“Making Our Joy Complete” by Mark Dodd

 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
(1 John 1:4)

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
(1 John 5:13)


Why did John write this letter? There are three options:

  1. He has two distinct reasons for writing it.
  2. John 1:4 and 5:13 contradict one another.
  3. He has only one reason, expressed in two different ways.

I believe that option 3 is correct, and I’ll tell you how I get there.

In 1 John 1:4, I am left wondering how writing this letter makes complete the joy of John. It doesn’t say. It does say that writing about the fact of Christ’s eternal existence, as well as His incarnation, is not primarily for the good of the readers, but for the completion of his joy. But it doesn’t tell us how writing about these things is a means for John to make his joy complete. In addition to the question of how the writing of this letter complete’s John’s joy, I am also led to ask how John could close his letter saying, “I write these things to those who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life”?

It doesn’t seem like his motivations here is his own joy, but rather the saints’ knowledge of eternal life. When we first arrive at this verse, it seems to be in contradiction with his original statement in1 John 1:4 because it is so darn self-disinterested.

“To you who believe”

The first thing to consider in order to sort out this difficulty is John’s audience. They are not unbelievers—they are believers! This letter is written “to you who believe.” If that is not you, I pray that it would be. Since they already believe in the name of the Son of God, we know that they already have eternal life (John 3:16). John is not writing so that they would gain eternal life. They already have it! He is writing them so that they would know that they have eternal life. There is no believer who does not need to be reminded of his position as a possessor of eternal life.

The next thing to be considered is what John writes about to complete his joy. This might help us find the link between the saints’ knowledge of their eternal life and the completion of John’s joy.

Completion of joy

Here is what John wrote about to complete his joy:
  1. Christ was from the beginning
  2. Christ came to earth as a man
  3. That Christ has allowed people to see His life
  4. Fellowship among believers is corporate fellowship with God.

John has already written a letter with the intent of bringing life to the unregenerate (John 20:31). His joy is not complete simply in their life, but in their knowledge of their life. Why is that? Because his joy is in the glory of Christ. It gives him joy when Christ gives life to dead people, but it completes his joy when others have this glorious knowledge, because they too are seeing his beloved Christ as the glorious Savior that He already is.


“Where Do You Get Your Truth?” by Jasmine C. Wong

In many Christian circles, there is an abundance of resources going around—from new hot topics to the latest book or sermon series. In all of this, we may forget to go back to the all-powerful, transforming Word of God that is sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Sometimes we do not intentionally neglect it, but rather we begin looking to other ‘Christian’ things instead. For example, I remember a time when I misplaced my Bible for a week and I never knew it was missing because I was just reading books and podcasting sermons.

The ultimate book—the source of ultimate truth—is the Bible

What is theology? The study of God.

What is the best way to study God? Is it to read a book about the Bible or the Bible itself?

Think about it.

While knowledge is important, God isn’t interested in just knowledge. He wants a knowledge that will transform your life. He wants you to read the Bible and put yourself under it. We can read what people write about God or we can read what God says about Himself.

I am not saying reading theological books is bad. I am saying that we must remember our priorities—God’s Word is our supreme source of our theology. Dwight Moody said, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.” As we increase our knowledge of God we better understand Him and fear Him, leading to wisdom and sanctification (Proverbs 9:10). If we do not know God then we cannot understand Him nor fear Him, let alone obey Him.

Let’s go to Paul in his second letter to Timothy, where gave his friend an encouragement to stay with the Scriptures: “…the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In the context of this verse the Apostle is referring specifically to the Old Testament writings, but we can apply it to the New Testament as well and consequently the entire Bible. There is a lot of richness in this short statement, but here are two lessons we can learn from Paul’s charge to Timothy.

