Study Series in John's Gospel

Following Jesus Costs Something

Study Series: The Gospel of John

Larger Context: Following Jesus Costs Something

This Study: Need for “Palace Beautiful (John 15:17-16:4)

Friends of God who are loved  (John 15:17-16:4

Murray McLellan

Ministry in a rebellious, Christ-hating world is not easy.

  • Importance of loving one another, for we will not be loved in the world (v. 17).

Enemies of the world who are hated
Suffering is unavoidable

For we are not of the world

    • The world (kosmos) in this context is the created moral order in active rebellion against God.
    • It is the result and expression of human depravity. 1 John 2:15-17
    • The world loves its own things (“own” is neuter, plural). They have their own agenda.
    • All the hatred and rejection does not hinder God’s plan and redemption (v. 25).

The world hated our Lord

    • To be a friend of God sets you in opposition to the world (v. 18-21).
    • Jesus was hated for his words (v. 22-23). He told them the truth.
    • Jesus was hated for his works (v. 24); signs which testify he is the sovereign Lord and his
      perfection which reveals man’s ungodliness.

The world does not know God

    • Greatest opposition comes from zealous adherents to religious faith (16:2), who do not truly
      know God the Father, nor the Lord Jesus Christ (16:3).
    • The world’s hatred and rejection heaps up greater guilt (15:21-25).
    • To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God. James 4:4

A Mini Theology of Trials

Destined for Trials?

  • Believers should not be surprised by trials. In fact, they should expect them. I Thess. 3:3-4, II Tim. 3:12, I Peter 4:12 
  • Because we are following Jesus Christ, we should expect the same kind of treatment He received (15:19-21). Philippians 1:29

A Gift from God

  • Trials serve a good purpose in the lives of all believers. Romans 8:28
  • Trials show the genuineness of your faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7
  • Trials produce perseverance. James 1:2-3
  • Trials provide the framework from which to testify of Christ and glorify God (15:26-27).

The Greatest Danger

  • Not death – but apostasy (16:1)
  • Remember, Jesus has foretold this persecution and hatred of the world. “The time” (16:4 – lit. the
    hour) seems to be connected to Jesus’ hour – his crucifixion and the onset of the kingdom. He seems to be suffering defeat but is winning the greatest victory. They seem to be winning, but are suffering the greatest defeat.

~ Murray

About Murray McLellan
Murray is the lead church planter and Bible teacher at Grace Fellowship Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He and his wife Cheryl have labored in the Gospel for many years despite the many discouragements along the way. Our brother is associated with “InDepth Studies”, the Acts 29 network of church planters, and more recently the uniquely Canadian C2C church planting network. In new covenant circles Murray is a long time contributor to new covenant thought and discussion.
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