What the World Needs Now — John 4:23

A hit song from the sixties proclaimed what the world needs now. As we near 202o, what does the world need now? It surely still needs love, but love by whose definition? Now, more than anything else, the world needs the Spirit and the Truth that the Word of God through Jesus Christ gives. The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, asked Jesus, “What is Truth?” The more I watch television and the more I read, the more I am convinced that very few appearing on TV or claiming to be experts on something know what Truth is. No matter what truths the Bible proclaims that for hundreds of years science has affirmed about the nature of human beings and the difference that makes, we have too many academics and others promoting the notion that people are whatever they want them to be or whatever the majority wants them to be or whatever a vocal minority wants them to be despite what others might think about the nature of reality as revealed in the Bible. We live in a world where many who want to be leaders in their respective fields of endeavor want to silence the truths we learn from the Bible and nature as created by God.

Perhaps by design, people trust less and less what they hear from those in authority, no matter what the topic or who claims to be the so-called “authority.” What the world needs now is Truth, the Truth of the Word of God, the Truth that is Jesus. What the world needs now is Christians with the courage and wisdom to stand by the truths they learn from the Bible as the Holy Spirit guides them, no matter what those of this world want people to believe. In John 8:44, remember what Jesus said to and about some of the most influential leaders of His day: “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” In the 1960’s up to today and until Jesus Christ comes again, the world will bring forth lying leaders of the type Jesus described, and increasing numbers of people will be murdered from the womb to the tomb.

The world also needs Christians who are guided by the Holy Spirit according to the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit will never contradict what the Bible says. The world needs Christians who will love, act, and speak as the Holy Spirit leads them. Following the leading of the loving Holy Spirit will require much divine guidance and prayers for protection, for millions of Christians live in places where many of their leaders and neighbors can be compared to dogs and swine. The same is true today as in Jesus’ day, and in Matthew 7:6, Jesus warned Christians to be careful, saying, “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.”

The Father desires Christians who will worship in Spirit and in Truth. The world also needs Christians who will live and love in Spirit and in Truth. Through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, Christians will be enabled to share with some the Spirit and the Truth that they need to follow Jesus Christ and always be where Jesus Christ leads them.

Please share your thoughts and ideas here on the International Bible Study Forum.

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

The Answer to Our Problems and Questions — John 4:10-19

The solution to most problems and the answer to most questions can probably begin with these words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman He met at Jacob’s well: “If you knew the gift of God.” If we asked a group of people, “What are some of God’s gifts to us?” I wonder how many would answer by saying what “THE GIFT” of God is from the very first, and then talk about many other gifts of God, for God’s gifts are without number and beyond our comprehension.

The most obvious answer regarding THE GIFT of God are the next words of Jesus in John 4:10. THE GIFT of God is the ONE who is saying to her “Give me a drink.” THE GIFT of God is Jesus Christ; the One the woman will soon learn is the Prophet, the Messiah, and the Savior of the World. In John 3:16, we learn of God’s greatest gift to us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” God’s greatest gift to us is His only Son. Now the questions are: “Will people receive God’s gift?” or “Have WE received God’s gift?”

The obvious answer regarding THE GIFT is Jesus Christ, but that seems to be only a partial answer. Is there more to THE GIFT than Jesus Christ for He wanted to give the woman a gift that He wants to give to everyone. Could THE GIFT be the gift Jesus wants everyone to have as the Helper and Guide to solving most problems and answering most questions? For as Jesus teaches throughout the Gospel of John, when He offered to give the woman “The water that . . .  will become . . . a spring of water gushing up to eternal life,” Jesus meant the Holy Spirit. But wait, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us Eternal Life: an eternal, everlasting, perfect relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. The gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus must surely be part of THE GIFT.

As we keep thinking about THE GIFT, how do we know all these facts? We know these facts from the Bible, the Word of God written. We would not know about THE GIFT of God without the Word of God written. We would not know about THE GIFT of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, without the Word of God written, the Bible. The Bible is another one of God’s gifts, where we can read about the solution to most problems and the answer to most questions. The Word of God written must be part of THE GIFT because Jesus Christ is the Word of God in the flesh that God gave to us almost 2,000 years ago, and the Bible is the Word of God written in human language that we can read today, and Christians are still working to make the Bible available in every language.

