Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those whom he is pleased!"" Luke 2:8-14 ESV


Friday, November 20, 2015

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  Give thanks to him; bless his name!

"For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endues forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." 
Psalm 100:4-5 ESV

The painting above is my beloved dog Amy Rose.  She died last month at 12 years of age.  I miss her more than words can say because Amy Rose was by my side all the time.  Amy Rose was the sweetest dog and I am thankful to the Lord that she lived as long as she did.  Back in 2011 Amy Rose had a brain tumor.  We had it removed and we were thankful it was not cancer.  How wonderful we got to have 4 more birthdays and 4 more Christmases with her.  I will always be thankful to the Lord for answering my prayer to bring a sweet golden into our home and for healing her so she would live to a good old age. 

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  thank you for all your blessings and provision for us.  I pray that those who are lost will find your gift of salvation through your grace.  In Jesus' name Amen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Godlessness in the Last Days, 2 Timothy Chapter 3

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the apperance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.  But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

You however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at lconium, and at Lystra--which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.  Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation throught faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."  2 Timothy Chapter 3, ESV

Explanation for verses: 2 Tim. 3:1; 3:5; 3:6; 3:7; 3:8; 3:13; 3:16 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, pages 1830-1831.

"3:1 the last days.  This phrase refers to this age, the time since the first coming of the Lord Jesus.  See note on 1 Tim. 4:1.   times of difficulty.  "Difficulty" is used to describe the savage nature of two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28).  The word for "times" had to do with epochs, rather than clock or calendar time.  Such savage, dangerous eras or epochs will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ approaches (2 Tim. 3:13).  The church age is fraught with these dangerous movements accumulating strength as the end nears.  Cf. Matt. 7:15; 24:11-12, 24; 2 Pet. 2:1-2."

"3:5  having the appearance of godliness. . . denying its power. "Appearance" refers to outward shape or appearance.  Like the unbelieving scribes and Pharisees, false teachers and their followers are concerned with mere external appearances (cf. Matt. 23:25; Titus 1:16).  Their outward form of Christianity and virtue makes them all the more dangerous."

"3:6  weak women.  Weak in virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and weighed down with emotional and spiritual guilt over their sins, these women were easy prey for the deceitful false teachers.  See notes on 1 Tim. 2:13-14; 5:11-12."

"3:7  a knowledge of the truth.   First Timothy 2:4 uses this same phrase, equating it with being saved.  Here Paul identified those women (2 Tim. 3:6) and men who were often jumping from one false teacher or cult to another without ever coming to an understanding of God's saving truth in Jesus Christ.  The present age, since the coming of Jesus Christ, has been loaded with perilous false teaching that can't save, but does damn (cf. vv. 14, 16-17; 1Tim. 4:1)."

"3:8  Jannes and Jambres.  Although their names are not mentioned in the OT, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians that opposed Moses (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19; 9:11).  According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Ex. 32).  Paul's choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceivng signs and wonders.   the truth.   See note on 2Tim. 3:7.   opposed.  The same word is translated "debased" in Rom. 1:28 (see note there) and comes from a Greek word meaning "useless" in the sense of being tested (like metal) and shown to be worthless."

"3:13  All dangerous movements of the false teachers (cf. vv. 1-9) will become increasingly more successful until Christ comes.  Cf. 2 Thess. 2:11."

