Looking at the Light
Tim Temple

Introduction

A few months ago, my oldest daughter, Nancy, was given a dog who was supposedly housebroken and trained, etc. Nancy was living with us at that time, and we were very pleased to see the dog was fairly well housebroken. But as Nancy became more and more in love with that dog, we realized that we had a granddog on our hands. We don't have any grandchildren, but we have a granddog. That little dog is very cute. Nancy has moved to Dallas now and has taken the dog with her, but the dog really seems to understand what Nancy is saying, and she feels sure she can understand what he means when he looks at her a certain way.

Adrienne, our younger daughter, mentioned the last time they were here together that the projection onto that dog is incredible. Probably you have seen animals like that—animals who are really trained even better than that. People always enjoy going to the dolphin shows at the water theme parks and seeing how well those dolphins respond, and we go to the circus partly to see the tigers, elephants, and various other animals that are trained. Those animals seem almost human in their ability to understand and to communicate, and it is amazing what they can do. But everybody knows that no matter how clever or well trained they may be, they can't actually communicate with humans the way other humans can. They may have a lot of instincts. They may have a lot of native animal intelligence and be highly trained, but they really cannot communicate on a level that humans can.

The reason that I am going into all of that is that the lack of communication between animals and humans is a good illustration of the relationship between God and the unsaved human being. An unsaved human being can understand the concept of God because he is a human and has a soul. He can understand supernatural kinds of things. He can make some outward responses to God. He can go to church, and many of them do. He can listen to sermons, and he can do a lot of things that would seem to be a response to God, but deep in his heart, there is not the ability to communicate with God and receive communication from Him.

One of the clearest demonstrations of that is in the passage to which we come in this lesson. We will be looking at John, chapter 8, verses 21-29. I have divided this chapter into 5 parts. In verses 1-11, we see the exposure to the Light. Jesus is going to say in verse 14 that He is the Light of the world. In verses 1-11, we are exposed to the Light as He shines the light of His omniscience into the life of the woman taken in adultery and into the hearts of those Pharisees who set her up and set Jesus up for that showdown. Then in verses 12-20, we have the explanation of the Light. Verses 21-29, which we are going to look at in this lesson, has the examination of the Light. Then in verses 30-47, there is the extension of the Light. Jesus gives an invitation to people to come to Him. In verses 48-59, we have the exit of the Light. Jesus passes off the scene and leaves those people to meditate on what He had said. This is not the extinguishing of the Light, but the exit of the Light. The Light of Jesus Christ shines on whether people accept it or not or are in the radius of that light or not.

In our last two studies we have looked at the exposure to the Light and the examination of the Light by the Jewish religious leaders after Jesus had announced that He was the Light of the world, in verse 12. As we come to verse 21, we find these Jewish leaders trying to carry their conversation with Jesus a step further, and they make a very thorough examination of this One Who is the Light of the world. Jesus makes an announcement, in verse 21, that brings about this examination:

John 8

21…I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

This is the first time in the Gospel of John that Jesus has publicly referred to the fact that He is going to die. Even though they didn't understand what He was saying, He is beginning to make public reference to the fact that He is not going to always be on the earth. We know that is what He is talking about from the phrase, “where I go, you cannot come,” at the end of verse 21. Out of that announcement evolves the argument that fills up the rest of this section, verses 22-29.

Jewish Leaders' Lack of Understanding

The first part of the argument is as to His destiny, in verses 22-24. Notice these verses:

John 8

22Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

Here is an interesting statement. Remember, these are the religious leaders. John uses the term Jews to refer to religious leaders, not to just the Jewish people in general. These are men who are educated in the Old Testament who should have understood the suffering of Christ and the glory which was to follow, as Peter referred to it, but they are confused by this statement that He is going away. They can only look at Him on the human level as a human being with their human understanding.

Back in verse 19, they had asked, “Where is your Father?”, in a very sarcastic way, intending to embarrass Him because the rumor about Him was that He was illegitimate. They now ask, “Will He kill Himself?” You see, they don't have any understanding of Who Jesus really is. They don't know that He has been instructing His disciples that He is going to die and that He is going to Jerusalem and be put to death for the sins of the world. He has been teaching them that, but these Jewish leaders don't have any concept of that, and they ask, “Will He kill Himself?”

