Fred R. Coulter—January 2, 2010

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Last time we ended up talking about the nature that Jesus had. Let's review Romans 8. This is really essential in understanding why Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. Since He was Creator, as we have seen there in John 1, that nothing came into being except that He created it. That's kind of a conundrum for those who say that Jesus did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, but if there was nothing that wasn't made or created except through Him—then did He create Himself? So that's a question that they can't really answer. But it's essential to understand, especially Romans 8:3, the kind of nature that Jesus had. Some say He had a nature where it was impossible for Him to sin, yet Jesus told the Jews that 'If I should deny the Father, I would be a liar like you.' Which showed that He had the ability to sin.

Now we'll look at it today and see that, yes, Jesus was tempted. If it were impossible for Him to sin, how could He ever be tempted? How could He experience a temptation if He was totally immune? Kind of like walking around in an invisible shield all around Him, that nothing could get to Him, that nothing could affect Him, that He was just impervious to everything all around.

Let's pick it up here in Romans 8:3: "For what was impossible for the law to do..." Now let's stop there and answer the question. The law only defines sin. Where there is no law, there is no sin. The law cannot forgive, regardless of how hard people try the law cannot forgive. I saw on television the other day they were interviewing this man in Kansas who was the killer that kidnapped women and raped them and killed them. He was a real law-abiding citizen other than that. Keeping the law after murder does not forgive or justify the murder. He should never have murdered in the first place. Same way with any other sin—lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and so forth.

"For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh... [Even in obeying, it's always weak. We are weak. We are subject to temptation. We are subject to sin. But Christ delivers us (v 2), 'delivered us from the law of sin and death.'] (So here's how God did it): ...God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh... [Now the Greek for likeness is 'homoiomati'—which means in the exact sameness of sinful flesh.] ...and for sin, condemned sin the flesh."

Now that could not happen unless Jesus had human nature with the law of sin and death. So let's ask the question: was Jesus subject to death? Yes, He died—didn't He? Died on the cross. Was He subject to sin if He would have chosen to sin? The answer is yes! Let's come to Luke 1, and since God was His Father then, Jesus had to have received His human nature with the 'law of sin and death' when He divested Himself to become a human being, He must have got it from His mother Mary.

Now the Catholics are stuck with a problem. They cannot admit that Jesus carried the 'law of sin and death' in Him, so that He could condemn sin in the flesh. They say it was impossible for Him to sin, so in order for that to happen then they say, 'Well, Mary was immaculately conceived, so that she would not pass on sin to Jesus.'

Luke 1:30: "Then the angel said to her [Mary] 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?' And the angel answered and said to her... [Now this also brings out several other things, just right in this one verse as well.] ...'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you... [So the Holy Spirit is the power of God. If the Holy Spirit were a person, then the Holy Spirit would be the Father and the Father would not be the Father. All of these manmade theological imaginations trying to justify things that you don't find in the Bible always fall flat on their face when you look at Scripture.] ...and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God" (vs 30-35). So He had to have received His human nature from His mother.

Let's come to Luke 4, and we find where Jesus was tempted by Satan the devil. Luke 4:1: "And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit... [Being the power of God.] ...returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered. Then the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread" (vs 1-3).

Why have the temptation if He could not be tempted?

  • It would just be a charade—wouldn't it?
  • There would be nothing real in Jesus' life of overcoming.
  • How could sin be condemned in the flesh if Jesus Himself did not carry the law of sin as well as death within His human body?
  • Couldn't have been done.

Verse 4: "But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."'" Then you know the other temptations that He went through.

Now is this all that He went through? We'll see this here. Let's come to Hebrews 4. Let's see about the temptation and then we will go back and see something special with the education of Jesus that is really very profound. Here it talks about Jesus being tempted and how He was tempted and the way He was tempted, so that He could fulfill condemning sin in the flesh by carrying the law of sin within Him, yet, not sinning.

