Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

We or Me in the Godhead?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christianity, Saved, Trinity on December 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm


John 14:23 ESV

(23)  Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.


John 14:23 AMP

(23)  Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.


With this statement and after the resurrection is there any doubt regarding the members of the Godhead?


Jesus makes a declarative statement we are to keep his (Jesus) word and his (Jesus) Father will love that person (us) and “we” will come and make “our” home with him (us). The first question that comes to mind is who is the “we and us” in the scripture? Jesus is speaking 1st person and making definitive statements regarding his words and placing them in reverence with the Father. Second he gives a result of keeping that word with a promise of the two persons coming to indwell that creature that is obedient. Unless you hold to one of two beliefs then this scripture is fatal to a Unitarian view.  First this statement would lead to a polytheistic understanding if taken from the context of scripture and monotheism. We and “our” are plural definitions of God and his Son. In Unitarian and Oneness thinking you have a rather large hurdle to overcome and trying to explain this as an office, function, manifestation or title takes away a direct promise from Jesus himself. Jesus wasn’t confused or confusing when he promised the Father would love the person who kept his word. Then to add even more to the reward we would have an indwelling of the Father and the Son as believers who are obedient.



Joh 14:23

If a man love me (ean tis agapāi me). Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive, “if one keep on loving me.” That is key to the spiritual manifestation (emphanizō).

We will come (eleusometha). Future middle of erchomai and first person plural (the Father and I), not at the judgment, but here and now.

And make our abode with him (kai monēn par’ autōi poiēsometha). See Joh_14:2 for the word monē (dwelling, abiding place). If the Holy Spirit “abides” (menei, Joh_14:17) in you, that heart becomes a temple (naos) of the Holy Spirit (1Co_3:16.), and so a fit dwelling place for the Father and the Son, a glorious and uplifting reality.

(John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible}

Jesus answered and said unto him,…. This answer is returned, and these words are spoken, for the further confirmation and explanation of what was before said:


if a man love me, he will keep my words; by his “words” are meant not his doctrines, but his ordinances; the same with his commandments, Joh_14:21, which he has said, ordered, and commanded to be observed, and which are observed by such who truly love him, and that from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: and for the encouragement of such persons as before, he says,


and my Father will love him: which is to be understood not of the love of the Father, as in his own heart, which is not taken up in time, but was in him from all eternity; nor of the first discovery of it to his people, but of greater manifestations of it to them, and a quicker sense of it in their hearts, and also of some other effects of it, to be enjoyed by them in an higher manner; such as larger measures of grace, more communion with him here, and eternal honour and glory hereafter:


and we will come unto him: I who am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, I have promised to pray for: hence a proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, of a trinity of persons, of there being neither more nor fewer than three; since neither more nor less can be collected from the context; and of their distinct personality, or it could not be said with any propriety, “we” each of us “will come unto him”; not locally and visibly, but spiritually, by affording our gracious and comfortable presence, the continuance of which is promised next:


and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints are the dwelling places or temples of the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the constancy and perpetuity of their residence in them, not as a wayfaring man, but always, though this may not be always discerned by believers; and is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men; and a far greater one it is, than if the most mighty potentate on earth should take up his abode in a poor despicable cottage with the meanest of his subjects.




If we are to understand scripture as being in context then the verses describing the Godhead make sense in the orthodox Trinitarian teaching:



Romans 1:20 ESV

(20)  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.





Romans 1:20 KJV

(20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


Romans 1:20 AMP

(20)  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], [Ps. 19: 1-4.]


Acts 17:29 ESV

(29)  Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.


Acts 17:29 KJV

(29)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.


Colossians 2:9 ESV

(9)  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,


Colossians 2:9 KJV

(9)  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.


John 14:24-31 ESV

(24)  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

(25)  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

(26)  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

(27)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

(28)  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

(29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

(30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

(31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.


The repeated references to the distinction between Father and Son has to mean more than a plan or idea!


10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid

In Apologetics on December 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm


By Chuck McKnight

We know we ought to be studying the Scriptures, but sometimes we don’t know how. Here are five of 10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid:

10. Starting without prayer
The Bible is unlike any other book because it was inspired by God himself. Paul told us that “the things of the Spirit of God . . . are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and Jesus said that the Spirit guides us into the truth (John 16:13). We have access to God through prayer, so we should be looking to him for guidance as we seek to understand his Scriptures. It doesn’t matter what incredible resources and study tools we use if we do not first go to God.

