Hi thank you for joining us on the Fall For Christ Series, if you would like to receive a FREE PDF copy of the entire series as well as other notes please email Starting With Jesus before the 20th February 2019 with the subject line #FFCF and you should hopefully receive the online #FFCF pack sometime in March.
I would just like to thank you all for your patience despite the prolonged absence. Last week I had been so excited that there would be only 3 days till the end of the Fall For Christ February series, but unfortunately, I became seriously ill and had to take sick leave from work and what’s more pause on the series. However, I am so glad that the Lord has restored my health and these last few posts are perhaps going to be far more significant than anything we have covered in this series. So I pray that nothing will prevent this series from its initial intentions and I pray that it may encourage all to seek and know the Lord more including myself. So with this in mind, Let us begin the final 3 posts of #FFCF
Now the hour was arriving when Christ would no longer be with His people, in the same manner, He had been since His birth on Earth. Knowing that the hour of His death was approaching, Christ was not going to leave His disciples ill-equipped or ill-prepared, with Christ they had been under such privileged protection but now that Christ was going to be with the Father, the reality of being a follower of Christ was going to become more known to them. To follow Christ is to receive persecution, like the blind man who had received sight for the first time, these disciples were going to be banned ‘from the synagogues’ (John 16:2, 9:35) and even killed ( by misguided zealots) for speaking the truth of Jesus Christ. Jesus told us this not to discourage but to encourage us so that we would not lose faith when faced with persecution.
Chapter 15 emphasis’ that believers must remain connected with Christ, for when we are connected ( when we are in Christ) it is like being a branch on a vine that does not shake, whose roots do not get lifted up in times of storm and persecution, and who is not infected ( with sin) so the fruits which it produces are many and are good. However, the only way that we can remain connected with Christ despite Him not ministering on Earth as Man is to be connected to His very own spirit, Chapter 16 as explained in previous posts gives a brief outlook of what the Holy Spirit ministry is about on Earth. Despite being informed about how the Holy Spirit allows for us to operate in a symbiotic relationship with the Father and Son who are in heaven like Jesus Christ did on Earth, however, as no man ( apart from Christ) had ever lived such a connected and intimate relationship with the Godhead before, this unison was and still is unfamiliar, but through the Lord’s prayer in Chapter 17 we get a glimpse of how this relationship operates, in order for us to mirror and remain connected with Christ.
If there had been any doubt of Christ’ origins as the Messiah, John 17 clarifies any misunderstandings, for the Lord was sent down from heaven to do the Fathers work, He was the manner spoken of in John 6 that was to give ‘eternal life’ so that the Father may be ‘glorified on Earth’ (John 17: 3). He, Christ, had been with the Father long before the establishment of this Earth and had resided in the same presence and glory that was with the Father and through His death and resurrection would too be once again reestablished ‘in your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed’ (John 17:5). Chapter 17 demonstrates that Christ is still praying for us so that we are protected by His name (*John 17:11), what’s more, is that Chris is not just praying for our protection but so that we may also be joined with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit so that we ‘may be one as We [the Godhead] are one’ (verse 11). The ultimate goal of Christ’s ministry on Earth was so that we could establish ourselves within His presence, in the same manner, that Christ prayed for the glory, the manifestation of the Father’s presence to be once again in Him (verse 5), so too must we reach a level in which this presence which He has given to us from the Father (verse 22) operates in our lives. When we have the Father’s glory operating in our own lives, we may be in the world but we ‘are not of the world’ (John 17:16) as the way we see and understand is through the lenses of God’s glory and not through corrupted flesh.
*’Holy Father protect them by Your name that You have given Me’ (John 17:11, Jesus’ name is above all other names, it is the name that we call out and we receive our healing and salvation. However, in this passage, Christ had not yet been crucified nor had he been resurrected as such His name was not yet exalted as it would be later on, so whilst on Earth, everything was conducted through the Father.