The emphatic answer to that is no, He is not going to kill Himself. In fact, it will be the other extreme from that. He is going to knowingly give His life as a ransom for sinners, the very opposite of taking His own life. Jesus explains their lack of understanding, in verse 23. Nobody could have been more confused than those religious leaders at this point. Notice verse 23:

John 8

23And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

The reason that they couldn't understand is that they are of a completely different nature than Jesus. He says it in terms of, “They are from beneath, and He is from above.” Turn to I Corinthians, chapter 2. Paul elaborates on this topic. His overall theme in I Corinthians, chapter 2, is the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man. In fact, this is the emphasis on the first section of I Corinthians, chapter 2, where Paul is amplifying what Jesus just touches on here in John, chapter 8. In I Corinthians, chapter 2, verse 11, he says:

I Corinthians 2

11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Skip down to verse 14:

I Corinthians 2

14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I know that for many of you this is review, but it is good to go over things again. For some of you this is information that you will be getting for the first time. First, verse 11 says what we know from our own experience. It is impossible to know what's going on in another person's heart. Who knows the things of his own spirit except the person himself? You don't know what is really going on in my mind and heart; I don't know what is going on in your mind and heart. We can put on a good front with each other. I can make you think that my heart condition is this or that or that my mental condition is this or that; you can make me think that yours is a certain way, but nobody really knows that except his own spirit. I am the only one who knows what my heart condition really is, and you are the only one who really knows what your heart condition or mental condition is, other than God.

God Enables Believers to Understand Him

Then he goes on to say, in the last part of verse 11, that the same thing is true of God: “No one knows the heart and mind of God except the Spirit of God.” Verse 12 tells us an amazing thing, and it is worth reviewing once in a while. The amazing thing is that God gives His Spirit to human beings, and God enables believers in Jesus Christ to understand God even better than we understand another human being. The fact is that it is possible for you to understand God and the mind of God in a way that you cannot understand even the human beings to whom you are the closest. Verse 14 makes it very clear that only believers have that ability:

I Corinthians 2

14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…

The word natural , in verse 14, is a translation of the Greek word psuchikos , which is a derivative of the word psuche . The word psuche is the word that is normally translated with the English word soul . The soul is the psychological part of man. In fact, the word psychology comes from the Greek word psuche . Psychology, of course, deals with those extra-material things. Psychology deals with understanding and reacting and that area of life.

Paul implies, in verse 14, that there are human beings who are soulish men and soulish women. The natural man would literally be the soulish man. They operate only on the level of the soul. As I mentioned earlier, they can understand the concept of God because the general concept of God is a psychological concept. It is extra-material. It is beyond the level on which animals think. It is beyond the level of instinct. It is beyond the level of training. It is the ability to understand that extra dimension that we can't see, feel, or touch. That is the psychological aspect, and that is the major thing that separates man from the animals.

I always try to remember when I make this kind of statement to insert that I am not saying that it separates men from the other animals. Man is not one of the animals. The evolutionists want us to think that, but man is not an animal. God created the animals for man, so try to keep youself from making the mistake that has subconsciously been drilled into us about man and the other animals. It is man and the animals.

The natural man still has a limitation. He only understands on the area of the psychological. He can understand the concept of God. That is why unbelievers can worship. They can go through the motions of spiritual things, but He says, in the middle of verse 14:

I Corinthians 2

14… for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The word spiritually is the other key to verse 14. The word spiritual refers to the spirit aspect of man. Man is a tripartite being. Man is body, soul, and spirit. Romans, chapter 8, tells us what the function of the spirit is. The spirit is the part of a human being that God communicates with. The Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God. When a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. Romans, chapter 8, tells us that it is the human spirit that the Holy Spirit communicates with.