"3:16  All Scripture.  Grammatically similar Greek constructions (Rom. 7:12;  2 Cor. 10:10; 1Tim. 1:15; 2:3; 4:4) argue persuasively that the translation "all Scripture is breathed out. . ." is accurate.  Both OT and NT Scripture are included (see notes on 2Pet. 3:15-16, which indentify NT writings as Scripture).  breathed out by God.   Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say (e.g., Jer. 1:9), but more often he used their minds, vocabularies, and experiences to produce his own perfect infallible, inerrant word (see notes on 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2Pet. 1:20-21).  It is important to note that the inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the Bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture.  So identified is God with his word that when Scripture speaks, God speaks (cf. Rom. 9:17; Gal. 3:8).  Scripture is called "the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:2), and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18-19).   teaching.   The divine instruction or doctrinal content of both the OT and the NT (cf. 2Tim. 2:15; Acts 20:18, 20-21, 27; 1Cor. 2:14-16; Col. 3:16; 1John 2:20, 24, 27).  The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness.  Cf. Ps. 119:97-105.   reproof.   Rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief.  The Scripture exposes sin (Heb. 4:12-13) that can then be dealt with through confession and repentance.  correction.  The restoration of something to its proper condition.  The word appears only here in the NT, but was used in extrabiblical Greek of righting a fallen object, or helping back to their feet those who had stumbled.  Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior, but also points the way back to godly living.  Cf. Ps. 119:9-11; John 15:1-2.   training in righteousness.   Scripture provides positive training (originally used in reference to training a child) in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1Tim. 4:6; 1Pet. 2:1-2)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those who don't understand the truth of Your Word and therefore don't know You.  I pray that You will show them the truth and that they will hear, and not only hear it but, understand it before it is too late.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Romans 2 "God's Righteous Judgment"

"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges.  For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.  We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  Do you suppose, O man--you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself--that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works:  to those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.  There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality.

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.  For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?  While you preach against stealing, do you steal?  You say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?  You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.  For, as it is written, "The name of God is blashpemed among the Gentiles because of you."

For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.  So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law,  will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?  Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.  For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.  But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.  His praise is not from man but from God."  Romans 2 ESV

Explanation for Romans 2:1-16; Romans 2:1; Romans 2:4; Romans 2:5;  and Romans 2:17-29 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, pages 1650-1651

"2:1-16  Having demonstrated the sinfulness of the immoral pagan (1:18-32), Paul presents his case against the religious moralist--Jew or Gentile--by cataloging six principles that govern God's judgment: 1) knowledge (2:1); 2) truth (vv. 2-3);  3) guilt (vv.4-5);  4)deeds (vv.6-10);  5)impartiality (vv.11-15);  5) impartiality (vv.11-15);  6) motive (v. 16)."

"2:1 no excuse. . .you who judges.  Both Jews (Paul's primary audience here: cf. v. 17) and moral Gentiles who think they are exempt from God's judgment because they have not indulged in the immoral excesses described in ch. 1, are tragically mistaken.  They have more knowledge than the immoral pagan (3:2; 9:4) and thus a greater accountability (cf. Heb. 10:26-29; James 3:1).  condemn yourself.  If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.  practice the very same things.  In their condemnation of others they have excused and overlooked their own sins.  Self-righteousness exists because of two deadly errors:  1) minimizing God's moral standard usually by emphasizing externals:  and 2) underestimating the depth of one's own sinfulness (cf. Matt. 5:20-22, 27-28; 7:1-3; 15:1-3; Luke 18:21)."

"2:4 presume. Lit., "to think down on," thus to underestimate someone's or something's value, and even to treat with contempt.  kindness.  This refers to "commom grace," the benefits God bestows on all men (cf. Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:15-17).  forbearance.  This word, which means "to hold back," was sometimes used of a truce between warring parties.  Rather than destroying every person the moment he or she sins, God graciously hold back his judgment (cf. Rom. 3:25).  He saves sinners in a physical and temporal way from what they deserve (see note on 1Tim. 4:10), to show them his saving character, that they might come to him and receive salvation that is spiritual and eternal.  patience. This word indicates the duration for which God demonstrates his kindness and tolerance--for long periods of time (cf. 2 Pet. 2:5).  Together these three words speak of God's common grace--the way he demonstrates his grace to all mankind (cf. Job 12:10; Ps. 119:68; 145:9).  repentance.  The act of turning from sin to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.  See notes on 2 Cor. 7:9-11."

