. As Peter puts it (1 Pet. 4:11), “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
- When we live under God’s time, how do we determine how much time to spend in leisure or recreation?
- How can a Christian discover his/her spiritual gifts? (See my message on Romans 12:4-6.)
- How does Matthew 6:33 apply to a believer who works in a “secular” job? How can he “seek first God’s kingdom”?
- Prayerfully write a brief life purpose statement and 2-3 goals for the New Year.
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2013, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලධර්ම-6 ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේRelated Media
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ යනු කවුද? ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි තුල උන්වහන්සේ කර ඇත්තේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ අප උදෙසා කරන්නේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ ගැන වෙනස් දැක්මන් තිබෙනවා. සමහරු උන්වහන්සේ බලයක් නැතහොත් බලපෑමක් හැටියට සරලව අර්ථ දක්වනවා. 16වෙනි ශත වර්ෂයේ සෝසිනියන්වාදීන් විසින් “දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් මනුෂ්යයා වෙතට ගලමින් ඇත්තාවු ගුණාංගයක් නැතහොත් ශක්තියක්” ලෙස අර්ථ දක්වනු ලැබුවා. නිදහස් මතධාරී දේවධර්ම ධරයින් හා ලබ්ධීන් දරණ දැක්ම මෙයයි. නමුත් ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ල උන්වහන්සේ ගැන අපට උගන්වන්නේ මෙය නොවෙයි. මතක තබාගන්න, ත්රිත්වය ගැන අපගේ අධ්යයනය තුලදී අප ඉගෙනගත්තේ උන්වහන්සේ දේවත්වයෙහි පියාණන් හා පුත්රයාණන්ට සමානවන පුද්ගලයෙකු හැටියටය.
අප පුද්ගලයෙකු ගැන සාමාන්යෙයන් සිතන්නේ ශරීරයක්ලෙසය. පුද්ගලයෙකුට ශරීරයක් තිබිය යුතුමද? මනුෂ්යයෙක් මිය යනවිට සිදුවන්නේ කුමක්ද? ශරීරය පමණක් මියයයි. නමුත් පුද්ගලයා සචේතනිකව ස්වර්ගයෙහි හෝ නිරයෙහි සදාකල් පවතී. පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ තිබිය යුතුම ලක්ෂණ මොනවාද? දේවල් තුනකි: බුද්ධිය, උද්වේග හා කැමැත්ත. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ බලයක් හෝ බලපෑමක් හෝ දෙයක් පමණක් වුවා නම් උන්වහන්සේට මේ දෙවල් අයත් වන්නේ නැත. නමුත් ඒවා උන්වහන්සේට අයත්ය.
උන්වහන්සේට පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ ලක්ෂණ තිබෙනවා.
බුද්ධිය: උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ දෙවල් දන්නා සේක(1කොරින්ති2:10-11). ආත්මයේ සිත(රෝම8:27).
උද්වේග: ආත්මය ශෝකවීම (එපීස4:30).
කැමැත්ත: ආත්මායාණන් “උන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්ත පරිදි” ආත්මික දීමනා දෙන සේක.(1කොරින්ති12:11).
උන්වහන්සේ පුද්ගයෙකු සේ ක්රියා කරයි
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වයි ( යොහාන්14:26).
උන්වහන්සේ හාස්කම් කරයි(ක්රියා8:39).
උන්වහන්සේ මග පෙන්වයි (රෝම8:14).
උන්වහන්සේ පුද්ගලයෙකු ලෙස නම් කර ඇත
Pneuma යන වචනය නපුංසක ලිංගාර්ථ නමුත් භාවිතයේදී එය පුරුෂ ලිංගාර්ථයෙන් ප්රකාශ වේ (යොහාන්16:13-14).
ශුද්ධාත්මයණන් සම්පුර්ණ ලෙසම දෙවියන්වහන්සේද?
උන්වහන්සේගේ ගතිලක්ෂණ ඇත්තේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණය
පියාණන්වහන්සේ හා පුත්රයාණන්වහන්සේගේ දේවල් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේටද සත්යය.
උන්වහන්සේ ත්රිත්වයේ අනෙක් පුද්ගලයින් සමග සම තලයක සහභාගිත්වයක් දරයි
යාවේ පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි යම් දෙයක් කී අතර, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ අළුත් ගිවිසුමෙහි එය කියයි. ( යෙසායා 6:1-13 සහ ක්රියා28:25; යෙරමියා31:31-34 සහ හෙබ්රෙව්10:15-17).
බෞතීස්ම සුත්රය ( මතෙව්28:19)
පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණගේ ක්රියා
මැවිල්ල තුල උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස
පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි එළිදරව්වේ උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස
මනුෂ්යයින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් විසින් මෙහෙයවනු ලැබ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් කථා කළා. (2පේත්රැස්1:21).
මනුෂ්යයාට උන්වහන්සේගේගේ ඇති සම්බන්ධතාවය
තෝරාගත්තවුන් තුල වැඩ සිටීම
තුල: උත්පත්ති41:38, ගණන්කතාව27:18, දානියෙල්4:8
මත: 1සාමුවෙල්10:9-10, සාවුල්; විනිෂ්චයකාරයින්14:6, සැම්සන්
ඉවතයාම: විනිෂ්චය කාරයින්15:14 සමග විනිෂ්චයකාරයින්16:20
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතයෙහි ආත්මයාණන්
කන්යා උපත තුල
උන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතය තුල-
පිරීම හා මගපෙන්වීම: ලුක්4:1;
හාස්කම් කිරීමට බලවත්ව සිටීම: මතෙව්12:28
උන්වහන්සේගේ මරණය හා නැවත නැගිටීම තුල
උන්වහන්සේම පුජාවක්ලෙස පුජාවීම: හෙබ්රෙව්9:14
ප්රේරිතයන්ට උපදෙස් දීම: ක්රියා1:2
යේසුස්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් එවීමට පොරොන්දු වෙයි
උන්වහන්සේගේ මරණයට පෙරදින රාත්රියේදී, යේසුස්වහන්සේ සහ උන්වහන්සේගේ ගෝලයින් පාස්කු මේසයේ සිටියදී උන්වහන්සේ ඔවුන්ට මීට පෙර කියා නොතිබු දේවල් කී සේක. උන්වහන්සේ විශේෂ කොට කීවේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ පැමිණීම සහ උන්වහන්සේ කරන්නට යන ක්රියා ගැනය.
මන්ත්රීවරයාණෝ: parakletos, “ කෙනෙකුට ආධාර වන පිණිස සිටින කෙනා” එම තැනැත්තා නීති උපදේශකයෙක්, මැදිහත්කාරයෙක්,හෝ බේරුම්කාරයෙක් හෝ විය හැකිය.1යොහාන්2:1හි එය යොදා ඇත්තේ යේසුස්වහන්සේටය.ආත්මයාණන්ගේ කාර්ය වනුයේ යේසුස්වහන්සේ මෙහි, පොළොවේ මනු කයක් තුල සිටින විට කළාක් මෙන් ඇදහිලිවන්තයාට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමය. වෙනත් යන වචනය සඳහා, වචන දෙකක් ඇත. එකකින් කියන්නේ වෙනත් වර්ගයක කෙනෙක්.
isone යන වචනයෙන් කියන්නේ එම වර්ගයේම යනුය. යෙසුස්වහන්සේ ස්වර්ගයට ආපසු යමින් සිටියා, නමුත් උන්වහන්සේ සහ පියාණන්වහන්සේ ඇදහිලිවතුන් සමග මෙම පොළොවේ සිටීමට වෙනත් පුද්ගලයෙකු ඒවීමට සිටියා. වෙනත් පුද්ලයෙකුගේ වෙනස වනුයේ උන්වහන්සේලා සමග සිටි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ, යේසුස්වහන්සේ තුල වැඩ සිට, යේසුස්වහන්සේ ස්වර්ගයට ආපසු යාමය. යේසුස්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්, එනම් සත්යතාවයේ ආත්මයාණන් නම් පුද්ගලයා තුල නිතර වැඩ සිටින සේක. කෙසේවුවද මේ වෙලොවේ යේසුස්වහන්සේ මෙන් සියළු මිනිසුන්ට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ විද්යාමාන වන්නේ නැත. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ පැමිණි කල, උන්වහන්සේගේ මෙවර ප්රථමික වශයෙන් ඇදහිලිවතුන්ටය. උන්වහන්සේ ලෝකයේ තරංග ආයාමය මත ක්රියාත්මක වන්නේ නැත.
අපට නවගිවිසුමේ වාර්ථාව විශ්වාස කිරීමට හැකිවීමට හේතුව මෙයයි. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වහන්සේ සියලු දේවල් උගන්වන බවටත්, යේසුස්වහන්සේ ඔවුන්ට උගන්වා තිබු හැමදෙයක්ම සිහිගන්වන බවටත් තම ගෝලයින්ටපොරොන්දු වී සිටි සේක. නව ගිවිසුමේ දිව්යමය කතුවරයා උන්වහන්සේ පරණ ගිවිසුමේදී වාගේම, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේය.
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ මෙහි විස්තර කළ මෙහෙවරෙහි ප්රධාන අංග තුනක් තිබේ.
ලෝකයට: පාපය ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම, ධර්මිෂ්ඨකම හා විනිෂ්චය.
වරද ඒත්තුගැනීම යනු සත්යය ඒත්තු ගැනීමට කරුණු දැක්වීම හෝ අනාවරණය කිරීම.
පාපය ඒත්තු ගැනීම
ආත්මයාණන් මනුෂ්යයින්ට නිකම්ම වරද තබන්නේ නැත; උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේ හමුවේ ඔවුන්ගේ ලජ්ජාව හා කරගත හැකි දෙයක් නැතිකම වටහාගත හැකිවන පරිදි වරදෙහි බේරීමට බැරි සංවේදනයක් ඔවුන්ට ගෙනදෙන සේක. දෙවියන්වහන්සේ මනුෂ්ය වර්ගයාට විරුද්ධව දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ නඩුව දෙවියන්වහන්සේට ඉදිරිපත් කර ලජ්ජාවට පමුණුවන නීතිඥයා ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේය. මනුෂ්යයා වරදට පත් කරන ඉහළම පාපය විශ්වාස නොකිරීමයි. මෙය සුභාරංචිය හා එය ඉදිරිපත් කරන ගැළවුම්කරු මුළුමනින්ම ප්රතික්ෂේප කිරීමක්ය.
ධර්මිෂ්ඨකම ඒත්තු ගැනීම
පාපය අර්ථ දක්වන, දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමත් මනුෂ්යයාගේ පාප ස්වභාවයත් අතර පවතින අසීමිත පරතරය දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨ කමෙහි ප්රමිතියක් ලෙස ආත්මයණන්වහන්සේ පැහැදිලි කරයි. එම පරතරය පියවීම මනුෂ්යයාට තමා විසින්ම කරගැනීමට පුළුවන්කමක් නැත. යේසුස්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමෙහි සම්බන්ධතාවය උන්වහන්සේගේ නැවතනැගිටීම හා ස්වර්ගයටනැගීම යන කරුණ, යොමුකරන්නේ පාපයට කමාව දෙනු ලැබීම සහ දෝෂමුක්ත කිරීම, දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨ සේවකයා විසින් කරනු ලබන බවටය.
විනිෂ්චය ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම
ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමෙහි ප්රමිතීන් උල්ලංඝනය වනවිට, විනිෂ්චයක්, වරදට පත්කිරීමක් ඇත්තේය.
කුරුසිය මත යේසුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය, පසුදා වරදට පත්කිරීම හා “මේ ලෝකයේ කුමාරයා”, සාතන්ට පරාජය ගෙන එන්නට ඇත. වරදට පත්කළා යන වචනය කාලාර්ථයෙන් සමථවු බවක් ප්රකාශ වෙයි. සාතන් දැනටමත් ස්ථිර සදාකාලික විනිෂ්චයක් යටතේය. එයින් කියවෙන්නේ යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහානොගන්නා අයටද එම ඉරණමෙන් බේරීමට පුළුවන්කමක් නැති බවය.
ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ ඒත්තුගැන්වීමේ ක්රියාව යනු, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තම පුද්ගලික ගැළවුම්කාරයා ලෙස පිළිගත්තත් නැතත් එය සත්ය ලෙස පිළිගැනීමට හැකි වන පරිදි ශුභාරංචියේ සත්යතාවය, ගැළවීම නොලැබු පුද්ගලයෙකු හමුවේ පැහැදිලි ආලෝකයක තැබීමය. ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම යනු ආත්මය ගැළවීම නොව, පණිවිඩය පැහැදිලි කිරීමය.
ගෝලයින්ට: මග පෙන්වීම හා සත්යය
යේසුස් වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේගේ මිත්රයින්ට තව බොහෝ දේවල් කීමට ඇති නමුත් ඒවා පිළිගැනීමට ඔවුන් පරිනත මදි බව කීසේක. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේට
දීමට ඇති සියල්ල ගැන පුර්ණ අවබෝධයක් තුලට ගෙනඒමට මග පෙන්වන්නට ඇත. ඔවුන් දැනටමත් ඉගෙනගෙන ඇති මුලධර්ම නොකඩවා සංවර්ධනය කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණෙන සිදුවීම් ගැන උගන්වන්නට ඇත. ඔවුන් ගේ ආත්මික වර්ධයේ ප්රමාණයට උන්වහන්සේ සත්යය එළිදරව් කරන්නට ඇත. උන්වහන්සේ නොදන්නා අනාගතය තුලට මගපෙන්වන්නෙක් වන්නට ඇත.
උන්වහන්සේ පරීක්ෂා කිරීමට
උන්වහන්සේ මහිමවත් කිරීමට
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ ප්රධාන කටයුත්ත යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ එළිදරව් කිරීම හා මහිමවත් කිරීමයි. උන්වහන්සේගේ අරමුණ තමාම ප්රමුඛ බවට පත්කර ගැනීම නොව, ශුද්ධස්ථානය තුල වු පහන් රුක මත අදෘෂ්යමාන තෙල් වලින් මහිමත්වී දැල්වෙන පහන් ආලෝකයෙන් එළිදරව් කළාක් මෙන්, යේසුස් නම් පුද්ගලයා විශාල කර, එළිදරව් කර මහිමවත් කිරීමයි. සමහරවිට අප ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වැඩි වැදගත්කමක් දී යේසුස්වහන්සේ අවම කරනවා එය ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි වලට අනුකූල නොවන දෙයකි. මෙය කරන ඕනෑම ආගමික ව්යාපර වලින් ප්රෙවේසම්වන්න.
ගැළවීමෙහි ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ කාර්ය භාරය
ප්රති උත්පාදනය (තීතස්3:5)
මෙය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගන්නා කෙනෙකුට සදාකාලික ජීවනය බෙදා දෙන දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ අධිස්වාභාවික ක්රියාවයි: නව ස්වභාවය (2කොරින්ති5:17)
ඇතතුලාන්ත වැඩ සිටීම ( 1කොරින්ති6:19)
ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකු තුලම, ඔහුගේ ආත්මික තත්වය වැඩසිටින සේක. කොරින්තිවරු සිහියට ගන්න- 1කොරින්ති3:3;
(ලෝකාකාරයෙන්, ලෞකික) 5:1;(අසභ්ය), 6 (මිසදිටු උසාවි වල නඩු අසන)
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් නොසිටීම ගැළවීම නොලැබ ඇති බවට සාක්ෂියකි.රෝම8:9
ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් තමා තුල ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වැඩ සිටින බව දැනගන්නේ කොහොමද?
- දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ වචනය විශ්වාස කරන්න යොහාන්14:16-17
- සාක්ෂි සඳහා කිතුණු අත්දැකීම. ඔබ වර්ධනය වෙමින් සිටිනවාද?
ඔබ තවත් පාපයට සංවේදීද? බෞතීස්මවීම (1කොරින්ති12:13)
ඇදහිලිවතුන් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුල තැබීම.
එය සියලුම ඇදහිලිවතුන් සඳහා
එක්වරක් පමණක්. සාක්ෂි සඳහා සළකුණු නැත.
මුද්රා කිරීම ( එපීස4:30)
පියාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ගෙන් මුද්රා කර තිබෙනවා. 2කොරින්ති1:22; එපීස1:13;4:30
සංකල්පය අයිතිකාරිත්වය, අධිකාරිත්වය සහ ආරක්ෂාව යන අදහස් ඇතුලත්ය. මිදීමේ දවස දක්වා අපි දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ අයිතිය හා අරක්ෂාව ලෙස සිටින්නෙමු. එම මුද්රාව කැඩිය හැක්කේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණය. උන්වහන්සේ අප සුරක්ෂිතව ස්වර්ගයට ගෙන යන බවට පොරොන්දු වී තිබෙනවා.
සහතිකවීම: (2කොරින්ති5:5, එපීස1:13බී14)
අපට ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සිටිනවා යනු ගැළවීම සමග වෙනත් සෑම දෙයක්ම ලැබෙන බවට දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ සහතිකවීම අපට තිබෙනවා. උන්වහන්සේ අත්තිකාරමයි. ඉතිරිය නිෂ්චිතයි. මෙය අපට දියයුතු කෙතරම් සහතික වීමක්ද!
ඇදහිලිවතුන් තුල ආත්මයාණන්ගේ කාර්යය
උන්වහන්සේ ආත්මික දීමනා දෙයි: සේවය සඳහා දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් ලැබෙන හැකියාවන්
දෙන දීමනවන් මොනවාදැයි කියා තෝරන්නේ උන්වහන්සේය. උන්වහන්සේ පරම බලධාරියාය. සෑම කෙනෙක්ම අන් අය ශරීරය තුල ගොඩනැගීමට සුදානම් කිරීම සඳහා යම් දෙයක් දෙනු ලබයි.
කිවෙකුට සියලුම දීමනා නැත. සෑම කෙනෙකුටම දී ඇති එක දීමනාවක් නැත.
උන්වහන්සේ පිරෙන සේක ( එපීස5:18).
“පිරෙමින් පවතින්නේය, ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ විසින් පාලනය කරමින් ඇත්තේය. අප සැබෑ කිතුණු ජීවිතයක් ගතකිරීමට යනවා නම් ආත්මයෙන් පිරීම ඉතා අත්යවශ්යය. (ක්රියා2:4, 4:31).
1.දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ භාවිතය හා පාලනය සඳහා තමාම කැපවන්න (රෝම12:1-2).
2. ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේට දුක් නොදෙන්න(එපීස4:30).
3. ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ මත රඳා පවතින්න. හැසිරීම රඳාපැවතීමේ ජීවිතයකි.(ගලාති5:16)
පිරෙමින් සිටීමේ ප්රතිඵල
එපීස5:18-21: නමස්කාරය, ප්රතිඵල, ගී ගායනය, ස්තුතිවන්තවීම,අවනතවීම, සේවය.
ගලාති5:22-23: ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ වාගේ චරිතය
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වනසේක ( යොහාන්14:25).
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වන්නේ කෙසේද? උන්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි එළිය කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ ඒවා ජීවමාන කර අපේ විශේෂිත තත්වට ව්යවහාර කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ පොත්, දේශන, පාඩම්, සහ වෙනත් අයගේ උපදේශන භාවිතා කරනවා ඇත. උන්වහන්සේ ඔබගේ හදවතට ඇතුලාන්ත හඬකින් කථා කරන සේක. නමුත් උන්වහන්සේ කිසිවිටෙක වචනය පරස්පර විරෝධී කරන්නේ නැත. “කෙනෙක් මෙය කිරීමට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ මට මට මෙය කරන්නැයි කීවා” යයි කියනවිට, හා එය ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ලට පටහැනි වන විට, ඔවුන් රැවටිලිකාරයෝත් බොරුකාරයෝත්ය. සියල්ල බයිබලය සමග පරීක්ෂාකර බලන්න.
උන්වහන්සේ මගපෙන්වන සේක. රෝම8:14).
උන්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ල තුලින්, අවස්ථා තුලින්, අන් අය තුලින්, මග පෙන්වන සේක. නමුත් බොහෝසේ උන්වහන්සේගේ සමාදානය තුලින් අපේ හදවතට මග පෙන්වන සේක (කොලොස්සි3:15)
උන්වහන්සේ සහතිකවම දෙන සේක (රෝම8:16).
අප සැබවින්ම දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ දරුවන් බව ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සහතික කරන සේක. අපට උන්වහන්සේගේ වැඩසිටීම තුලට පැමිණ අබ්බා පියාණෙනි යයි හඬගැසීමට පුළුවන.
උන්වහන්සේ යාඤා කරන සේක(රෝම8:26).
මම යාඤා කරන්නේ කෙසේදයි හෝ යාඤා කරන්නේ කුමක්දැයි නොදන්නාවිට ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ මැදිහත්වී මාගේ යාඤා තෝරා දෙන විටඑය මට විශ්වාස කළ නොහැකි සුවපහසුවකි. උන්වහන්සේ මගේ දුර්වලකම දන්නාසේක. උන්වහන්සේ දඬුවම් නියම කරන්නේ නැහැ. දොස් කියන්නේවත් අත්හරින්නේවත් නැහැ. උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්තට අනුව මා වෙනුවෙන් මැදිහත්කම් කරන සේක. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්තද මගේ ජීවිතයට සැබවින්ම අවශ්ය සියල්ලයි. මා නොව උන්වහන්සේ සතුටු කරන්නට මගේ හදවත පිළියෙල කරගන්නේ නම් එම කැමැත්ත මට එළිදරව් කරන්නේ උන්වහන්සේය.
අපට කෙතරම් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් අවශ්යදැයි ඔබ දුටුවාද? උන්වහන්සේ මෙහි අප සමග නොසිටිනාවා නම් දෙවියන්වහන්සේ දුරස්ථ වනවා ඇත. අපේ ගැළවීම හා ආරක්ෂාව ගැන අපට සහතිකයක් නොමැතිවනවා ඇත. අප ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ නැවත පැමිණීමක් කිසිවිටෙක නොදකිනවා ඇත. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ලෝකය අප තේරුම් නොගන්නවා ඇත. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ වැඩ සිටීමවත් උන්වහන්සේගේ ප්රේමය සහතික වීමක්වත් අපට නොදැනෙනවා ඇත. අප සැබවින්ම උන්වහන්සේට අයිති බව සහතික කරගැනීමට නොහැකිවනවා ඇත. අප පාපයට වැඩි සංවේදනයක් ඇති නොවිය හැක. අප කිතුණු චරිතයයෙහි වර්ධනය නොවනවා විය හැක. අපට කාර්යක්ෂමව හා ප්රීතියෙන් ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේට සේවය කිරීමට නොහැකිවනවා ඇත. නමුත් අපට උන්වහන්සේ සිටින අතර වඩාත් ඵලදායි ප්රීතිමත් ජීවිතයක් ඇතිව, සුරක්ෂිතව අපේ කැමැත්ත උන්වහන්සේගේ පාලනය යටතට අප විසින්ම උන්වහන්සේගේ අත්වලට භාර වීමට හැකිය.
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති2:10-11; එපීස4:30; 1කොරින්ති12:11; රෝම8:26; ක්රියා8:39
1. උන්වහන්සේ බලයක් හෝ දෙයක් හෝ නොව පුද්ගලයෙක් බව ඔප්පු කරන ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ට ඇති ලක්ෂණ මොනවාද? පුද්ගලයෙකුට පමණක් කළ හැකි, උන්වහන්සේ සිදු කරන ක්රියා මොනවාද? මෙය තේරුම්ගැනීමේ ඇති වැදගත්කම කුමක්ද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති2:11-12; ගීතාවලිය139:7; යොහාන්3:5-6; ලුක්1:35; ගීතාවලිය104:30
2. අත්මාණයන්වහන්සේට ලබාදී ඇති දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ස්වභාවයන් මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේට ලබාදී ඇති, දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණක් කළ හැකි ක්රියා මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ ක්රියා5:3-4 හි කියා ඇත්තේ මොනවාද? මෙය වැදගත්වන්නේ ඇයි?
කියවන්න මතෙව් 28:19;2කොරින්ති 13:14
3. මෙම පද වලින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් දෙවියන්වහන්සේ හා සමාන බව තවදුරටත් ඔප්පු කිරීමට දී ඇත්තේ මොනවාද?
