H O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
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Email: wwilson61@hotmail.com
31 May 2015


John 15 - Part II
These Things I Command You


John 15:17: These things I command you, that ye love one another. Based on the root of the word rendered as command, it conveys a goal. An objective that Jesus has set for his disciples and for those who believe on him through the disciples. It should be the goal of every Christian to love others as themselves.

John 15:18-21: 18. If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. 19. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Hate is a principle opposite to love.
With love we show respect for others, no matter their status among men or what they believe. With the principle of hate we want others to be like ourselves and to believe the same way as do we, and we esteem ourselves better than others. Hate, like love, is manifested by how we treat others.

Jesus said, if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. Why do some consider truth immediately and others do not? Most likely they already seen the hypocrisy within their church; or, they have discovered some doctrine that is not Biblically sound. This does not happen accidently, but because the person wants to live a sin free life in order to be saved; or they desire to know more about God through study of the Bible.

How is it that the world will come to hate you? Your beliefs and lifestyle, which are different from the world, will irritate them. 1 Peter 4:14: If ye be reproached for [in] the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. When I decided to live a Christian lifestyle, I was treated differently by personal friends as well as some peers at work. When I shared my spiritual growth, I was treated differently within my church; when I left, I was considered lost.

John 15:22-25: 22. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. 23. He that hates me hates my Father also. 24. If I had not done among them the works which no other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25. But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

Remember, love and hate are lifestyles based on what a person believes and how they think. Jesus said that if he had not spoken to the Jews, and had done the works among them that no other man had ever done, they would have no sin. But they refused to accept the instruction of Jesus, his lifestyle irritated them, and they were envious of his influence on the people. They showed their hate by constantly trying to discredit his teachings in front of the people and spreading false rumors. When that did not work, they killed him. Later, those who accepted the truth encountered similar reactions. However, there was also a division among believers, which became more of a problem than the Jews because their teachings were more subtle.
Here is another way that we can show hate toward others who believe differently: Romans 14:1-5: 1. Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2. For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. 3. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God hath received him. 4. Who art thou that judges another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5. One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. It is common among Christians to condemn another person for what they are doing because it disagrees with how they define sin, or what they think the gospel teaches. We have enough to worry about dealing with our own struggles to be concerned about the sins others.

Here is a warning from Peter (same verses from two other versions beside the KJV):
2Peter 2:1-3: 1. But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be teachers of falsehood among you also, who will cunningly introduce fatal divisions, disowning even the Sovereign Lord who has redeemed them, and bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2. And in their immoral ways they will have many eager disciples, through whom religion will be brought into disrepute. 3. Thirsting for riches, they will trade on you with their canting [fictitious] talk. From of old their judgment has been working itself out, and their destruction has not been slumbering. (Weymouth)
2Peter 2:1-3: 1. But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (NIV)
Indeed, the warning applies in our generation too, as we have false prophets and teachers with us today.

John 15:26-27: 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. The Comforter, the Spirit of the Truth, while from the Father, came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Our focus is to be on the things Jesus taught, and trying to understand them by means of the principle of interpretation that he taught, and not that which religions teach.

Verse 27 - ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning was used for the criteria to select a replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot. Acts 1:16-17, 20-22: 16. Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy [Spirit] by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. ....20. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take (Psalms 109:8-15). 21. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22. Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

Did Saul, whom Jesus called to be an apostle, meet the criteria Peter mentions? I believe he did, with one exception - he did not company with the other apostles during the ministry of Jesus. He was even their enemy for a time. Mark recorded an incident of a young man coming to Jesus and asking what he must do to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17-22). During the dialog, Jesus said to him: Mark 10:21: Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing you lack: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Jesus perceived the young man, whom I believe to be Saul, to be sincere. Though the man did not understand the words of Jesus, he answered the call years later, and became the most significant contributor to truth and as a writer of the New Testament (cf Acts 22:3; 26:4). So, we should NEVER judge another by what we see, because we do not know the motives of the heart. We are to trust God, and do the work that we can in order to bear witness to others. Amen.

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