Yet, come to think of it, maybe THE GIFT includes our adoption into God’s Family as children of God? Remember, we read in John 1:12-13, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” We can now call to God the Father as OUR Father, as OUR “Abba.” In Galatians 4:6, Paul wrote, “And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”

As we draw near the celebration of Christmas, what is THE GIFT, when Jesus asked the woman, “If you knew the gift of God.” THE GIFT must be God! God’s greatest gift to us must include the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and after having created us in God’s image, they have given us the gift of opportunity, the opportunity to enjoy eternal life and all that means to us here and now and forever by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, as God’s children, and the Bible, the Word of God written, so we can know all these facts. How much about THE GIFT of God do we truly know? Have we asked God to give us THE GIFT, because we are ready to receive all God wants to give us?

Please share your thoughts and ideas about THE GIFT and the gifts of God here on the International Bible Study Forum. We would like to read about and learn more about even more of God’s precious gifts.

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

We Must Go Thru Our Samaria — John 4:4

When Jesus left Judea for Galilee, in John 4:4, we read, “But he had to go through Samaria.” From time to time, we must all go through our Samaria, a time of testing and trials. But when you must go through your Samaria, remember these truths.

First, wherever Jesus leads, if your faith is placed in Jesus, He will be with you and lead you through your Samaria. You do not need to go through Samaria alone. You can call upon Jesus to help you, and He will. As our Lord and Savior, the promise the LORD gave Joshua through Moses surely applies to all those Jesus leads. In Deuteronomy 31:8, we read, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Jesus and His Father will deliver you from evil.

Second, wherever Jesus leads you, Jesus will meet all your real needs. Jesus sent His disciples into a Samaritan village to buy food and He stopped at a well of water to wait for their return. After they obeyed Jesus, the disciples had food to eat and water to drink. At that time, they did not need wine; so, no wine was provided. Jesus met their essential needs, just as He will meet your essential needs wherever He leads you.

Third, wherever Jesus leads you, He will teach you lessons along the way. He will teach you lessons that will better enable you to love and serve God and others. The disciples learned many lessons when Jesus ministered to a Samaritan woman and her neighbors. As the Lord Jesus leads you, you can pray for Him to help you learn the lessons you need to learn. He will often teach you these lessons through your reading of the Bible and through your application of the truths you have learned from the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit. You can trust in the Word of God and all God’s promises throughout your journey.

Fourth, wherever Jesus leads you, He does so for a greater purpose than just to teach you a lesson; though He will do only that if that is what you need. Jesus led His disciples where the field was ready for the harvest. The Samaritans from Sychar who came to faith in Jesus needed the further teaching of the disciples over the next two days while Jesus taught others among the crowd and led them to faith in Him. Wherever Jesus leads you, He will give you the opportunity to help others learn about Him and possibly come to faith in Him. During your journey, you may be sowing seeds by your words or example for others to reap the harvest. Or, Jesus may be leading you through your Samaria to reap the harvest, as Jesus and His disciples reaped the harvest among the Samaritans in Sychar.

Fifth, notice the constant theme repeated in the four truths above: “wherever Jesus leads you.” Pray for Jesus to lead you day-by-day as you read the Bible for greater understanding, trusting that the Holy Spirit will always lead you according to what the Bible teaches and never contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,

L.G.

The Most Important Verse in the Bible, Part 2 — John 3

November 7, 2019

One important verse, if not chapters, are Genesis 1 & John 1, where we learn that God created us and created us in His image. These verses seem to be foundational for everything else that follows in the Bible.

But perhaps the most important verse in the Bible is John 3:16, where we learn, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” From this verse, we learn that God not only created people in His image, but God loves us! God didn’t make us to play with us as a child might make a toy robot out of Lego blocks, and then take it apart and make something else. No, GOD LOVES US! Knowing that truth puts a whole new meaning on who we are and how important we are as created by God in His image.

Perhaps another reason this verse is so important is because we learn that this life on this earth, as brief as it is, is not the end of our existence. Rather, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit love us so much that the Son, Jesus, was given so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.

We learn so much from John 3:16, that a Bible commentary or lesson no matter how many words it is, can only scratch the surface of its meaning. Perhaps every verse in the Bible can be tied into understanding John 3:16 better.

But maybe the most important verse in the Bible is an obscure verse; such as, what Jesus said to Pilate when He was on trial. In John 18:37, we read, “Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’” Maybe the most important verse is learning that Jesus Christ is the King, who unlike every other king, came into the world “to testify to the truth.” Without Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, and the Bible, the Word of God written, we would not know the truth, the truth about reality, God, ourselves, our future if we believe in Jesus and our future if we refuse to believe in Jesus. It is vitally important to “belong to the truth” and “listen to Jesus’ voice.”