කියවන්න යොහාන් 14:25-27;1526; 16:5-15
4. යේසුස්වහන්සේ ආත්මයාණන් එවන බව කියන්නේ කවුද? යේසුස්වහන්සේට කියන්නේ කුමක්ද? ආත්මයාණන් ගෝලයින් සඳහා කුමක් කරනවා ඇතැයි උන්වහන්සේ කීවාද? හැමවිටම ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ගේ ක්රියාවල අරමුණ කුමක්ද?(යොහාන්16:13-15)
කියවන්න යොහාන්16:8 තීතස්3:5; 1කොරින්ති6:19;12:13; එපීස4:30
5. අපේ ගැළවීම තුල ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ කාර්ය කුමක්ද? මෙම එකිනෙක ක්රියා වලින් කියන්නේ මොනවාද? මෙය දෙවියන්වහන්සේ සමග ඔබේ ඇති සම්බන්ධතාවය ගැන ඇත්තේ කුමන සහතිකයක්ද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති12:8-10;එපීස5:18; යොහාන්16:12-15;රෝම8:14,16,26
6. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ ඇදහිලිවන්තයාගේ ජීවිතය තුල කරන්නේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ සේවය සඳහා අප සුදානම් කරන්නේ කෙසේද? දේව වචනයයෙහි අපගේ අවබෝධය තුල උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස කුමක්ද? උන්වහන්සේ අපට ආරක්ෂාව දෙන්නේ කෙසේද? උන්වහන්සේ අපේ යාඤා තෝරා ගන්නේ හා හා ඒවා බලවත් කරන්නේ කෙසේද?
7. ඔබේ ක්රිස්තියාණි ජීවිතයේ දැක්ම කෙරෙහි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් යන පුද්ගලයා සහ උන්වහන්සේගේ ක්රියා ඔබ කෙසේ තේරුම් ගන්නේද? ඔබේම බලයෙන් ඔබ දේව භක්තික ජීවිතයක් ගතකිරීම දෙවියන්වහන්සේ බලාපොරොත්තු නොවන බව ඔබ දකිනවාද? ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ ඔබ තුල ක්රියා කිරීමට ඉඩදීම සඳහා ඔබ කළයුත්තේ මොනවාද?
සම්බන්ධිත මාතෘකා: ප්රාණ වේදය ( ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්), විෂය මාලාව
6. God Conquers Self-Reliance (Judges 6:33-8:32, Gideon)Related Media
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part six)
Sometimes it's easier to rely on the Lord when we've come to the end of our resources. And sometimes God brings us seasons of want so that we can learn to depend on Him. That's certainly what God did to Gideon and his army. To protect Gideon and his men from relying on their numbers in battle, God reduced the army to an absurd level. They were forced to trust the Lord, and compelled to render Him the credit when the dust had settled. But God also wants us to rely on Him when we enjoy seasons of plenty. Will you depend on the Lord in times of plenty and want?
කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලධර්ම-7 කිතුණු සභාවRelated Media
සභාව යනු කුමක්ද? එය පටන්ගත්තේ කවදාද? කිතුණුවන් අතර බොහෝ නිකායන් තිබෙන්නේ ඇයි? මෙම කණ්ඩායම බයිබල් සභාවක නමස්කාර කරන්නේ ඇයි?
ekklesia. යනු සභාවට ග්රීක් වචනයයි. එයින් කියන්නේ විශේෂ අරමුණකට කැඳවා ඇති රැස්වීමක් යන්නය.
අපට ඉගෙනීමට ඇති පළමු දෙය නම් බයිබලය සභාව තුල වෙනස් ආකාර දෙකකට කථා කරයි: ජීවමාන කොටස් වලින් සමන්විතවු විශ්ව සභාව, සහ සංවිධානයක් ලෙස පවතින, ස්ථානික නැතහොත් ප්රදේශබදව ඇති සභාව.
විශ්ව සභාව- කොටස් වලින් සමන්විත
අර්ථදැක්වීම: විශ්ව සභාව ඇදහිලිවතුන් ප්රකාශයට පත් කරමින්, ඉශ්රායෙල් ජාතියෙන් වෙනස්ව පවතින්නාවු, ප්රාද්ශීය නිකායන් වලට හෝ අනුබද්ධ නිකායන් වලට සීමාවී නැති, පළමුවෙනි පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසේදී පිහිටුවන ලද, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ බෞතීස්මය තුලින්, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය ගොඩනගමින්,සිටින්නේය. එය පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසේ සිට අද දක්වා, ජීවත්ව සිටින හෝ මියගිය, ඔවුන්ගේ ඇදහිල්ල යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල, තිබෙන අය විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින්ය. ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ හිසව සිටින ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයයි.( එපීස1:22)
යේසුස්වහන්සේ සභාව ගැන කීවේ මොනවාද?
කියවන්න මතෙව් 16:18-19.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ සභාව ගැන කථා කළේ අනාගතය ලෙසය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මෙම වචන කථා කරන විට සභාව තවමත් අනාගතයේය. එනම් උන්වහන්සේ මෙම පොළොවේ සිටින විට සභාව පැවතුනේ නැත. සභාව ගොඩනගා ඇති අත්තිවාරම කාගේ මත හෝ කුමක් මතද? ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කියන පර්වතය කුමක්ද?
පේත්රැස් ඔහු විසින්ම කියන්නේ පර්වතය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කියාය. (1පේත්රස්2:4-8); 1 කොරින්ති3:11, වෙනත් අත්තිවාරමක් නැත(එපීස2:20).
නැතහොත් එය කියන්නේ පේත්රැස්ගේ පාපොච්චාරණයයි “ඔබ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේය, ජීවමාන දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ පුත්රයාය. පර්වතයය. විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් බවට පත්වන සෑම කෙනෙක්ම මෙය පිළිගත යුතු බැවින් එය යේසුස්වහන්සේ ගැන සත්යයයි.
සභාව උපත ලැබුවේ කවදාද?
ක්රියා1:5 සහ 2:1-4
යේසුස්වහන්සේ ආපසු ස්වර්ගයට නැගී දවස් දහයකට පමණ පසු පෙන්තකොස්ත දිනයේදී සභාව උපත ලැබීය.
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුම තුල පුද්ගලිකව හා ස්ථිරව වැඩසිටීම පිණිස ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුලට පැමිණි සේක. යේසුස්වහන්සේට නත්තල මෙන් කිතුණු සභාවට පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසයි. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණියේ වෙනස් ආකාර වලින් සියලු ඇදහිලිවතුන්ට සම්බන්ධවීමටය.
පාවුල් සභාව ගැන කථා කරන්නේ එය අභිරහසක් ලෙසය.
කියවන්න එපීස 3:6
මෙම අභිරහස නම් යුදෙව්වරු සහ අන්යජාතිකයින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ බෞතීස්මය තුලින් එකට එකතුවී නව භාවයක් ඇතිවීමය. මෙහි සාමාජිකත්වය සඳහා අවශ්ය එකම සුදුසුකම වන්නේ නැවත නැගිටුන ගැළවුම්කරු තුල අදහාගැනීමය. විශ්ව සභාව යනු මුළුමනින්ම අදහාගන්නාවු යුදෙව්වරු හා අන්ය ජාතිකයින්ගෙන් සැදුම්ලත් අළුත් දෙයක්ය. මේ අනුව පෙන්තකොස්තයේ පටන්, ජීවත්ව සිටින හා මියගිය සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ, විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයෙක් වන බව පැහැදිලිය. මියගිය ඇදහිලිවතුන් අප එක්වීමට බලා සිටින ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ දවසේදී ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේ සමග ජීවමාන වන්නෝය.
ස්ථානික සභාව- සංවිධානයක්
අර්ථ දැක්වීම: ස්ථානික සභාව යනු ප්රකාශ වෙමින් සිටින, නියෝගයන් පවත්වන, ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගේ එකට රැස්වීමක්ය. එය කිසියම් පාලන ව්යුහයක් යටතේ සංවිධානගතව, ඔවුන්ගේ ජන සමුහයට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ පිණිස බලපෑමක් වෙමින් දෙවියන්වහන්සේට කරන ප්රසිද්ධ නමස්කාරය තුලින් සාමාජිකයින්ගේ ශික්ෂණය, නැතිවු අය වෙත ශුභාරංචිය පතුරවමින් කටයුතු කරයි.
විශ්ව සභාව තුල හා ස්ථානීක සභාව තුල සමාජිකයින් අතර වෙනසක් ඇත. විශ්ව සභාව සමන්විත වනුයේ ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගෙන් පමණය, නමුත් ස්ථානික සභාවෙහි ඇදහිලිවතුන් යයි කියාගන්නා නමුත් සැබවින්ම එසේ නොවන සාමාජිකයින්ද සිටිය හැක. ස්ථානික සභාවේ සාමාජිකයෙක් වුවත් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයෙක් නොවෙන්නට පුළුවන.
එසේ වියහැක්කේ නොසැලකිලිමත් කමෙන් හෝ රැවටිල්ල තුලින්ය. සමහර සභාවන් ඔවුන්ගේ චාරිත්ර තුලින් යායුතු බව ඉල්ලා සිටියත් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල ඇදහිල්ල සැබවින්ම ගළවන්නේ කුමක්දැයි කියා පැහැදිලි කරන්නේවත්, පුද්ගලයා එම තීරණය ගෙන තිබෙනවාද කියා නිෂ්චය කරන්නේවත් නැත. සමහර මිනිසුන්, ඔවුන් විශ්වාස කරනවා යයි කියන්නට පුළුවන, නමුත් බොරුකාරයින් හා කුහකයින්ය. අපේ සභාවෙහි සෑම පුද්ගලයෙකුටම ඔවුන් තම ගැළවුම්කරු හැටියට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගන්නා විට ඔවුන්ගේ සාක්ෂිය ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට එක්වීමට කැමති අය දිරිමත් කරවනවා. නමුත් තවමත් අප මෝඩයින් වෙන්න පුළුවන්. හදවත දන්නේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේ පමණයි!
කිතුණු නිකායන් බෙහොමයක් තිබෙන්නේ ඇයි?
බොහෝ නිකායන් පටන්ගන්නේ කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලික න්යායන් වලට එකග වෙමින්ය. නමුත් ඔවුන් අනෙක් දේවල් වලට එකග නොවෙයි. එනම් - බෞතීස්ම විධිය, ගැළවීම නැතිවෙන්නට හැකිද කියා, ශාරීරික සුව කිරීම්, ආශිර්වාදාත්මක දීමනා,
සභා පාලනය, නමස්කාර මාදිලිය. මම විශ්වාස කරන්නේ විවිධත්වය වෙනස් පුද්ගලයින්ගේ අවශ්යතා සපුරන බවයි. සමහරු චාරිත්රානුකූල දේවමෙහෙයේ ක්රමයට කැමතියි. සමහරු ශක්තිමත් බයිබල් ඉගැන්වීම් වලට කැමතියි. සමහරු අක්රමවත් මෙහෙයන් වලට කැමතියි. සමහරු බොහෝ උද්වේගකාරීද තවත් සමහරු බොහෝ අඩු උද්වේගකාරී මෙහෙයන්ටද කැමතියි.
සභා පාලනයේ මුලික ආකාර තුනකි.
Episcopalian (Episkopos): සභාවේ අධිකාරිත්වය පවතින්නේ බිෂොප්වරයා මතය. (මෙතඩිස්ට් සරලය; මෙම ගණයේ ඇන්ග්ලිකන් වඩා සංකීර්ණය; රෝමනු කතෝලික, රෝමයේ බිෂොප් පාප්තුමාගේ නායකත්වය යටතේ ධුරානුක්රම පාලනයක් ඇත.)
