Monday, November 9, 2015

That You May Believe

John 20:19-22 - disciples had every reason to believe Romans would be after them as well.  Unnerved at Jesus' appearance.  Scars = testimony of debt paid.  No mention of other scars - so probably not on glorified, resurrected body.
Greek word "breath" here used no where else in New Testament. Imparted to disciples - spiritual life, eternal life.
However, used here:  Gen. 2:7 = physical life, soul life.

John 20:23 = troubling verse - but, we have clear teaching that ONLY GOD can forgive sins.  Seems to be telling disciples to go and tell people HOW sins could be forgiven.

Contrast:  the authority to forgive sins with the authority to declare forgiveness of sins. (tell how to obtain)
Translators = "what did John say".  Interpreters = what did John mean!

John 20:24-28 - Thomas - doubted - didn't have the advantage of seeing Jesus that first Sunday night.  This = one week later - BUT, he's still there - in essence Jesus said, 'stop not believing'.
His statement - "My Lord and my God" = very strong statement for a Jew who believed there was only ONE God.  Thomas spent 20 years in India and died there a martyr.

John 20:29-31 - has carried down for 20 centuries.

John's purpose in writing this gospel?

1)  that you (the reader) might come to believe

2) that (by believing) you might have life.

Objection!!  I have life or couldn't read this!!!
Answer:  this is not about biological life - John knew that when he was writing to his readers.
It is about spiritual/eternal life... the kind of life God designed and desires for you!!

A theme in John:
John 1:12-13 - new birth, John 3:3 - born again, John 3:16 - eternal life, John 6:35 - bread of life, John 10:10 - fullness of life, John 11:25-26 - will never die, John 14:6 - the way, the truth, and the life, John 17:1-3 - eternal life - knowing God and Jesus

Bookend John's Gospel:  John 1:1  and John 20:31

It is important:
#1.  THAT you believe
#2  WHAT you believe

Definition of belief, faith in Biblical context - CONTENT, ASSENT, TRUST - these necessary to Biblical faith

CONTENT -   Rom. 10:13-14 - must know what the gospel is about.
ASSENT = agreement - I know the content and agree with the content
TRUST = James 2:19 - no crossing over if don't trust.  Also very important what you trust in!!

Can't believe (Biblical sense) without a CAT!
Simple witnessing tool - helpful in today's thinking:  Content, Assent, Trust.

So:  it's important:  A.  that you believe
                             B.  what you believe
also important       C.  that you Share that belief!

John 20:21-23 - clear that Jesus is:
                                       Sending them  forth
                                       Authorizing them - be My spokesman
                                       Empowering them

Application for us?  = two things traditionally recognized and accepted:
On one hand, the Apostles held a special office and commission.
Nevertheless, ALL believers are expected to "go". -  not JUST apostles, missionaries, preachers, etc.

Because Christians took this responsibility, world has been changed tremendously.  Whether this will continue will depend on whether Christians continue to take on this commission.

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