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin…. [We'll also see in just a minute He knew no sin, that is He did not experience sinning Himself.] …Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 14-16).

Now let's come to 2-Corinthians 5:21 where it talks about Jesus was made sin for us. Now how was He made sin for us? This shows that He had to have carried the 'law of sin' within His members, just like we do. "For He made Him Who knew no sin... [Now this knew means experiencing by doing.] ...knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Let's see how Peter did this. Quite interesting when you put all of these Scriptures together, because you can't explain Rom. 8:3 unless you understand all of this. We're going to learn something else here, because when we get into the Gospel of John and see the relationship between the Father and Jesus Christ, we'll see how important that that was.

1-Peter 2:21: "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps. Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth…. [So even though He was tempted in every way like we are, yet also greater than we are with the personal temptation of Satan the devil, He committed no sin. He knew no sin by experience. Yet, we're going to see, He carried within His body our sin and how could He do that? We'll see it in just a minute here.] …Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree..." (vs 21-24).

Now let me just stop right here and say: the cross that you see in movies is not the cross that Jesus was crucified on. The way the Romans did it, because they had so many people they crucified, they took select trees, trimmed them down, and left the roots in the ground. Then they had on there two big iron hooks. When someone was crucified, they had a crossbeam on which they crucified them. Then they would hoist them up and drop that cross beam in those two big iron hooks. So it was a tree, but it was also a cross. So that helps answer the question, because people have asked me, 'Why don't you put tree every time there's cross?' I said, 'Because it doesn't say tree every time.'

"...so that we, being dead to sins... [Because the wages of sin is death and if we don't have Jesus deliver us from the law of sin and death, we will not be saved, resurrected.] ...may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (vs 24-25). So there we have it right there.

Let's notice the struggle that Jesus had. Let's come back to Hebrews 5. Let's see how He cried out to God day and night, because He had to be saved from death. He could not sin once. Then we'll examine how God the Father dealt with Jesus from the time He was born. Hebrews 5:7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected... [Now that's quite a statement—isn't it? 'Having been perfected'] ...He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 7-9).

How was Jesus perfected? It began very early on. Let's see something concerning Jesus' education. Let's see that He was taught of the Father. First of all let's come to John 7:14. This becomes very important, because there are a lot of people, ministers and theologians, who say, 'Well, Jesus was a Jew and He was taught by the Jews, the ways that Jews do. He kept all of their traditions and everything.' John 7:15 answers the question. Let me ask you another question before we get to it. Think of this: since Jesus presented such a challenge to the authority of the scribes and Pharisees and priests, if Jesus had been taught by any one of them, don't you think they would have known who taught Him? What do you suppose would have happened to that priest or rabbi? An unfortunate accident, got run over by a mule. If they were willing to kill Jesus, don't you think they would have eliminated the one who taught Him, if He were taught by rabbis and went to the rabbinical schools? And if He observed Judaism and kept their traditions, which He never did? No! That's why if you don't have the series, Scripturalism vs Judaism, you need to get it.

John 7:14: "But then, about the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching. And the Jews were amazed, saying, 'How does this man know letters, having never been schooled?'…. [Now what does this tell us? They checked Him out and found out He hadn't attended any of the rabbinical schools. He wasn't schooled. How could this be? So then He answers the question in a way that is really very interesting.] …Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me....[How did He get that doctrine? How did He get those teachings?] ...If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self. The one who speaks of himself is seeking his own glory; but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.... [speaking of Himself] ...Did not Moses give you the law, and not one of you is practicing the law?.... [What were they practicing? Their traditions!] ...Why do you seek to kill Me?'" (vs 14-19).

Let's come back here to Isaiah 50 and let's see the prophecy of Jesus' education, which began almost immediately after He was born. Had to have. Remember, in the book of Isaiah especially, it's 'line upon line; here a little, there a little; precept upon precept,' and some of these prophecies they talk about the second coming of Christ and the first coming of Christ. They talk about His crucifixion, then they talk about His ministry, etc.