Presbyterian (Presbuteros): අධිකාරිත්වය පවතින්නේ සභාවෙන්,වැඩිහිටියන් විසින් පත් කරනු ලබන නියෝජිත කණ්ඩායමක් මතය.(ප්රෙස්බෙටීරියන්, ප්රතිසංස්කෘත, හා සමහර බයිබල් සභා)
Congregational: මෙම ආකාරයේ සභා වල, කාරණ වලදී අවසන් අධිකාරිත්වය සභාව සතු කරන පුද්ගලික කිතුණුවාගේ භූමිකාව අවධාරණය කරයි. සෑම සාමාජිකයෙකුටම ජන්දයක් ඇත. (බැප්ටිස්ට්, නිදහස්, ධර්මදුත, බයිබල් හා ස්වාධීන සභාවන්). අපේ සභාව, මෙහි අවසන් දෙවර්ගයෙහි සංයුක්තයකි: වැඩිහිටියන් විසින් පාලනය කරනු ලබන, මණ්ඩලයක් මගින් ක්රියාත්මක වන, සභා පාලක, සහකාර සභා පාලක, හා අයවැය වාර්ථා සභාවේ ජන්ද මගින් තීරණය වන සභාවකි. (මෙහි මුල් ලිපිය රචනය කරන තැනැත්තා)
වැඩිහිටියන්ගේ වගකීම ආත්මික නායකත්වයයි. මෙම කාර්ය මණ්ඩල වලට නියමවන මිනිසුන් හා ඔවුන්ගේ සුදුසුකම් හමුවන බයිබල් පද නම්: 1තිමොති3:1-7 සහ මිනිසුන්ට මෙම කාර්ය තහනම් කරන පද නම් තීතස්1:6-9 සභාව දර්ශනාත්මක වැරදි වලින් ආරක්ෂා කර සභාවට දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ බැටළු රැල බලාගන්නා එඩේරුන් මෙන් සේවය කිරීම ඔවුන්ගේ වගකීමයි. (ක්රියා20:17,28)
ඩීකන්වරුන් වැඩිහිටියන්ගේ ආත්මික අධිකාරිත්වය යටතේ නායකත්වයේ ප්රායෝගික වැඩ කරනු ලබති. සභා සාමාජිකත්වය තුල අවශ්යතාවයන් ඇති අය ගැන සොයා බලා ඔවුන් ඒ ගැන කටයුතු කරති. කාන්තාවන්ටද ඩීකන් කෙනෙකු වීමට පුළුවන. (රෝම16:1; 1තිමොති3:8-11).
ස්ථානික සභාවේ අණ පනත්
ආඥා: “සභාව විසින් ක්රියාවේ යෙදිය යුතු ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නියම කළ පිටාතර ආගමික වතාවත්. සමහරු මේවාට සක්රම්න්තු යයිද කියනු ලබනවා.
සක්රෙම්න්තුව: “සක්රෙම්න්තුවක් යනු දිව්යමය ආයතනයකින් බලය ඇති හැඟීම් වලට ප්රදානය කරනු ලබන යම් දෙයක්ය. එය සංකේතවත් කිරීමක් පමණක් නොව, කාර්යක්ෂමව අනුග්රහය අවගමනය කිරීමකුත්ය.- RC Council of Trent.
ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ රාත්රී භොජනය හෝ බෞතීස්මය අනුග්රහය අවගමනය කිරීමේ විධි යයි අප විශ්වාස කරන්නේ නැහැ. අප විශ්වාස කරන්නේ ඒවා කරනු ලබන්නේ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ නියෝග වලට කීකරුවීම දැනටමත් ඇතුලාන්තයේ, අපේ හදවත් තුල සිදුවී ඇති දේ බාහිර වශයෙන් සිතුවම් කිරීමටය. මෙම අණ පනත් දෙකම, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය, භූමදානය, හා නැවත නැගිටීම සිහිපත් කරවන්නේය.
baptizo. යන ග්රීක් වචනයේ ප්රාථමික අර්ථය ගිල්වීමය.
බෞතීස්මය සංකේතවත් කරන, පරණ ජීවිතයට මියයාමත් නව ජීවිතයට නැගිටීමත් සංකේතවත් කරන හොඳම සිතුවම ගිල්වීමයි. නමුත් බෞතීස්මය ගැන වාද විවාද කිරීමත් නිෂ්ඵලය. සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ඔහු හෝ ඇය එය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නියෝග කර ඇති බව දැනගත් වහාම බෞතීස්ම වියයුතුය. එය ඔබගේ අනන්යතාවයට හා ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ සමග එක්සත් වු බවට ප්රසිද්ධියේ සාක්ෂි දැරීමයි. ඔබ ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් වීමට පෙර බෞතීස්මවී ඇත්නම්,
ඔබ ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් ලෙස බෞතීස්මය ලැබීමට පසුබට නොවන්න. බෞතීස්මය යනු ඔබේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේට අවනතවීමය.
ස්වාමීන්ගේ රාත්රී භෝජනය, සහභාගිකම, සත් ප්රසාදය
ස්වාමීන්ගේ රාත්රී භෝජනය පැවැත්වීමේ අරමුණු කීපයක්ම තිබෙනවා:
1. එය අපේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතය, සහ මරණය සිහි කිරීමකි. මුහුන් නැති රොටී පව් උදෙසා පුජාවක් වීමට සුදුසුකම් ලත් අපේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතයෙහි සම්පුර්ණත්වය නියෝජනය කරයි. මිදියුෂ නියෝජනය කරන්නේ අපේ පාප කමා කරන උන්වහන්සේගේ ලේ වැගිරීමයි.
2. 1කොරින්ති11:26 කියන්නේ මෙම සිහි කිරීමේ රාත්රී භෝජනය සුභාරංචියේ මුලික කරුණු ප්රකාශයට පත් කරන බවයි. එය ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ මරණය ප්රකාශ කරයි.
3. එය යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නැවත පැමිණෙන බව අපට සිහිපත් කරයි. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණෙන තුරු අප එය පැවැත්වීමට නියමිතය.
4. එය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුල අප එකිනෙකා සමග ඒකත්වයක සිටින බවද එම ශරීරයේ සහෝදර සාමජිකත්වය සමග සහභාගිත්වයෙන් සිටින බවද සිහිපත් කරයි. (1කොරින්ති10:17).
කොටස් කාර විය හැක්කේ කාටද?
යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය හා නැවත නැගිටීම තම පාප උදෙසා සිදු කර ඇතැයි විශ්වාස නොකරන අය විසින් එය නොකළ යුතුය.
නිකායක සාමාජිකත්වය ගැන නොසලකා ඕනෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුට සහභාගි විය හැකිද? ඔව්, මෙය ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ මේසයයි, එයට විශ්ව සභාවේ සියලු සාමාජිකයින් ආරාධිතය. එය බැප්ටිස්ට් හෝ කතෝලික හෝ බයිබල් සභාවක නොවේ. බාධාවීම නිකායික සම්බන්ධයක් පදනම්ව සිදුවේ නම් එය විශ්ව සභාවේ එක්සත්කම සඳහාවන කැඳවීමට එරෙහි වීමකි. (Communion at Lausanne)
අවවාදයය! 1කොරින්ති11:27-32: සහභාගිවීමට පෙර අපේ ආත්ම විමසීම හා පසුතැවිලිවීම අප විසින් කිරීමට ඇත. එසේ නොවුවොත් එය රෝගීවීම හා මරණයට පත්වීම පවා වියහැකි විනය කඩ කිරීමක් වනවා ඇත.
ස්ථානීය සභාවක් සඳහා අරමුණ
1. නමස්කාරය හා ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේ කෙරෙහිවු ප්රේමය පෙන්වීම( එළිදරව්2:4).
2. එහි සාමාජිකයින්ට එකිනෙකාට ප්රේම කිරීම හා යහපත් වැඩ කළ හැකිවන පරිදි මෙහෙවර කිරීම (හෙබ්රෙව්10:24).
3. මහා නියෝගය ඉටු කිරීම කරගෙන යන නියෝජිතයෙකු වීම, ඇදහිලිවතුන්ට ප්රතිචාර දැක්විය හැකි වන පරිදි දේව මෙහෙයන් වලදී ශුභාරංචිය දේශනා කිරීම.
4. සභාවේ අවශ්යතා ඇති අය ගැන සැලකිලි දැක්වීම උදා: වැන්දඹුවන්, අනාථ දරුවන්, හා දිළින්දන් ( යාකොබ්1:27;1තිමොති5:1-6).
5. ලෝකය තුල යහපත්කම් කිරීම (ගලාති6:10)
6. පරිනත ස්ථාවර හා ශුද්ධ කිතුණුවන් බිහිකිරීම ( කොලොස්සි1:28;හෙබ්රෙව්6:1; එපීස4:14-16). සදාචාරමය විනයක් ඇතිව මෙය න්යය තුල පවිත්රව, පැවතීම අරමුණු කරයි. (1කොරින්ති5,2තිමොති:16-18).
විශ්වීය සභාවේ නිරූපණ
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ එඬේරාය, අපි බැටළුවෝය. (යොහාන්10) රැකබලාගැනීම හා ආරක්ෂාව.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මිදි වැලය, අපි අතුය. (යොහාන්15)- ඵලදැරීම හා ශක්තිය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කොනේ ගලය, අපි ගොඩනැගිල්ලේ ගල්ය. (එපීස2:19-21) කොනේ ගල දිශාවන් දෙනු ලබන අතර එය තබන්නේ එක වරක් පමණය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ උත්තම පුජකයාය, අපි පුජක රාජ්යයක්ය.(1පේත්රැස්2) - අපි අපම පුජා වන්නෙමු, අපේ භාවාර්ථය සහ අපේ සේවය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ හිසය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ අවයවයෝය.(1කොරින්ති12)- හිස හැටියට උන්වහන්සේ මගපෙන්වන සේක; සාමාජිකයින් හැටියට උන්වහන්සේ අපට දී ඇති ආත්මික දීමනාවල අභ්යාස තුලින් අපි එකිනෙකාට සේවය කරන්නෙමු.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මනමාලයාය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ මනමාලියයි.(එපීස5:25-33), එළිදරව්19:7-8) සදාකාලික ප්රේමය සහ සමීපත්වය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ උරුමක්කාරයාය, අපි සබැඳි උරුමක්කාරයෝය.(හෙබ්රෙව්1:2, රෝම1:17)- අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ මහිමය බෙදාගන්නෙමුව.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ප්රථම ඵලයයි, අපි අස්වැන්නයි.(1කොරින්ති15:23)- උන්වහන්සේගේ නැවත නැගිටීම අපගේ නැගිටීමද සහතික කරයි.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ස්වාමියාය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ දාසයෝය (කොලොස්සි4:1, 1කොරින්ති7:22)- දාසයා කරන්නේ ස්වාමියාගේ කැමැත්තයි. ස්වාමියා දාසයා ගැන සලකන්නේය.
අප මෙම කරුණු භාවිතා කරන්නේ කෙසේද?
අපි සෑම නෙනෙක්ම විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් බව සහතික කරගත යුතුය. අප නමස්කාර කරන්නේ කුමන සභාවේද යන්න ප්රශ්නයක් නොවේ.
විශ්වීය සභාවේ සාමාජිකත්වය ස්වාමීවු යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ඔබේ ගැළවුම්කරු යයි විශ්වාසය තැබීමෙන් සුරක්ෂිතවේ. ඔබ විශ්ව සභාවේ, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයෙක්, යයි දැනගැනීම මහත්වු සුරක්ෂිත කමකි. මෙම සහතිකවීම ඔබට වර්ධනයවීමට හා සේවය කිරීමට හැකි ස්ථානීය සභාව හඳුනාගැනීමට උනන්දුව ඇති කළ යුතුයි. අපේ සභාව වැනි සභාවන් බොහෝ කාරණ තුල සේවය කිරීමට සාමාජිකත්වයක් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ නැත. නමුත් ඔබ ආශිර්වාද ලබන, ආත්මිකව වර්ධනය වන සභාවට සහය දැක්වීම ඔබ පෙන්නුම් කරන හොඳ අදහසක් නොවනවා නොවේද?
සමිබන්ධ වනවා යනු මෙහි සිටින මිනිසුන් ඔබ විසින්ම හඳුනාගැනීමයි. ඔවුන් ඔබේ පවුලයි. ඔබ මුදල් දෙනවා, ඔබ අවශ්යතා ඇති අයටඋදව් කරනවා, ඔබ සහභාගිකම් පවත්වනවා, ඔබ සේවය කරනවා. සම්බන්ධවීම යනු කැපවීමයි! ඔබ මෙම සභාවට නිතිපතා පැමිණ එය ඔබේ සභාව යයි සලකනවා නම්,තමා සාමාජිකයෙක් වියයුතු යයි ඔබ සිතන්නේ නැද්ද? නව සාමාජිකත්ව පංති අඩු තරමින් වසරකට හතර වතාවක් පවත්වනවා. ඒවා පවත්වන්නේ අනුගාමී ඉරුදිනවල උදෑසනය. ඔබ සම්බන්ධවීමට ඉල්ලුම් කළොත් ඔබට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල ඔබේ පුද්ගලික සාක්ෂිය දිය හැකි වැඩිහිටියෙකු සමග සම්මුඛ පරීක්ෂණයක් තිබෙනවා. ඉන්පසු ඔබ සභාවට ඉදිරිපත් කරනවා ඇත.