9. Studying by yourself
Scripture was intended to be read and studied in community. We’ve all but lost sight of that in our modern individualistic culture. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do personal study—there is definitely a time and place for that. But if we study on our own in exclusion to studying with others, we’ll miss out on the rich insights the community of God has to offer. Additionally, we all need the checks and balances of other believers to keep us accountable. So do your personal study, but then bring what you learn to a group setting and discuss it together.

8. Bringing preconceptions to the text
It is tempting to read the Bible selectively, trying to prove an idea we already believe to be true. If we come to the Scriptures with a predetermined conclusion, we can force them to say whatever we want. That might make us feel better, but it won’t be doing us any good. Rather, we should open the Bible with humility, knowing that some of our beliefs are wrong and ought to be changed. We must let the text speak for itself without forcing our own preconceptions on it.

7. Reading from only one perspective
Similar to the above mistake, it is tempting to only use study resources we already agree with. But this severely limits our spiritual growth. I’ve found that those whose perspectives differ from my own often have the most to teach me. You’ll find contributions from such men as Timothy Keller, N. T. Wright, and everywhere in between. They all share a love for God, but their differing perspectives bring unique insights to the Scriptures.

6. Using only one translation
Different Bible versions follow different translation philosophies. The basic categories include formal equivalence (seeking word-for-word accuracy), dynamic equivalence (seeking thought-for-thought accuracy), and paraphrases (rewriting the overall message). Furthermore, the Greek and Hebrew texts have many nuances that can’t be captured by a single translation. If you don’t read Greek or Hebrew, comparing multiple translations can help you see the various nuances each passage has to offer. While Ray recommended pairing the NASB with NLT or the ESV with NIrV, my personal preference would be to pair the NET with the LEB.
5. Missing the historical setting
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible was not written to twenty-first century Americans. Each book of the Bible was written by a specific person, to a specific group of people, in a specific culture, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose. If we miss these details, we are likely to misunderstand much of what we are reading.

4. Assuming modern definitions of biblical words

Very few Greek or Hebrew words have an exact English equivalent. So we have to remember that the English words in a translation may not mean exactly the same thing as the original Greek or Hebrew. One way to get around this obstacle is to do a word study, examining every occurrence of a particular word in the Bible to see how it is used therein. However, this method is time consuming. A quicker way is to use a tool such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. This dictionary is a collection of such studies on almost every major word in the Bible. It makes it easy to understand what a given word actually means when used in the Bible.

3. Failing to understand the genre

The Bible is made up of 66 different books, and they include many different genres of literature. There are epistles and narratives, poems and parables, instances of wisdom literature and apocalyptic literature, and a host of other specific styles. Keeping them all straight can be confusing, but it’s a vital part of understanding what we read. Thankfully, there are tools to help us here as well. One great resource to add to your FSB is How to Read the Bible Book by Book. It provides an overview for each book of the Bible—including the genre—along with a number of other important details.

2. Ignoring biblical context

All too often, we read the Bible as if it were a collection of unconnected verses. A single verse taken by itself can appear to mean something totally contrary to the author’s intent. We wouldn’t skip to a sentence in the middle of Moby Dick and expect it to make sense, so why do we do this with the Bible? One good example is Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is frequently claimed as a promise for God’s specific blessing on an individual. But when we look at the context, we see that God was talking to the Israelites, whom he had sent into exile for their sins. Only after being in exile for 70 years would God bring them back to prosperity. Those are “the plans I have for you” according to Jeremiah’s full context.

1. Studying for the wrong reasons

It is easy to view Bible study as an intellectual exercise. But acquiring information about the Bible is not a proper end in itself. Paul described the purpose of Scripture: “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). If our studies do not equip us for good works, then they are unprofitable studies. As we read the Bible, our goal must be to ultimately apply it to our lives.
These mistakes are easy to make, but they can be avoided. Let’s all continue studying Scripture together, and continue living it out every day.


Are we doubting?