Isaiah 50:4: "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned... [How did He know letters? God gave it to Him. Like any other human being, He had to be taught, so the Lord God taught Him.] ...to know to help the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning... [So every morning God the Father woke up Jesus and was teaching Him, revealing to Him the things He needed to know. That had to start at a very early age.] ...He awakens My ear to hear as one being taught. The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor turned away backwards" (vs 4-5).

Then notice it jumps right ahead to what? Events leading up to the crucifixion. "I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting, for the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I have not been disgraced. On account of this I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" (vs 6-7). That means Jesus had to make all of these choices all the time. That's why everything everyone does is a choice

  • whether automatic
  • whether impetuous
  • whether emotional
  • whether determined

It's still a degree of choice. Jesus never sinned because He chose not to sin.

Now let's see how Jesus verifies what we just covered. Let's see how He answered the Pharisees. I imagine this frustrated them to no end. 'Who is this guy?' John 5:17: "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.'…. [He was talking about the spiritual work of healing on the Sabbath.] …So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath... [King James says 'broke' the Sabbath. He did not break the Sabbath, because that would be sin. He loosed the Sabbath from the ridiculous requirement that no one could pick up their bedroll and carry it on the Sabbath, which was, by the way, a traditional law of the Jews. God says, 'Carry no burden.' A bedroll would not be a burden.] ...but also because He had called God His own Father... [And the Father was the one Who awoke Him day-by-day to teach Him.] ...making Himself equal with God" (vs 17-18).

You have your own children. Jonathan's sitting here, he's a man. I'm a man. He's equal to me, maybe better than me, in many aspects; different from me in other aspects. So they understood it if He said, 'I'm the Son of God.' You're saying God is Your Father.

Verse 19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself... [Why? Because He always did the will of God and if you always do the will of God, you are not doing your own thing. You're choosing God's way.] ...but only what He sees... [So not only did the Father teach Him, but He saw the Father and continuously saw the Father.] ...what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner.'" Boy! that's something! Then He told them, 'No man has seen God at any time.' Of course, that didn't apply to Jesus.

Let's see how the controversy continued. There are some really good sections in John. John 10:23: "And Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, 'How long are You going to hold us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered them, 'I have told you, but you do not believe. The works that I am doing in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one shall take them out of My hand. My Father Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one'" (vs 23-30).

Now the Jews really detested this. Because a lot of people wonder why were the Jews who knew that the Messiah was coming and they knew He was coming, why were they so hateful to Him when He arrived? Because He didn't accept all of their sins and He didn't accept their traditions and they wanted Him to join their political structure so that they could be exalted. That's why! So when He said, "'I and the Father are one.' Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him" (vs 30-31). There they are! You can just imagine the looks on their face.

Now the stones they have over there in the Middle East are good hard stones. I saw a special of some Afghan veterans who had been in the war with the Russians and so forth, and with the Taliban, and there's hardly any employment over there in Afghanistan. It's really a mountainous, rocky place, so those who escape at all they get way up in the mountains to escape. The only employment they have is breaking rock, these big rocks. So they get big sledge-hammers and they spend all day breaking up the rock, because they can sell the rock for things that they can build with it. That's all they have. You look around, no trees, just bare mountains, bare rocks, straight up like real steep. I'm thinking: What kind of people? What kind of situation? It is the worst place in the world that has always been unmanageable, uncivilized and here we are trying to civilize them and bring them a western government. Never happen! But I really felt sorry for them.

There's nothing to do except break rock. What a sad life. Well, they picked up stones so that they might stone Him. "Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God.' Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, "I said, 'You are gods'"?.... [A prophecy of what we will really become.] ...If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)... [So remember that one place if someone says, 'Well, all men wrote this, so therefore, we can't trust it.' Tie this in with the other Scriptures. The Scriptures cannot be broken.] ...Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"?.... [Now notice what He challenged them to do]: ...If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works... [Because seeing is believing! Did He do miracles and healings and tremendous things that no man had ever done? Yes, indeed!] ...believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.' Then they again sought to take Him; but He escaped out of their hands" (vs 32-39). I wonder if He just kind of blinded them for an instant and He just disappeared. They couldn't find Him. Very possible!