අපේ න්යායික ප්රකාශනය ඔබට දැනුම්දී ඇතැයි මා බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා. දිරිමත් වන්න, ඔබේ සභාව විශ්වාස කරන්නේ මොනවාදැයි ඔබෙන් අසන ඕනෑම කෙනෙකුට උත්තර දීමට අවශ්ය සම්පත් වලින් ස්ථාවර වන්න.
කියවන්න මතෙව්16:13-18; ක්රියා2;1-4, 41-47
1. යේසුස්වහන්සේ මේ පොළොවේ සිටියදී සභාව ගැන කථා කළේ මොන කාලයෙන්ද? සභාව උපත ලැබුවේ කවදාද? සභාවේ ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගේ චරිත හැඩ ගැසෙන ක්රියාකාරකම් මොනවාද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති3:9-10; එපීස19:22
2. සභාවේ එකම අත්තිවාරම කවුද?
කියවන්න 1තිමොති3:15; 1කොරින්ති12:13,27; එපීස2:19-22; එපීස5:30-32
3. මේ එක් එක් ජේද සභාව ගැන කියන්නේ මොනවාද? සෑම ලාංජනයකම ඇති වැදගත්කම කුමක්ද? ඔබ සිතන්නේ මෙය යොමු කරන්නේ ස්ථානික සභාවටද විශ්වීය සභාවටද? විශ්වීය සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් කවුද? ඔවුන් ස්ථානික සභාවෙන් වෙනස් විය හැක්කේ කෙසේද?
4. ක්රිස්තුස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයින් ක්රියාත්මක වියයුතු විධිය ගැන මෙම ජේදය කියන්නේ මොනවාද? අප කවුරුන් වාගේද? වෙනස්ද? එකිනෙකා කෙරෙහි අපට තිබිය යුතු ආකල්ප මොනවාද? අපම කෙරෙහි තිබිය යුතු ආකල්ප මොනවාද?
කියවන්න මතෙව්26:26-29; ලුක්22:19-20; 1කොරින්ති11:23-31
5. යේසුස්වහන්සේ නැවත ලැමිණෙන තුරු පැවැත්වීමට උන්වහන්සේ නියෝග කළ වතාවත් මොනවාද? එය සිහිපත්කරන්නේ කුමක්ද? සහභාගිවීමට පෙර අපි සෑම කෙනෙක්ම කළයුත්තේ කුමක්ද? එය “නුසුදුසු ආකාරයෙන්” ගැනීම කෙරෙහි ඇති දඬුවම දඩුවම කුමක්ද?
කියවන්න මතෙව්228:18-20;ක්රියා2:36-47; රෝම6:1-5
6. යේසුස්වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේගේ සභාවට පැවැත්වීමට නියෝග කළ අනෙක් වතාවත් මොනවාද? මුල් සභාවේ ඒවා කළේ කවදාද? එය සංකේතවත් කළේ කුමක්ද? එය අන්
කියවන්න යොහාන් 15:9-10
7. ඇදහිලිවතුන් බෞතීස්ම කළයුතුවීම හා රාත්රී භෝජනයට සහභාගිවීමේ ප්රධාන හේතුව කුමක්ද? අපේ කීකරුකම ඔප්පු කරන්නේ කුමක්ද? ඔබ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගත්තාට පසු බෞතීස්ම වී තිබෙනවාද?
8. ස්ථානීය සභාවට කැපවීමට හා සම්බන්ධ වීමට අපට අත්මික පරිනත භාවයකට වර්ධනය වීම අවශ්යය වන්නේ ඇයි? ඇදිහිලිවතුන්ගේ ප්රාදේශීය සංවිධානයක පමණක් සිටීමෙන් අපට මගහැරීමට ඉඩ ඇත්තේ කුමක්ද? “මට සභාවකට යන්නට වුවමනා නැහැ, මමම දෙවියන්වහන්සේ නමස්කාර කරනවා යයි කියන ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුට ඔබ දෙන පිළිතුර කුමක්ද?
Issue 017. 2014 February Bible.org Translator's Newsletter
This last month has resulted in 4 new translated articles being added to the site. Thank you for your hard work this month, Tilak!
Hints and Tips
Tip: Have you wondered what free electronic dictionaries were available online to assist you as you were working on a translation?
- A direct search for a dictionary in your language can of course be very helpful, but has/is going through the effort to be a primary directory of “all” online bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and glossaries freely available on the internet.
- has also put together quite a list of easily searchable online dictionaries on their website. Most languages listed have multiple available dictionaries.
- Another website with links to hundreds of dictionaries is .
Hopefully these will be helpful resources to you as you work on accurately translating these important messages about God’s Word!
This month we had the joy of giving out two awards for translation efforts. These awards both went to Tilak for having already passed the 5 and now reached the 10 article milestones. He received ePub versions of the books Teaching as Jesus Taught by Roy B. Zuck and Enjoy Your Bible: Making the Most of Your Time with God’s Word by Irving L. Jensen. We pray that these resources are a blessing to you in your personal life and ministry.
Know someone else who is bilingual?
If you know of anyone else who would have the time and skills to translate articles for Bible.org please consider recommending this ministry to them. Sometimes the most obvious gifts (like preaching or being a leader) are not the ones with the most impact or need. This is a real opportunity to meet a need and impact thousands and thousands of people with the truth of God’s Word.
Need help, have questions, or prefer to meet in real time?
I am available and would love to answer any questions you might have. We do have a section on our Translation Series page, but you can always send me an email! I can also be available through Skype for a voice or chat conversation. Simply let me know through email that you would like to talk and we will get it worked out.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Related Topics: Administrative and Organization
Introduction: Give Forth Glimpses of GodlinessRelated Media
How many of you have been to the Grand Canyon? Several years ago my husband Gary and I took a road trip to Arizona because I had always wanted to see it. We planned to watch some baseball spring practice and follow it up with an overnight stay at the Grand Canyon.
Now, the only reason that I was in favor of driving so far was because of this side trip; I’m not really much of a road trip person—all those hours in the car seem so wasted! But to go to the Grand Canyon was worth it! So we planned the trip and reserved a room at the hotel right on the rim. I was very excited!
After driving and driving and driving for what seemed like weeks through New Mexico, we spent several days in Phoenix; then, we headed north and arrived at our destination. The Grand Canyon at last! Here is a picture of me at the rim. As you can see, fog totally enveloped it. We could barely see ten feet in front of us or down the side, much less the other side of the canyon! And the twenty-four hour forecast was more fog, and that was all the time we had! To say that I was disappointed is a huge understatement!
Since we had nothing else to do, we decided to take a walk until lunch and then leave for home. However, as we walked along the rim of the canyon feeling very dejected and staring out into the nothingness, there was a small break in the fog. I could see the light shining on a piece of the canyon wall on the other side. It was beautiful! I was amazed at the colors. Of course, I had seen pictures, but they were nothing compared to this small glimpse of the real thing! I thought, if only I could see the entire canyon! What a sight it must be!
Just as the Grand Canyon is a beautiful and amazing sight to behold, so vast that it is impossible to take in, we have a God who is beyond our comprehension! He is lovely; he is wonderful; he is loving and kind. He has complete power and yet he cares for the least of his creation. His qualities would blow us away if we truly grasped them. But we can only see him through a fog produced by our broken world and lives. At best we catch infrequent glimpses of his true beauty and greatness. Sometimes we are able to peer at his wonder, and other times we see only the fog. But when we do see him, we yearn to see more!
But originally God shaped his creation to reflect his own character. People were purposed and designed to look like him. Even now he calls each of us to give forth glimpses of godliness--
Lesson 41: Jesus: True, Yet Rejected (John 7:14-24)Related Media
January 26, 2014
Cary Grant once told how he was walking along a street and met a man whose eyes locked onto him with excitement. The man said, “Wait a minute, you’re … you’re—I know who you are; don’t tell me—uh, Rock Hud—no, you’re….”
Grant thought he’d help him, so he finished the man’s sentence: “Cary Grant.”
And the fellow said, “No, that’s not it! You’re….”
There was Cary Grant, identifying himself with his own name, but the fellow had someone else in mind! (Leadership Journal [Fall, 1990], pp. 48-49)
The apostle John wrote of Jesus (1:10-11), “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” So throughout his Gospel John sets forth both the tragedy of unbelief along with the triumphs of belief. He wrote his Gospel to show who Jesus is so that (20:31) “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” To have saving faith, it’s crucial that you understand correctly who Jesus is.
In our text, Jesus is at the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, six months before He would be arrested and crucified. Before He showed Himself publicly at this feast, the crowds were debating, with some saying (7:12), “He is a good man”; [but] others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads people astray.”
John wants us to see that neither of those are viable options. Jesus could not have been merely a good man and said the things that He said. If a mere man claimed that he could give living water so that the one who drank it would never thirst again; or if he claimed to be the bread of life, so that whoever ate of him would never hunger and would have eternal life; or if he claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life and said that he was the only way that people could come to God; you would not say, “He’s a good man.” You would say, “He’s a crazy megalomaniac!” And, at the same time, Jesus was obviously too good of a man to be a deliberate deceiver. So John wants us to see that Jesus is the eternal Son of God in human flesh. He wants us to see Jesus’ glory so that we might believe in Him as our Lord and God (20:28).
But John knows full well that believing in Jesus isn’t the automatic response to Him. There is always division: some believe, some are indifferent, and others reject Him vehemently. So here John shows us the reaction of the Jewish leaders and the crowds to Jesus when He went into the temple in the midst of the feast and began to teach. Although Jesus was sent from God, taught God’s truth, sought God’s glory, and did God’s miraculous works, people rejected Him because they valued the wrong things; they were not willing to obey God; they were legalistic hypocrites; they were under satanic influence; and, they were judging by outward appearances. Or, more briefly,
Although Jesus is the true and righteous one, people reject Him because of their many sins.
The Holy Spirit did not see fit to tell us the content of Jesus’ teaching on this occasion, but rather had John record the reaction of the people to Jesus’ teaching. But in the narrative, he gives us four solid reasons that Jesus is, as He claims (7:18), “true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
1. Jesus is the true and righteous one.
When Jesus claims to be “true” (7:18), He means that He embodies all that is true. He adds, “and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Jesus is claiming to be absolutely true, with no hint of deception (7:12) or sin in Him. Also, as Leon Morris points out (The Gospel of John [Eerdmans], p. 406, n. 39), in the only other places in John where a person is said to be “true,” it is used of God (3:33; 8:26). Thus John wants us to see that Jesus alone shares this quality with God. Four facts support Jesus’ claim to be true and righteous:
A. Jesus is true and righteous because He was sent here by God (7:16, 18).
Jesus emphasizes this twice here. In 7:16, He says, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” And, in 7:18, He says, “He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true….” He will mention it again in 7:28-29, “I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him and He sent Me.” It is a major theme in John that Jesus is the one sent to earth by God the Father.
Why did Jesus emphasize this so often? It’s a matter of His preexistence and authority. If He was a religious upstart, who came up with His own ideas and promoted Himself alone, then why believe in Him? But if the one true God sent Him and He is also true, then we had better believe in Him and obey Him. To reject Jesus is to reject the God who sent Him.
B. Jesus is true and righteous because He taught God’s truth (7:14-17).
Jesus did not go up to the feast with His brothers to make a grand entrance, because the people wanted to make Him a political king. But sometime in the midst of the feast, He went into the temple and began to teach. A crowd quickly gathered around Him. Probably, the charge in 7:15 is coming from the Jewish leaders and addressed to the people listening to Jesus (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John’s Gospel [Augsburg Publishing House], p. 541). Their “astonishment” did not mean that they were favorably impressed by Jesus’ teaching. Rather, they were amazed at His audacity to take on the role of a religious teacher in the temple when He lacked the proper credentials from the Jewish authorities. They were trying to discredit Jesus in front of the crowd by alleging that “this man” (a derogatory term) purports to be learned, but He has never been educated in our schools. John is again using irony: Here are these proud Jewish leaders calling the eternal Word who created the world (1:1-3) an uneducated fellow (Morris, p. 405)!
