Pastor Adam's Blog

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Introduction to this Blog

There is so much help for the Christian in John 14–17.  I’m so glad these words are in the Bible! In these chapters are the words Jesus left His disciples, tailor made for hard times. I’ve had the opportunity to teach and walk through the book of John in our Sunday school class, where our last class finished in John 17, just before we cancelled services due to the Covid-19 outbreak and stay-at-home orders given by state governments. It was timely, because it provides so many promises for us in these difficult days. It’s no accident the Lord had us land in these chapters right before the pandemic really started to affect our whole country and world.

For the next few weeks, I plan to walk through these chapters in John 14–17 and closely listen to the Lord’s voice with you. God willing there will be a new devotional put out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the weeks during the Covid-19 virus situation. We’ll hear His words of peace, joy, and encouragement in the midst of trials and tribulation. He will teach us about the Holy Spirit. And we will learn to pray. Please pray with me that we would experience more of His Spirit, more of His Love, more of His presence, more of Him, than ever before. 


Pastor Adam - adam@galenabiblechurch.org

1 John 4:8

1 John 4:8

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 


God is love. What I understand this to mean is that God the Father and God the Son love each other with an infinite, all-powerful, and all-encompassing love for one another. And this love between the two persons is the person of the Holy Spirit as we saw in Romans 5:5. This is the Spirit that is given to each and every believer from the moment of saving faith.


And it is because the Spirit is the love of God, and the Spirit has been given to us, the Christian loves with God’s love. This is why the apostle says that anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. But we who have the Spirit, now can love God and others. Now believer, because you have the Spirit of God, you have the very love that God has for Himself in you.


Of course, sin remains. We live in a broken and cursed world. Our bodies break down and eventually die. So now we get tastes of the love of God. But some day soon, we will experience God’s presence, the fullness of God’s love without sin or curse. There will be fullness of His joy and pleasures forevermore! But we have the Spirit now such that Paul says, the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts. And because of this we have hope enough to love God and others today. So our worship is true worship because we worship God in Spirit and truth. We really experience God’s presence, we really experience God’s love, all in the person and work of the Holy Spirit

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Romans 5:5

Romans 5:5

“…and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”


According to Paul here, our hope is grounded in the love of God being poured out into our hearts. How the love of God is poured out into our hearts is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is why many Christians down through the church history recognized the Holy Spirit as the Love of God.


We saw this in our study in John 14–17. Jesus was magnified by the work of the Spirit and the Word of God. God the Father loves God the Son and the Son loves the Father and has done so from before creation. And this infinite love between the person of the Father and of the Son is eternal, it is personal. And this love, Jesus promises to make known in His people and continue to make known the name of the Father (John 17:25–26). The Holy Spirit is the love of God standing forth from eternity as the third person of the Trinity. And, wonder of wonders, He has been given to us!


And not only is the Holy Spirit love of God given to us, it’s poured out into our hearts. Don’t think this pouring out is like a dripping faucet. Oh no. Think Niagra Falls! God floods our hearts with His love so that we have those moments where we say like Peter does, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”


And so Romans 5 makes sense that because we have this Spirit-wrought, Spirit-filled hope, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

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John 17:25-26

John 17:25–26

25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 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.”


I love the promise Jesus makes in this text! He promises to make God’s name known to us so that at the least, we would know the love God has for His Son and the love the Son has for God the Father. But it goes further. He says the love that God the Father and God the Son have for each other will be in us, in you and me, believer. Jesus promises the love that God has for Himself would be in you. How awesome it that!


The promise is so incredible to me because Jesus bases it on Himself. He says that He Himself will make God’s love to dwell in us. Jesus is the Christ, which means He is the King now (Psalm 2). He ascended to His throne in heaven (Hebrews 1:13). Jesus is now King over the rulers of the earth (Revelation 1:5). And as the reigning King, Jesus pours out His Spirit into His people. And Paul calls this pouring out of the Spirit, the pouring out of the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5). He did the work on the Cross in dying for our sins. Jesus works now to pours out His Spirit into His people and this Spirit is the Love of God given to us.


So now because of this work because of the present ruling and reigning Christ, His people love Him from the depths of their souls. Yes sin is still present, but we get tastes by the Spirit’s power to love Jesus. The Spirit helps us to cry out to the Father saying, “Abba Father.” This is the love of God Jesus promises to continually work in our hearts. The love of God is the presence of Christ made manifest in us. What comfort! What hope! What glory we have in Christ!


