Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 38 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).

Class Outline:

Title: Gospe ist's Resurrection, part 38 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).


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 [know against God] us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.


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.


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


HEB 4:12-13

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. 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.


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


David was a man after God's own heart because the general tenor of his life was habitually Godward.


PSA 38:3

There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine indignation;

There is no health in my bones because of my sin.


The Psalms give the real David and so we ask how a man with as many failures as David could be called one who was a man after God's heart and will do all His will? Because man only sees the overt appearance while God looks upon the heart. This doesn't condone failure (antinomianism) but just acknowledges that we all have them.


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 [comes to know that which is against God] us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.


"assure" - pei,qw[peitho] = to persuade, to tranquilize (Thayer). God's presence will tranquilize our heart.


In this we shall know experientially that out of the truth we are, and in His presence shall tranquilize our heart in whatever our heart condemns us, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.


This is a call to keep pursuing God's plan and righteousness while fully knowing that God sees all that we fail in as well as all that we succeed in, and that, by His agape love, He tranquilizes our condemning hearts so that we press on towards the upward call and do not quit through self-pity or condemnation. Being so forgiven does not commend antinomianism and completely throws out legalism.


Vincent's note on this verse is valuable:

"Is this superior greatness to be regarded as related to God's judgment or to His compassion? If to His judgment, the sense is: God who is greater than our heart and knows all things, must not only endorse but emphasize our self-accusation. If our heart condemn, how much more God, who is greater than our heart.


If to His compassion, the sense is: when our heart condemns us we shall quiet it with the assurance that we are in the hands of a God who is greater than our heart — who surpasses man in love and compassion no less than in knowledge. This latter sense better suits the whole drift of the discussion." [Vincent]


1JO 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;


If our heart doesn't condemn [know against] us doesn't in any way mean sinless perfection but an understanding that we are currently in fellowship with Him.


We are not currently under sin in grieving the Holy Spirit and we are not currently in evil independence from God in quenching the Holy Spirit. We are confidently co-participating with God in faith and fellowship and so are properly responding to His love. This confidence translates into confidence in prayer. This is the same word John used for confidence at the Lord's Bema Seat - to speak freely or to have nothing to hide.


1JO 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.


The pleasing in His sight is not works for answered prayers but fellowship with Him. We keep His commands when we love Him, we fellowship with Him (pleasing) when we love Him. This provides confidence in prayer.


What are you going to ask for when you are not in fellowship with Him, if you even pray at all? We will receive in His way and in His time.


1JO 3:23 And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.


"name" - the entire Person of Christ. After saving faith we continue to be devoted to His person through faith - the proper reflection of God's love.


Westcott calls this, "a compressed creed." This belief is an intellectual assent to all that the Bible states is true of our Lord and the heart's submission to Him personally. "Love" here is again the divine, supernatural love manifested through the heart of the yielded saint.


1JO 3:24 And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.


 “by the Spirit” - ek tou = out from the Spirit. The flowing forth of the fruit of the Spirit gives us proof that He abides at home in fellowship within us.


This is the believer at home with Christ and Christ at home in his heart, i.e. God's love and the response of faith and fellowship in reciprocal love, which is loving Him will all the mind, heart, soul, and strength. Paul writes this same thing in Ephesians.


EPH 3:16-17

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love


1JO 3:24 And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.


The believer knows when he abides in God through the manifestation of love, which includes the rest of the fruit of the Spirit. This is not stated by John so that we can constantly second guess ourselves and constantly be questioning our abiding in God. The reality is that we will not be always recognize the fruit of the Spirit within us, but when there is something opposing that fruit being manifest we will know it. Plus, an understanding that the joy and peace of God abide in my heart is not difficult to discern once it has been somewhat matured in the heart of any believer.


This brings us to the finish of our brief study of fellowship with God. In order to remind and review we shall simply read through the passages we have studied. Keep the eyes of your soul open to the things that you have learned in these passages.


1JO 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life — 


1JO 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 


1JO 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.


1JO 1:4 And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.


1JO 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.


1JO 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;


1JO 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.


1JO 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


1JO 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


1JO 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.


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.


EPH 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;


EPH 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


EPH 5:3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;


EPH 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.


EPH 5:5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.


EPH 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.


EPH 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;


EPH 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light


EPH 5:9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),


EPH 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.


EPH 5:11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;


EPH 5:12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.


EPH 5:13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.


EPH 5:14 For this reason it says,

"Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you."


EPH 5:15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,


EPH 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.


EPH 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.


1JO 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.


1JO 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.


1JO 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.


1JO 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


1JO 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.


1JO 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.


1JO 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.


1JO 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.


1JO 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.


1JO 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.


1JO 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.


1JO 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.


1JO 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.


1JO 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.


1JO 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.


Here the same lesson is emphasized afresh; once more the test of love is applied. Where God's love or our love for God is mentioned, John makes no distinction between the Father and Son; alike in loving men and in being loved by them in return the Son and the Father are one.


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. John agrees, but adds that love for the unseen One will be attested by love for His people whom we do see.


People can talk and talk about devotion for the person of Christ while co-existing with a remarkably un-Christian attitude towards His people. John's comment on this inconsistency is sharp and undisguised and in doing so he is one with his Master.


MAT 25:40

"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'


Those whose lives are marked by lack of love in this regard should take an inner inventory and examine themselves before the great day comes, which will come like a thief in the night.


When the disciples recognized the Lord their fear was turned to rejoicing. We see Him every day through His word.

l of John [20:19]. Chr