Jesus responds to their challenge by asserting (7:16), “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Jesus is saying, “I don’t need your education and humanly-conferred degrees because I am speaking truth directly from the living and true God who sent Me here to teach.” In spiritual matters, the ideas of philosophers and religious teachers are mere speculation. Such thinkers have not come from God and they can only guess at what He is like. But since Jesus came from God, He could authoritatively teach us about God, man, sin, and how we can have eternal life.
I’ll say more on 7:17 in a moment, but for now note what Jesus says about how a person can know whether His teaching originated with Him or with God: “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” When you’re witnessing to an unbeliever about Christ, you should challenge him to read the gospels, paying attention to the teaching of Jesus. But many have read and even studied the gospels and come away as unbelievers. The key is to tell the unbeliever, “As you read, tell God that if He will show you that Jesus is true, you will be willing to obey Him.” If the person comes to the gospels as a scoffer, he will read them and go away a scoffer. If he comes with a willing heart to obey God’s will, then God will show him the truth about Jesus.
C. Jesus is true and righteous because He sought God’s glory (7:18).
Jesus continues (7:18): “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” When Jesus came to this earth, He voluntarily laid aside the glory that He had shared with the Father from all eternity and took on the form of a slave, becoming obedient even to death on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8). He is now risen, ascended, and restored to His rightful full glory at the Father’s right hand (John 17:5). He will come again in power and glory to judge the living and the dead.
But when He was on earth, Jesus’ aim was to glorify the Father. He states that this, not rabbinic credentials from the accredited schools, is the test of a true teacher. That is true of all who purport to teach God’s truth: If a man glories in his academic degrees and seeks to exalt himself, he is not a true teacher of God’s truth. When you have any idea of the righteousness and majesty of God, you’ll be painfully aware of your own inadequacy and unworthiness. You’ll cry out (Ps. 115:1), “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.”
Thus Jesus is true and righteous because He was sent here by God, He taught God’s truth, and He sought God’s glory. Finally,
D. Jesus is true and righteous because He did God’s miraculous works (7:19-23).
John 7:19-23: “‘Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?’ The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?’ Jesus answered them, ‘I did one deed, and you all marvel. For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?’”
Jesus draws a contrast between Himself and the hypocritical Pharisees. There was no unrighteousness in Jesus (7:18), but the Jews, who boasted in the Law, didn’t actually keep the Law, as seen by the fact that they were trying to kill Jesus. The crowd, which consisted of Jews from all over Israel as well as from other countries, may not have been aware of the evil intent of their leaders. So they accuse Jesus of demon-induced paranoia.
Jesus responds (7:21) by referring back to the incident in John 5:1-15, where He healed the man by the Pool of Bethesda and told him to carry his mat on the Sabbath. As a result of this one deed, the Jews were persecuting Him and seeking to kill Him (5:16, 18). It’s not easy to understand what “for this reason” (7:22, which the ESV and NIV omit) refers to, but the thought seems to be (loosely paraphrasing F. Godet, Commentary on the Gospel of John [Zondervan], 2:66), “The reason Moses gave you the law that requires circumcising a baby on the eighth day even if that day is the Sabbath is that he was pleading My cause in advance. Moses was requiring you to commit the same Sabbath transgression that you are seeking to kill Me for. If it’s lawful to purify one part of the body by circumcision on the Sabbath, then why was it wrong for Me to heal an entire man on the Sabbath?”
But the point is, as Nicodemus told Jesus (3:2), “No one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Or, as the man born blind whom Jesus healed told the hostile Jewish leaders (9:33), “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Or, as Jesus tells the same religious leaders (10:37-38), “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
So there is solid evidence for believing that Jesus is the true and righteous one: He was sent here by God; He taught God’s truth; He sought God’s glory; and He did God’s miraculous works. So, with all this evidence, why do people still reject Jesus as Savior and Lord?
2. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because of their many sins.
The text reveals five sins that caused these religious Jews to reject Jesus:
A. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they value the wrong things (7:15).
As we’ve seen, these Jewish leaders valued their rabbinic training. They had a “good ol’ boy club” of those who had graduated from their schools. When they taught in the synagogues and in the temple, the rabbis would cite the proper rabbinic authorities. But here was this young upstart from the insignificant town of Nazareth teaching the people without citing the esteemed rabbis. He would say, “You have heard it said, … but I say unto you” (see Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 38-39, 43-44). Matthew (7:28-29) concludes the Sermon on the Mount by noting, “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”
While there is nothing wrong per se with academic degrees, if we put such a premium on degrees that we disregard or belittle a godly man who lacks such degrees, we will miss some deep spiritual blessings. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, did not have any formal training, but he had deep insight into the Bible and he could preach it with power. The king of England once asked John Owen, the learned Puritan theologian who was the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, how he could go and listen to a tinker prate (Bunyan’s trade was to fix pots and pans). Owen replied (John Owen: Prince of the Puritans, by Andrew Thomson [Christian Focus], p. 125), “May it please your majesty, could I possess the tinker’s ability for preaching, I would willingly relinquish all my learning.” If we value the wrong things, we will miss Jesus.
B. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are not willing to obey God (7:17).
We’ve already looked at 7:17, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” But note further what Jesus is saying here: The reason that people do not recognize Jesus for who He is does not hinge on having enough evidence, but rather on having enough obedience. If a person is willing to obey God, he will know that Jesus was sent by God and speaks God’s truth. As Augustine put it (cited by Morris, 406, n. 37): “Do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand.”
In other words, if you come to the Bible as a scoffer, you’ll go away a scoffer. Jesus never committed Himself to unbelief (2:24). That’s a basic principle of human relationships. If someone comes to you with a critical, hostile attitude, you’re not going to commit yourself to him. But if he comes wanting to be of help to you, you’re more likely to open yourself up to him. Similarly, Jesus said (John 14:21), “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” The opposite is also true: If you don’t obey Christ, He won’t disclose Himself to you.
C. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are legalistic hypocrites (7:19).
The Jewish leaders prided themselves on obeying the Mosaic Law, but Jesus unmasks them by stating (7:19), “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” The scribes and Pharisees meticulously tithed their table spices, but they neglected the weightier provisions of the law (Matt. 23:23). Here, they want to break the sixth commandment by killing Jesus. Legalism is when a person keeps certain manmade rules or parts of God’s Word that he can do externally, so that everyone will notice how “righteous” he is. But he doesn’t deal with the sin in his heart.
Since the Lord knows every private thought that you have, it’s foolish to try to put on an outward show of “righteousness,” while at the same time you neglect judging sinful thoughts, such as pride, greed, lust, selfishness, and jealousy. You may impress others, but God isn’t impressed at all! Legalistic hypocrisy will cause you to reject Jesus, the righteous one, who sees right through you.
D. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are under satanic influence (7:20).
The crowd may have been ignorant of the leaders’ intent to kill Jesus, but their response of accusing Jesus of having a demon was evidence that they themselves were under demonic influence. Since they thought that mental illnesses, such as paranoia, stemmed from demonic activity, they may have only been accusing Jesus of being crazy. But, still, to charge the true and righteous one of having a demon can only come from satanic influence.
It’s interesting that in John, there are no stories of Jesus casting out demons, as in the Synoptic Gospels, but there are several occasions where Jesus is accused of being demon-possessed (here; 8:48-52; 10:20-21; Morris, p. 407). The apostle tells us (1 John 5:19), “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Or, as Paul states with reference to those who are perishing (2 Cor. 4:4), “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” For people to receive Christ, the Holy Spirit must open their eyes to see something of His glory.
Thus, people reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they value the wrong things, they are not willing to obey God, they are legalistic hypocrites, and they are under satanic influence. Finally,
E. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they judge according to outward appearances (7:24).
Jesus exhorts these scoffers (7:24), “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” The Greek here may be translated, “Stop judging according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” They were judging Jesus because He healed a man and told him to carry his mat on the Sabbath, which was a violation of their legalistic additions to the Sabbath commandment. But at the same time, they were rejecting the true and righteous one and seeking to kill Him!
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood and misapplied verses in the New Testament is Jesus’ command (Matt. 7:1), “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” If people would bother to read just a few verses further, Jesus commands not to throw your pearls before swine (He was talking about people who are swine, not pigs!). He goes on to warn about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Obviously, to obey those commands you have to make some judgments! The Bible commands us to be discerning with regard to false teaching and demonic activity (Pastoral Epistles; 1 John 4:1).
The point here is that if you judge who Jesus is superficially, you’ll end up rejecting Him as He really is. There are many who think that Jesus was always gentle, kind, and nice. I’m not sure how that myth ever got started! Read the Gospels and you’ll see Jesus strongly confront sin, as He is doing here. You can’t trust in Him and walk with Him without Him confronting your sin. He always does it in love, because sin destroys us. But He does confront it. If you truly believe in Jesus, you will let His Word confront your sin regularly.
That brings me back to 7:17 again. If you want to know who Jesus is and whether He is the true and righteous one, sent by God, you have to be willing to obey God’s will as revealed in His word. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “It is difficult for us to believe because it is difficult for us to obey.” If you’re willing to obey, God will show you that Jesus is God’s true and righteous one. He is worthy of all your trust!
- How much does a person need to know about Jesus to be able to trust in Him for eternal life?
- Why is willingness to obey God foundational for faith in Christ? How can an unbeliever become willing to obey God?
- What are some lessons that we can learn from Jesus here on how to witness to skeptics?
- Discuss some ways that legalism keeps people from trusting in Christ.
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
Lesson 42: Don’t Be Confused About Jesus! (John 7:25-36)Related Media
February 2, 2014
A story is told of two old ladies who lived together. One summer evening they were sitting on their porch, enjoying the peaceful scene. One woman was listening to the sound of a church choir a few doors away as they practiced. The other woman was listening to the sound of the crickets chirping. The woman listening to the choir said, “Isn’t that a lovely sound?” The woman listening to the crickets replied, “Yes, and I understand that they do it by rubbing their legs together.”
Sometimes confusion can be humorous, but at other times it can be disastrous. That’s especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. Contrary to the prevailing popular view, spiritual truth is not whatever each person prefers it to be. There are not many ways to God, so that you can just pick whatever suits your fancy. Jesus was very exclusive when He said (John 14:6), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Either He was right or He was wrong. You must decide. Spiritual truth is quite narrow. Spiritual confusion is eternally fatal!
In our text, we see different groups of religious Jews who are confused about Jesus. There is the group that John calls “the Jews” (7:1, 11, 13, 15, 35). This refers to the Jewish religious leaders, whom John also identifies as the Pharisees and chief priests, who were Sadducees (7:32). These groups were often rivals, but they viewed Jesus as a common enemy. So they joined together to try to seize Him (7:30, 44, 45). But they knew that many in the crowd liked Jesus. They also remembered Jesus’ disrupting their business by cleansing the temple. So they had to proceed cautiously.
Also, there is a larger group whom John calls “the crowd” (7:12, 20, 31, 32). This would include Jewish pilgrims who had come up to Jerusalem for the feast from all over Israel and from other countries. Many of them were not aware that the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus, so when He mentioned this, they accused Him of having a demon (7:20).
Then there is a narrower group that John calls “the people of Jerusalem” (7:25-27). They were confused both about who Jesus was and about why their religious leaders were not arresting Him. Because of misunderstanding both about the origins of the Messiah and Jesus’ origins, they concluded that He could not be the expected Messiah.
So the overall feeling of our text is that a lot of people were confused about who Jesus is. But John (20:31) wants us to know the truth about who He is so that we “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [we] may have life in His name.” So John is showing us that …
While there are many confused opinions about who Jesus is, your eternal destiny depends on believing the truth about Him.
1. There are many confused opinions about who Jesus is.
Some of the people of Jerusalem wondered out loud whether Jesus might really be the Christ and whether the Jewish leaders were not arresting Him because they thought that He was the Christ (7:25-26). But they quickly dismissed this idea because, as they said (7:27), “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.”
These people mistakenly thought that the Christ would suddenly come on the scene unannounced, with a dramatic flash. They may have based this on Malachi 3:1, where the Lord says, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming.” Jesus actually fulfilled that prophecy when He went into the temple and cleansed it at the beginning of His public ministry (John 2:13-16). But all these Jerusalem residents knew was that Jesus was from Nazareth and He had been around for some time, which didn’t fit their ideas of how the Christ would come and from where He would come. Others, however, knew more accurately that the Christ would come from Bethlehem (7:42; Matt. 2:4-5), but since they didn’t know that Jesus was born there, they also rejected Him as the Christ.