Finally, perhaps the most important verse in the Bible is the verse in the Bible that God used through the work of the Holy Spirit that showed YOU that God has spoken the truth in the Bible and in Jesus, the verse that God used so YOU would believe the truth and believe verses such as John 3:16.

John 3:16 may be the most important verse in the Bible, but what are some other important verses that have made a tremendous impact on your life? What verses can those in your Sunday school or Bible study group share that will help everyone learn more of the truth that Jesus came and revealed as His solemn testimony or that the Bible reveals as God the Father’s solemn testimony or that the Holy Spirit has used to make an impact on your life?

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

The Most Important Verse in the Bible, Part 1 — John 3

On November 3 and 10, we will study the visit of Nicodemus with Jesus by night. So, over the next two or three weeks, you might ask your class, “What is the most important verse in the Bible?”

In our Sunday school class, we have some Christian families who are from India. Today, one of them told about an unbeliever in India who was dying in the hospital. After he recovered, he told people that a man had come into his room and prayed for him and gave him a Scripture verse written on a piece of paper. After hearing about what happened to him, someone gave him a Bible and he became a Christian. I wonder what that Scripture verse was and who prayed for the man that led to his physical and spiritual salvation?

Could it be that the most important Scripture verse is the verse that began to lead us or actually led us to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If so, there might be many “most important verses in the Bible” for many different believers. On November 10, we will study the verse in the Bible that many believe in the most important verse in the Bible.

In thinking about Bible verses, you might ask your class what the most important Bible verses are to them, and why those verses are the most important to them. You might also ask them what the characteristics or themes of their most important verses are.

We will look at the most important verse in the Bible over the next two or three weeks. Please share your ideas or the ideas of your class through the comments IBS Forum. 

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

How Jesus Cleans the Temples of God — John 2

October 19, 2019

Jesus probably cleansed the temple in Jerusalem at least twice, once at the beginning of His ministry and then shortly before His arrest and crucifixion. During Jesus’ ministry on earth and afterwards, the religious leaders refused to keep the temple clean, and for this reason among others the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul wrote about our bodies as followers of Jesus Christ: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” Jesus spoke of His body as the temple of God, and the Bible speaks of our bodies as temples of God too.

As we study John 2:13-25 this week, let us think and pray about the zeal Jesus may have regarding our keeping our minds and hearts spiritually clean. Jesus’ zeal led Him to discipline those who made the temple in Jerusalem a den of thieves, but His zeal and discipline did not lead to their change of behavior in the temple for very long if at all. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually clean so we can represent Jesus before others, just as God intended the temple in Jerusalem to be clean and represent Him on earth until the coming of His Son, Jesus, and His creation of the Church.

Let’s pray, read, study the Bible, love, and obey Jesus so we will not need His discipline. As soon as we recognize that we have sinned against God, knowing that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, let’s repent as quickly as we can and pray for Jesus to fill us once again with His Spirit; then, we will have His guidance and power to make our bodies true temples of God.

Let’s pray that if we need Jesus’ discipline to change that we will make all the changes we need to make in the way we treat God, others, and ourselves. Let’s also pray that the Holy Spirit will help us maintain the changes Jesus wants us to make with His help. Jesus is our Savior and Lord, and He will help us through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Let us pray that as temples of God the indwelling Holy Spirit will use us to share, teach, and show forth the truth of God that many might be drawn by our Heavenly Father to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Jesus and Believers Working Miracles — John 2

October 13, 2019

When Jesus performed His first sign at the wedding in Cana, He did so through believers. Though they knew very little about Jesus, not being one of His disciples, the servants at the wedding feast knew enough about Jesus to do what Jesus told them, and through them Jesus worked a miracle.

What type of believer can Jesus most easily work through when He works a miracle? What type of believer will be most able to see Jesus working a miracle through them? We can learn the characteristics of a true believer in Jesus from looking at the behavior of those through whom Jesus worked His first miracle.

First, Jesus worked His miracle through those who had committed themselves to serving others. Yes, the servants at the wedding feast may have been paid for their service, or they may have been friends of the bride and groom. Whatever their relationships or reasons, they had committed themselves to serving others at the wedding. The true followers of Jesus have committed themselves to serving both God and others as Jesus commanded and taught by example.

Second, Jesus worked His miracle through those who had committed themselves to doing whatever Jesus told them to do. When Jesus told the servants what to do, they obeyed Him without asking Him “Why?” questions. They trusted Jesus knew what He was commanding and doing, and they knew they should do what He said.