"2:5 hard.  The English word "sclerosis" (as in arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries) comes from this Greek word.  But here the danger is not physical, but spiritual hardness (Ezek. 36:26; Matt. 19:8; Mark 3:5; 6:52; 8:17; John 12:40; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7).  impenitent heart.  A refusal to repent (cf. Rom. 2:4) and accept God's pardon of sin through Jesus Christ.  storing up wrath.  To reject God's offer of forgiveness and cling to one's sin is to accumulate more of God's wrath and earn a severer judgment (see notes on Heb. 10:26-30; Rev. 20:12).  day of wrath. . .judgment. Refers to the final judgment of wicked men that comes at the great white throne at the end of the Millennium (see notes on Rev. 20:11-15)."

"2:17-29  Having shown that outwardly moral people--Jew and Gentiles alike--will stand condemned by God's judgment, Paul turns his argument exclusively to the Jews, God's covenant people.  Neither their heritage (v. 17a), their knowledge (vv. 17b-24), nor their ceremonies specifically circumcision (vv.25-29), will protect them from God's righteous judgment."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those who are struggling to understand that man's heart is basically evil because sin entered the world all those years ago.  I pray that You will show people their sin and their need for You to save them.  I pray that pride will not succeed in keeping people from seeing their sin.  I pray that You will convict their hearts to realize that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  We all have told a lie, we all have taken things (even something small from when we were children).  Some have committed adultery (looked at someone lustfully).  All these things are sin and please show us our sin so that those who have not yet done this will ask you for forgiveness, and ask you to be their Lord and Savior, and be saved. I pray that self-righteousness will be replaced with humbleness.   I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Romans Chapter 1

Starting the Book of Romans.  Here is the first chapter:

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead,  Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.  For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you--that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.  I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.  I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.  So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!  Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.  They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."  Romans Chapter 1, ESV

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I pray that we will never claim to be wise.  I pray that Your wisdom would be in our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Thank You for Your gift of salvation and Your grace to those who choose to ask accept Your forgiveness from their sins.  I pray for Your protection and favor.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, May 29, 2015

John Chapter 19, John Chapter 20, John Chapter 21

John 19
"Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.  And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe.  They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"  and struck him with their hands.  Pilate went out again and said to them, "See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him."  So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!"  When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!"  Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him."  The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God."  When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.  He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?"  But Jesus gave him no answer.  So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me?  Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?"  Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.  Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend.  Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."  So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.  Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover.  It was about the sixth hour.  He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"  They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!"  Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"  The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."  So he delivered hiim over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.  Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross.  It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."  Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.  So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'"  Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."

When the soldieres had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.  But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be."  This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

    "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."

So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!"  Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!"  And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst."  A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished,"  and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.  So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.  He who saw it has borne witness--his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth--that you also may believe.  For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled:  "Not one of his bones will be broken."  And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced."

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission.  So he came and took away his body.  Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.  So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.  So becaue of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there."  John Chapter 19 ESV

Explanation for John 19:26, and John 19:36-37 page 1582 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV
"19:26 the disciple whom he loved.  This is a reference to John (see note on 13:23; cf. introduction: Author and Date).  Jesus, as firstborn and breadwinner of the family before he started his ministry, did not five the responsibility to his brothers because they were not sympathetic to his ministry nor did they believe in him (7:3-5) and they likely were not present at the time (i.e., their home was in Capernaum--see 2:12)"

"19:36-37  John quoted from either Ex. 12:46 or Num. 9:12, both of which specify that no bone of the Passover lamb may be broken.  Since the NT portrays Jesus as the Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29; cf. 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19), these verses have special typologically prophetic significance for him.  The quote in John 19:37 comes from Zech. 12:10, which indicates God himself was pierced when his representative, the Shepherd (Zech. 13:7; cf. Zech. 11:4, 8-9, 15-17), was pierced.  The anguish and contrition of the Jews in the Zechariah passage, becaues of their wounding of God's Shepherd, is typologically prophetic of the time of the coming of the Son of God, Messiah, when at his return, Israel shall mourn for the rejection and killing of their King (cf. Rev. 1-7)."

