TWELVE THEMES TO HELP DISCIPLES PREPARE FOR THE COMING GLORY (John 13-17)
In the previous post we discussed the critical need to be prepared for the release of God’s glory into the natural world. Scripture teaches us that God’s plan includes first establishment of His divine order, then glory is revealed and is followed by blessing or immediate judgment. Part of God’s divine order is the training of the saints to prepare them for the glory to come. In John 13 to 17 Jesus teaches and prepares the disciples for His death, resurrection and the outpouring of His glory at Pentecost. Mike Bickle argues (reference below) that these teachings are also to prepare the church for the glory that will be poured out at and before Jesus second-coming. These teachings are to prepare us spiritually for the coming glory to be released by God. Scripture warns us that in the last days before Jesus comes there will be pressures and glory. The expression of Jesus’ love for us is in these teachings to prepare us for unexpected pressures and glory. I have no idea how to prepare for these events but Jesus does and I want to understand and apply everything He gives us. Again, we need to speak these things, exhort and admonish one another with love in the unity of the Body of Christ. Following are 12 themes from John 13-17, themes that can be used as a guide to study John 13-17.
- THE PURPOSE OF JESUS’ MESSAGE: TO IMPART JOY AND PEACE UNTO LOVE
- Joy and peace are God’s joy and peace. The divine nature that is beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7) and poured into our hearts to guard our hearts. The promise is that God’s joy and peace will remain in us and be fulfilled.
- Our role is to obey His commands, love and serve Him. More than obedience: that we treasure, watch over and guard something that is precious (obedience).
- How can we teach each other about something that is beyond our understanding (peace of God)? I always like to start by examining the scriptures:
- It is perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) meaning that His peace keeps our minds on God and He conditions our heart to trust His leadership.
- He is the God of peace (Philippians 4:8). His divine nature is peace; therefore, it is a gift from God poured into our hearts (Luke 6:37-38) as we abide in Him (obey His commands).
- The peace of God rules our hearts (Colossians 3:14).
- The Greek for peace means ‘a tranquil state of our soul’, fearing nothing from God and being content with what He gives us.
- Opposite of peace is confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)
- UNION WITH GOD: HOW WE RELATE TO GOD
- Five aspects of the mutual indwelling or mystical union of the Father and Jesus— Their mind (thoughts), heart (feelings), will (values/decisions), words (speech), and works. They think, feel, speak, decide, and act in ways that are in full unity with each Other. We begin to participate in this reality by thanking God for this and by asking for more insight into the way. As we do this, we posture our hearts to receive more.
- 5 SAYINGS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Transforms our hearts to love and obey Jesus. Reminds us of God’s truths and promises. Reveals more of Jesus in and through His People. Convicts unbelievers of righteousness and judgement. Guides us into all truth (of things to come).
- THE REALITY OF GOD”S LOVE FOR GOD WITHIN THE TRINITY
- Jesus taught of the Father’s love for Him and His love for the Father; to give us understanding that God love us with this same love (amazing). Remember this love passes our knowledge (Ephesians 3:19).
- THE REALITY OF GOD’S LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE
- Jesus loves us with the same love between the Father and Son.
- DIRECTION ON HOW WE ARE TO LOVE JESUS
- More than obey. Treasure, watch over, guard as something precious.
- Meditating on the Word to engage in intimacy. Speaking it back to Him, conditions our heart into intimacy.
- A CALL TO LOVE AND SERVE PEOPLE
- The pinnacle of God’s work in the human heart; Includes loving adversaries
- Persecution would bring new temptations; We are to contend for each other’s destiny in God. Love that covers a multitude of sins. Unity in the body especially under pressure.
- TRUST IN GOD WHEN UNEXPECTED CRISIS COMES
- Jesus knew that death was going to the Father
- God’s plan cannot be fully understood until it occurs – shocking and painful pressure will challenge us to question our faith and change the way we relate to Him. Trust His leadership in unexpected pain.
- PRAYER RELEASES GOD’S POWER, PROVISION AND PRESENCE
- Spirit-led prayer. We love what Jesus loves and agree with what He thinks and feels. Active intimacy with Jesus involves speaking words to Him. Jesus’ words are spirit and life. What Jesus thinks and feels gradually fills our hearts.
- BETRAYAL AND FAILURE – HOW JESUS RESPONDS
- Not much detail on this topic yet as the teaching have just begun.
- THE PRIVILEGE AND INEVITABILITY OF PERSECUTION
- Jesus tells us that we will be persecuted. Jesus tells us this so that we will not stumble. God supernaturally prepares our hearts (see point 1 above).
- THE GLORY THAT GOD GAVE JESUS IS GIVEN TO HIS PEOPLE
- Talk to the Father about the glory He possesses.
Mike Bickle has begun a teaching series on these topics. Some detail is missing at this early stage (e.g. point 10 above has not been developed yet). Additionally, I am not confident that I understand the Glory of God, therefore, God has placed a desire on my heart to study God’s glory so that I can better understand point 12 above. I thought I should post this now even incomplete because it is part of the fear of the Lord.
Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratcliffe
SUGGESTED READING LIST:
- Twelve Primary Themes in John 13 to 17 – Mike Bickle
- John 13-17: Intimacy with the Trinity in the context of eschatology – Mike Bickle