Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel—we’re in the Gospel of John; we are in John:14:20. Dave, before we do, I think we ought to encourage people once again about reading the Bible—the B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me.
Dave: Reading it thoughtfully and prayerfully and asking God to teach you from it by His Spirit.
Tom: And if you have not read the Bible before, I know we have been taking a long time going through the Gospel of John—you could do a lot faster, folks, at home in your own time. And that’s our encouragement. This is where, if you have never read the Bible before, we encourage you to begin with the Gospel of John, maybe after that go to Acts, maybe to Galatians, Romans, and so on. But that’s our encouragement.
The name of the program is Search the Scriptures Daily. God rarely works out of a vacuum. If He’s going to teach you something or teach you to discern something, it’s because you have His reference, His Word, on your heart, in your mind, and that’s the way it works. So, John:14:20: “At that day [this is Jesus speaking] ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” That’s available for those who are born again, born of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ dwells within us. I think we forget that too often, Dave.
Dave: Well, there’s a oneness in the Trinity—three Persons, one God—it’s a family unity, and you have…we’ll get over there when we get to John:17:21—He is praying to his Father; He says, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” He goes on and He says, “I in them and thou in me,” and so forth. And here He is saying to His disciples, “You do not understand this yet, but when the Comforter comes, the Holy Spirit, who is going to lead you into all truth, and he will bring your remembrance the things that I have said, [so you could write them down in the gospels]. And then you will know that I’m in the Father, and you are in me [so that means we are in the Father] and I am in you.” We talked about it a bit last week: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Tom: Dave, that speaks to me about personal relationship, personal, intimate relationship. That’s something that I know many who, before they came to know Christ, before they received Him as Lord and Savior by understanding who He is and what He had accomplished for them, paid for their sins fully. Before that, they knew about Him, but they didn’t really know Him. I knew a lot, as I said in the earlier segment, I grew up Roman Catholic—I knew quite a bit about it, even though I didn’t study the Bible, but we were taught about Jesus. But these were things that were in my head, and although I had some emotions about it, I can’t say that I knew Him in a personal way, and this is what we need to have.
Dave: Mm-hmm. And it goes beyond knowing Him personally. I mean, I can know someone personally—my wife and I have been married, well, coming up next month, 53 years—Wow! It hardly seems like I’m that old—I shouldn’t be! I don’t know how we get so old so fast, Tom, but it takes so long to learn anything—that’s a major problem.
Tom: And then when we get there we can’t remember anything.
Dave: Yeah, can’t remember anything. I can’t remember—why was I saying that? It’s one thing—I think I know my wife pretty well; she knows me after all these years, but she doesn’t live in me, and I don’t live in her. And He’s saying, “I’m in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” Wow!
So, Buddha never promised that, Muhammad didn’t promise that. The Spirit of God comes to live in us, and I believe that the Spirit of God originally lived in Adam, lived in Eve. And when they sinned, the Spirit of God left, and they died in their spirits, spiritually dead now, dead in trespasses and sins. And now, when we open our hearts to Christ, He comes into our heart.
You know, that was the verse—when I came to Christ, I mean, I knew the Bible; I knew that verse. I knew the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We had family devotions twice a day. I went to church, probably, five or six times a week from the time I was a babe in arms, and I just heard it over and over and over. But I had never personally put my faith and trust in Christ for myself. I knew that that was what I should do, and I wanted to do it, and the person who led me to the Lord said, “Well, you’re trying to trust your faith,” because I kept saying, Well, supposing I say I believe and I have a secret doubt. And he referred me to Revelation:3:20, which I knew very well, and he said, “Look, instead of trying to believe, why don’t you leave it up to Christ? He said, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock….’” Now I know some pastors and Bible teachers say, “That’s not the individual—that’s the church of Laodicea and He was outside the church and He wanted to get in.” Well, there may be some truth in that, but He says, “If any man, [that is, if any woman, any person, any boy, any girl] hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him,” and I just opened my heart to Christ and said “come in.”
Tom: Hearing His voice means not literally hearing it but hearing what His Word says—the things that have already brought conviction in your heart and in your soul.
Dave: And hearing it with understanding and a willingness to heed. So, Christ has come to live in me—changed my life amazingly! That was just a couple of weeks before I entered the 10th grade—changed my life amazingly! And I will never forget, you know, when I was a boy, I used to be afraid to die. And that night, for the first time in my life, I just kind of hoped I would die! I wanted to be with Christ.
So, He says, “At that day [that is, when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell you], you will know that I am in the Father, and you are in me and I in you.”
This is one of the many things that is so wonderful about being a Christian. It’s not a do-it-yourself-kit, but Christ has come to live His life in us.
Tom: And verse 21 seems to—not set a condition, but I think we really have to explain this one: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Now Dave, the Lord’s not referring to the law here, is He?
Dave: Well, “keeps my commandments”—He gave them a new commandment back in chapter 13: “that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Tom: These are all the things. The reason I say it’s not the law—these are everything that Jesus teaches us. We’re to do them in obedience out of love—certainly not for salvation; we have that—but this is what makes us grow in our relationship with Him—we abide in Him.
Dave: Well, we have a higher standard than the law, and that is Christ himself. We’ve said it often, others have said it, “The Christian life isn’t difficult—it’s impossible!” Nobody ever lived it but Christ, and if I’m going to live the Christian life, I’m going to have to let Him live it through me. On the other hand, I don’t just lean back and He does everything—but I must give everything I’ve got to being what He wants me to be.
Tom: Dave, like the example I like to use with the young people that I teach is that the Christian life is as easy as walking on water. And then I ask, “Who do you know that walked on water?” And of course everybody says, “Jesus.” I said, “Well, who else?” “Well, Peter!” And Peter could walk on water until he took his eyes off Jesus.
Dave: Very good, Tom. So “he that has my commandments and keeps them”—well, that’s evidence that we love Him. “If you love me, keep my commandments. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” That’s rather interesting. In other words, there is a joy in my heart. I know that Christ came into my heart, into my life. He manifests Himself to me; there is a communion; there is a love relationship.
Tom: Dave, before we go to 22, this manifestation of Christ—it’s a reality. You know, I’m listening to you say these things, and I’m saying, Yes, it’s real! This is not something out of our imagination or conjuring up something in our mind—this is a reality. But people are never going to know this reality until Christ does come into their lives.
Dave: I’m thinking of an old hymn we used to sing when I was a boy: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all his wondrous compassion and purity.” And so if Christ has come to live in me, He should manifest Himself to me and He should manifest Himself to others. I mean, I should be becoming more like Him—my character, my attitudes, and so forth. Christianity is a wonderful thing. The fellowship of believers should be terrific. Sometimes it’s not that way, and it should be. So, we need to get back into this fellowship with our Lord and love Him and love His people and love His Word and read it and pray over it and get to know Him better.