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As I have been reading and studying the Book of John every page has provided me with meat to chew upon and chapter 5 has been no different. As I mentioned on Friday, when I began looking into the Book of John I felt that this series would be a chapter-by-chapter commentary, however, this ride has been far more unconventional then I had expected. I pray that the message which the Holy Spirit wishes to send reaches not just to myself but to those who need to hear it? Amen
The ministry of Jesus Christ was so radical and different to anything that had come before, not only was He performing astonishing miracles, He was also baptising people ( something which was only reserved for Rabbis’ and Faith leaders), but what really struck a chord with the contemporaries was His claim to be an equal to the Father:
And just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so the Son also gives life to anyone He wants to. The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father’John 5:21-23
In these verses Christ claims two things a) the ability to give life and b) the authority to judge men, this is so that we would worship Christ equally as every member of the Godhead (Father, Son and Spirit) functions as One and not separate entities, for everything that they do is in perfect harmony like an Orchestra composed of many instruments. The Father gave Christ the authority to judge men with the assurance that He would judge men in the same manner that He would; because their thoughts were in sync. Therefore, ‘anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him (John 5:23) because as mentioned they are one and the same. We understand this because in Isaiah 42:8 God says that he would ‘not give [His] glory to another, or [His] praise to idols’, anything that we place greater value over God is an idol , we also know that He is the Lord ‘He changes not’ (Malachi 3:6), therefore, what He said before remains the same for eternity,God is so jealous of our affection that He would not want us to share our affection between Him and another idol or person. Yet here the Father has given honour to Christ and has glorified Him (John 13:31) and we know God does not contradict Himself, therefore, our only conclusion from this is that Christ himself must be God, that He must be the ‘Us’ spoken about in Genesis 1:26.
All who hear and believe in Christ as God will have eternal life, meaning that their spiritual selves would have passed from death to life. However, those who do not believe will come under judgement. Those who have done ‘good things will receive the resurrection of life and those who have done wicked things will receive the resurrection of judgement’ (John 5:29). Whatever good deeds you do, do not save but they provide the basis of divine judgment, in the same manner ‘as water reflects the face so one’s life [actions] reflects their heart’ (Proverbs 27:19 NIV), and without God our hearts think wicked thoughts (Jeremiah 12:9, Mark 7:21, Genesis 6:5).
God created us with a body, soul and spirit, but when Adam ate of the apple in Genesis 3, His act of disobedience separated Him from God (this was the death which God warned would occur). As mentioned in Seeing Greater Things, God is Spirit and we can only understand Him when we ourselves move beyond fleshly understanding and into spiritual understanding. This is why God often communicates with our Spirit rather than with our Body or Soul because our spiritual self can perceive the spiritual things, in the same manner our earthly body can perceive the invisible wind blowing. So when Adam fell, our Spirit self died immediately, and the line of communication between God and us was separated because we could no longer perceive Gods thoughts and ways as we did before, and because your Body, Soul and Spirit are so connected when one dies the rest soon follow (they have been made weaker without a channel to God) and have been made vulnerable to sin and its effects such as sickness, deceitful hearts etc
It is our physical structure where our Spirit and Soul resides in. When we die it is the part that is buried in the ground.
Is an eternal part of our being, and acts as our Mind, making decisions. It holds emotions and can house good or bad things.
Is the part of our being that can hear and speak with God in Spirit and Truth. However, the spirit-man is dead in most of mankind.
I love how the MacArthur New Testament commentary of John chapters 1 to 11 defines an unbeliever as someone who is spiritually dead, ‘insensible to the things of God, totally unable to respond to Him’ [pg 196]. Therefore, those who believe or hold true faith’ are the ones who hear him when He calls. When Christ came, He came to resurrect our dead Spirit self, but such is His resurrecting power that He too will resurrect those who are buried in the ground for He is the ‘resurrection and the life’ (John 11:25), he is the one who pulls us out of death and gives us life, we understand this better when we turn our attention to the story of Lazarus. Lazarus had been someone whom Jesus cared for deeply and had passed away 4 days before Jesus arrived, until when Christ called His name and He came out of the tomb in front of many witnesses (John 11: 1-43). In the Jewish custom (according to the DAKE Bible), they believed that when a person died their Spirit left the grave for 3 days before finally heading to Heaven/ Hell, so when Christ arrived on the 4th day all the people were certain He was dead and so no one could refute that this was a miracle, not even the Pharisees as in Luke 8: 40-53.
To end today’s’ blog, I want us to be focusing on what it means to have our connection to God restored. He is the resurrection that brings us out from the grave and into His glorious light- For He is Our God and Saviour.