In Apologetics on December 24, 2013 at 7:44 am

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
John 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

So much is missed if we only allow Jesus a surname that God gave his Son. When Thomas the doubter exclaims Jesus position instead of as we would read in the modern language his name we see the heavens reveal its King. My Lord is first Thomas giving Jesus the highest title man can have as Lord or sovereign then surrendering to who Jesus is the “Messiah.” Our confession must a least be as truthful, My Lord and now my God, if we give that rank or position to any other than God we violate the 1st command by worshipping another God. Thomas was a first century Jew well aware of the penalty of calling someone a God! He was schooled in the Torah and know the law. This use of Lord God together set the standard by which all future followers of Christ must acknowledge. Jesus the Son of God is Lord God, this only makes sense and keeps the law if we allow God to reveal his true existence. One essence or nature shared by three persons. We as creatures do not have the ability to share essence ot nature but we share in our existence as human beings. We are separate persons belonging to and sharing a common nature this way of existing because we are creatures reflects the one who created us. He our God is the creator choosing the corporation of the Godhead has existed eternally as the Father who eternally generates the Son sharing in the Holy Spirit. In the restoration of the creation through the resurrection of the Son we now share in the Godhead by election through the Son by the Spirit. We now have access to the throne of God because of the High Priest Jesus the Christ whose shed blood allows us to be the sons of God by adoption. We who were once rebel sinners, God haters, slaves to sin are now taken through adoption to be the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. We now have a new nature with the promise of a new body in the return of the King of Heaven. If we only allow God to exist as a monad or limited to One essence and person we miss out on the eternal love that the Father has for us through the Son and applied by the Spirit that they have shared for eternity. The Trinity affirms the greatest of the very earliest doctrines taught and believed by the Apostles themselves. The word Trinity like the word church, original sin and Bible was a latter understanding expressed in terms that revealed themselves as titles for truths we know to be orthodox. Join the believers and Apostles from the last 2000 years and proclaim Jesus as “Lord God”. The being or essence known as God revealed in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There was never a time when the Father wasn’t the Father the Son wasn’t the Son and the Spirit wasn’t the Spirit. Difference in function does not mean inferiority in nature. The persons are co-eternal, co-equal and there is only God alone!

John 20:28

My Lord and my God (Ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou). Not exclamation, but address, the vocative case though the form of the nominative, a very common thing in the Koiné. Thomas was wholly convinced and did not hesitate to address the Risen Christ as Lord and God. And Jesus accepts the words and praises Thomas for so doing.
Robertson’s Word Pictures

John 20:28

My Lord and my God – In this passage the name God is expressly given to Christ, in his own presence and by one of his own apostles. This declaration has been considered as a clear proof of the divinity of Christ, for the following reasons:
1. There is no evidence that this was a mere expression, as some have supposed, of surprise or astonishment.
2. The language was addressed to Jesus himself – “Thomas …said unto him.”
3. The Saviour did not reprove him or check him as using any improper language. If he had not been divine, it is impossible to reconcile it with his honesty that he did not rebuke the disciple. No pious man would have allowed such language to be addressed to him. Compare Act_14:13-15; Rev_22:8-9.
4. The Saviour proceeds immediately to commend Thomas for believing; but what was the evidence of his believing? It was this declaration, and this only. If this was a mere exclamation of surprise, what proof was it that Thomas believed? Before this he doubted. Now he believed, and gave utterance to his belief, that Jesus was his Lord and his God.
5. If this was not the meaning of Thomas, then his exclamation was a mere act of profaneness, and the Saviour would not have commended him for taking the name of the Lord his God in vain. The passage proves, therefore, that it is proper to apply to Christ the name Lord and God, and thus accords with what John affirmed in Joh_1:1, and which is established throughout this gospel.
Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible

John 20:28

Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God — That Thomas did not do what Jesus invited him to do, and what he had made the condition of his believing, seems plain from Joh_20:29 (“Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed”). He is overpowered, and the glory of Christ now breaks upon him in a flood. His exclamation surpasses all that had been yet uttered, nor can it be surpassed by anything that ever will be uttered in earth or heaven. On the striking parallel in Nathanael, see on Joh_1:49. The Socinian invasion of the supreme divinity of Christ here manifestly taught – as if it were a mere call upon God in a fit of astonishment – is beneath notice, save for the profanity it charges upon this disciple, and the straits to which it shows themselves reduced.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