Third, Jesus worked His miracle through those who had committed themselves to obeying Jesus when He wanted them to do something, according to His timing and not theirs. At the wedding in Cana, whether convenient or inconvenient, no matter what else they were doing, they obeyed Jesus immediately. True believers in Jesus will do what Jesus wants done when Jesus wants it done, or they will prepare themselves to be ready to do what Jesus wants done when Jesus indicates, “Now is the time.”

Fourth, Jesus worked His miracle through those who had committed themselves to obeying Jesus completely. They filled the six jars to the brim. True believers in Jesus do not just obey Jesus part way or part of the time. They obey Jesus completely all the time.

Fifth, Jesus worked His miracle through those who were willing to take a risk for Jesus. Someone might have questioned what they were doing with the jars set aside for purification and why, but they took the risk and used those jars anyway. We do not know the exact time the water changed to wine, but if they took a ladle of water from the jar and the water did not change to wine until it touched the lips of the steward, they took the risk of being embarrassed before the entire wedding party. Sometimes Jesus works miracles at the last possible minute.

If we would see Jesus work miracles through us, we need to examine ourselves in the light of these servants and their way of believing in and obeying Jesus. Though believers in Jesus are not yet perfect, they are growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and Jesus can work miracles through us. Jesus has given us, His followers, commands in the New Testament. If we obey Jesus’ commands in the Bible completely, we will be preparing ourselves to do whatever He wants us to do in the future. We do not need special commands or “words from the Lord Jesus” outside the New Testament to become the type of true believer through which Jesus can help people today, and afterward we will be able to look back and exclaim, “That was a miracle!”

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Answering Dishonest and Honest Questions — John 1

September 22, 2019

As we study the Gospel of John, we will discover some people coming to John and Jesus asking dishonest questions. What is a dishonest question? A dishonest question is motivated by and designed to trick or entrap or put a label on the person you are questioning rather than asking an honest question that truly seeks to learn the answer to the question. Most of those sent from the authorities in Jerusalem to interrogate John the Baptist asked dishonest questions. They wanted a simple Yes or No answer from John so they could put a label on John, go back and report to their leaders, and then plan how to stop John from preaching and baptizing without their authorization. When we read the gospels, we find interrogators coming to Jesus seeking to entrap Him so they can arrest Him. Asking “Are you the Messiah” with the intention of entrapping John or Jesus would be a dishonest question.

What is an honest question? A person asking an honest question truly seeks information and knowledge because they really want to know the answer. Asking “Are you the Messiah” with the intention of following the Messiah if you can find out if He is the true Messiah would be an honest question. An honest questioner thinks the answer might be life-changing or add to their understanding of reality, and they believe the person they are asking might have the answer they are seeking. An excellent example of an honest question was asked by a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and asked, “How can a man be born again when he is old?” Nicodemus truly wanted to know the answer to that question, and he sincerely believed Jesus was “a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God” (see John 3:1-10). Nicodemus was not trying to entrap Jesus. He asked honest questions.

From reading the gospels and seeing how John and Jesus answered dishonest questions and honest questions, we learn that dishonest questions do not need to be answered directly or completely, but they must be answered truthfully. For example, John the Baptist could never have explained to the leaders from Jerusalem that Jesus’ coming as Messiah included His coming as the Lamb of God.

From seeing how Jesus answered Nicodemus, we learn how Jesus gave him as complete an answer as it was possible for Nicodemus to understand under the circumstances. If Nicodemus had received what Jesus told him and had believed what Jesus told him about earthly things, then Jesus could have explained heavenly things to him, and he would have understood them (John 3:12). The same requirement is true today.

As Christians who study the Bible and hope and pray that we can share the truth of Jesus with others, we will be asked both dishonest and honest questions. We will need to pray for the Holy Spirit to help us recognize which is which and how to answer each type. As we answer both types, we will need to pray that we do so with the Spirit that Jesus showed. Through us, the Holy Spirit might draw a person asking dishonest questions to begin asking honest questions; and thereby come to believe in Jesus, the Messiah and Lamb of God.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Seeing Greater Things Through Jesus — John 1

October 6, 2019

When Jesus told Nathanael He had seen him under a fig tree, that was enough for Nathanael to believe Jesus was the Son of God and the King of Israel. Then, Jesus told Nathanael that he would see far greater things. By comparison, Nathanael did see a far greater thing when Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. Later, of course, Nathanael saw the glorified Jesus raised from the dead.