1. Renewing your mind

Paul writes that the Bible is useful for teaching and reproof. We need to be equipped. We need to be complete. We need to be renewing our minds daily, and the way to do that is by reading God’s Word and allowing the Spirit to illuminate it for us. (Romans 12:2) We have been given the Spirit of God, a gift of grace, who gives us understanding and illumination of the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Let us come to the Word in humility and diligence, knowing that it is a privilege to be able to have this gift of understanding instead of taking it for granted. Also, we should allow it to correct us rather than attempting to make the Bible act as a proof text for our own thoughts.

2. Knowing God’s way through the Word

The Apostle Paul writes about how Scripture is ‘breathed out by God’, meaning that what is written are the very words of God. The word of God brings knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). InPsalm 119, it is clear that the psalmist is hungry for God’s word. He constantly dwells on it. We are to saturate our hearts with the Bible. We should have a desire to know God because He reveals Himself to us in His word, which is truth (John 17:17). By studying God’s Word we may be trained in righteousness, knowing what God has revealed about His character, His will, and His commands.

Who should we look to?

Jesus sets a wonderful example when He woke up early in the morning to talk to His Father. (Mark 1:35) Setting a devoted time of the day to read your Bible is helpful. Pray that the Lord will give you a diligent, devoted, and active spirit in reading the Word. Pray that He will take away idleness and strive to have self-discipline with your time. In all this social networking, television, and technology, it’s so easy to be distracted. So consider getting off Facebook to get your face into the Book. My encouragement is that you be refreshed daily by beginning and ending your day with the Lord.

“Word Made Flesh” by Doug Wilson

We ought always to reflect on the profound reality of the Incarnation. Over the course of time, we have added a bunch of cultural traditions to the celebration of the Christmas season, which is absolutely fine, but at the same time we want to take care not to obscure anything central. So, enjoy the fudge, and the sleigh bells jingling, and bringing the woods into your living room… but enjoy it all for the right reason.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1,14)

John’s gospel begins with the words in the beginning, deliberately echoing the first words of Genesis (Genesis 1:1). Just as God created the heavens and the earth, so in the arrival of Jesus, He was recreating the heavens and the earth (v. 1). In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What does this mean? The withness is defined by the word Word. The Word was with God the Father in the way our words are with us. They are not the same. And yet, at the same time, our words reveal us and are to be identified with us. We are what we speak. Out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks, and we are this way because God is the same way. Out of the abundance of His heart, He speaks. Now, this perfect Word, this Word that came from the Father without any degradation of meaning, this Word which was also to be identified with the Father, what did He do? He became flesh, John says, and dwelt among us (v. 14). Did this bring about degradation of meaning? No, John says—we beheld his glory (v. 14). What glory? The glory of the only begotten of the Father. What glory? A glory that was full of grace and truth.

In one sense, Jesus said that He was the only one who had seen the Father (John 6:46). But in His famous encounter with Philip later in this gospel, Jesus also said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:8-9). Jesus says here that the Word of God is not perfectly spoken within the triune life of God only. God has spoken Himself into a very imperfect and broken world, and He has done so perfectly. What does this mean?

Man in his sinful condition does not want to be saved. That is part of what it means to be a sinner. This means that man wants, by various strategies, to put himself out of God’s reach. Some want to do it arrogantly, like the modern atheist who says there is no God. Communication is not possible, and the problem or fault is on God’s end. He is to blame for not existing. But others want to pretend to a kind of humility, and so they act as though the problem is with our hearing, and not with God’s speaking. “Yes,” they say, “God speaks perfectly, but we are finite, limited, and selfish. We cannot pretend to know what He has said to us because we can only hear imperfectly. Anyone who claims to have understood what He has said must be really arrogant.”

This postmodern foolishness makes a great show of adjusting to limits, and refuses to consider the implications of the Incarnation. As Francis Schaeffer put it in the great title of his book, He is There and He is Not Silent. Modernists and postmodernists both believe that anything that proceeds “downstream” from a source is necessarily a degradation. Only the source can be pure. But their problem is that they have forgotten that God is triune, and that His Word is the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3). This is not like a series of gnostic emanations, or a line of xerox copies, with each one getting progressively blurrier, or some version of the telephone game, where the message gets increasingly garbled. Away with all that! We are Christians.

