John (Program #4) – A Foreword to the Life-Study of the Gospel of John (4)
You have to remember the first section of this book (John) is to bring God into man, and to declare God to man. This is the first section. Then the second section is to bring man into God.
We come to the position of John’s writings in the scripture. First of all, we have to realize John’s ministry is a mending ministry. When John was called, he was not fishing there; he was mending the net. When Peter was called, Peter was fishing, but John was mending. So in the later ministry, Peter did a lot of fishing. Peter brought in the people, but eventually it was John that mended the heavenly net. John’s ministry was a mending ministry, and this mending was one with life. Only life mends. Only life covers all the holes of the heavenly net…
John (Program #3) – A Foreword to the Life-Study of the Gospel of John (3)
The central thought of the scripture is life and building. What is life? What is building? Firstly, life. God’s creation was centered on life. This has been fully revealed in Genesis chapter 1. And number two, man was placed in front of the tree of life, indicating that God wanted man to take it as life. This is revealed, thus, in two verses: verses 8 and 9 of chapter 2 of Genesis. Number 3, the Old Testament saints enjoyed God as their life. Psalms 36:9 says “With Thee, there is the fountain of life.”..
John (Program #2) – A Foreword to the Life-Study of the Gospel of John (2)
The experience of Christ as life is in the realization of Christ being God himself dispensed into our being. This is life.
We all have to know, Christ is life, the Church is the building, but still what is life? You should say, life is Christ. But we should realize to such an extent that Christ as life to us is just God Himself dispensed into our very being.
John (Program #1) – A Foreword to the Life-Study of the Gospel of John (1)
In today’s program, we like to see something from the whole Bible. The Bible is a book of two things. Many of you would say Christ and the Church. The two things are not Christ and the Church, but life and building. Christ is life and the Church is building. If you don’t realize that Christ is life and the Church is building, when you say Christ and the Church, it is just a kind of doctrine. When we say Christ, we mean life. When we say the Church, we mean building. What is Christ? Christ is our life. What is the Church? The Church is God’s building.
The seeking ones among God’s people need to know the Lord as life, and they need to experience Christ as life, and they need to study the Bible in the way of life. It is for those seekers that we commend the life study of the Bible. Listen and enjoy Christ as life.
The Gospel of John is simply profound. It’s simple. The words, the vocabulary, the expressions appear so simple. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was God. The Word became flesh. But, it’s profound also. If you’ve had the opportunity to follow us through the heart of chapters 14 through 17, you perhaps have some sense of appreciation of the profound depths of the Gospel of John.
The Gospel of John is a Gospel of life and building. We need to really dwell on these two crucial words: life and building. Life is God Himself. Life is Christ. He said “I am the life”, “I came that you may have life”, and “life is the Spirit.” Eternal life is not merely an eternal state of existence in another realm. Eternal life is God dispensed into us. It cannot reasonably be denied that the Gospel of John is the Gospel of eternal life.
We should treasure the way the Lord has ordained to be present with us now. May the Lord really open our eyes: that what is precious to God, that is the invisible, indwelling, pneumatic Christ, would also become precious to us.
In John 20 as in the Gospel of John as a whole, we see the Trinity both in His essence and in His economy. The Divine Trinity is a trinity of essence eternally that is the Father, Son, and Spirit coexist and co-inhere in the Godhead eternally. This is the Trinity in essence. But in order to have the fulfillment of God’s economy, the essential Trinity must function as the economical Trinity to pass through the process in order to, on the one hand, enter into God’s people, and on the other to bring God’s people, now redeemed and regenerated, into God. By the time we reach chapter 20, we have at least the initial completion of this process in which the very God who became a man and died for our redemption, in resurrection became the Spirit, so that, economically speaking, the Father, Son, and Spirit may indwell us.
John 1:14 says, the Word became flesh. That means the Word, who was God, became something that He previous was not. When God came out of eternity into time to accomplish His plan, He became flesh. In this sense, God did change.
When we cover these two aspects (God being unchanging and God having changed), what we’re touching is the mystery of the Divine Trinity. So, what we need to do is look at the entire Bible and just say Amen to whatever the Bible says about the Triune God. On the one hand, you know people uses this verse Malachi 3:6, which says that God changes not. And, this is true. But of course, if you look at the context of Malachi 3:6, it’s talking about that God changes not in his principles, in the way that He deals with His people. But also, we know that the Bible shows that God in His eternal being is unchanging. The Bible reveals that the Triune God, the three of the Godhead. On the one hand, they are distinct. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are eternally distinct, but they also co-inhere. That means that they mutually indwell one another. The Father is in the Son. The Son is in the Father. The Father is in the Spirit. more…
John (Program #49) – Life Processed for Multiplication (4)
Let us all let the wind blow where it wills. And, instead of trying to systematize or schematize the experience of the Spirit, let’s experience the Spirit for the carrying out of God’s economy, letting God truly be God.
John 20 is in many respects, a chapter of realization or actualization. By using these terms, I’m trying to say, that in this chapter we have the reality in actual experience of what the Lord revealed concerning His process elsewhere in the Gospel. He made it emphatically clear in chapters 14 through 16 that He needed to go, that is, die on the cross, and come again, that is come into the disciples as the pneumatic Christ in order to indwell them. He had, as the first half of the Gospel emphasizes, become flesh and tabernacled among human kind. But, God’s goal is to be in His chosen and redeemed people, not merely among them.
John (Program #48) – Life Processed for Multiplication (3)
I really like this marvelous term here. “Go tell my brothers.” In the Gospel of John, He was with these disciples a lot, but He never referred to them as brothers. He always called them either by name or referred to them as friends. But, after His resurrection for the first time, He calls them brothers.
In this Gospel, the presentation of the crucifixion is really more complete and more meaningful than you have it in the other three Gospels. First, the account here brings out the two aspects of the Lord’s death by mentioning two substances, which came out of the Lord’s side when the soldier pierced Him. When the soldier pierced Him, out came blood and water. The blood of Christ there is to answer to our need for the dealing with sin. The blood of Christ cleanses us from every sin. And, the water that came out is really meeting the need for our life. Water in the scripture is often a picture of life. There’s the water of life that’s in the book of Revelation. And, there’s the water that flowed out of the rock in the Old Testament. So, water really means life, the imparting of life.
John (Program #46) – Life Processed for Multiplication (1)
The main thing is that these garments were left there in this orderly way as a testimony of His resurrection. This was not something like someone got in and stole His body as reported. No. He did this Himself. He resurrected.
The account of the crucifixion in the Gospel of John is different in the fact that it brings out these two aspects(redemption and imparting life). In the other Gospels it only mentions the redemptive aspect. But, in the Gospel of John, you do have the two aspects which are shown by the two substances that came out of His side. In verse 34 of chapter 19, it says, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” When the soldier pierced His side, out came blood; that’s for the redemptive aspect. And water, that’s for the life aspect.