So Jesus ends His prayer for us here. In the midst of hard times, tribulation, any sort of difficulty, we can have peace because Jesus has promised to continually work in us. Do we believe His promise? Let us receive Jesus’ promises here with fresh faith. The love that God the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father is in us and Jesus will continually work it in us. And knowing this love it to know the one true God and His Son. And this is eternal life, to know the love of God through Christ, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. We can have His peace, because we have Him

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John 17:24

John 17:24

24 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.


What does Jesus want in this text? What does He desire? Here we see that Jesus desires a people to see His glory. And the glory He wants them to see is the glory that God gave to His Son before the incarnation.


The Hebrew concept of glory is related to the word “weight” or “value.” And we can relate to this idea can’t we. What we give weight to in our lives is what we give value to. Say if some of us value the Chicago Bears we spend time watching them, or we celebrate them, we spend money to watch them in person or buy shirts with their logo. Our close friends might be those who do the same. These are some of the ways we give weight or value things in our lives.


What Jesus is saying here as He has before, is that God the Father values, and gives weight to, glorifies His Son and has since before the creation of the world in eternity past. He loves His Son with and infinite love. And Jesus is praying that we see that love God has. He prays that we see the value God has for His Son. This is what it means to see and behold the Glory of Christ. And this is what Jesus desires for here.


And oh how glad I am that Jesus prayed for this. My desires need to be tuned to His own because what I want naturally is not to see the glory of Christ. We need to know this is what Christ wanted so that we too would pray and desire to see His glory. And for that to happen we need to be with Him where He is. Now we behold Jesus and experience His presence through faith. We behold His glory in the Word with the eyes of the heart and are transformed and sanctified (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:15–18; 1 Peter 1:8)

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John 17:22-23

John 17:22–23

22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.


A couple days go we saw how we display the glory of God. God the Father loves God the Son and God the Son loves God the Father with an infinite love. This love is glorious. And this glory has been given to believers. And this is what unites believers today and down through the ages in church history. This is why I love to read of Christian men and women down through the pages of history. I love to read how they read their Bibles, how they loved and lived for Christ. I love to understand how they did worship in their local churches.


And why I love to read about these things is, yes I am a bit of a nerd, I will admit. But also Jesus prayed that we would be one with believers down through the ages. Believers have been given the glory of the love of God poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:8). And I love to see how they loved God and lived for Him and talked about Him. We share that love with other believers and we know a unity in the Spirit that God creates in believers, a unity that celebrates God together and grows in love for Him and each other!


Now this is amazing isn’t? Believers spread across the world geographically and historically share a love for the glory of Christ, His Word, His Joy, His sanctifying us, all through His Spirit. And it is this love for the Glory and Work of God in Christ that unites true believers and makes them perfectly one. And Jesus says, this is what the world needs to see so they know that Jesus was sent of God and God loves them as He loves His Son.


What the world needs to see is believers who love Christ, His Glory, His Word, His Sanctifying work in their lives, and unity in those things. This is what Jesus asked the Father to do in and through us. Amazing.

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John 17:20-22

John 17:20-22

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 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. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one…


In the context of today’s passage is Jesus praying for the eleven disciples that He was with. So now He prays not for these only, the 11 disciples, but for those who will believe in Him through the word of the disciples, including Christians today. Jesus has asked that God glorify Him and protect Christians through the word filling them with His joy and sanctifying them. And now He prays that this same thing happen to believers down through the ages so that Christians see His glory, be filled with His joy, and be sanctified by the Word.


And Jesus now asks that these things happen in Christians so that they all be one. How does Christian unity really happen here in John 17 then? Jesus prays that the Word and Spirit fill believers with a knowledge of the Word that fills with the Joy of the Lord, that sanctifies them in the truth, and so they be unified. Jesus prays that Doctrine (teaching) from the word lead to Doxology and worship in Spirit and Truth and that this unite people.


The unity that Christians display down through the ages is designed by Jesus to display His relationship with the Father. God the Father and God the Son rejoice in each other and the truth of each other. Their infinite pleasure and joy in each other is their unity. Our seeing the glory of Christ and rejoicing in God with His Joy sanctifies us and unites us as the Godhead is united. God the Father is united to His Son in His seeing one another’s glory and rejoicing in each other. And thus, we display the glory of God that has been given to us. Breathtaking, isn’t it?

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John 17:15-19

John 17:15–19

15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.


Jesus has been asking that the Father protect them in His name, giving them Jesus’ joy through the word. And Jesus continues to ask protection by not taking them out of the world with all its problems and tribulations, but by protecting them from the evil one, the devil. And how Jesus thinks about how we are protected from the evil one is through sanctification in verse 17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”


Jesus asks the Father to sanctify us through the truth of His Word. To be sanctified means to be made holy. And this is a continual process in the Christian life. God continually makes us holy by the Word and Spirit, conforming us more and more into the image of Jesus (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18). And what is so amazing is that in the context, Jesus is asking God to do this in order to protect us. He gives us His word, and His Joy, and this shapes our lives to be more like Him. And this is how we are kept in the midst of the tribulations we face, and specifically, how we are protect from the evil one, Satan and his schemes.