John 20
"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."  So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.  Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb.  He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.  Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.  And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head  and one at the feet.  They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"  She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."  Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?"  Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."  Jesus said to her, "Mary."  She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).  Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"--and that he had said these things to her.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you."  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  If y ou forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord."  But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.  Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."  Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe."  Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"  Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."  John Chapter 20, ESV

Explanation for John 20:1-31 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV,page 1583
"20:1-31  This chapter records the appearances of Jesus to his own followers:  1) the appearance to Mary Magdalene (vv. 1-18);  2) the appearance to the 10 disciples (vv. 19-23);  3) the appearance to Thomas (vv. 24-29).  Jesus did not appear to unbelievers (see 14:19; 16:16, 22) because the evidence of his resurrection would not have convinced them, as the miracles had not (Luke 16:31).  The god of this world had blinded them and prevented their belief (2 Cor. 4:4).  Jesus, therefore, appears exclusively to his own in order to confirm their faith in the living Christ.  Such appearances were so profound that they transformed the disciples from cowardly men hiding in fear to bold witnesses for Jesus (e.g., Peter, see John 18:27; cf. Acts 2:14-39).  Once again John's purpose in recording these resurrection appearances was to demonstrate that Jesus' physical and bodily resurrection was the crowning proof that he truly is the Messiah and Son of God who laid down his life for his own (John 10:17-18; 15:13; cf. Rom. 1:4)."

John 21
"After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.  Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.  Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing."  They said to him, "We will go with you."  They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?"  They answered him, "No."  He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some."  So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.  That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"  When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.  The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.  Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them.  And although there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."  Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"  He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you."  He said to him, "Feed my lambs."  He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you."  He said to him, "Tend my sheep."  He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."  Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.  Truly, Truly I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go."  (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me." 

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?"  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"  Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow me!"  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?"

This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself cound not contian the books that would be written."  John Chapter 21, ESV

Explanation for John 21:1-25 and John 21:15-17, from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1585
"21:1-25 The epilogue or appendix of John's Gospel.  While 20:30-31 constitutes the conclusion of the body of the fourth Gospel, the information here at the end of his work provides a balance to his prologue in 1:1-18.  The epilogue essentially ties up five loose ends that were unanswered in ch. 20.  1) Will Jesus no longer directly provide for his own (cf. 20:17)?  This question is answered in 21:1-14.  2) What happened to Peter?  Peter had denied Christ three times and fled.  The last time Peter was seen was in 20:6-8 where both he and John saw the empty tomb but only John believed (20:8).  This question is answered in 21:15-17.  3) What about the future of the disciples now that they are without their Master?  This question is answered in vv. 18-19.  4) Was John going to die?  Jesus answers this question in vv. 20-23.  5) Why weren't other things that Jesus did recorded by John?  John gives the answer to that in vv.24-25."

"21:15-17  The meaning of this section hinges upon the usage of two synonyms for love.  In terms of interpretation, when two synonyms are placed in close proximity in context, a difference in meaning, however slight, is emphasized.  When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, he used a word for love that signified total commitment.  Peter responded with a word for love that signified his love for Jesus, but not necessarily his total commitment.  This was not because he was reluctant to express that greater love, but because he had been disobedient and denied the Lord in the past.  He was, perhaps, now reluctant to make a claim of supreme devotion when, in the past, his life did not support such a claim.  Jesus pressed home to Peter the need for unswerving devotion by repeatedly asking Peter if he loved him supremely.  The essential message here is that Jesus demands total commitment from his followers.  Their love for him must place him above their love for all else.  Jesus confronted Peter with love because he wanted Peter to lead the apostles (Matt. 16:18), but in order for Peter to be an effective shepherd, his overwhelming drive must exemplify supreme love for his Lord."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  Thank You for what You did for us on the cross.  I lift up those reading about Your death and resurrection and I pray that You would touch their hearts so they would believe.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

John Chapter 18

(This is a painting of the third time Peter denies Christ and the rooster crows.  There is a moment when Jesus turns and looks at Peter.  Peter then remembered that Jesus had told him that before the rooster crows today you will deny me three times.  Peter then wept bitterly,  Luke 22:61-62)

