Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We Are Not Better Than Christ

John 15:17-27

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:17-19)

Once again Jesus emphasized the importance of loving other Christians.  I John 4:20 tells us, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”   A person who does not love other Christians cannot love God, because they hate people who do what he wants.  The world hates Christians because they hate God and his ideas.  God has chosen us out of the world to be different.  The world does not like those who do not conform. 

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.  He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”  (John 15:20-25)

It is important we understand we are not greater than the Lord.  We should not expect or demand more than he received.  He was persecuted and reviled regularly. We should not expect to be treated like royalty.  He had no home of his own, and we should not demand a nice home or certain salary as his servants.   Though most people would never say they are better than Christ, when we get upset or don’t obey because we don’t have the respect or income we think we deserve, we indicate we are more important than he is. 

The homosexual movement has done their best to block groups who counsel Homosexuals to stop because everyone who stops is proof that it is not genetic, but is their choice.  If it is genetic, they can’t be held responsible, but if it is a choice, they are responsible for what they do, and they don’t want to take the responsibility.  Before Jesus came and fulfilled the law then provided a way to correct past sin, people could excuse themselves for what they were doing on the grounds they couldn’t help it.  Once Jesus came and told them how to correct it, they could no longer use that excuse, and must take the responsibility.  They hate both God and Jesus for making them take that responsibility, even though he provided a way to eliminate the guilt. 

When we teach people the word of God we run into the same problem.  A popular saying among those who are trying to get ahead is “never admit you’re wrong because it makes you look weak.”   For a person to have their sins forgiven it is essential to admit they were wrong, as I John 1:8-9 says.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Several years ago a woman told me “you preachers just make people feel guilty.”  She never understood I was trying to show her how to get rid of the guilt.  Instead she chose to go to a psychologist who told her guilt was false guilt and she didn’t need to worry about it.  As far as I know she is still carrying it around, but if she had been willing to acknowledge it, she could have gotten rid of it.  The problem with never admitting you are wrong is that you can’t fix the problem right away.    
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:25-27)

After Christ’s death the Holy Spirit would come and show people Jesus is the savior of the world.   The disciples would also be able to testify because they had been with Jesus from the beginning and had seen what he did.  In I John 1:1-3 John describes the basis for his teaching and writing.  “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”    Peter made a similar statement in II Peter 1:16-18.  “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

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