Summary: EASTER 6(A) - By grace believers know God’s promise and because of that God’s children LOVE the Lord and OBEY the Lord.
BY GRACE YOU KNOW THE LORD’S PROMISES
John 14:15-21 - May 16, 2004 – EASTER 6
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Knowledge has become very important among us. Our society places a high value on knowledge and learning. Today, we are going to learn about the high value of knowledge that we possess, because we have been given God’s spiritual knowledge. Today is Graduation Day in our community and probably in many communities. During these graduations we will get to hear about the importance of learning and knowledge. Yet, you and I know that the learning and the book knowledge that people gain is not as important as God’s knowledge of salvation. That is what the Lord reminds us this morning when He tells us that by His grace you and I know and possess the knowledge of salvation; namely, God’s promises.
Paul, when he wrote to Timothy and encouraged him in his ministry, said to Timothy as he reminds us today: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 TIMOTHY 3:14,15). Today, we possess God’s promises. We possess the knowledge of salvation; and we have been made wise for salvation, not on our own, but simply, purely, and freely by God’s grace. Our theme for today is ---
BY GOD’S GRACE YOU KNOW GOD’S PROMISES--THE KNOWLEDGE OF SALVATION. Because of that you and I as God’s children:
I. Love the Lord
II. Obey the Lord
I. God’s children love the Lord
The setting of the 14th chapter of John is very important as we heard in our Gospel, (JOHN 14:23-29) as we heard in our text, and as we heard last week. (JOHN 14:1-12) This is a chapter of encouragement for the disciples. Jesus is in the Upper Room on Maundy Thursday hours before He was going to be betrayed. Jesus is with His disciples in a very private moment, because in a short time, Jesus is going to be very publicly put to death on the cross. We find in these words great comfort and encouragement. Jesus says to them: 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. Some translations call "Counselor" "Comforter" but both terms refer to the Holy Spirit. The disciples would need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as they would face the hours ahead and days ahead when Jesus would be taken from them. They would wonder why. The disciples already had that Spirit in them, but the Lord says He is going to send that Spirit in even a greater measure for them.
Make no mistake when Jesus describes it: and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17the Spirit of truth. As you hear those words you may remember when Pilate takes Jesus before him and says, "What is truth?" As he represents the world, Pilate reminded Jesus that he put no stock in the truth. Just like the world says who could understand the truth? It is still the same with the world today. Jesus said that: The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. That Spirit of truth was alive and well and living in the disciples. By grace they knew the promises of God. By grace they had seen the Lord Jesus make promises time and again, and then fulfill them. By grace Jesus had made them fishers of men taking them away from their occupations of being fishermen. He had made Matthew, a tax collector, into a soul collector--by grace. Because they had seen all of these things and had experienced them, the disciples’ reaction was to love the Lord because of the Lord’s fulfilled promises to them.