"When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden which he and his disciples entered.  Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place for Jesus often met there with his disciples.  So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.  Then Jesus,  knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?"  They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth."  Jesus said to them, "I am he."  Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.  When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.  So he asked them again, "Whom do you seek?"  And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."  Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he.  So, if you seek me, let these men go."  This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken:  "Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one."  Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear.  (The servant's name was Malchus.)  So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.  First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.   It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple.  Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door.  So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.  The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"  He said, "I am not."  Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves.  Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.  Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world.  I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together.  I have said nothing in secret.  Why do you ask me?  Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said."  When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?"  Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?"  Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself.  So they said to him, "You also are not one of his disciples, are you?"  He denied it and said, "I am not."  One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"  Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters.  It was early morning.  They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.  So Pilate went outside to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"  They answered him, "If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you."  Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law."  The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death."  This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"  Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me.  What have you done?"  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.  But my kingdom is not from the world."  Then Pilate said to him,  "So you are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king.,  For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."  Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.  But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover.  So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"  They cried out again, "Not this man, but Barabbas!"  Now Barabbas was a robber."  John Chapter 18,  ESV

Explanation for verses John 18:1-40; John 18:15; John 18:16-18; John 18:25-27; John 18:36; John 18:38, from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, pages 1579-1580.

"John 18:1-40  The events of Jesus' arrest and trial receive emphasis in this chapter.  Since John's purpose was to present Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, he produced evidence to substantiate this purpose throughout his account of Jesus' passion.  Through all of the debasing, shameful acts that were directed toward Jesus, John skillfully shows that these events, rather than detracting from his person and mission, actually constitute decisive evidence confirming who he was and the reason for which he came (1:29; cf. 2Cor. 5:21)."

"John 18:15  another disciple. . . that disciple.  Traditionally this person has been identified with the "disciple, whom Jesus loved" (13:23-24), i.e., John the apostle who authored this Gospel; but he never mentioned his own name (see introduction: Author and Date.)"

"John 18:16-18 Peter.  Here is the record of the first of Peter's predicted three denials (see note on 18:25-27)"

"John 18:25-27 Simon Peter.  Here was the final fulfillment of Jesus' prediction that Peter would deny him three times (cf. Matt. 26:34)."

"John 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world.  By this phrase, Jesus meant that his kingdom is not connected to earthly political and national entities, nor does it have its origin in the evil world system that is in rebellion against God.  If his kingdom was of this world, he would have fought.  The kingships of this world preserve themselves by fighting with force.  Messiah's kingdom does not originate in the efforts of man but with the Son of Man forcefully and decisively conquering sin in  the lives of his people and someday conquering the evil world system at his second coming when he establishes the earthly form of his kingdom.  His kingdom was no threat to the national idenity of Israel or the political and military identity of Rome.  It exists in the spiritual dimension until the end of the age (Rev. 11:15)."

"John 18:38 What is truth?  In response to Jesus' mention of "truth" in v. 37, Pilate responded rhetorically with cynicism, convinced that no answer existed to the question.  The retort proved that he was not among those whom the Father had given to the Son ("Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice"--v. 37; see notes on 10:1-5).  no guilt. Cf. 19:4.  John made it clear that Jesus was not guilty of any sin or crime, thus exhibiting the severe injustice and guilt of both the Jews and Romans who executed him."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those reading your Word today.  I pray that You would show to those who are lost, hurting and in pain the truth found in the Bible.  I pray that the truth would set them free.  I say these things in Jesus' Holy name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

John Chapter 17

A little side note from Karen:

"The Angel of the Lord"

Did you know that Jesus did not just show up one day in the book of Matthew?  The God of the Bible is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Father, Son and Holy Spirit has always been there.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not 3 separate gods, but One God, hence the Trinity as described in the Bible).  Jesus is God and has been there since the beginning and that means Genesis (Genesis 16:7and too many other verses to list).

 The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV,  page 38 gives an explanation for Genesis 16:7, so I will type it out here for you:
"16:7, The angel of the Lord.  This special individual spoke as though he were distinct from Yahweh, yet also spoke in the first person as though he were indeed to be identified as Yahweh himself, with Hagar recognizing that, in seeing this angel, she had seen God (v. 13).  Others had the same experience and came to the same conclusion (cf. 22:11-18; 31:11-13; Ex. 3:2-5; Num. 22:22-35; Judg. 6:11-23; 13:2-5; 1 Kings 19:5-7).  The angel of the Lord, who does not appear after the birth of Christ, is often identified as the preincarnate Christ.  See note on Ex. 3:2.  Shur was south of Palestine and east of Egypt, which meant that Hagar attempted to return home to Egypt".