Let's come back here to John 8. Let's see what else Jesus says concerning what He does, what He did, why He did it, and so forth. Let's see what Jesus told them. John 8:12: "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world; the one who follows Me shall never walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' Therefore, the Pharisees said to Him, 'You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, because I know where I have come from and where I am going'" (vs 12-14). Hello, One-Goders—where are you? And we just read what? The Scripture cannot be broken and if the Scripture cannot be broken and Jesus always told the truth and this is recording what He said, this is truth and this is Scripture and it cannot be broken.

The comment was made: When people do that, are they not calling God the Father a liar? Yes, indeed! What does it say of God? It's impossible for God to lie.

Verse 15: "'You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet if I do judge, My judgment is true, for I am not alone; but I and the Father Who sent Me. And it is written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am one Who bears witness of Myself, and the Father, Who sent Me bears witness of Me.'…. [Then they got into a heated discussion.] …Then they said to Him, 'Where is Your Father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would also have known My Father'" (vs 15-19). This is something!

Let's come over here to v 28: "Then Jesus said to them, 'When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you yourselves shall know that I AM... [Now notice that's capitalized. In the Greek this is the emphatic form of 'I AM' and it's a double I AM—'ego eimi.' Ego means I AM; 'eimi' is another form of I AM—I AM THAT I AM. So where do you read that? Exodus3. So here he's telling them who He really is. And if that is talking about God in Exo. 3, then what it is doing its verifying that Jesus was God, just like we read in John 1—right? Yes!] ...and that I do nothing of Myself. But as the Father taught Me, these things I speak.'" So that's how He had His education. The Father taught Him!

No telling what kind of conversations They would have when Jesus was praying. It isn't like us. We close our eyes and He probably looked up into heaven and there was the Father and He was praying directly to the Father; He could see the Father, the Father could see Him. Quite different! However, we're going to learn that there are things that we can do, that we can follow the things that Jesus is doing here, because we're going to also learn. We're going to learn that when we are learning from the Bible, and with God's Spirit, it is God Who is teaching us. That's what makes the connections in our mind with the Spirit of God.

So what we're learning--and when we come together on the Sabbath Day with God's Spirit in us, God blessing the Sabbath Day, putting His presence in the day for all of those who come before Him on that day, then Sabbath services become what you would call a spiritual experience. We learn, and we learn things that we wouldn't learn otherwise. We're taught of the Father. We'll see that in a little bit as we come along here.

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So Jesus saw the Father. Now we can't see the Father. We'll see (probably next time) how Jesus set us an example and how closely what God does with us parallels in a very similar way what God and Jesus had with each other. Let's come to John 12.

  • So He was taught of the Father
  • He saw what the Father did
  • He did what the Father did

Let's also see something here concerning that Jesus received commands from the Father. John 12:49: "'For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak.... [So this is why He did not sin. He always did the things that pleased the Father, did what He saw the Father do. We're going to see, a little bit later, did the works that the Father gave Him to do, and so this is the commandment of what He was to speak.] ...And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me'" (vs 49-50). Now nothing could be clearer than that.

Let's come back here to John 6:60. Let's see what else about the words of Jesus that are different than any other words, because there is a spiritual conveyance with the words of Jesus that you don't get with anybody else's words. After He told them about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, John 6:60: "Therefore, after hearing these words, many of His disciples said, 'This is a hard saying. Who is able to hear it?' But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this, said to them, 'Does this offend you? What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before?.... [Again, hello, One-Goders, where are you? What do you do with this Scripture? In the first part of John 6 He says, 'I came down from heaven.' How are you going to explain that? Well, they can't and don't.] ...It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing.... [Because it's going back to dust.] ...The words... [And He got the words from whom? The Father, by command.] ...The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life'" (vs 60-63).