20:25–29 This story depicts Thomas in so poor a light that it was not likely invented by the disciples. It also portrays the disciples cowering behind locked doors for fear of the authorities, hardly in any psychological frame of mind to receive visions of a resurrected Christ. The text also confirms that Jesus was genuinely, bodily raised from the dead. Two theological themes coalesce: This kind of miracle (or sign) should have been adequate to convince people that Jesus was truly Lord and God (v. 28), and the testimony of the disciples should have been adequate to demonstrate that even without firsthand empirical proof (v. 29).
20:30–31 These verses explain the highly selective nature of this Gospel’s contents as well as its purpose. The book is one of testimony to the identity of Jesus as Messiah and divine Son. Because these verses seem like an appropriate ending, some have wondered if chapter 21 was added later as a kind of appendix. But it contains numerous references to “unfinished business” from the rest of the Gospel, and other ancient works also exhibit the phenomenon of seeming to end a little bit before they actually do (cp. the location of the purpose statements in John’s other writings—1 Jn 5:13; Rv 22:6).

Thomas’ response, My Lord and My God! is the high point of the Gospel. Here was a skeptical man, confronted by the V 2, p 344 evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. He announced that Jesus, the Man of Galilee, is God manifest in the flesh. Thus the truths in the first chapter were realized personally in this apostle (1:1, 14, 18). The Resurrection (a) demonstrated that what Jesus predicted about His being raised was true (Mark 8:31; 9:9, 31; 10:34; John 2:19), (b) proved that Jesus is the Son of God (Rom. 1:4) and was sent by God (“vindicated by the Spirit,” 1 Tim. 3:16), (c) testified to the success of His mission of salvation (Rom. 4:25), (d) entitled Jesus to a position of glory (1 Peter 1:11), and (e) proclaimed that Jesus is the “Lord” (Acts 2:36).
Jesus then pronounced a blessing on all who would come to faith without the help of a visible, bodily manifestation to them (John 20:29; cf. 1 Peter 1:8). This blessing comes to all who believe on the basis of the proclaimed gospel and the evidences for its validity. Believers living today are not deprived by not seeing Him physically; instead, they are the recipients of His special blessing: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

20:28 Thomas’ confession may be theologically related to verse 17. It is theologically somewhat uncomfortable for Jesus to call the Father, “My God.” It seems to distract from His own deity. This affirmation of deity by Thomas may offset this implication.
Thomas’ confession may have had an OT precedence in that whenever the titles YHWH Elohim occurred togther, the name is translated “Lord God.” Jesus fully accepts this shocking affirmation of His deity. From chapter 1, verse 1, John’s Gospel asserts the deity of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus claimed deity several times in John (cf. 8:58; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28) and the author asserts His deity in 1:1, 14–18; 5:18. Other biblical authors also clearly assert that Jesus is divine (cf. Phil. 2:6–7; Col. 1:15–17; Titus 2:13).
1.Ted Cabal et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 1616.
2. Edwin A. Blum, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 343–344.
3. Robert James Utley, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, vol. Volume 4, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 180.

Jesus told Mary at the tomb Do not Cling

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Sunday School, Trinity on December 19, 2013 at 5:37 am

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

I cannot add any insight better written or better understood! In the resurrection the Triune God reveals His glory!