It is in the area of debating about how many angels can sit on the head of a pin, when we debate about where the Holy Spirit resides within us. It is not important where He resides within us. He is a spirit. He resides throughout us, but the part of the human makeup that He uses to communicate with us is our spirit. I don't want to get too far into technicalities and suppositions, but I believe, on the basis of these verses, that the human spirit is really not functional until a person accepts Christ as Savior. When a person accepts Christ as Savior, the human spirit is activated as the Holy Spirit communicates with our human spirit that we are sons of God.

It may be that the human spirit is activated at the time that the Holy Spirit begins to work on us before we ever accept Christ. There is a sense in which the Holy Spirit works on unbelievers, but that sense is in terms of conviction of sin and of illumination of the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior. Human beings are so sinful that if it were not for the Holy Spirit's opening our eyes to the truth of Who Jesus Christ is, we would not have the ability to accept Christ on our own. That is what Paul was talking about in Romans when he said, “No man seeketh after God.” No one comes to God naturally.

When people begin to have an awakening of interest in God, it is because the Holy Spirit is beginning to work in their lives. There is that pre-salvation work of the Holy Spirit, but even that is done through the human spirit. Then when we trust Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit communicates through our human spirit all the things that we understand about God.

Coming back to I Corinthians, chapter 2, I hope that it can be clear to you why unsaved people can't understand the things of God. It is because the things of God are spiritually discerned, and an unsaved person does not have a functioning human spirit. God has placed the human spirit there so that in His own perfect time, He can use that for communicating with human beings. There is a sense in which, based on that, unbelievers are handicapped. They are really only functioning at two-thirds capacity. They are only operating with body and soul.

It is amazing to think about the things that human beings can accomplish on only two-thirds capacity, just operating on the body and soul. Unsaved people have done tremendous things. They have gotten tremendous insights. If that is true, think how much more capability a believer has with his spirit awakened by the Spirit of God, functioning on all eight cylinders—all three cylinders, to fit this illustration.

A person is not completely fulfilled as a human being until he knows Jesus Christ as Savior. He is not operating to full capacity. The Spirit of God awakens the human spirit and communicates to us that we are children of God and all the other truths of the Word of God. This is why we don't ever need to be surprised when our unsaved friend just doesn't seem to get it. Our unsaved friends just don't seem to understand why the things of God are important to us. They will go along with it, but secretly they pretty much think that we are kooky, or at least they think that we put far too much emphasis on those spiritual things. It is because the spiritual things are foolishness to them. They can't comprehend them, because they are not operating on the same level of capacity of understanding that we are.

This also explains the fact—this used to bother me a lot more and a lot longer than it needed to—why highly educated, intelligent, prominent people don't accept the simple truth of Jesus Christ, and yet, they are willing to accept the ridiculous lies of evolution and liberalism in general. It is why educated, thinking, intelligent, compassionate people have no problem thinking that abortion is acceptable. It is because spiritual things are foolishness to them. They cannot comprehend spiritual principles.

Of course, one of the things that throws new Christians off balance and sometimes is a hindrance to people becoming a Christian when the Lord is dealing with them is the fact that most intellectuals don't accept the truth of God's Word. Most intellectuals in the world today are liberal, though there are a few conservatives. We sometimes hear or read intellectuals who are conservative, and we say, “It is amazingly like the Bible. This person must be a Christian. ” Then we find out that the person says he is not a Christian. He can understand at the psychological level the wisdom of the Word of God, but he doesn't realize that it is coming from the Word of God. Even people like that sometimes think that Christians are ridiculous.

This is what Jesus was saying to these Jewish leaders. Those were intelligent men. Those were highly educated men who understood the Old Testament probably better than most if not all of us, but they just didn't get it. They saw the Son of God Himself demonstrating that He was the Son of God, and they could not understand it.

People Die Because They Are Sinners

Going back to John, chapter 8. That is why Jesus says what He does in verse 24:

John 8

24I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

There is a profound statement that is very easy to overlook: “People die because they are sinners.” Even believers die because they are sinners. Death is the end result of sin. If Adam and Eve had never sinned, they would still be alive today. The human race probably wouldn't be the size it is, but they would still be alive, because God said to Adam and Eve in the garden: “When you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will die.” Literally, what He said was, “Dying, you will begin to die.” Jesus said, “If you don't believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jesus didn't just threaten these men. He was just stating the facts. “You are going to die, and if you die without believing in Me, you are going to die in your sins. If you die believing in Me, you are just going to move on into the next realm of life.”