What does the Word say? The Word is the Logos, and He is not the om of Eastern mysticism. He does not smudge everything. He articulates it; He speaks it. Our Lord encompasses and embodies and exhibits everything that words do—exclamations, sentences, poems, stories, parables, sermons, lectures, novels, whispered conversations, propositions, questions, and more poetry. God speaks, and we are called to listen.

We worship the Speaker, the Spoken, and the Interpretation. Our triune God is not one frozen word, eternally stuck. The conversation is everlasting, glorious, swift, and beyond all reckoning. If this conversation were water, do not think of an infinite static ocean, but rather of an infinite cascading waterfall. No top, no bottom, no sides, no back, no front—and falling with infinite swiftness. God the Father speaks all of it, and the Word is all that is spoken. But who could possibly understand any of this? The Holy Spirit is the Wisdom that understands the conversation, all of it. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).

Now, consider the nature of the miracle we celebrate at Christmas. Without losing anything “in the translation,” God brought this conversation into this world, starting in the womb of a young Jewish woman. The Word (the Word we have been speaking of) became flesh, and all carnal philosophy and wisdom fall backwards, like the men who came to arrest the Lord.

“Why Are There Only Four Gospels?” by Don Stewart

Is there something special about the number four? Why not more or less gospels?


It is important that we understand these sources and what they are trying to accomplish. The Gospels are neither biographies of the life of Christ nor are they a disinterested record of certain events in His life. Each writer wants the reader to know the truth about Jesus and become a disciple. To accomplish this purpose, each Gospel is aimed at a certain audience and each writer is selective of the events he includes.


The Gospel according to Matthew is aimed primarily at the Jew, the person familiar with the Old Testament. Jesus is portrayed as Israel’s Messiah, the King of the Jews. Matthew records how the promises God made in the Old Testament, with regard to the Messiah, are fulfilled in Jesus. Matthew begins his book by stating the family tree of Jesus:

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1).

This genealogy demonstrates that Jesus is the rightful heir to the kingdom that was promised to David and his descendants and sets the tone for the book. The remainder of the book emphasizes that Jesus has the credentials to be Israel’s Messiah.


Mark, on the other hand, is not writing to the Jew or to those who are familiar with the Old Testament. His audience is basically those people in the Roman Empire who are unfamiliar with the religion of the Jews. Consequently, Mark’s Gospel does not start with the birth of Jesus or any family tree that demonstrates Jesus as a fulfillment of prophecy. It starts, rather, with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).

Mark’s is a Gospel of action. Jesus is portrayed as the servant of the Lord doing that job that God has sent Him to do. Thus, the emphasis is on doing, and Mark shows that Jesus got the job done. Consequently Mark’s gospel records more miracles of Jesus than Matthew, Luke, or John.


Luke was written to those more intellectually minded. He states his purpose in the book’s prologue:

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which are most surely believed among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account (Luke 1:1-3).

Luke is not writing as an eyewitness but as one who is recording eyewitness testimonies. His portrayal of Jesus is as the perfect man. Hence, he focuses on those events in Jesus’ life that stress His humanity. The Greeks in their art and literature were always looking for the perfect man. The Gospel of Luke reveals that man.


John, the writer of the fourth gospel, was an eyewitness to the life of Jesus. The things he recorded were for the purpose of establishing the fact that Jesus was the eternal God who became a man. John wanted his readers to exercise faith toward Jesus.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30,31).

When John states his purpose he also states that he is selective in what he has recorded.


We can sum up the testimony of the four gospels in the following manner.