That's why when you read and study the Bible, something happens spiritually in the spirit of your mind and with the Spirit of God with you, that God is teaching you. Now let's come back here to v 44: "'No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God".... [How are we all taught by God? With the Spirit of God, by the Word of God. That's why Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you they are spirit and they are life.' So this is something that the rest of the world cannot comprehend. They do not understand how this takes place.] ...Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me…. [And that ties in with, 'Many are called and few are chosen,' etc.] …No one has seen the Father except He Who is from God; He has seen the Father'" (vs 44-46). Hello, One-Goders. What are you going to do? So that's how we are taught. That's why the words that are in the Bible are so important to us.

Now let's notice something else concerning the words of God. Let's come to John 17. All of these are here in the Gospel of John and these are really tremendous things for us to understand. Notice what He says here, John 17:8: "'For I have given them the words that You gave to Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me.'" So He gives us these words.

Now drop down to v 14: "'I have given them Your words... [So whatever is here in the Gospels, the direct words of Christ, what is ever in the rest of the New Testament, the inspired words of Christ, they all came from where? The Father, because we are all taught of the Father. Isn't that amazing?] ...I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.'"

Now let's look and see what else has been done here. Let's see some more concerning the commands—John 14:21: "'The one who has My commandments... [And where did He get them? From the Father.] ...and is keeping them... [So, yes, we are to obey and keep—are we not?] ...that is the one who loves Me... [So you see, our love to God is expressed by doing what God wants us to do, not just the thoughts of love in our minds. That's important, but it translates into action, keeping them.] ...and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.'"

Does that mean an apparition? He's all of a sudden going to come, like some of these modern movies show, and you see some sort of light figure? No! How does He come? By sending His Spirit for those who cry out to Him. That's how He comes, whether converted or whether not converted. If they proceed no further, then they don't go ahead with baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit, then it's not unto eternal life. But nevertheless, anyone who calls upon Jesus will have that prayer answered if it is sincere. But that doesn't mean that that prayer guarantees or equals eternal life. So that's how He will manifest Himself to him.

"Judas (not Iscariot)... [didn't understand it] ...said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'.... [After the resurrection, he learned directly—didn't he? Yes, indeed! But for us, since Jesus has ascended into heaven, it operates a little bit differently.] ...Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word... [Now when it's used singularly like that, that's the whole message.] ...and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him'" (vs 22-23). Now I've covered that about the two aspects of the Holy Spirit: Christ in us and the begettal of the Father. So they are both dwelling within us, with the down payment of the Spirit of God.

The world doesn't understand that, because the world can't receive the Spirit of God, because it won't obey God. Here's why, v 24: "'The one who does not love Me does not keep My words... [Which came from the Father, which were commands from the Father—right?] ...and the Word... [the whole message] ...that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me.'" So when you reject the words of Jesus, who are you really rejecting? God the Father! Contradiction—isn't it?—for those who say that Jesus did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary? Yes!
"'I have spoken these things to you while I am yet present with you. But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things... [And that's called the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13)] ...and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you.... [Which came from the Father.] ...Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear. You have heard Me say to you that I am going away, and that I will come to you again. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I said, "I am going to the Father" because My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it comes to pass, you may believe. I will not speak with you much longer because the ruler of this world is coming; but he does not have a single thing in Me. Yet, he comes so that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do exactly as the Father has commanded Me. Arise, let us go out'" (vs 25-31). That was on the Passover night.

That's something—isn't it? Exactly as the Father has commanded. This is why we're not to add to or take away from. This is why we are to put all the words of the Scripture together in a way that is proper. If Jesus obeyed the Father, had the Spirit from the Father, chose never to sin, always did the things that pleased the Father, never did anything from Himself, His own initiative, then what we do then has to reflect the same thing. And we'll see that, yes, it will.