This does not mean that these men cannot ever be saved. Sometimes people are critical of statements like verse 24. Jesus isn't saying, “You are never going to be saved,” nor is He saying, “You cannot be saved.” He is simply saying, “If you don't trust me, you will die in your sins.” That is true not only of those Jewish leaders but anybody else who doesn't accept Christ as Savior. In fact, as we will see a little later on in the passage, many of these same men are going to trust Jesus Christ as Savior eventually. Acts, chapter 2, says that on the day of Pentecost, many of the priests in Jerusalem received Christ as Savior, and probably some of those were among this group of people who were questioning Jesus right then. This was taking place in Jerusalem, remember. It is very probable that some of these very men are going to someday believe in Him. We know that some of the religious leaders did, and probably some of these men are going to be among them. The principle is that if a person dies without accepting Christ as Savior, he will die in his sins.

Jesus' Deity

That is the argument as to His destiny, but in verses 25-29, the argument moves on to a discussion as to His deity. Look at verse 25:

John 8

25Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

These religious leaders did not understand what Jesus' mission was. They didn't understand Who He was. This was a sincere question when they said, “Who are you?” You can tell it from their question. Remember, they had first said, “Where is your father?”, in verse 19. Then in verse 22, they said, “Will he kill himself?” Now they say, “Who are you?” They just didn't get it. They could not understand these spiritual concepts of this man, Jesus of Nazareth, being the Son of God. But Jesus' answer to this question was always the same. He said, “From the beginning I have been telling you Who I am.” Before that, there was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, who announced that He was about to come and then announced who He was after he had been preaching and had stirred up the interest in everybody in the area and had gotten people to understand that the Messiah was about to come. Then, after all those people had come and many of them had been baptized to indicate their readiness for the Messiah, John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” so there didn't need to ever be any question about Who Jesus was. Yet, they couldn't understand it.

Jesus Was Doing God's Will

Jesus' answer continues in verse 26:

John 8

26I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

Jesus consistently and repeatedly maintained that He was doing and saying only what the Father told Him to do and say. He gave us a pattern in living that way and in teaching that way. He claimed that God the Father had sent Him and that He was doing the Father's will. He never appealed to His own mind. He never appealed to His own intellect. You remember that He was God and man at the same time, and so it is a tough distinction to make; but you never find Jesus saying, “I think this,” or “I think that.” He always says, “The Father gave Me the things to say.”

Incidentally, that is an example for us preachers. It should always be God's Word that we are giving out, not just our opinions and not messages that are a product of our own intellect. There are times, as I have come to in this passage, when in the process of teaching the Word of God, we have to give our opinion about what the Word of God is saying. That is a dangerous place to come to in teaching, and I always dread to see those things, because there are always well taught Bible teachers who take some other viewpoint than the understanding that I might express. One of those well taught people might have been a previous teacher of yours, and you always tend to listen to the teachers whom you hear first, so you are going to disagree with my opinion. So it is a tough situation for a Bible teacher to be in, but what I am talking about is that as long as we stick to the Word of God, God can bless that. Even if the opinion I give about the Word of God is mistaken, it is still the Word of God, and God can bless His Word even if He is not going to bless my opinion about His Word. In fact, someone said to me this morning, “That was a great message, but don't forget it was just the Word of God.” That was a very timely reminder. God blesses His Word, and as long as we handle God's Word, He will give our hearers understanding and information.

The best example of that is the Lord Jesus Himself. I think there are many sincere but misguided pastors who wonder why their people don't respond better. It is because they are making the mistake of telling their people what they think instead of teaching them the Word of God. I can't take any credit for that. I was, by God's grace, placed into a situation where that was the only way I ever heard it done when I was growing up. There are other people who have stumbled across that information later on, but our ministry always needs to be giving what God has said. It doesn't matter what book I have read recently that is interesting to me and that I can share with you. It doesn't matter what kind of editorial I might be able to give you from the pulpit. My opinion is no better than yours, and the thing for me to do and the thing that every pastor ought to do is to spend our time studying and teaching the Word of God just exactly like Jesus did.