We do not know all that Philip told Nathanael about Jesus as they walked together to see Jesus. We do not know all that Philip and Jesus talked about. But somehow, Nathanael had enough good reasons to believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah that God promised to send.

The truths we learn about Jesus from the Bible and especially from our study of the Gospel of John will give us enough good reasons to believe that Jesus is all He revealed himself to be in the Bible. If we are truly seeking God, the Holy Spirit will use the truths of the Bible to help us find God in Jesus Christ and draw us to Jesus and God the Father. In Proverbs 8:17, we learn, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” In Jeremiah 29:13, God promised us, “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.” As believers, we can help seekers learn the truth about and come to believe in Jesus too.

Jesus told Nathanael that He found no deceit (nothing false) in him. Nathanael was honestly seeking God, the true God, and in Jesus Christ Nathanael found the true God, the Son of God and the King of Israel. Then, Jesus assured Nathanael that this was only the beginning of what He would see and learn about God as they walked together (which they did for the next three years). After Jesus rose from the dead and filled His disciples with the Holy Spirit, they continued to walk with Jesus; therefore, they never complained that Jesus was not with them—for Jesus was always with them—showing them greater and greater things.

As we seek to find God or as we talk to someone who may be seeking God (or who does not know yet that they need to seek and find God), God will give us enough good reasons to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—and enough good reasons we can share with others. BUT, this is only the beginning! We will begin to SEE Jesus doing even greater things in our lives and we will begin to learn even more reasons to continue believing in and following Jesus as a child of God—reasons we can share with believers and unbelievers as the Holy Spirit leads us.

Let me share one simple (but profound to believers) example of seeing greater things the longer we walk with Jesus. As Bible students and teachers, we usually read the Bible in two ways almost every day (if not every day).

First, we read through the Bible in a quiet time. We sometimes call this our devotional reading of the Bible. Second, we read the Bible in our study time to learn more about sometime or to teach a class.

Currently, we are studying the Gospel of John more deeply. Now, those who have read the Bible in these two ways for a long time will be able to tell you that there have been times when their devotional reading (in the Old Testament, we will say) answered a question or shed light on or gave them a better understanding of what they were studying (in the New Testament, we will say). The Holy Spirit arranges the timings of these readings far in advance.

Experiences such as this, simple and profound, show us that indeed the Holy Spirit is working within us to teach us more about Jesus and the saving ways of our Heavenly Father. I believe anyone who is a believer can tell others both smaller and greater things about the work of God (answers to prayers, for example) in their lives—to give anyone enough good reasons to receive and believe in Jesus Christ, and thus become a child of God.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Preparing to Meet Jesus — John 1

September 29, 2019

John the Baptist came to prepare people to meet Jesus by telling them to repent of their sins and be baptized. Andrew and John were two of John the Baptist’s disciples who were the first to follow Jesus. They had prepared themselves to meet Jesus as John had preached; therefore, they recognized Jesus as the Son of God when John told them Jesus was also the Lamb of God.

What did their repentance and baptism reveal? These two acts revealed that they had resolved to do the will of God. Why is resolving to do the will of God important? In John 7:17, Jesus declared, “Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.” Because they had resolved to do the will of God and had prepared themselves to meet Jesus, Jesus called them to be His first two disciples. As His prepared disciples, they knew when they heard Jesus teach that His teaching was from God and they began to follow Him.

How do we prepare ourselves to understand the Bible and learn the truth about Jesus? First and foremost, we must come to the Bible with the resolve that we will do the will of God as we learn the will of God. In the same way, when we study the Bible, when we prepare to teach the Bible, and when we prepare to go to a Bible study or worship service, we need to go with the resolve that we will do the will of God as we learn the will of God. If we go to the Bible for personal study, or to a Bible study, or to a worship service with the resolve to do the will of God, we will more easily learn new truths, understand old truths better, and recognize whether the teaching we are hearing from others is true to the Bible or not.

If we are seeking God or seeking to know Jesus more personally or desiring to love our heavenly Father and Jesus more deeply, then the way to do so is to come before God in our prayers with the commitment to do the will of God if He will teach us His will. If we are teaching the Bible, our effectiveness will depend in large part on our commitment to faithfully teach the Bible and on our listener’s commitment to do the will of God when they study our lesson from the Bible.

Andrew and John eventually began to see how people divided over Jesus and His teaching, because some just did not want to prepare themselves to meet Jesus and others simple did not want to do the will of God.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.