Thursday May 24, 2018
Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - loving your brother.
Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, who came to Jesus during the night to inquire of Him, sees right through him, for Jesus knows what is in the heart of man, JOH 2:24, and Jesus bluntly goes to the point and stated,
JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
“see” - oida = to see, perceive, or fully know. Man is inherently incapable of apprehending the kingdom of God. Light is the heritage of the spiritually transformed.
Jesus bluntly answered his question before he could ask it, asserting that without complete change, comparable only to rebirth, the natural man could not enter the spiritual kingdom. “Cannot” implies incapability rather than prohibition. The natural man is not arbitrarily debarred from the kingdom. He is inherently incapable of apprehending it, just as a blind man cannot enjoy a sunset. God’s mysteries are not the heritage of the learned, the moral, or the religious simply because of learning, morality, or religion; they are the heritage of the spiritually transformed.
Nicodemus was too learned a man to think that Jesus meant physical birth literally. He knows that what he says is impossible, and so, he is actually stating that whatever change Jesus is implying is impossible for him, meaning any character change or psychological change. Nicodemus is a Pharisee, “the” teacher of Israel, he’s pretty sure that any changes for good in himself have reached their zenith.
It is a man’s spiritual rebirth that Jesus means, and not any change of behavior or psychology. The spiritual rebirth through Jesus’ death is the only way that a man can be delivered from darkness and see the kingdom of God, and once that happens, the character of a man will change in ways he never imagined.
JOH 3:4Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
Nicodemus is recognizing the need for a new birth, but he thinks himself too old to change in any significant way in his character or psychological makeup. He might as well try to reenter his mother’s womb. Nicodemus believes his case to be hopeless.
On our own, our cases are hopeless, but Christ, the serpent lifted up on the pole, became a curse for us. Through faith in His work alone, those in darkness can become light.
JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
JOH 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
JOH 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
JOH 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
JOH 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"
JOH 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?
JOH 3:11 "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and you do not receive our witness.
JOH 3:12 "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
JOH 3:13 "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man.
JOH 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
JOH 3:15 that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.
JOH 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
JOH 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
JOH 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
JOH 3:19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
JOH 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
JOH 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
“comes to the light” and “draw near with full assurance” (HEB 10:22) both speak of the clean conscience. Light is life.
The motif of darkness and light runs deep in the Bible.
As HEB 10:22 revealed to us, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance.” The one who practices the truth comes to the light with full assurance. He desires, but not in an arrogant way, for his deeds to be manifest as being from God.
HEB 10:19Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
HEB 10:20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
HEB 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
HEB 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Moving onward in John’s use of meno (abide).
In Him (2:6) - walk as He walked
In light (2:10) - loves his brother
The word (2:14) and the baptism of the Spirit (2:27) abides in us.
The first one is a claim of a consistent lifestyle. The second is a fact of the one who loves his brother. The word and the Spirit abiding are also stated as facts; the abiding word to the consistent learner, and the abiding Spirit to all believers.
1JO 2:14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Fathers most likely refers to those who entered the fold early on, young men to those who entered later (2nd generation), and children still later (3rd generation).
John states with confidence that the word of God abides (present indicative) in the strong young men.
For the word of God to abide in you, you would have to be a consistent learner. There is no abiding word from superficial knowledge or lack of love for truth.
Abide means to remain. The word of God only heard sporadically will not remain in my stream of consciousness. You are what you eat. The word of God is alive and it is meant to be used and lived. A believer who has a spurious intake of the word of God will not recall the words of truth in every circumstance. He may sometimes apply doctrine to life but it will be occasional, and that is not what the truth is for. We are to walk by means of the truth.
The believer must be on a consistent diet of the word of God. Never compromise this, no matter what circumstances occur in your life.
Teach me Thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in Thy truth;
Unite my heart to fear Thy name.
Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity;
And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
For Thy lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Thy truth.
I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Thine ordinances before me.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.