being free

I like being free. I like the way it feels.

19 October 2009

who are we?

As I have been reading through John I have been pondering the question, who is Jesus? Today the question changed. Today I started asking the question, who are we? In the Gospel of John Jesus makes some profound statements about what becomes of those who believe in him. So my questions are, what happens to those who believe in Jesus? What becomes of them? Who are they? And what are they to do?

This is what I found out, people who believe in Jesus become:

Children of God (God is now their Father)
John 1:12-13 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

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.’”
Participants in God’s eternal life
John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

John 11:25, 26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and
believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Free from the consequence of sin

John 8:24 “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

John 8:34-36 “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Indwelt by Jesus and the Father

John 14:18-20 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

John 14:23 “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 17:26 “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Indwelt by God’s Spirit
John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

John 14:26 “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.”

John 20:22 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Sent to represent the Father and the Son

John 13:20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

John 17:18 “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

John 20:21 “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Witnesses of God’s love through imitating Jesus’ love and unity with the Father

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

John 17:20-23 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Bearers of good fruit
John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Reflectors of God’s glory

John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

John 16:14 “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

John 17:10 “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”

John 17:22 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,”
People of God, not people of the world

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

John 17:14 “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

John 17:16 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
Fellow suffers with Christ

John 15:18, 20 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you… Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”
If these scriptures are true of those who believe in Jesus, who wouldn’t want to believe in him? They paint a beautiful picture of forgiveness, renewed life, restoration of God as our Father, intimacy with God, inner transformation, love, and purpose. This is what Jesus intended for those who follow him. He didn’t intend legalistic religion. He intended to give them life, love, fellowship with God, and a purpose to bring life and love to others. And this is what Jesus intended the church to be. Not a religious social club, but a community of people, filled with the life of God, who are loving each other and sharing God’s love with the world. Now that is something I can get excited about being a part of.


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