In your defence

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

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We are on week 17 of our study in the book of John and we’re continuing with Chapter 14.

We looked last week at how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and that He wants to wash ours too, He left a legacy for us to follow and everything He did we are called to do too. Although He knew that Judas would betray Him He treated him the same as the others, He loved Him although He knew just hours later the man He’d spent much time with would be the one that led Him into the hands of death.

We are looking this week at how Jesus comforted His disciples before this happened in John chapter 14, this chapter is all about the comforter, the Holy Spirit and Jesus teaches them and us how He plays a part in our lives.

Let’s read; 

“Don’t worry or surrender to your fear. For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also. My Father’s house has many dwelling places. If it were otherwise, I would tell you plainly, because I go to prepare a place for you to rest. And when everything is ready, I will come back and take you to myself so that you will be where I am. And you already know the way to the place where I’m going.”

Thomas said to him, “Master, we don’t know where you’re going, so how could we know the way there?”

Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too. And from now on you will realize that you have seen him and experienced him.”

Wow, what a promise! Verse 1-4 tells us that we aren’t to worry or surrender to our fear. The Aramaic here can be translated let not your heart flutter. 

Have you ever had that feeling of anxiety when you are fearful of something, where your stomach turns, and you feel a sickness rise to your throat? 

Here we see Jesus tell us how to overcome that very feeling, He says to the disciples because they believed in God they are now asked to trust and believe in Jesus too, that’s instruction to us too. This is our promise, we have a place of rest prepared for us beyond this world, so fear not, this is not it, those fears and worries we have in the world don’t matter. No matter what trouble we face, illness we suffer, hurt or pain we go through that is not the end, that’s not the definition for our life, the definition is that we will go to the place Jesus has lovingly prepared for us! 

Jesus mentions His Father’s house in John 2:16, His temple on earth, his dwelling place, so Jesus isn’t just talking about heaven when he talks of His Father’s house, we know too that one of the dwelling places of God is a tabernacle, we also know that we are now living tabernacles carrying the very presence of God, so we are one of His many dwelling places here on Earth. Whilst Jesus is preparing a place for us, he is also preparing our place for God! 

1 Corinthians 3:16 The Passion Translation (TPT)

16 Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you? 

 

Ephesians 2:21-22 The Passion Translation (TPT)

21 This entire building is under construction and is continually growing under his supervision until it rises up completed as the holy temple of the Lord himself. 22 This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you!

 

Hebrews 3:6 The Passion Translation (TPT)

But Christ is more than a Servant, he was faithful as the Son in charge of God’s house. And now we are part of his house if we continue courageously to hold firmly to our bold confidence and our victorious hope. 

Q1. How does it make you feel to know that you are part of God’s Kingdom on Earth? 

Philip spoke up, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be all that we need!”

Jesus replied, “Philip, I’ve been with you all this time and you still don’t know who I am? How could you ask me to show you the Father, for anyone who has looked at me has seen the Father. 10 Don’t you believe that the Father is living in me and that I am living in the Father? Even my words are not my own but come from my Father, for he lives in me and performs his miracles of power through me. 11 Believe that I live as one with my Father and that my Father lives as one with me—or at least, believe because of the mighty miracles I have done.

12 “I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! 13 For I will do whatever you ask me to do when you ask me in my name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring glory to him. 14 Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it for you!”

15 “Loving me empowers you to obey my commands. 16–17 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like me—and he will never leave you. The world won’t receive him because they can’t see him or know him. But you will know him intimately, because he will make his home in you and will live inside you. 

18 “I promise that I will never leave you helpless or abandon you as orphans—I will come back to you! 19 Soon I will leave this world and they will see me no longer, but you will see me, because I will live again, and you will come alive too. 20 So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you. 21 Those who truly love me are those who obey my commands. Whoever passionately loves me will be passionately loved by my Father. And I will passionately love you in return and will manifest my life within you.”

Verse 15 talks of our love for Christ, this is a love that is demonstrated by obedience to do all he instructs us to. He doesn’t want us to feel guilty of our sin to feel unworthy. 

In verse 16 the word another is interpreted ‘allos’ in Greek, it means “another of the same kind”. Jesus is the saviour from the guilt of sin, the Holy Spirit is the saviour who saves us from the power of sin by living through us in fullness. 

An example of that would be, Jesus asking us to forgive our enemies. Let’s say we are offended by someone and think that their actions towards us are a personal attack, when in fact that person knows no different, all the same we are offended. 

Jesus tells us quite plainly to forgive them, but, how can we? 

We wind up all stressed out, angry and really not wanting to be in a room with that person, but then there’s a double edge to this, because we know Jesus wants us to forgive them, when we think about it we end feeling guilty, going over and over it in our minds until we feel condemnation, a lack of worth and we begin to wonder how ‘Christian’ we actually are! 