Now let's come to John 15:10. Some more about the commandments, very important. "'If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love.... [You want to reduce sin in your life? Practice the things that please God, that's how to do it and live in Jesus' love.] ...These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you'" (vs 10-12). All of this on the Passover night! Tremendous!

Let's come over here to John 17:4: "'I have glorified You... [This is Jesus praying to the Father.] ...on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do.'" And all the works that He had to do. How was He able to do these works? The Father in Christ.

John 16:32, He says: "'Listen, the time is coming, and has already come, that you shall be scattered each to his own, and you shall leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me.'" He also told the disciples What we are doing, we're putting the Scriptures together in a way so we get a complete picture as to what Jesus did and then how we also can walk in His steps and emulate what Jesus did.

John 14:8: "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and that will be sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; why then do you say, "Show us the Father"? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak from My own self; but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works…. [So likewise, it has to be that way with us.] …Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not... [there were some who didn't believe] ...believe Me because of the works themselves.'" (vs 8-11).

And the Father gave Him works to do and He said, 'I have finished the work which You gave Me to do.' And the work now is still going on. We've heard in the past many times, 'Oh, the work of God, the work of God.' And they meant the organization and what the organization was doing. They forgot that the real work of God is the work that He's doing in each one of us. That's the most important work. Because if we do whatever we're doing and we're not doing what God wants us to do—of what account is it? If we don't continually come to God and ask God for

  • His help
  • His guidance
  • His wisdom
  • to show us what we need to do
  • how to live

—all of those things. God is doing His work in us. That is the greatest work of all, and never forget that. In spite of all the troubles and problems and difficulties that you may have gone through or will go through, or whatever it is, God is using all of that to create in you the character that He wants in each one of us. He does it in an individual way, on an individual basis. It's not the same for everyone, but it's the same Spirit producing what God wants in everyone who has the Spirit of God. It's very similar in that way to what Jesus was doing; very similar. This stuff gets really exciting here when you get into it.

Let's come back to Hebrews 5:8 here for just a minute. "Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected... [Now think about that. 'having been perfected'] ...He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 8-9). So the question is: How was Jesus perfected if He was perfect? Can you become more perfect? Yes! He was perfected because He was tempted in every way like are, yet without sin. He was perfected as the perfect sacrifice to take away the sin of the world because being without sin, though He carried the law of sin and death in Him, He never sinned.

Let's see how that applies to us. Let's come back here to Matthew 5:48 and these are the words of Jesus—are they not? We saw what?

  • Everything that He taught, He learned from the Father.
  • Everything that He spoke was what the Father commanded Him.
  • Everything He did was what He saw the Father do.

"'Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect.'" That's the goal—isn't it? How is that done? Just like Jesus was perfected through the things that He suffered, so likewise we are perfected through the things that we suffer, how we live, doing those things that please God, doing the will of God. That's how we are perfected.

Let's look at it again here. Let's see how Jesus even prayed that prayer. John 17. Jesus prayed that we would be perfected. That's the whole business of God, to perfect us. Now you can look at a newborn baby and you look at it and everything is there, everything is fine, and you look at it and you say, 'It's perfect.' That is, it's perfectly formed, it's anything but perfect. It's got a whole life to live yet—right? Yes! Well, in our Christian life we are to be perfected. Now notice Jesus' prayer.

John 17:17: "'Sanctify them... [make them Holy.] ...in Your truth... [Being made Holy is the process of perfection. And the finality of perfection will not come until when? The resurrection.] ...Your Word is the Truth. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us... [Now just something to remember here. This is the only verse in the Bible that answers the question directly of Gen. 1:26 where it says, 'Let Us make man in Our image.' The Us are the Father and Christ—no one else, none of the angels.] ...that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one... [That's the whole object.] ...and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me'" (vs 17-23).