When you read the Old Testament and you read the words "the angel of the Lord"  that is referring to Jesus.  The whole Bible is the Word of God and is important and relevant for your life today.

John Chapter 17
"When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.  Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.  I am praying for them.  I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.  All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.  While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me.  I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and the loved them even as you loved me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."  John Chapter 17 ESV

Explanation for verses John 17:1-26 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1576.

"17:1-26  Although Matt. 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 have become known popularly as the "Lord's Prayer," that prayer was actually a prayer taught to the disciples by Jesus as a pattern for their prayers.  The prayer recorded here is truly the Lord's prayer, exhibiting the face-to-face communion the Son had with the Father.  Very little is recorded of the content of Jesus' frequent prayers to the Father (Matt. 14:23; Luke 5:16), so this prayer reveals some of the precious content of the Son's communion and intercession with him.  This chapter is a transitional chapter, marking the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of his intercessory ministry for believers (Heb. 7:25).  In many respects, the prayer is a summary of John's entire Gospel.  Its principal themes include: 1) Jesus' obedience to his Father; 2) the glorification of his Father through his death and exaltation; 3) the revelation of God in Jesus Christ; 4) the choosing of the disciples out of the world; 5) their mission to the world; 6) their unity modeled on the unity of the Father and Son; and 7) the believer's final destiny in the presence of the Father and Son.  The chapter divides into three parts: 1) Jesus' prayer for himself (John 17:1-5); 2) Jesus' prayer for the apostles (vv.6-19); and 3) Jesus' prayer for all NT believers who will form the church (vv. 20-26)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those who are hurting today.  I pray for those in the Nepal earthquakes and all those who are suffering.  I pray that You would comfort them and provide for them in the coming days.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, May 4, 2015

John Chapter 16

Hi everyone,  I have not posted for months.  I'm sad to say that my mother passed away, my little dog, Misty passed away, and we moved house.  My mother was a born again Christian and so she is with the Lord.  I even found a little note from my mom saying that she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  Even though I already knew this is was a lovely note and treasure to find and keep.  I would encourage every believer to leave a little note like this for their loved ones to find after they pass on.  It will give them comfort in their mourning. It has been a difficult number of months, but it is time to start posting again.  So here is chapter 16 in the Book of John.

"I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.  They will put you out of the synagogues.  Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.  And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.  But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of the world is judged.

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

"A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me."  So some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and because I am going to the Father?"  So they were saying, "What does he mean by 'a little while'?  We do not know what he is talking about."  Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me?  Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.  When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.  In that day you will ask nothing of me.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

"I have said these things to you in figures of speech.  The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.  In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!  Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."  Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?  Behold the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone.  Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."  John Chapter 16, ESV

Explanation for verses 16:7, 16:8, 16:9, 16:10, 16:11, 16:13, 16:14, 16:16-19, 16:20, 16:24, 16:33 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV,  pages 1574, 1575 and 1576

"16:7  the Helper will not come.  Again, the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent is given to comfort the disciples.  See not on 15:26-27.  The first emphasis was on his life-giving power (7:37-39).  The next featured his indwelling presence (14:16-17).  The next marked his teaching ministry (14:26).  His ministry of empowering for witness is marked in 15:26."

"16:8  when he comes.  The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was approximately 40 or more days away at this point (see Acts 2:1-13).  convict.  This word has two meanings: 1) the judicial act of conviction with a view toward sentencing (i.e., a courtroom term----conviction of sin) or 2) the act of convicting.  Here the second idea is best, since the purpose of the Holy Spirit is not condemnation but conviction of the need for the Savior.  The Son does the judgment, with the Father (John 5:22, 27, 30).  In 16:14, it is said that the Holy Spirit will reveal the glories of Christ to his people.  He will also inspire the writing of the NT, guiding the apostles to write it (v.13), and he will reveal "the things that are to come," through the NT prophecies (v. 13)."