I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God; God was his Father, not by creation, as he is to angels, and the souls of men, and therefore is called the Father of spirits; nor by adoption, as he is to the saints; nor with respect to the incarnation of Christ, for, as man, he had no father; or with regard to his office as Mediator, for as such he was a servant, and not a Son; but he was his Father by nature, or with regard to his divine person, being begotten of him, and so his own proper Son, and he his own proper Father; which hold forth the natural and eternal sonship of Christ, his equality with him, and distinction from him: and God was the Father of his disciples by adopting grace, in virtue of the covenant of grace made with Christ, and through their spiritual relation to him, as the natural and eternal Son of God: God the Father is the God of Christ as man, who prepared, formed, anointed, supported, and glorified his human nature; and in which nature, he prayed to him as his God, believed in him, loved and obeyed him as such; wherefore the Jew (o) very wrongly infers from hence, that he is not God, because the God of Israel was his God; since this is spoken of him as he is man: and he was the God of his disciples, in and by the covenant of grace made with Christ, as their head and representative; so that their interest in God, as their covenant God and Father, was founded upon his being the God and Father of Christ, and their relation to, and concern with him; and which therefore must be firm and lasting, and will hold as long as God is the God and Father of Christ: this was good news to be brought to his disciples; which, as it carried the strongest marks of affection, and expressions of nearness of relation; and implied, that he was now risen from the dead; so it signified, that he should ascend to God, who stood in the same relation to them, as to him; when he should use all his interest and influence on their behalf, whilst they were on earth; and when the proper time was come for a remove, that they might be with him, and with his God and Father and theirs, where they would be to all eternity.

(o) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 58. p. 446.