So God wants us to be perfected. Let's see how Paul expresses it in Hebrews 13:20. Here's Paul's prayer, very similar to Jesus' prayer. "And may the God of peace, Who raised our Lord Jesus from among the dead—that great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of the everlasting covenant, perfect you... [So we've got to stay in covenant with God—right? That's why the Passover is so important.] ...Perfect you in every good work... [Now what are those who believe in no works going to do with that?] ...in order that you may do His will; accomplishing in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ..." (vs 20-21). So God is doing a work in us

  • through the Spirit of Christ
  • through the Spirit of God the Father
  • through the words of the Bible
  • through leading us
  • through guiding us
  • and all of that

"...accomplishing in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen" (v 21).

Now let's come to Colossians, the first chapter; let's see what that perfecting is. Let's see how that is done. This is why keeping the Sabbath and using the Sabbath for the purpose that God intended:

  • to grow in grace and knowledge and truth
  • to be taught the Word of God.

That's why it's so important that wherever there's a teacher, minister, elder, whatever, that he's teaching the Word of God. As Paul said, 'Preach the Word.' As we have seen, these are the words of Christ. He's not to preach himself. What good would it do to preach himself? Can a human being save you? No! Only God can. We are to preach the words of life, that under all circumstances everything that God does with us and through us will be perfecting us.

  • we have our part
  • we have to choose
  • we have to love
  • we have to obey.

We can do those things that are pleasing in His sight through the Spirit that He's given us.

Colossians 1:7: "Even as you also learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you; who has also informed us of your love in the Spirit.... [Because it is the Spirit of God that causes all these things to be done to perfect us.] ...For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will... [That's how you're perfected.] ...filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding... [That spiritual understanding comes from putting the Scriptures together in the way that God intended them to be. And what does this produce in our lives?] ...That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work... [There it is again—good work.] ...and growing in the knowledge of God. Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified... [by perfecting us] ...for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light" (vs 7-12). That's what God is doing in us to perfect us, to do His will. All of these things relate back to

  • what Jesus did
  • what Jesus said
  • what He taught
  • what He learned from the Father and gave to us.

All the words of Jesus came from the Father. Isn't that an amazing thing? That we can understand these things?

Today as we're finishing up here, the world is all out there doing whatever they're doing—buying, selling, shopping, driving, going here and there, watching football games, basketball games, hockey games, attending events, doing political things, whatever it may be. They don't know any of these things. They're out there thinking they're doing good and all of these things, pleasing themselves, pleasing their families, pleasing whatever they're going to do. And yet, here we sit and we have been given the knowledge of God and the Spirit of God and the Truth of God in these things. That's really an amazing thing when you comprehend it. And that in this one book—the Bible—God has communicated to us everything we need to know. Then coupled with His Spirit and growing in grace and knowledge we may be perfected, just as Jesus was perfected. A little different manner, because that was directly from the Father, but nevertheless, ours is directly from Christ and the Father, too—isn't it?

So we can learn from the book of John these things about what He said of His relationship that He had, that Jesus had with the Father. And then we can take those to ourselves in the way that it applies to us and establish us in a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Quite a fantastic thing when you understand it all! I hope this has helped you.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 8:3
  • Luke 1:30-35
  • Luke 4:1-4
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • 2-Corinthians 5:21
  • 1-Peter 2:21-25
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • John 7:14-19
  • Isaiah 50:4-7
  • John 5:17-19
  • John 10:23-39
  • John 8:12-17, 19, 28
  • John 12:49-50
  • John 6:60-63, 44-46
  • John 17:8, 14
  • John 14:21-31
  • John 15:10-12
  • John 17:4
  • John 16:32
  • John 14:8-11
  • Hebrews 5:8-9
  • Matthew 5:48
  • John 17:17-23
  • Hebrews 13:20-21
  • Colossians 1:7-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 1
  • Exodus 3
  • John 16:13
  • Genesis 1:26

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Scripturalism vs Judaism

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 1-12-10
Formatted: bo—1-13-10

 

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