In Matthew, Jesus is the Son of David (Isaiah 11:1Matthew 1:1)

In Mark, Jesus is the Son of Man (Zechariah 3:8Mark 8:36)

In Luke, He is the Son of Adam (Zechariah 6:12Luke 3:38)

In John, Jesus is the Son of God (Isaiah 4:27:14John 3:16)


The four gospels were written to cover four aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus. Each gospel writer wrote from a different perspective to a different audience. They each looked at the character of Jesus from different angles. Thus the number of four arises from the four different perspectives we have given about Christ’s life and ministry.

Each author is presenting a different aspect of Jesus’ character. In Matthew Jesus is the king; in Mark; He is the servant; in Luke; He is the perfect man; in John, He is God. This is because each writer addressed a different type of audience.

The Gospels are not intended to be a history or biography of the life of Christ in the modern sense of the term. Each author is selective in what he portrays. Jesus did many more things than the Gospels record as John testified.

When the Gospels are compared with each other we get an overall portrait of Jesus. He was God from all eternity who came down to earth as the perfect man. He was the Messiah of Israel, the King of the Jews, the one who did the job that God sent Him to do. This is the testimony of the four Gospels.

“7 Glories of Christ” by C. Poblete

“Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.’ So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him”
(John 2:7-11)

As the first ray of the morning sun is the harbinger of the sunshine of the day, so this first miracle was the forerunner of the many wondrous deeds that Christ was about to perform.

There are many rays in the sun of Christ’s glory:

1. The moral glory of His life proclaims the spotlessness of Hisholiness.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

2. The majestic glory of His person speaks forth the excellence of His worth.

“For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (2 Peter 1:17).

3. The mysterious glory of His Deity tells out the wonder of HisGodhead.

“Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. … Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!Selah” (Psalms 24:710)

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3)

4. The munificent glory of His grace reminds us of the greatness of His mercy.

“to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

5. The many-sided glory of His truth declares the immutability of its infallibility.

“For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalms 108:5)

6. The marvelous glory of His Gospel tells out the sufficiency of His atonement.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

7. The mighty glory of His miracles speaks of the strength of His power.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, … and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:1619).

“The Triune Work of Salvation” by Chris Poblete

The whole work of salvation for sinners is a uniquely Trinitarian work. Consider the following passages:


Salvation was His Plan.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him… I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do…I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.”

(John 17:1-7)

He chose us and predestined us.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
(Ephesians 1:3-6)

This was according to His wisdom and purpose.

…according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will
(Ephesians 1:7-11)

so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord
(Ephesians 3:10-11)


He reconciled us.

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
(Romans 5:11)

He redeemed us.

he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
(Hebrews 9:12)

We are adopted through Him.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
(Romans 8:15)

We are called into His fellowship.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(1 Corinthians 1:9)

We are justified by His work.

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
(Romans 3:24)

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
(Romans 5:9)


He gives the new birth, renews, and regenerates us. 

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
(John 3:6-7)he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit
(Titus 3:5)

He is the Helper Jesus sent.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
(John 16:7)

He dwells within us.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
(Romans 8:9)

He conforms us into the image and likeness of Christ.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

He empowers us for Christian living.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:22-24)

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:16-21)

He helps and intercedes.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
(Romans 8:26)

He keeps us to the very end.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6)

“How does a person become a Christian?” by Chris Poblete

The Bible says a person becomes a Christian when he places his faith in Jesus Christ. This is known as being saved or born again.

Must Be Born Again

The Bible teaches that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they are born again.

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God’
(John 3:3)

Hence, being born again is absolutely essential to becoming a Christian.

Faith In Jesus

To become born again, a person must put their faith in Jesus as Savior. The Bible says:

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation
(Romans 10:9,10)

This requires an act of the will.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on his name
(John 1:12)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
(Ephesians 1:13).


Becoming a Christian involves entering into a relationship with the Living God.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent
(John 17:3)

Eternal Transaction

When a person trusts Christ it is forever:

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life
(John 3:36)

One does not become a Christian by natural birth self-determination, or self-improvement. It is by a supernatural work of God and by admitting we cannot reach God through our own strength. We must come to the place where we ask the Lord to forgive us our sins based upon the sacrifice of Christ. The Bible is clear on this matter—without being saved or born again a person cannot enter God’s kingdom.