I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God—words of incomparable glory! Jesus had called God habitually His Father, and on one occasion, in His darkest moment, His God. But both are here united, expressing that full-orbed relationship which embraces in its vast sweep at once Himself and His redeemed. Yet, note well, He says not, Our Father and our God. All the deepest of the Church fathers were wont to call attention to this, as expressly designed to distinguish between what God is to Him and to us—His Father essentially, ours not so: our God essentially, His not so: His God only in connection with us: our Father only in connection with Him.
Accordingly, either the words, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father,” had this meaning, that by this woman the Church of the Gentiles was symbolized, which did not believe on Christ till He had actually ascended to the Father, or that in this way Christ wished Himself to be believed on; in other words, to be touched spiritually, that He and the Father are one. For He has in a manner ascended to the Father, to the inward perception of him who has made such progress in the knowledge of Christ that he acknowledges Him as equal with the Father: in any other way He is not rightly touched, that is to say, in any other way He is not rightly believed on. But Mary might have still so believed as to account Him unequal with the Father, and this certainly is forbidden her by the words, “Touch me not;” that is, Believe not thus on me according to thy present notions; let not your thoughts stretch outwards to what I have been made in thy behalf, without passing beyond to that whereby thou hast thyself been made. For how could it be otherwise than carnally that she still believed on Him whom she was weeping over as a man? “For I am not yet ascended,” He says, “to my Father:” there shalt thou touch me, when thou believest me to be God, in no wise unequal with the Father. “But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father.” He saith not, Our Father: in one sense, therefore, is He mine, in another sense, yours; by nature mine, by grace yours. “And my God, and your God.” Nor did He say here, Our God: here, therefore, also is He in one sense mine, in another sense yours: my God, under whom I also am as man; your God, between whom and you I am mediator
One at the head, and the other at the foot. The fact that Matthew mentions only one angel does not contradict John’s story. Both angels did not speak to Mary at once; this was done by the one who was commissioned for it. There is not much to Augustine’s allegory that the position of these angels indicates the course of the future preaching of the gospel, from the place where the sun rises to the place where it goes under. In this place, it is more worth-while to notice the auspices under which Christ ushered in the glory of his Kingdom. When the angels honored Christ’s grave [with their presence], they exhibited his celestial majesty. But they did so without abolishing the ignominy of the cross.
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Jn 20:17.
Augustine of Hippo, “Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John,” in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series: St. Augustin: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. John Gibb and James Innes, vol. 7 (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 438.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. John 20:17.
This does not seem to agree with the account in Matthew (28:9): for he writes openly that the women embraced the feet of Christ. Now, since Christ allowed himself to be touched by his disciples, why did he forbid Mary? The answer is easy, if we only remember that Jesus did not repel them until they overdid their desire to touch him. When it was a matter of removing doubt, then surely he did not forbid them. But when he saw that they held on to his feet, he calmed their excessive zeal, and corrected it. They clung to his bodily presence, because they knew only an earthly way of enjoying him. The truth is that Jesus did not forbid them to touch him until he saw their stupid and excited desire to keep him here on earth. Let us note therefore the reason he gave for the prohibition: for I am not yet ascended to the Father. By these words, he commanded the women to control themselves until he was received into heavenly glory. Finally, in this way, he pointed out that the purpose of his resurrection was quite different from their fancy about it. He was come to life again not to triumph in the world, but rather to ascend to heaven and to take possession of the Kingdom which had been promised to him; to reign over the church at the right hand of God, by the power of his Spirit.…
I ascend unto my Father. With the word ascend, he confirms what I have said before. For certainly he rose from the dead not to linger awhile longer on earth, but so that, having entered the heavenly life, he might draw the faithful to him. In short, with this word the apostle forbids us merely to stop with resurrection. He bids us to go forward until we arrive at the spiritual Kingdom, at heavenly glory, at God himself. Therefore this word, ascend, is very emphatic; Christ stretches out his hand to his own, so that they may seek their happiness nowhere but in heaven. For where our treasure is, there also must our heart be (Matt. 6:21). Now, Christ declares that he is about to ascend on high; therefore, let us also rise with him, if we would not be separated from him. Furthermore, when he adds that he will ascend, he quickly dispels the sadness and anxiety of his disciples because he was to leave them behind. He wants them to know that by his divine power he will always be with them. Ascend indeed implies distant places; but even though Christ is absent bodily, because he is with God, his spiritual power, which works everywhere, shows clearly that he is present with us. Why indeed did he ascend to the Father, except, seated at his right hand, to reign in heaven and on earth? Finally, with this statement Jesus intended to commend the divine power of his reign, so that his bodily absence might not trouble his disciples.
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom. 1:4.
If you prefer, “designated” to be the Son, etc. (definitus). He means that the power of the resurrection, by which he was pronounced the Son of God, was as it were a decree; as in Ps. 2:7, I have this day begotten thee. “Begotten” in this verse means actually “made known.” Some find in this verse three evidences of the divinity of Christ: his power for working miracles, the witness of the Spirit, and his resurrection from the dead. I prefer to put the three together into one as follows: Christ was designated the Son of God when he rose from the dead, by an open exercise of true heavenly power, which was the power of the Spirit; but the knowledge of this power is sealed in our hearts by the same Spirit. The language of the apostle agrees well with this interpretation. The power with which he was declared, or the power which shone forth in Christ, that is, in his resurrection, was God’s own power; and this proves that he was God. The same point becomes clear in another place where Paul confesses that Christ’s death revealed him as subject to the infirmity of the flesh, and extols the power of the Spirit in his resurrection (2 Cor. 13:4). But this glorious work cannot be known by us unless the Spirit himself impresses it upon our hearts. The very fact that Paul calls the Spirit the Spirit of holiness, shows that in his mind the same wonderful efficacy of the Spirit revealed in the resurrection of Christ from the dead is to be seen in the witness which individual believers know in their hearts. He means that as the Spirit sanctifies, he shows and ratifies the power which he exercised once before in raising Christ from the dead. The various titles which Scripture gives to the Spirit fortify the present argument. For instance, our Lord calls him the Spirit of truth, because he effects truth in believers (John 14:17).
Besides, the power shown forth in Christ’s resurrection was his own as well as God’s; as is evident from the sayings: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19); and, No one takes my life; of myself, etc. (John 10:18). For he did not beg his victory over death (to which he yielded by the infirmity of the flesh) from another, but achieved it by the working of his own Spirit.
Joseph Haroutunian and Louise Pettibone Smith, Calvin: Commentaries (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1958), 169–171.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:22 “He breathed on them” This is a word play on the term “breathed.” The Hebrew ruach and Greek pneuma can mean “breathe,” “wind,” or “spirit.” It was used in the OT of God’s creative activity in Gen. 2:7 and the revitalization of Israel in Ezek. 37:5, 9. The pronoun “them” refers to a wider group than just the Apostles (cf. Luke 24:33).
© “Receive the Holy Spirit” This is an AORIST ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. How this relates to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost is uncertain. Jesus fulfilled everything that He promised the disciples at this first appearance. It is related to Jesus’ equipping them for their new ministry assignment as the Spirit equipped Him at His baptism.
This verse was used in the early church’s fight over the question of the Spirit proceeding from the Father or from the Father and the Son. In reality all three persons of the Trinity are involved in all the acts of redemption.
In A Theology of the New Testament, George Ladd summarizes the possible interpretations of this passage:
“This passage raises difficulties in the light of the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, which may be solved in one of three ways. Either John did not know about Pentecost and substitutes this story so that it becomes in effect the Johannine Pentecost; or there were actually two gifts of the Spirit; or Jesus’ breathing on the disciples was an acted parable promissory and anticipatory to the actual coming of the Spirit at Pentecost” (p. 289).
Robert James Utley, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, vol. Volume 4, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 179.