"16:9 sin.  The singular indicates that a specific sin is in view; i.e., that of not believing in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.  This is the only sin, ultimately, that damns people to hell (see note on 8:24).  Though all men are depraved, cursed by their violation of God's law and sinful nature, what ultimately damns them to hell is their unwillingness to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (cf. 8:24)."

"16:10  righteousness.  The Holy Spirit's purpose here is to shatter the pretentions of self-righteousness (hypocrisy), exposing the darkness of the heart (3:19-21; 7:7; 15:22, 24).  While Jesus was on the earth, he performed this task especially toward the shallowness and emptiness of Judaism that had degenerated into legalistic modes without life-giving reality (e.g., 2:13-22; 5:10-16; 7:24; Isa. 64:5-6).  With Jesus gone to the Father, the Holy Spirit continues his convicting role."

"16:11  judgment.  The judgment here in context is that of the world under Satan's control.  Its judgments are blind, faulty, and evil as evidenced in their verdict on Christ.  The world can't make righteous judgments (7:24), but the Spirit of Christ does (8:16).  All Satan's adjudications are lies (8:44-47), so the Spirit convicts men of their false judgment of Christ.  Satan, the ruler of the world (14:30; Eph. 2:1-3) who, as the god of this world, has perverted the world's judgment and turned people from believing in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (2 Cor. 4:4), was defeated at the cross.  While Christ's death looked like Satan's greatest victory, it actually was Satan's destruction (cf. Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15; Rev. 20:10).  The Spirit will lead sinners to true judgment."

"16:13 all the truth.  This verse, like 14:26, points to the supernatural revelation of all truth by which God has revealed himself in Christ (16:14-15), particularly.  This is the subject of the inspired NT writings. See note on v. 7."

"16:14 He will glorify me.  This is really the same as v. 13, in that all NT truth revealed by God centers in Christ (Heb. 1:1-2).  Christ was the theme of the OT, as the NT claims (John 1:45; 5:37; Luke 24:27, 44; Acts 10:43; 18:28; Rom. 1:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 1:10-11; Rev. 19:10)."

"16:16-19  Jesus was referring to his ascension ("you will see me no longer.") and the coming of the Holy Spirit ("you will see me"), emphatically claiming that the Spirit and he are one (Rom. 8:9; Phil. 1:19; 1 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 19:10).  Christ dwells in believers through the Holy Spirit--in that sense they see him.  See notes on John 14:16-18."

"16:20 sorrow will turn into joy.  The very event that made the hateful realm of mankind ("world") rejoice and cause grief to Jesus' disciples, will be the same event that will lead to the world's sorrow and the believer's joy.  The disciples would soon realize the marvelous nature of God's gift of salvation and the Spirit through what he accomplished, and the blessing of answered prayer (v. 24).  Acts records the coming of the Holy Spirit and the power and joy (Acts 2:4-47; 13:52) of the early church."

"16:24 joy may be full.  In this case, the believer's joy will be related to answered prayer and a full supply of heavenly blessing for everything consistent with the purpose of the Lord in one's life.  See note on 15:11."

"16:33 in me you may have peace.  See note on 14:27.  tribulation. This word often refers to eschatological woes (Mark 13:9; Rom. 2:9) and to persecution of believers because of their testimony for Christ (cf. John 15:18-16:4; Acts 11:19; Eph. 3:13).  overcome.  The fundamental ground for endurance in persecution is the victory of Jesus over the world (John 12:31; 1 Cor. 15:57).  Through his impending death, he rendered the world's opposition null and void.  While the world continues to attack his people, such attacks fall harmlessly, for Christ's victory has already accomplished a smashing defeat of the whole evil rebellious system. See notes on Rom. 8:35-39."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  We pray for the persecuted Christians.  We lift up the persecuted Christians to you (those in other countries and the USA).  We ask that you will provide for them and help them escape from the people who are persecuting them.   I pray Psalm 121 over them. I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.