The Jews' Response

The response of the Jews to that is in verse 27. This should really be a shocker. Notice what it says:

John 8

27They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

Jesus just keeps on patiently teaching, and Jesus is a good example in that too. Just because the people didn't understand didn't mean that He quit teaching. Eventually He withdrew from them, but He patiently kept teaching, and they didn't understand that He was talking to them of the Father. They missed His whole point, but as Jesus had already pointed out, in verse 23, that was because they were of the earth. They simply couldn't understand heavenly things. Jesus continues, in verse 28:

John 8

28Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

That phrase, Son of man , in the first line of verse 28, is a very important phrase. You probably remember that John often records Jesus referring to Himself by that title. But this is one of those places where Jesus claims to be the Son of God, and you wouldn't understand that perhaps if you didn't know the Old Testament. These Jewish leaders who were debating with Jesus would have understood that term, and it would have inflamed them against Jesus if they didn't think that He was the Son of God.

Jesus Takes the Title “Son of Man”

The phrase, the Son of man, comes from Daniel, chapter 7, where Daniel sees a vision of Heaven at the end of time on earth. In fact, let's just turn to that passage. In this chapter, Daniel sees this vision of Heaven at the end of time on earth, and down in verse 13, He says:

Daniel 7

13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [there is our phrase] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

If you are familiar with Daniel, you know that this was an elaboration on the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had had in Daniel, chapter 2, about the image that pictured all the kingdoms from Nebuchadnezzar's day right down to the end of human history. The last kingdom that was pictured in that image that Nebuchadnezzar saw was the everlasting kingdom, so now in Daniel, chapter 7, God is revealing more details about that everlasting kingdom, and He says, “The Son of man comes to the Ancient of Days, and the Ancient of Days bestows upon Him the kingdom that will last forever.” He installs Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. In the context, it is obvious that the Ancient of Days is God the Father and the Son of man is God the Son, and those Jews that Jesus was talking to would have understood that.

As I have said several times, they were Old Testament scholars. We have to stop and review that, but they would have known instantly when He referred to Himself as the Son of man that He was calling Himself the Son of God , because that is one of the titles in the Old Testament of the Son of God. So, here is Jesus taking the title for Himself that the Old Testament applies to the Son of God.

Jesus is saying, “You don't understand all of this now, but after My crucifixion, when you see Me lifted up on the Cross, you will understand then.” Jesus' prophecy came true, because after the death and resurrection of Christ, many of the priests in Jerusalem believed, as I mentioned earlier, recorded in Acts, chapter 2. They realized Who He was, and that is what Jesus said.

Jesus' Death Tells Us Who He Was

There is an application of that truth for us today. These facts taken together explain something that still applies today, and that is that it is only the death of Christ that really tells us Who He was. You cannot understand Who Jesus Christ was unless you understand His death, burial, and resurrection. There are many, many people in the world today who go to church on a regular basis, and they hear sermons that say something about Jesus Christ. Over the years they have come to respect Jesus Christ as a great teacher. They may even come to understand in some way that He is the Son of God, but let me tell you something: Unless those people hear about the death of Christ and His resurrection, they will never come to know Jesus Christ as personal Savior. It is not enough to know about Jesus Christ. It is not even enough to know about the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is not even enough to know that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. These Jewish leaders that Jesus was talking to in John, chapter 8, knew all of that, but He said, “You are not really going to understand Who I am until you see My death and My resurrection.”

It is very important for us as we try to tell others about Jesus to be sure that we tell them about His death, burial, and resurrection, to be sure that we tell them about the fact that He paid for our sins. That is why it bothers me when I hear invitations given that say something like, “Open your heart to Jesus. Give your life to Jesus.” Here is one of those places where I have to state my opinion about the Scripture, but in my opinion, we have not given the Gospel until we bring into the picture that Jesus died for the sinner's sin and that God forgives sin because Jesus died. That is why, in my opinion, it is not enough to say, “Open your heart to Jesus.” Jesus didn't come to get people to give their lives to Him. Jesus didn't come to get people to open their hearts to Him. Jesus came to pay for the sins of sinners. That is what the Gospel is. That is where salvation comes from. Jesus says here, “You are not going to ever understand Who I am until you understand My death, My burial, and My resurrection.”

