BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday April 13, 2014
DEPEND ON THE SPIRIT
(Exalting JESUS amid the problems we face)
In John 15:18-16-4, JESUS instructs us on how we should relate to the world. When we choose the Christian walk, we automatically become strangers to worldly behavior. We are no longer permanent residents of this earth, but rather, we become citizens of Heaven, and therefore, the laws of GOD should become paramount to us.
Here in this passage, JESUS warns of the hatred that the World will have for those who follow HIM. As long as a person belongs to the World, the World will always love that person. That is primarily because that person resembles the World through his or her behavior, and to hate that person, would, quite literally, mean hating themselves.
The person who hates the true Christian, hates JESUS, and thereby, hates GOD. Anyone, who is shown the Word of GOD, and does not accept it, is guilty of denying CHRIST, who is the “personification” of the Word of GOD, and therefore, is GOD.
We as Christians have a duty to go out into the world and share the Gospel with dignity and respect. JESUS empowered us with the HOLY SPIRIT, and GOD goes before us, to prepare the hearts of those to whom we may be speaking. “Be of good cheer”, and “be not afraid” is what JESUS said to Peter and HIS other Disciples that day in far off Palestine, where HE “walked on water”, in order to give them encouragement to “remain in HIM”.
We are called to go out into the world, and we don’t have to be afraid. JESUS will always come to us, from across the storms of life, but we must continue to bear good fruit, by remaining in HIM. If we fail to bear good fruit, as Judas Iscariot failed to, we will be cut off from the “TRUE VINE” that brings with it, Eternal Life.
JESUS eternally encourages us through these immortal words that HE spoke to HIS closest disciples, just prior to HIS ascension back into HIS Heavenly Realm; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY GHOST: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I AM with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20 - KJV).
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The departure of JESUS was necessary, no matter how painful it would be for HIS disciples. By now, they were so rapt up in their own depression and problems, that, not even Thomas, cared to ask JESUS where it was that HE was going. They didn’t quite realize at that time, just how beneficial JESUS’ leaving would be for them, and, for the world at large. For without JESUS’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, there could be no Gospel to preach and teach, nor, any atonement for sin. Furthermore, the HOLY SPIRIT could not be released into the lives of believers, for all time, to help guide us, and comfort us, in our inevitable times of need.
The COMFORTER is the SPIRIT of GOD that was promised to us by the ancient prophets, and now, was being promised by JESUS HIMSELF. The HOLY SPIRIT came into the world, on the day of Pentecost, to “stay and abide” in those who believed on CHRIST, for all time. JESUS informed us that HIS ministry would consist of reproving the world of sin, righteousness, and, judgment.
Sin in the world reached an all-time high with the crucifixion of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. And even today, our greatest sin continues to be our unbelief in HIM. When the world crucified JESUS, we, in effect, showed GOD that we thought HIS ONE and ONLY SON, was unrighteous. Righteousness was vindicated with the resurrection and ascension of CHRIST, and now the HOLY SPIRIT has come to convict us of our faulty views of JESUS, and to inspire us to proclaim the truth of HIS Gospel to the same kind of world that slew HIM, way back in the first century on Calvary Hill.
And finally, the HOLY SPIRIT’s convicting work is concerned with judgment. The death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST condemned satan, the prince of this world, to eternal damnation. People, who are rebelling against GOD, through sin, face the same defeat and judgment that satan has obtained. And just as JESUS brought glory to GOD, so too, will the HOLY SPIRIT bring glory to CHRIST JESUS.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website