John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any” These are two THIRD CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCES with an which is usually used with SECOND CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCES, not ean. This mixed condition heightens the contingency which relates both to those who share the Gospel and to those who respond by faith. Someone with the gospel knowledge chooses to share it and someone hears it and chooses to receive it. Both aspects are required. This verse does not give arbitrary authority to clergy, but wonderful life-giving power to believing witnesses! This authority was evidenced in the mission trip of the seventy during Jesus’ life.
© “their sins have been forgiven them” This grammatical construction is a PERFECT PASSIVE INDICATIVE. The PASSIVE VOICE implies God’s forgiveness, available completely through gospel proclamation. Believers have the keys of the kingdom (cf. Matt. 16:19) if they will only use them. This promise is to the Church, not individuals. This is theologically similar to “the bound and unbound” of Matt. 18:18.
Robert James Utley, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, vol. Volume 4, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 179.
The resurrection of Jesus reveals to not only the disciples but to us as his followers what our mission is. This small section of Scripture contains so much in regards to our hope and our own resurrection to be with the Father because of the Son. Jesus introduces how the Holy Spirit will be joined to our lives. There is a lot of speculation concerning Jesus breathing on the disciples and the coming Pentecost 50 days later. This action suited the Father’s plan as the Son accomplishes the sending of the Spirit and gives us the application of the role of the Spirit. What hope! What victory! If we truly have received the Holy Spirit our only recourse is eternal gratitude by sharing with others this gift given us by our Heavenly Father. Our mission is to glorify the Father through the Son by the Spirit! The Spirit teaches us to glorify the Son because that is his role as well. Because of the gift of God his eternal Son whose death and resurrection honored the Father we join with the Spirit in giving glory to the Son. Praise! Glory! Honor! Hallelujah! Amen.

We have no King but Caesar

In Apologetics on December 7, 2013 at 6:28 am

Joh 19:7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
Joh 19:8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.
Joh 19:9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
Joh 19:10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

The mock trial that Jesus suffered through and the indignation he endured resounds with the same eternal questions and distinctions. Jesus is before Pilate and shows his authority, position and purpose. The Son of God is on trial for being the Son of God. Do we still doubt the true relationship and distinction in the Godhead? All authority comes from God the Father, and Jesus acknowledges this in the face of certain death. Putting him to the test, doubting who He is is a sin. He was delivered over to the Romans to be crucified because His claim to be the Son of God was rejected by the very people who should have recognized Him. The gentile Pilate drew back in fear of something he instinctively knew. Jesus is the eternally generated Son of the Father in heaven and he didn’t acknowledge Jesus either. The sin is in the denial of the Son!

Joh 19:12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
Joh 19:13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
Joh 19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
Joh 19:15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

Pilate stands before the people supposedly of God who had the law and the scriptures and asks the final question of judgment “Shall I crucify your King?” The very question is asked of every believer in the same manner “Who is your King?” and who will be crucified? Are we denouncing, rejecting and claiming authority not only of ourselves but over the Son of God? Are we standing in the crowd shouting crucify Him? Are claiming any other king but Jesus? Salvation is the work of our Triune God, The Father demands repentance and provides the through the Son the sacrifice, while the Spirit searches the hearts of men. The Father decrees the Son accomplishes and the Spirit applies. There was never a time when the Father wasn’t the Father, the Son wasn’t the Son and the Spirit wasn’t the Spirit. Even when we pray we are expressing the three oneness of God, by the Spirit through the Son to the Father.

Why do we need a Savior? Deu 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

God’s decrees: Exo 35:1 Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do.

The Law demands obedience or judgment for those that disobey.

Rom 7:9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
Rom 7:10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
Rom 7:11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Rom 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Deu 17:11 According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left.

Isa 42:5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:
Isa 42:6 “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
Isa 42:7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Isa 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Are we serving the Living God?

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