It is important to tell people about Jesus. There are a lot of things about Jesus that we can tell them, and you may have to have many conversations with somebody about Jesus before you can actually bring them to the point that you can specifically tell them, “Listen, Jesus died for your sins.” But if you don't get to that point, you haven't gotten to the most important thing of all.

We need to be careful and teach the Bible, and we who preach the Gospel need to be careful that we really get to that basic important point along with all the other things we may say about Jesus. Without that particular truth about Jesus, He was really no greater than any other great teacher. If Jesus didn't die and rise from the dead, than He is at best in a catagory with Martin Luther and John Calvin and John and Charles Wesley and other great teachers along the way. In fact, He really isn't in a category with those good men. He really is in the category with the crazies such as Jim Jones and David Koresh of recent years, because those godly men such as Calvin, Luther, and Wesley never claimed to be the Son of God. If Jesus didn't die for our sins and rise from the grave, then He was crazy, because He went around telling people that He was God and that He could forgive their sins. Don't let anybody sell you that bill of goods—that He wasn't God, but He was a great man. Someone has said, “If He was not God, He was not good.” If He was not God, He was the greatest con-man that ever lived, because He said that He was God, and He said that He could forgive sins. It was the resurrection that proved our justification, Paul says in Romans. He was raised again because our justification was accomplished. Jesus is hammering on that fact. “You understand Who I am when you see My death, burial, and resurrection.”

Jesus concludes this part of the discussion, in verse 29. He says:

John 8

29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Have you ever yet finished a day without looking back and wishing you had done something different in that day, something you could have improved upon? It is pretty rare not to end a day that way. Some of us are worse about that than others. But Jesus never finished a day that way. He was able to say, “I do always those things that please Him.” What a worthy goal for us to have.

Conclusion

In closing this part of the chapter, think about what we have seen. We have seen that the reason people can't seem to understand the simple truth about Jesus is that they are not willing or nobody has given them the opportunity to simply accept Jesus Christ by faith. We cannot understand spiritual things with our soulish level of understanding. This is another good thing to communicate to people when you are trying to bring them to Christ. They often say, “I believe that Christ died for my sins, but there is so much that I find hard to believe.” Do you remember the man who came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his little daughter? Jesus said, “Do you believe that I can do this?” The man said, “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). If a person is willing to trust Christ, even if he also has to say, “Lord, help my unbelief,” if a person will come to Christ even on that basis, God the Holy Spirit will come into their lives and open their eyes to the truths of the things of God.

Faith is not believing that a chair will hold you up, for example. Faith is going over and putting your weight in the chair. Faith is not believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Faith is believing that Jesus Christ died for my sins and putting my eternal future into that fact.

Let me ask you. Have you ever done that? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ in the way that you put your weight in a chair that you believe in? That is an important question, and it is easy for people to hear a lot about the Gospel without actually believing it. You should give that some very careful thought. Have you really exercised faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior? Until you do that, your faith is only theoretical. The second thing that we have seen in this passage is that apart from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He is really nobody very special. In fact, He is somebody pretty suspect.

We have seen that all of this is wrapped up in the fact that He was following the plan of God and the will of God in all that He did. It is possible for us to know the very mind of God because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You and I have the possibility of saying what Jesus said: “I do always that which pleases the Father.” That is possible for us to do because the Holy Spirit is within us to guide us into the truth and to remind us of the truth, and step by step, we can do that. Most of us don't do it. We may do it some of the time, but it is an attainable goal. In fact, we will see in the next section of this chapter that the secret of true happiness and fulfillment in the Christian life is doing always those things that please Him.

Why not start today to take as our goal to seek to do always those things that please Him. If you haven't already taken that as your goal, start today, to be able to say with Jesus, “I do always those things that please Him.”


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