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Knowing God

Jesus Christ, when he was with his disciples and just before he was crucified, raised again, and taken up into heaven, told them important things about how their lifestyle would change. Christ had not only come to give them new life, but that life was to be in Christ. In John 17, Jesus prayed to the Father, that he may “…give eternal life to all whom You have given me.” (John 17.2) In the next verse, Jesus provides the very definition of eternal life. He prays “…that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ, the one whom You have sent.” (John 17.3) So we must believe in the Father and in the Son whom He has sent, that is Jesus.

In John 12:49-50, Jesus reminds us that he was sent to only say what the Father showed him “For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I shoulsd speak. And I know that his command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak.”

Once again, in John 17, Jesus prays further for all those who will believe in him because of the word of God. He says, in verses 20-23, “I do not pray only for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, as You Father are in Me and I in You; that they also may be one in Us , that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one, just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

Christ also promised in John 16:7-15 maqny things abouit the Spirit and how He would help us live life in Christ.

16:7-the Helper will come after I have gone away,

v8 He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness , and of judgement. vs 9-11 explains these things

v9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me;

v10 of righteousness, because I go to the Father and you will see me no more;

v11 of judgment bercause the ruler of this world is judged.

In John 16:12-14 Jesus then declares that the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth. “For He will not speak on His own authority but whatever he hears he will speak.” Further, in v 14 “He will glorify Me…”

We see three dynamics working throughout these verses.

1) Jesus desires that his disciples have eternal life with him. Eternal life is defined as knowing the Father and knowing the Son. He also mentions here that He is the only true God. There is no other God to know, nor is there any other name by which we must be saved, but only by Jesus Christ (Acts 3:12).

2) Jesus prays for his disciples and for all who will ever believe in him, based upon the word of the apostles, that they be united, that they experience the Oneness which is shared in God and Christ.

3) Jesus tells them he will send the Spirit into them to allow them to live a Spirit filled life. In Romans ch. 8, Paul spends a great deal of time describing how the Spirit lives within us. The point here is that Jesus tells the Spirit what to speak. Then the Spirit obeys him. Then, if we obey what that Spirit says to us, we will be in perfect harmony with the will of God.

ETERNAL LIFE-ONENESS-SPIRIT GUIDED. These are the ways Christ provides for us to live in Him. These options are mutually inclusive. Eternal life is knowing the Father and Jesus Christ. Oneness is reached by believing in that one true God and his Son. The Spirit then guides all obedient believers. We are subject to the Spirit of God as the Spirit is subject to Christ.

PRACTICALITIES-The fruit of the Spirit should be produced in the believer in God. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness gentleness faithfulness and self-control. Galatians 5.22. These are mentioned just after Paul had stated to “…put away all works of the flesh, including adultery, fornication, uincleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.” Paul completes this thought with, “…that no one who lives in these will inherit the kingdom of heaven.” Gal. 5.20-22.

Those who love God must love their brother also. (I John 4.21). After all is said and done, how could anyone hate a brother and then love God? It is not possible, (I John 4.20). But John’s strongest warning comes in I John 4.8: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Now, notice that word, “know” in this verse. If you do not love, you do not know God. Knowing God is the definition of eternal life, remember? Will the Spirit Guide one who does not know God? The Spirit cannot guide such a one, for he has wandered away from the Love required to live a Christian life. And hating a Brother while Loving God? This is also impossible. God created us all to seek him. Brother should be helping brother in love, in the love of God. Thinking even more critically about this, do we judge God? “God, you gave me this brother that I just cannot love. But I love you, and I hope you’ll forgive me.” If we can’t love the created brother, helping him seek the face of God, how can we seek His face ourselves? Hatred has no place among the believers.

All of these things are bound up in love. Eternal Life is experienced by those who know God, love their brethren for oneness, and follow the Spirit in life. This is the only way we can live in Christ. Old ways are no longer practiced. The new way is to love one another, as Christ has loved us (John 13.34). This is the new commandment he gave to us. If we love one another, oneness of the brothers will give way to oneness with God; the world will know that God sent Christ, and the Spirit will guide us into all truth.

What will happen next?-We will continue to love and give, and be one, following the Spirit.