The Holy Spirit offers us another way. When we feel this way IF we submit these feelings to Him, He will allow us to see things from another perspective. If we are humble enough to say that we know we are wrong for holding on to contempt of this person and give the Holy Spirit permission to do His thing we will begin to see things that weren’t visible before. 

I did this not long ago to do with things holding on to me from my past. Once I’d given it to the Holy Spirit, I began to see that the people that hurt me were just as much a victim as I was. This does not excuse what was done to me, but it does offer an explanation. I saw things that could have possibly happened to them before, and the words Jesus spoke on the cross came to life, “forgive them for they know NOT what they do”. This enabled me to move on from seeing a personal attack to releasing the anger and hurt inside of me, I was able to forgive those people and accept what had happened for what it was. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of peace I know have following years of turmoil.

In verse 16 the word saviour is translated in Greek as “paráklētosit’s a technical word that can be translated as defence attorney. It means “one called to stand next to you as a helper”.

So here we see God will give us another of the same kind of Saviour once Jesus has gone to stand to our defence, to help us and always stand with us – always!

Imagine a defence lawyer and how they go to work on their client’s behalf, in short, they find things out about the prosecution case in order to confuse their evidence to convince the jury that their client has been wronged. The Holy Spirit will go on our behalf! 

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been in a situation where by someone or something is making me out to be in the wrong, if I’d of gone to battle in my own strength on these occasions I’d of only made things worse, our emotions get in the way and we do and say things that don’t help, if we choose to instruct our defence lawyer HE will go on our behalf, He will bring all things together for good! 

Q2. Where in your life can you let go of control and allow the Holy Spirit to take over? 

Please don’t take what I’ve said lightly here look at the footnotes from The Passion Translation and how Brian Simmons describes the Holy Spirit using the Aramaic translation.

Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, our Savior. The Aramaic word is paraqleta, which is taken from two root words: (1) praq, “to end, finish, or to save,” and (2) lyta, which means “the curse.” What a beautiful word picture, the Holy Spirit comes to end the work of the curse (of sin) in our lives and to save us from its every effect! Paraqleta means “a redeemer who ends the curse.” (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 6561 and 6562; A Compendious Syriac Dictionary, p. 237; and Oraham’s Dictionary, p. 250.)

The Holy Spirit comes to end the work of the curse of sin in our lives and save us from it’s very effect! 

Guilt is from the enemy, don’t allow satan to rob you of this wonderful gift we’ve been given, accept that there is something we can do about how we are feeling and give it The Holy Spirit, allow Him to do a work in your heart about the things you are holding on to, cry out to him. I can promise you that it will be the most liberating and freeing thing you have ever done in your life! 

Then one of the disciples named Judas[o] (not Judas Iscariot) said, “Lord, why is it you will only reveal your identity to us and not to everyone?”

23 Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word.And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place.24 But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father.25 I am telling you this while I am still with you.26 But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free, he will teach you all things in my name. And he will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you.

27 “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!28 “Remember what I’ve told you, that I must go away, but I promise to come back to you. So if you truly love me, you will be glad for me, since I’m returning to my Father, who is greater than I.29 So when all of these things happen, you will still trust and cling to me.30 I won’t speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this dark worldis coming. But he has no power over me, for he has nothing to use against me.31 I am doing exactly what the Father destined for me to accomplish,so that the world will discover how much I love my Father. Now come with me.”

Love for Christ is proven and demonstrated by our obedience to all that he says. And in this last portion we see Jesus repeat what He began with, He is the redeemer of the curse of sin, which we’ve identified as guilt and condemnation. I’m not saying here that we aren’t to be convicted of things we do that we know Jesus wouldn’t want us to, what I am saying is that in this passage of scripture Jesus shows us just how to deal with the guilt. 

The Holy Spirit is our guide for life, our life long navigation system, he teaches us, comforts us, and defends us, He is fighting for us and ensuring that we live in the perfect peace Jesus describes in this portion of scripture. God has not given us a spirit of cowardly fear and these guilty lies keep us bound up in fear, in verse 27 Jesus uses the words that were spoken from the mouth of Moses before he died to Joshua as he was commissioned to take the Israelites to the promised land; 

Deuteronomy 31:8 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

 

Joshua 1:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Joshua 10:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”

In verse 30 Jesus said “I won’t speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this dark worldis coming. But he has no power over me, for he has nothing to use against me”We are overcomers and the devil has no power over us.

The words here aren’t just words to the disciples, Joshua and the Israelites, they are for us too, these are our promises and instructions from God, He has put within us a courage that can not be shaken, but it’s our job to activate it. 

Q3. How can you remind yourself daily of the courage you are given from God?

Study scripture;

2 Timothy 1:7 New International Version (NIV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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