Last time, we knew that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, God is the gardener, and Jesus is our best friend.
In the previous part of this chapter, Jesus has talked about love. (v.12 – My command is “love each other as I have loved you” v.17 – “Love each other” – Love is the greatest command).
Today, Jesus is talking about hatred – the opposite of love.
Do you like hatred?
In this passage, the word “hate” is found 7 times, and “persecute” is found 2 times.
v. 18 – the world hates you? hated me first.
v. 19 – I have chosen you, so it hates you
v. 23 – hate me? Then you hate my Father
v. 25 – why? no reason. “To fulfill the scriptures”
In John, many times we see the word “world” – Greek cosmo
It is used in 3 different ways:
1. The creation, created things, (John 1:10)
2. Humanity, world of humans (John 3:16)
3. Worldly pattern, earthly system, culture, standard, organizations, apart from God, opposed to God, run by Satan the (small letter) god of this age.
1 John 2
Friendship with the world = hatred to this world
Do not love the world, or anything in this world. Everything in this world, cravings, lusts, boasting comes from the world, NOT God – this world and desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lasts forever.
Romans 12:1 – Don’t conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you can test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Remember: This world HATES us.
The more we love the objects (Jesus) we should love, the more hated we are.
The less we love the objects we should love, the more accepted by the world we are.
Matthew – to us, all believers, all men will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.
2 Timothy – anyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted.
If Black/White = World/Church
There are two great entities – there is no fellowship between them. A man is either of the world, or of Christ.
Perhaps this is why some Christians are hesitant to act like Christians – because they are afraid of being hated, persecuted.
“If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
v. 25 – “they hated me without reason”
Jesus did nothing wrong, but from the beginning, he was hated, even as a BABY – he was hated – King Herod hated him and tried to kill him – so he escaped to Egypt until Herod died.
He was hated as he grew, by his own brothers, the crowds he fed and healed, the religious leaders.
On this earth, totally, Jesus was HATED for no reason – for nothing.
Think, imagine, Jesus is the Lord, our Savior, our King, our Best Friend, the Vine, the Head – we are the extension of Jesus Christ (the branches, the body) – therefore, we must be treated the same way by the same people.
Imagine, someone says, “I love your head, but I hate your body. I love your left hand, but I hate your right hand.”
If he is the vine and we are the branches, then we must be treated in the same way by the same people. So, if we confess Jesus and we are embraced openly by this world, we must reexamine our lifestyles and attitudes.
If we are accepted and loved by this world, we are making cowardly compromises, bad negotiations with this world.
May God bless all of us.
We can do it, because the Holy Spirit is in us, enabling us, encouraging us, empowering us, to withstand the power and the persecution of this world.
v. 26 – When the Counselor comes, he will testify about me (the Spirit of Truth)
Jesus also mentioned the HS in chp 14:26
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
In chp 14:26, Jesus mentioned HS
In chp 15:26, Jesus mentioned HS again
14:26 – Father God will send the HS
15:26 – I will send the HS
In church history, there was a time when they debated about “who sent the HS?”
One group said “God the Father”
One group said “Jesus the Son”
Who is right? BOTH are right. There is no contradiction, they compliment each other.
Through these two verses, we can see that Father and Son God sent the third person of the Trinity, HS God. HS is a person, has a mind, will.
The HS testifies with us that we are God’s children, he intercedes for the saints in accordance with the will of God, helps us in our weakness – many times we don’t know what we pray for, but the HS intercedes with groans we cannot express (Abba Prayer like this)
We can stand and withstand the middle of the hatred and persecution of this world because of the ministries of the HS.
Still now, the HS testifies about Jesus Christ, so the first ministry of the HS is testifying about Jesus in us.
The doctrine of the Trinity God is the mystery of mysteries: “He who would try to understand fully the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his mind, but he who would deny the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his soul.”
Even though we don’t understand fully the doctrine of the HS and Trinity, we can get many principles.
HS enables eternal love – love needs an object – love is flowing in the persons of the Trinity God – love was from everlasting to everlasting – He is teaching us, leading us, guiding us to put his word into practice. If he testifies for us, he also enables us to testify. (Acts 1:8 – When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and by my witnesses to all the ends of the earth.)
v. 27 – As the HS testifies about Jesus, so we must also testify. Why? “Because you have been with me from the beginning.”
How long have you been with Jesus as your Lord?
Usually we say, “10 years, 20 years”
Sometimes, “When I was 5 years old, etc”
If we are really with God, saved by God, ALL of us have been with Jesus from the beginning – “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear much fruit” – “I have chosen you out of the world” – Eph 5:1? – “God chose us from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight – predestined us to be adopted as his sons in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
So, no matter how you became Christian, or when, you became Christians BEFORE the Creation of the World in God’s mind, redemptive project.
So, we can testify.
In closing – 3 points:
1. Our witness of Christ comes from a LONG fellowship with Christ, because we have been with him for a LONG time. A witness says, “Oh, this is true, I know this.”
Without personal experience, being a witness is wrong. Also, WITH personal experience, NOT to be a witness is wrong – a sin, cowardly conduct – if we hesitate to witness, he will be ashamed of us.
2. Our witness comes from inner conviction, power. If we REALLY believe in Hell/Kingdom – why can we not talk about that? If we REALLY believe Jesus is our Lord, why can we not say that to those who are controlled by Satan? If we REALLY believe that Jesus is “the Answer to the Question” – every question, why can we not say that to others?
3. A witness is prepared to say the truth. Likewise, we WANT others to know the truth – it is our privilege and holy duty to be a witness for Christ in this evil world.
We cannot be a witness without:
1. relationship, personal experience
2. inner conviction
3. outward testimony, expression
Every single Christian IS already a witness for Christ. Question is: are you a good witness or bad witness? Are you cowardly, fearful, or convicted and passionate?
That is why we stay in this world only a short time, even though our citizenship is in heaven.