As we’ve seen, the crowd was confused about who Jesus was. Some said that He was a good man; others said that He led the people astray (7:12). Some in the multitude thought that He had a demon because of His comments about the Jews seeking to kill Him (7:20). In response, Jesus had told them (7:24) not to judge according to appearance, but to judge with righteous judgment. But John is showing us the general confusion that resulted from people judging Jesus superficially by appearance. Such superficial judgment resulted in misinformation, open hostility, and mocking unbelief, although many did believe (7:31).
Of course, at the heart of all confusion about Jesus Christ is the great deceiver, Satan, the enemy of all souls. One of the early deceptions that he foisted on the church was that of Arius, who taught that Jesus was the greatest of all created beings, but He is not eternal God. Although Athanasius stood firmly against Arius and the church finally adopted the Nicene Creed, affirming that Jesus is “eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father,” we still have Arianism with us today under the name of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As if that were not bad enough, the Mormons have still a different view of Jesus, but one that denies the New Testament witness to His deity.
Other false cults talk about “the Christ within us all,” or “the Christ principle.” Liberal theologians deny the possibility of the miraculous, so they have to attribute all of Jesus’ miracles to the gullible imaginations of the apostles. They try to figure out which words attributed to Jesus in the Bible are His true words, and which were invented by the disciples or later followers. Of course, such speculations are just that—speculations based on the liberal theologians’ subjective assumptions. And then there is the confusion of the population at large, which thinks of Jesus as a great moral teacher or a religious reformer, but not as God in human flesh. But they have never carefully examined the Gospels to think about who Jesus claimed to be and who the apostles affirmed Him to be. So there is no end to the confusion about who Jesus is.
Jesus Himself warned with reference to the end times (Matt. 24:23-24, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” So it’s very important that we not be confused about who Jesus is. Rather,
2. We must believe the truth about who Jesus is.
We don’t know whether Jesus overheard the confusion of the people in the temple or whether He knew supernaturally what they were thinking. But He “cried out in the temple” (7:28, 29; the word refers to a loud shout, so that all would hear), “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus’ stating that the Jews did not know God must have shocked them. The Jews prided themselves on knowing God, in contrast to the Gentiles, who worshiped many false gods.
But what does Jesus mean when He tells them, “You both know Me and know where I am from”? If they didn’t know God, how could they know Jesus and His origin? In 8:19, He tells them, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” So what does Jesus mean when He tells them that they both know Him and where He is from?
It seems that Jesus was speaking with irony, so as to say, “You think that you know Me and where I’m from. I’ll grant, in a superficial sense, this is true. You know that I’m from Nazareth. You know My relatives according to the flesh. But you really don’t know Me at all, as evidenced by the fact that you don’t know God. You don’t know anything about My divine nature and My unity with the Father.” (I am combining the second and third views as explained by J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker], 3:33.) Jesus here is testifying to the truth of who He is. To know Him rightly, we must understand and believe His testimony.
A. Jesus testified that He had not come of Himself, but had been sent to earth by God.
John 7:28b-29, “I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus again affirms the repeatedly stated truth that He had been sent here by the Father. As I mentioned last time, this points both to Jesus’ eternality and to His authority. There is here the additional thought that since Jesus was sent by God, He was under His providential protection.
1) To be sent by God means that Jesus is eternal.
He did not begin His existence when He was born to the virgin Mary. Jesus existed forever with the Father in glory before He came to this earth. In John 8:58, He tells the hostile Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am” (not, “I was”). They picked up on His identifying Himself with Yahweh who told Moses that His name is, “I AM” (Exod. 3:14). In John 17:5, He prays, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Or, as John begins his Gospel (1:1), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the eternal God in human flesh.
Contrary to the Arians (and Jehovah’s Witnesses), there never was a time when Jesus did not exist. When He took on human flesh, His deity was not diminished or mixed together into a hybrid form that was less than God. Witness Lee, who was the main leader of “The Local Church” sect, wrongly used the analogy of a tea bag and water to explain Jesus.* Before they come together, you have two substances, but once they come together you have a new substance, “tea-water.” Even so, he taught, Jesus is now the God-man, a hybrid of both. But that is heresy, because it confuses both Jesus’ full deity and His perfect humanity. Through the virgin birth, Jesus’ deity was not diminished or changed in any way. Rather, to His full deity, He added sinless humanity.
2) To be sent by God means that Jesus operated under the full authority of God.
He didn’t come on His own initiative or make up His own stuff. As He says in 7:16, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Back in 5:19, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” In 5:30, He stated, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” He relayed to us exactly what the Father told Him to say. Thus to reject Jesus or His teaching is to reject the Father who sent Him. Also…
3) To be sent by God means that Jesus was under the Father’s providential protection.
In 7:30, we read, “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” We’ve already encountered in John the concept of “Jesus’ hour” (2:4) and we will see it again (8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1). It refers to the cross, which was the ultimate reason that Jesus came to this earth. But the point John makes by using the phrase here is that no one could touch Jesus until the hour that the Father had providentially determined before the foundation of the earth.
We can apply the concept of being sent by God to ourselves. In John 20:21, Jesus told the disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” That applies to all of us who have believed in Christ. He sends us into this world as His ambassadors to appeal to unbelievers to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). As we represent our Divine King, He assures us that He will be with us, even unto the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). As His ambassadors, we can know that He has an appointed hour for each of us and no one can touch us until that hour. For John the Baptist and for Jesus, that hour came when they were in their early thirties. For the apostle John, the hour was when he was about 90. He has a different purpose for each of us. But we can know that we will not die until the hour appointed by our sovereign King (Ps. 139:16).
B. Jesus testified that He knew God.
Although Jesus’ hearers for the most part did not know God (7:28), Jesus plainly stated (7:29), “I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus had a unique and thorough knowledge of the Father because He is one with the Father (10:30) and He alone existed with the Father from all eternity. Thus Jesus can uniquely reveal the Father to us. As John said (1:18), “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
In John 17:3, Jesus describes the essence of eternal life as knowing God: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” In Luke 10:22, Jesus makes this profound statement: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” The only way that we can know the Father is through the Son when the Son wills to reveal Him to us. Are you asking the Lord Jesus to reveal the Father to you so that you might know Him more deeply?
Jeremiah 9:23-24 declares: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.” Regarding unbelievers, Paul said (Eph. 4:18) that they are “darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” But the goal of the Christian life is that (Eph. 4:13) “we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Or, as Paul stated his goal in life (Phil. 3:10), “that I may know Him.”
Is that your aim in life? If so, you are reading and meditating on God’s Word daily with the prayer, “Lord, reveal Yourself to me so that I may know You.” If you’ve never done so, I encourage you to read some books where godly teachers expound on the attributes of God. J. I. Packer’s Knowing God [IVP] is a classic. A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy [Harper & Row] is short, but deep. So is A. W. Pink’s The Attributes of God [Baker]. Deeper yet (and much longer at two-volumes) is the Puritan Stephen Charnock’s The Existence and Attributes of God [Baker]. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology [Zondervan] has an easy-to-read treatment of God’s attributes (as do other systematic theologies). But you will only be able to digest these books if you come to them through faith in Christ as your Savior and with the prayer that the Holy Spirit will teach you.
But I remind you that this knowledge of God is not just so that you can have a cozy “personal relationship” with Him. Knowing God will change you so that you become more like Him. This affects your relationships with others, so that the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—become more evident in your relationships with others (Gal. 5:22-23). Also, the better you know God, the more effectively you can represent Him as His ambassador to lost people. The more you have personally “tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Pet. 2:3), the more readily you will be able to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2 9).
So while there are many confused opinions out there about who Jesus is, we need to believe the truth about Him, which we have in His own testimony about Himself. He was sent here by God and He knew God in a unique way. We can only know God through faith in Jesus. But the final verses of our text give us a solemn warning:
3. Your eternal destiny depends on believing in Jesus while you still have the opportunity.
In John 7:31 we read, “But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?’” Some connect the belief of these people with those that we encountered in John 2:23-25, who believed in Jesus because of the signs that He was doing. But Jesus for His part did not entrust Himself to them. But John here does not say anything negative about their faith, although it seems to have been based on somewhat shallow reasoning: “This guy seems to be doing enough signs to qualify as the Messiah, so we’d better believe in Him.”
But it seems to me that the Lord takes most of us at a pretty shallow level and then graciously deepens our faith as we come to understand more of who He is. I committed myself to Christ as a teenager because I saw a godly couple who had a happy marriage and I thought, “If Christ can give me that kind of marriage, I need to follow Him.” That was totally self-centered and immature! But, He took me in at that point and helped me to grow. The important thing is truly to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord while you have the opportunity.
But some miss the window of opportunity and end up facing God’s awful judgment for rejecting His Son. In 7:33-34, Jesus tells the crowd that He will be with them for a little while longer, but then He would go to the one who sent Him. He knew that His hour was rapidly approaching. But then, after He was gone, they would seek Him, but not find Him. And they could not come where He had gone. They would not be able to go to heaven because they missed the day of salvation.
In typical fashion, the Jewish leaders misunderstand Jesus’ statement. In 7:35-36, they seem to be mocking when they speculate that “this man” (a demeaning way of referring to Jesus) may leave Jerusalem and go among the Greeks. Jesus does not respond to their confusion, but leaves them wondering about what He means. It’s a terrible thing to walk away from the day of salvation and then be left in your confusion about Jesus!
It’s kind of funny when someone is confused about a church choir making music by rubbing their legs together! But it’s really tragic when someone is confused about Jesus and rejects His testimony of who He is. God has given you a measure of light, even through this message. He says (2 Cor. 6:2), “Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’” Don’t miss the opportunity to trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord today!
*I could not find the tea water illustration’s source in Lee’s writings, although in The Economy of God [Living Stream], p. 12, he mentions the mingling of Christ’s two natures. I got it from a Local Church elder who tried to defend the analogy. The Local Church now has an orthodox statement of the person of Christ, although I cannot recommend many other aspects of their teaching.
- When you try to share Christ with someone and he says, “That’s just your opinion,” what should you say?
- Is every Christian “sent” by God or just some (John 20:21)? What are the implications if you are sent by God?
- What change can you make in your current schedule so that you will grow to know Christ better in the coming year?
- If someone tells you that he is worried that he has missed the opportunity to trust in Christ, how would you respond?
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
Lesson 43: Rivers of Living Water—for You and from You (John 7:37-39)Related Media
February 9, 2014
When you read Jesus’ words here, where He promises that from the innermost being of the one who believes in Him will flow rivers of living water, you have to stop and ask, “To what extent is that true of me? Since I trusted in Christ as my Savior, has it been my experience that ever-flowing, abundant rivers of living water have gushed up inside of me and flowed out of me?”
Those questions are both convicting and hope-producing. They are convicting because none of us, if we’re honest, can say, “Yes, those words nail it! That’s exactly how to describe my life since becoming a Christian!” Honesty forces me to say, “Well, there has usually been a trickle of living water, although there have been some droughts where even it has dried up. Occasionally, there has been a creek of living water. But ever-flowing, abundant rivers (plural)? It would be a stretch to describe my Christian life like that!” So Jesus’ words convict me with the barrenness of my walk with Him.
But Jesus’ words also give me hope. If my life doesn’t match His description here, it can! So can yours! This is a promise from the Son of God to all who will come to Him and drink: Out of your innermost being will flow rivers of living water. It describes, as Calvin points out (Calvin’s Commentaries [Baker], pp. 308-309), an ideal that none of us can possess perfectly in the present life because of indwelling sin and because of differing measures of faith. But it’s an ideal in which we can make progress as we walk with the Lord. We really can experience consistent fullness of joy in Him that flows from us to others. And so we should have hope because He who began the good work of salvation in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). But we need to press on toward the goal (Phil. 3:12-16). Here is Jesus’ promise to all:
Jesus Christ blesses all who believe in Him with rivers of the living water of His Spirit so that we will bless others.