Oh how this makes us long for God’s fresh work of sanctification in our lives. When we consider how we need God to protect us from the evil one, what that really means is that we need the Word of God to work in us, and sanctify us daily. Lord awaken our love for your word that your joy might be in us and our joy might be full. And this joy would so shape us to be more like our Lord Jesus. And His joy would sanctify us so that we would be protected from the evil one!

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John 17:13-14

John 17:13–14

13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 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.


Back in John 17:11–12, Jesus began this section of His prayer by asking God the Father to protect believers in His name. And Jesus continues that line of thinking in our text today, asking that believers have His joy in themselves. He’s leaving. He has spoken His Word to them. Jesus has given His word to us. And He is asking God to give His joy to them in order to protect them.


This means that joy is essential. Jesus’ joy in us is how God protects us in the midst of tribulation. This is a major way in how God protects our faith as we go through trials like Covid, like cities burning, like family breakdown, like whatever else you can fit in this category of tumult and tribulation. Like Jesus said in John 15:11, His Joy overflows to us through His Word and the Spirit gives us His joy. And this joy is what Jesus says now that might protect us.


Have you prayed like this today? Or ever? That Jesus’ joy would protect us, guard your church, keep your faith. Have you said, “Oh Lord, let your word dwell in me richly (Colossians 3:16), so that your joy be in me, and you would sustain and grow my faith!”? Expand my capacities to love and trust you no matter my circumstances. Do that through your holy word and the Holy Spirit that your joy be in me and my joy full. Protect me with your joy!


And remember, the world will not like this. The world says, circumstances bad, you should not look to God for joy. This sovereign joy from Christ is hated by the world. But this is the light that shines out from us. We rejoice and are glad and shine as lights in the world (Matthew 5:11–16; Philippians 2:12–15).

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John 17:9-12

John 17:9–12

9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 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. 12 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.


It’s amazing that Jesus prays for His own here. And notice He says He’s not praying for the world here. There is a particular, special, and sovereign love Christ has believers. God gave them to Jesus. God elected them. God gave them to Jesus and they are His. And Jesus is glorified in them. He is made much of among these, His own. Jesus says He is glorified in them.


Jesus prays for them in a special way for the Holy Father to keep them in His Name. This is a prayer that believers will be kept or protected in the God’s name. Jesus says that He Himself protected His disciples in God’s name while He lived among them. Meaning, Jesus represented the name of God before them. He perfectly displayed God to His own and that sight of seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus is what protected His disciples. And this sight of the glory of God in Christ is what protects believers now.


What do you need today in the face of oppression, opposition, trouble, or whatever? Jesus prays for your protection believer, and that protection comes from seeing the glory of Christ. And this is a supernatural work of the Spirit. The Spirit opens the eyes of the heart, enlightens the eyes of the heart, reveals Christ to the heart, through the Word as we saw in John 14–16. Now Jesus prays this happen and you believer be protected by that glorious sight!


This sight of the glory of God in Christ is what will keep you to the end believer. This is what Christ prayed for and prays for even now I believe. Would you pray this other Christians in your life, those who live among persecuted areas, and pray this for me? That we all would be protected as Jesus prayed? 

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John 17:6-8

John 17:6–8

6 “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. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 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.


Jesus had just said that He accomplished God’s Work back in John 17:5. Here is the sum of His Work, manifesting God’s name to a certain people whom God gave to Jesus. Think about that, Jesus has been given a people. God the Father gives or gifts people to the Son. He is speaking at that time about the 11 disciples (at least) but also those who would believe in their word (John 17:20). And it is to these that Jesus makes known the weightiness and glory of the name of God.


And how Jesus does that is the Father gave them to Jesus and Jesus gave them God’s Word. The Word of God is how we come to know the weightiness of God, the glory of God, the fame of God. And Jesus celebrates this reality before the Father in prayer. We can rejoice that God has a people chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) to be given to Jesus and Jesus would give them the word and reveal God to them through the Word!


We can have great hope today in our salvation because our present and future is not based on ourselves, but on God. Our hope is based on God’s giving you to Jesus. And Jesus promises to do His covenant keeping work fully and completely. Our salvation is based on Him and not ourselves. It’s based on God’s sovereign giving us to Him, not our giving ourselves to Him. If we believe in Christ, know that He is the one who first received us from the Father. And He went to the cross and died for you. And He will manifest God’s glory to you. It’s a promise!

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