(adapted from the FAQs of Don Stewart the Bible Exlorer, available at the Blue Letter Bible)

“What Does It Mean To Blaspheme The Holy Spirit?” By Don Stewart

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
(Matthew 12:31-32)


When Christ was on earth the Holy Spirit was blasphemed when His works were attributed to the devil. How does one blaspheme the Holy Spirit today?

We must first understand that His situation was unique. Christ was physically present, performing miracles through the Holy Spirits power to testify that He was the Messiah. But He is not with us today in a physical presence. How then does blasphemy of the Holy Spirit occur?

The work of the Holy Spirit is still the same: to speak of Jesus Christ and to show the world it needs His forgiveness:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged”
(John 16:7-11 NKJV).

Therefore, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is unbelief. Those who continually reject the Holy Spirits work portraying Christ as Savior are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. If this state continues they will not receive forgiveness for their sins.

Thus, today, as in Christs time, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a continuous state of being rather than one particular sin. It is the state of unbelief.


1. People today are not in the same situation as when Christ was physically present.

2. Today one blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the ministry of the Holy Spirit that speaks of Christ.

3. Thus the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the state of unbelief in Christ as Savior. It is more of a continuing and persistent rejection of the Holy Spirit than one particular sin.

4. The only way to avoid the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to turn to Christ for forgiveness.

Hope Note: Just Do It

“Do whatever He tells you.”   John 2:5

In this passage, we read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle, turning water into wine.  Jesus’ mother, Mary, presented the problem to her son that the wedding party did not have enough wine.  Then she turned to the servants and said, “Do whatever He tells you.”  Mary already knew the importance of obeying God.  Notice that Mary didn’t question Jesus, “How are You going to fix the problem?”  She just trusted that obedience would bring the answer.

Notice in verses 6-7 that Jesus commanded the servants to fill the jars – and those jars held twenty to thirty gallons!  But the servants filled them to the brim.  What jars in your life is He asking you to fill so He can pour out abundant blessing”

“Filling the jars” in your life can mean giving it all you have on the job.  “Filling the jars” can mean pouring into the people around you – speaking life-giving words.  It can mean being faithful with your tithe and giving over and above.  Friend, you can’t out-give God – He’s setting you up for a miracle!  Remember, whatever He says, do it!  And then sep back and watch the power of God perform amazing works in your life!

John 15:11-17

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”  John 15:11-17

The second fruit of the Spirit is joy which is the result of abiding in Him (v. 11). The second commandment is to love one another (v.12). He defines the extent of that love in the phrase, “as I have loved you,” which means giving sacrificially to others (vv. 13-14). Love is not an emotional feeling, but it is the act of giving. As we mentioned in the previous passage, the key word has been “abide” which means to keep in fellowship with Christ so His life can work in and through us to bring forth fruit. This involves obeying Him because we loveHim. Because of their obedience, Christ could now call them friends. The result was to have joy as He produced fruit through them (vv. 15-16).

However, because God loves us He “prunes” us and encourages us to bear more fruit for His glory. The more we abide in Christ, the more fruit we’ll bear, and the more fruit produced then the more the Father prunes us so that the quality keeps up with the quantity. We are motivated by Jesus’ love and Jesus had great joy in pleasing His Father. One primary command Jesus gave to believers was that they must have love for each other (v. 17). Love one another is a command, not an option. Christians will grow by caring and nurturing one another. Christian love is not basically a feeling. It is an act of the will. The proof of our love is not in our feelings but in our actions. Oswald Sanders once stated, “We are as close to God as we choose to be. If we are His friend, we ought to be near His throne, listening to His Word, enjoying His intimacy, and obeying His commandments.”

 Is there someone whom I can show that I love and care about?  Is there a shut-in whom I could visit or a missionary I could  write to? Jesus  says, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).