There is the promise, an implicit requirement, and the result:
1. Jesus Christ blesses all who believe in Him with rivers of the living water of His Spirit.
Note five things about this wonderful promise:
A. The person of the promise: Jesus’ claim shows Him to be God in human flesh.
To appreciate Jesus’ claim here, we need to note the setting. It is the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths), the third important feast in the Jewish calendar (after Passover and Pentecost (or Weeks). Tabernacles was a harvest feast of thanksgiving to God. The Israelites lived in booths to remind them of God’s care for them in the wilderness, when He provided manna and water from the rock. The feast also looked forward to the final harvest and ingathering of the nations during Messiah’s kingdom.
During Jesus’ time, the feast was also characterized by a daily procession led by a priest carrying a golden pitcher of water drawn from the Pool of Siloam. The water was poured out at the base of the altar at the same time that another priest would pour out a pitcher of wine on the other side of the altar, which pointed to the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit as predicted by Isaiah (Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services [Eerdmans], pp. 280-282). Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” And Isaiah 44:3 states, “For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants.”
John wants us to see that Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. In 1:14 he told us that (literally), “the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” Paul tells us that Jesus is the rock that supplied Israel with water in the barren desert (1 Cor. 10:4). He is also the bread of life, the fulfillment of the manna that sustained Israel in the wilderness (John 6). So now, on the last day of this feast, Jesus claims to be the source of living water to all who will come to Him and drink. In other words, He fulfills all that the feast symbolized.
The water pouring ceremony took place every day for seven days, followed by an eighth day when a holy convocation was held. Scholars disagree on whether Jesus made His offer on the seventh day, when the final pitcher was poured out, or, more likely, on the eighth day, when His offer of living water showed that He was the fulfillment of the pouring ceremony of the previous seven days. John says (7:37-38) that Jesus stood and cried out, or shouted in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
That’s an astonishing claim! No mere human could make such a promise: “Come to me and drink and I’ll fulfill the Scriptures by causing rivers of living water to flow out of your innermost being!” Who, except God in human flesh, God “tabernacling” among us, could legitimately make such a claim? Note, also …
B. The breadth of the promise: Jesus’ offer is open to all.
“Anyone” is as broad as you can get! It extended to Jesus’ enemies, who were trying to kill Him. They could come and drink. It later extended to a man who described himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), the apostle Paul. By giving the offer in the temple, it extended to the religious Jews, who had come to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate this feast. Even though they were going through all of the prescribed Jewish rituals, those rituals could not save them. Religious observances cannot save anyone, then or now. Everyone needs to come to Jesus and drink.
Because the Spirit inspired John to record Jesus’ words here, the offer extends to each of us. Whether you grew up in a Christian home and have always gone to church or whether you are a complete pagan or a convicted criminal, the offer is for you: Come to Jesus and drink. No one is excluded. To underscore this truth, the Bible virtually ends by repeating Jesus’ offer (Rev. 22:17): “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Note, also:
C. The condition of the promise: you must be thirsty.
Jesus cries, “If anyone is thirsty….” You have to be thirsty for God. The Bible often uses that kind of language (as we just saw in Rev. 22:17). Isaiah 55:1 proclaims, “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” The psalmist cries out (Ps. 42:1), “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” David cries (Ps. 63:1), “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” And in Revelation 21:6b, Jesus says, “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”
At first glance, being thirsty for God seems easy enough. But the problem is, because of sin people either don’t recognize their thirst or they seek to satisfy it in wrong ways. John Piper’s dad, who was an evangelist, told him that the most difficult thing was not getting people saved, but getting them lost. In other words, people don’t sense their desperate need for Christ. They don’t feel thirsty for Him. Instead, they try to quench their thirst with many wrong things. They think that success, money, fame, sexual pleasure, or other things will satisfy the inner thirst. But thirsting for things other than God and His glory is the root of all sin. J. C. Ryle observed (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker], 3:40):
The beginning of all true Christianity is to discover that we are guilty, empty, needy sinners. Till we know that we are lost, we are not in the way to be saved. The very first step toward heaven is to be thoroughly convinced that we deserve hell.
But once you recognize your thirst for God, the good news is that the offer is a free gift. You don’t have to work all your life to earn it. You don’t have to clean up your life first to qualify for it. This points to…
D. The simplicity of the promise: To receive the living water, come to Jesus and drink.
Isn’t that great! Jesus didn’t say, “If anyone is thirsty, keep digging and eventually you’ll hit water!” He didn’t say, “If anyone is thirsty, let him join the church, get baptized, take communion, do penance, give money to the church, clean up your life, and attend church every Sunday!” Jesus simply said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” “Me” implies that it is a personal relationship with Jesus, not a bunch of religious rules or rituals.
What could be more simple? You’re outside working in the yard on a hot day and your wife comes out with a pitcher of ice cold lemonade and says, “Come and drink!” It doesn’t take a lot of effort or will power or a college degree to come to her and drink.
To come to Jesus is to come to the One who loved you so much that He came to this wicked earth and suffered the horrors of the cross to pay for your sins, if you will believe in Him. That’s what drinking of Jesus means, as the parallel comment in verse 38 makes clear: “He who believes in Me ….” (John repeats “believe” in the clarifying statement of verse 39). To receive the living water that Jesus offers, come to Him and drink, or believe in Him. Make Him your own by faith. Appropriate what He did on the cross for your sins. A river running through the desert does you no good if you don’t drink from it. If you feel thirsty, ask Jesus to satisfy your thirst with His abundant, free salvation.
So the person of the promise is Jesus, the eternal God in human flesh, who gave Himself on the cross for our sins. The breadth of the promise is as wide as humanity. The condition of the promise is that you must be spiritually thirsty. The simplicity of the promise is that all you have to do is come to Jesus and drink.
E. The supplier of the promise: The Holy Spirit dwelling in each believer supplies us with every spiritual need.
John 7:39 explains, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” The Greek text is literally, “the Spirit was not yet,” but clearly John does not mean that the Holy Spirit did not yet exist! As early as Genesis 1:2 we meet the Holy Spirit, moving over the waters in creation. There are repeated references to the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament (e.g., Ps. 51:11; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; 63:10, 11).
Rather, John means that the Spirit was not yet manifested on earth as He would be on and after the Day of Pentecost, after Jesus was crucified, raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven (“glorified”). In the Upper Room on the night He was betrayed, Jesus said to the eleven (John 14:16-17), “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (See, also, John 15:26; 16:7.)
Then, after Jesus was raised from the dead and just before He ascended, Acts 1:4-5 reports, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” On the Day of Pentecost, they all were baptized with the Spirit who came on them with power, they spoke in tongues, and they became powerful witnesses for Christ.
Some say that we, too, need to experience what the disciples experienced at Pentecost: Subsequent to salvation we need a dramatic experience of the baptism of the Spirit, where we receive the Spirit and speak in tongues. But that is to misunderstand that Pentecost was a one-time historical event where the risen and ascended Lord Jesus sent His Spirit to dwell with His church. If anyone would seem to lack the Holy Spirit, it would be the immature Corinthians. But Paul told them (1 Cor. 12:13), “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (See, also, Gal. 3:3.)
So all believers in Jesus Christ in the church age are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote (Rom. 8:9), “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” The Holy Spirit is the seal of our redemption (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). He gives spiritual gifts to all believers (1 Cor. 12:7-11). The Spirit reveals to us the riches that God has prepared for us who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9-10), which include every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and all that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4).
But maybe you’re wondering, “If the Holy Spirit is living in me, then why don’t I experience the rivers of living water inside of me and flowing from me? Why is my life more accurately described as a trickle of water, not rivers?” Other Scriptures teach that …
2. We must learn to walk in the Holy Spirit to experience His fullness.
He does not control us automatically. In Galatians 5:16, Paul writes, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” He goes on to list some of the deeds of the flesh and the contrasting fruit of the Spirit. Then he repeats (5:25), “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” That is, if the Holy Spirit gave us new life, then we need to rely on the Spirit step by step, day by day.
Walking is something we have to learn how to do as children. At first, we fall a lot. But after a while, we hardly think about it, unless we’re on a slippery surface. Walking is not spectacular. Paul doesn’t say, “Leap by the Spirit or fly by the Spirit.” It’s a slow, step by step process that will gradually get you where you’re going if you keep at it. To walk by the Spirit means that each day in every situation you yield yourself to Him, relying on Him to work in and through you. If during the day the flesh rears its ugly head with impure thoughts, selfishness, anger, or whatever, you immediately confess it to the Lord, turn from it, and ask the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts, words, and actions again. As you learn to walk this way consistently, slowly the fruit of the Spirit will grow in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
But, why does the Lord give us the Holy Spirit, portrayed here as “rivers of living water” flowing from our innermost being?
3. Jesus Christ blesses all who believe in Him with rivers of living water so that we will be satisfied in Him and so that we become a source of blessing to others.
A. Christ blesses us with rivers of living water so that we will be satisfied in Him.
“Innermost being” is literally, “belly.” The belly is the inner part of us that is always craving something (Phil. 3:19; this insight from A. W. Pink, Exposition of John, on monergism.com). But here, rather than craving earthly things, the implication is that our inner cravings are abundantly satisfied through the indwelling Spirit.
There are many Old Testament Scriptures that link water to God’s abundant blessing on believers (e.g. Ps. 78:15-16; Prov. 4:23; Isa. 44:3; Ezek. 36:26-27; 47:1-9; Joel 3:18; Zech. 13:1; 14:8). But D. A. Carson (The Gospel According to John [Eerdmans/Apollos], pp. 325-328) argues that when Jesus here says, “as the Scripture says,” He was referring primarily to Nehemiah 8 & 9. In Nehemiah 8, the returned remnant listens as Ezra expounded the Law and encouraged them that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10). Then they discovered the command about the Feast of Booths and they celebrated it with great joy (8:17). Then (chap. 9), Nehemiah prays and recounts Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and their time in the wilderness, mentioning God’s provision of manna and water (9:15). He repeats (9:20), “You gave them Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, and You gave them water for their thirst.”
The picture is that God sustained and satisfied the needs of His people through His Spirit, even when they were in a barren land. That’s the picture Jesus uses here: Jesus supplies us with the abundant, soul-satisfying rivers of living water of His Spirit, who reveals to us the riches of Christ for our every need. We should follow George Muller’s example and begin every day by seeking to be truly at rest and happy in God (A. T. Pierson, George Muller of Bristol [Revell], p. 257; see also, p. 315). But it doesn’t end there:
B. Christ blesses us with abundant rivers of living water so that we will be a source of blessing to others.
The rivers flow out of us to others who are thirsty. The world is a barren desert, and people are dying of thirst. You and I are to be the rivers of living water that these dying people need. As they see Christ in us (the fruit of the Spirit) and want what we have, we can tell them how they can come to Jesus and drink. Lost people desperately need what only we who have believed can give them.
But the rivers should also flow from us to other believers, especially to those who may be going through a dry spell. Even Paul and Titus were refreshed by other believers (1 Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 7:13). As you’re filled with the Spirit and satisfied in Christ, you can overflow to those around you, beginning in your home. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should be flowing daily from husbands to wives and from wives to husbands, from parents to children and from children to parents. These qualities should be flowing between us in the church, even if you find a fellow believer difficult to be around.
If you only come to church to get something for yourself, you’ll be like the Dead Sea. It’s so salty that nothing can live in it because it has rivers flowing into it, but nothing flows out of it. When you come to church, come with the prayer, “Lord, fill me with your Spirit and flow out of me toward those who may be thirsty.” As you allow the rivers to flow out of you to others, you’ll discover that you’re actually more filled than before you gave out! That’s the key to preventing burnout: Be satisfied in Christ and let His fullness flow through you to others.
What should you do in response to Jesus’ promise here? First, honestly assess the degree to which “rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being” describes you. If it doesn’t describe you at all, then come to Jesus and drink! If you have to admit that it’s more like a trickle, then make it your priority to be satisfied daily with the riches of Christ. Walk in the Spirit and ask Him to fill you. Then get your focus off yourself and onto those you can bless. Pray that your normal experience would be that from your innermost being rivers of living water would flow to a thirsty world.
- Assess your normal experience: To what extent does “rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being” describe you?
- To the extent that it does not describe you, try to determine why not. Is your trust in Christ as Savior? Are there sins that keep you from this blessing? Do you feed on Him in the Word daily?
- Note that most of the fruit of the Spirit have a relational dimension. How can you see these qualities grow in your relationships?
- Walking in the Spirit seems harder and slower than a sudden, dramatic “baptism” in the Spirit. Why does the Bible command us to walk in the Spirit, but never to be baptized in the Spirit?
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2014, All Rights Reserved.