Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 37 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 37 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).



The Christian is set between God and his neighbor. In faith he receives God's love, in love he passes it on to his neighbor. Christian love is an extension of God's love. The Christian is not an independent center of power alongside God. The love which he can give is only that which he has received from God. Christian love is through and through a divine work.


God has delivered us from egocentric action, though not, however, because all egocentric interests are thereby satisfied, but rather because they are overcome and destroyed.


To hate one's brother [fellow believer] is to proclaim one's kinship to Cain the murderer.


In this passage John is exclusively talking about love for the brethren.


1JO 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of [not out from, i.e. not in fellowship] God, nor the one who does not love [agape] his brother.


1JO 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning [upper room], that we should love one another;


1JO 3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother.


1JO 3:13 Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.


1JO 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides [fellowships] in death.


1JO 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer [mental attitude of Cain]; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding [fellowshipping] in him.


1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.


1JO 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?


1JO 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.


He is not excluding words, but that the expression of God's love is not in words only. Christ stated that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and it didn't stop with His words alone, but the deed was done as well.


1JO 3:19 We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,


1JO 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.


"condemns" - kataginw,skw[kataginosko] = literally: to know something against. It is to know something in my heart that is against God.


The reassurance is twofold:


(1) The worst that is in us is known to God, and still He cares for us and desires us. Our discovery has been an open secret to Him all along.


God is not shocked. Not only has He seen any failure from eternity but He has judged His Son for all failures.


(2) He reads everything — sees the deepest things, and these are the real things.


God doesn't give us a superficial once over and ignore the deepest darkest parts of us. It is true that He doesn't look upon your sin and iniquity, but that is so as to not judge them. He certainly sees all. He knows us fully, and more than we know ourselves. The question for the believer is when is he going to be ok with God seeing all and as such, when will he be ok with God revealing those things to him so as to not lie to himself any longer and to lay them aside and hunger and thirst for righteousness? When will he stop hiding from God and know that all things should be laid bare and open to Him, since they already are?


HEB 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.


The product of this truth is not that we should continue in sin that grace might increase, but that we should walk in life and light as those who are now both of those things in Christ and pursue such things with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and without guilt and condemnation when we fall.


Perhaps the greatest question for all Christians is if they desire the life and light of Christ. When presented with the world’s way, the flesh’s way, and Christ’s way do they see any differences and if so what kind of differences do they see? What is the difference between laying down my life for others as opposed to protecting my life from others? What is the difference between considering how to stimulate others to love and good deeds and ignoring others in favor of myself? If I edify others over and above myself, consider others to be more important than myself, being kind and tender-hearted as opposed to revenge and malice, being gracious and giving instead of hording and keeping, bearing the weaknesses of the weak rather than elevating myself above them, being kind to ungrateful and evil men then why should I and for what reason? If you attempt one over the other in God’s agape love you are not doing so because there is any value or reward in the other and you do not gain any reward from God since God has already given all to you. So why desire to walk in the life and light that is Christ?


Who is more full of joy, peace, and love than God? Who has more prosperity in His person than God? The simple answer to this determines that the way of Christ is the way of fellowship with eternal life, fellowship with perfect joy and peace, fellowship with victory and pure freedom. All this while still a sinner.


The deep problem for the average Christian who sees no desire to walk in the way of Christ other than the old way of the Law - to avoid cursing and get blessing, which system has been completely abolished by Christ is that they simply do not know their own eternal Father, nor Christ, or His Spirit.


1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


1JO 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.


1JO 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;


1JO 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:


To know Him is to maturely reflect His agape love back to Him in faith, hope, and fellowship. Then we love to walk in His manner.


God the Holy Spirit has taken us on quite a journey the last couple months through the trials and cross of Christ, His resurrection in victory, and now, fellowshipping with Him in His very love, which accomplished all of it. Now the cross, the resurrection, and the life become a living, breathing reality within us.


1JO 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him [fellowships] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.


This is the true test of a man: Is the deepest that is in him the best? Is he better than he seems? His failures lie on the surface: is there a desire for goodness deep down in his soul? Is he glad to escape from superficial judgments and be judged by God who 'readeth everything?' who sees 'with larger eyes than ours,' to make allowance for us all?" [W. Smith]


I believe what he means when he asks, "Is he better than he seems?" is that there will be plenty to judge as they witness various failures, but what is within is better, far better than any number of failures, and that is Christ within you and your great desire to walk in Him. No one can see willingness or yieldedness. No one can see the inner most man besides God. Do we want Him to see all, and not just the surface as others do, so that He may comfort us while at the same time give us the power to be overcomers? In other words, do you want God to see you only as far as others do or do you desire for Him to see fully and clearly the deepest parts of you and do you desire Him to deliver you from the dark things that handicap and hinder your walk with Him?


And so verse 12 comes before "there is no creature hidden from His sight…"


HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


HEB 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.


Some will not allow the word of God to touch the deepest parts of them. They will ignore or reject the word that attempts to do so.


If you desire God to see into the deepest recesses of your heart, you will allow His word to penetrate to the deepest recesses of your heart so that it may cleanse you in grace.


So if God is not condemning then should we be antinomians? Our hearts are to be transformed by the word of God so that we may imitate God in the love that He has given to us. We are not to use our freedom for an opportunity for the flesh.


None of us are fully matured in the walk we now have. We all need the word of God to continue to pierce the depth of us and teach, reprove, correct, and train.


Php 3:12

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.


Perhaps agape is the greatest piercer of our soul and spirit.

1PE 1:8

and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory


Peter speaks of Christ as the One who has not been seen, but His people love. Why do they love Him? A reflection of His love in faith, hope, and fellowship with Him in His life and light.


MAT 26:26-29

And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;  28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."


As the Lord said:


Luke 5:37-39

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 "But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 "And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, 'The old is good enough.'"


Through Him all things are new, the old things have passed away. No more law, no more curses, blessings of position in Him and not of laws and statutes. To attempt to live the spiritual life in the flesh, the world, or the old system is to explode within by quitting or lying to yourself and living in great self-righteousness.


Christ is all, in all, and has done all.


ROM 8:31-32

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?