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Faithlife Corporation

Seven Words On Seven Chapters (John 1-7)

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We look at the first seven chapters of John's Gospel. Our seven words are (1) Who; (2) What; (3) Wind; (4) Worship; (5) Wholeness; (6) Word; (7) Witness.

(1) Who is Jesus?

    • Chapter 1: (a) the Word (v. 1); (b ) God (v. 1); (c) the life (v. 4); (d) the light of men (v. ) and the true light (v. 9); (e) the only begotten Son (v. 18) or the Son of God (vs, 34, 49); (f) the Lamb of God (vs. 29, 36); (g) Master (v. 38); (h) the Messiah or the Christ (v. 41); (i) the King of Israel (v. 49); (j) the Son of Man (v.51).

We focus our attention on another description of Jesus - "this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit" (v.33). This is based on the Spirit's descending, like a dove, to abide on Jesus (vs.32-33).

(2) What kind of Spirit does Jesus baptize us with? What kind of Spirit does He pour out upon us? What kind of Spirit does He give to us to live in us?

    • Chapter 2: The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7), "the Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9). To answer the question, "What kind of Spirit does Jesus baptize us with?", we look at Jesus Himself.

In chapter 2, we see the grace (vs.1-10), glory (v. 11) and holiness (vs. 13-22) of the Lord Jesus.

In these three words - grace, glory and holiness, we have a description of the work of the Spirit in the whole course of the Christian life.

    • The beginning of the Christian life is grace.
    • The destination of the Christian life is glory.
    • The way by which we travel from grace to glory is the way of holiness.

The life in the Spirit is the way which takes us from grace to glory in the highway of holiness.

(3) The wind of the Spirit (3:8)

The Christian life is to be a life of going with the wind of the Spirit, and not against the wind of the Spirit (3:8).

The fourfold direction of the wind of the Spirit (3:16): The wind of the Spirit blows us in the direction of (a) the love of God; (b) the Saviour; (c) faith in Christ; (d) eternal life.

The life which goes with the wind of the Spirit, and not against the wind of the Spirit, is a life which is becoming, increasingly, more Christ-centred and, increasingly, less self-centred.: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (3:30).

This Christ-centred life in the Spirit is a life which is characterized by worship (chapter 4), wholeness (chapter 5), the Word (chapter 6) and witness (chapter 7).

(4) Worship in the Spirit and in truth (4:24)

Worship in the Spirit is not, simply, a warm feeling inside, a pleasant emotion which says, "I enjoyed that." It is not, simply, a vague inward spirituality which is characterized by inner contentment. Worship in the Spirit , true spiritual worship focuses attention not so much on our feelings but on Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us.

What we must remember is this: When we speak about the Spirit, we are speaking about the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit who delights to glorify Jesus Christ and to point us to Him, who is the Saviour of the world.

This is true spiritual worship - worship which leads us to magnify and exalt Jesus Christ, worship that leads us to give glory to the Saviour who love us and gave Himself for us, to give praise to the Christ who was crucified for us, to give honour to the Lord who was raised from the dead for us, to sing "Hallelujah" to the King who is coming again for us.

When the Spirit of God is at work in our worship, He will lead us to say of Jesus Christ, "this is indeed the Saviour of the world" (4:42).

(5) Wholeness in the Spirit

When we are truly worshipping in the Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ will ask us this challenging question, "Do you want to be made whole?" (5:6).

He calls us to leave behind the old life, which is characterized by the weakness of the flesh. He calls us to live the new life, which is characterized by wholeness in the Spirit.

"Do you want to be made whole?"

The first essential for experiencing the mighty power of the Spirit of God is an intense desire for the Spirit of revival and renewal to be at work among us.

"Do you want to be made whole?"

Jesus Christ will pour upon us the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of revival and renewal, as you and I say, "Yes, Lord, I want you to do this for me?"

"Do you want to be made whole?"

(6) The Word of God and the Spirit of God

The call to wholeness comes to us through the Word of God. The Spirit of God speaks to us through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures.

The contrast between the Spirit and the flesh (3:6) is re-emphasized in 6:63.

While the Spirit and the flesh are contrasted, the Spirit and the Word are not set against each other. The Spirit and the Word belong together. The Spirit uses the Word to bring us out of the weakness of the flesh and into the wholeness which is ours through faith in Christ.

(7) Witness (7:37-39)

This wholeness, which comes to us through the Spirit and the Word, is not for our own benefit only. The Spirit uses the Word to point us to Christ - the source of our wholeness, so that we, in turn, might point others to the Saviour.

When the Lord Jesus speaks of "rivers of living waters", He does not say that they will flow into the believer's heart. He says that they will flow out of the believer's heart.

The Spirit is given to us on the basis of Jesus' glorification - His death, resurrection and ascension. Because Jesus, the Lamb of God, has died to take away the sin of the world, the Holy Spirit is given to us so that we might share this good news with our needy world.

The Spirit empowers us for the work of mission, Christ's mission in the world.

    • Ezekiel 47 - the development of Christ's mission

- vs.3-5: ankle-deep - Jerusalem;

knee-deep - Judea;

up to the loins - Samaria;

deep enough to swim in - the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

- v.6: "Son of man, have you seen this?"

      • Revelation 22 - the outcome of Christ's mission, the healing of the nations (v. 3); reigning for ever and ever (v. 5).
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