John 15:9-27

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John 15:9-27 Inductive Bible Study

Outline:

  1. It is our responsibility to love each other (the relationship of us to each other) (9-17)

    1. Jesus loves us with the same love the Father loves Him (9)

    2. By keeping His commandments we can experience His love and true joy (10-11)

    3. We are commanded to love each other with the greatest love (12-13)

    4. We are His friends (14-15)

      1. We must obey (14)

      2. He confides (15)

    5. He chose us for the purpose of bearing fruit (16)

    6. Remember to love! (17)

  2. The disciples would be hated and persecuted (the relationship of us to the world) (18-25)

    1. Because it hated Jesus first (18)

    2. Because we are not of the world (19)

    3. Because it hated the master (20)

    4. Because they don’t know God (21)

    5. It is willful and purposeful (22-24)

    6. It is baseless (25)

  3. The coming Holy Spirit (26-27)

    1. He will testify (26)

    2. They will testify (27)

Questions:

I.

How can we abide in His love? What does this mean?

Do verses 9-10 tell us that if we don’t obey Him then He won’t love us? Can you think of any other verses that talk about this issue?

What does “My joy” mean? What was Jesus’ joy?

How to show our love for others?

What kind of friendship is this that we need to obey His commands? What is His show of friendship? What is ours?

Explain the phrase “go and bear fruit”.

Who initiated our relationship with Christ?

II.

Who is the “you” in verse 18?

Do these words also apply to us?

Why did the world hate Jesus, His disciples, and us today?

Does the world hate us? Why?

What forms does this hate take?

How have others shown their hate to you?

How did you respond? How should we respond?

Is it discouraging when others ridicule you, make fun of you, or tear you down?

Do you like to be popular and appreciated?

What impact could we have if we routinely give blessings and respond positively when the world hates us?

What does Jesus mean that if He had not come they would not have sin?

III.

Who is the Helper?

What does it mean that He proceeds from the Father?

I.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (8) – Whether we eat or drink we should do all for the glory of God.

John 17:13 (11) – Another verse on joy.

Hebrews 12:2-3 (11) – For the joy set before Him endured the cross.

James 2:23 (15) – Abraham was called the friend of God.

II.

1 Corinthians 4:11-15 (18-) – When persecuted we bless, when slandered we conciliate, etc.

2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (18-) – We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken, etc.

2 Timothy 3:12 (20) – All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

1 Peter 3:8-9 (20) – Give a blessing. Don’t return evil for evil.

John 9:41 (22) – If they were blind they would have no sin, but because they say they see their sin remains.

Teaching Points:

I.

How can we abide in His love? What does this mean?

Do verses 9-10 tell us that if we don’t obey Him then He won’t love us? Can you think of any other verses that talk about this issue?

What does “My joy” mean? What was Jesus’ joy?

How to show our love for others?

What kind of friendship is this that we need to obey His commands? What is His show of friendship? What is ours?

Explain the phrase “go and bear fruit”.

Who initiated our relationship with Christ?

Jesus just discussed the disciples’ relationship to Him. Then He discusses His relationship to each other. While the context is His commands to His disciples, these are also clearly principles that are applicable to us as well. Verses 9-11 probably could have been included in last week’s discussion about the believers’ relationship to Christ, but because the topic is love I decided to discuss them this week.

Jesus loves us as the Father loved Him. Wow! That is the most supreme love possible. It can’t get any higher than that. When I read verse 9 I asked myself, “how can we abide in His love”? Verse 10 has the answer. We must keep His commandments. Jesus is the example. Jesus obeyed the Father and received the Father’s love. Does this mean if we don’t keep His commandments that He won’t love us? If not, what does it mean?

Firstly, Jesus loves the whole world in a general way. He gives blessings to all mankind. Yet He loves the elect in a special way. If we are His elect we will practice obedience to His commands. Yet if we do fall and break some it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us. But His love will be shown in a different and much more uncomfortable way. He will disciple us, prune us. This is a kind of “tough love”.

Why did Jesus say all of this? It wasn’t to scare them. It wasn’t to rebuke them? It was so that they could have the same joy that He has. First we need to know what kind of joy that is. What kind of joy did Jesus have?

First we can discuss what kind of joy Jesus didn’t have. It wasn’t joy based on money. Jesus had very little. It wasn’t joy based on a nice home. He didn’t have a place to lay His head. It wasn’t joy based on pleasant circumstances. Jesus was about to be beaten and tortured. It wasn’t joy based on long life. Jesus was about to die at the young age of 33. It wasn’t joy based on popularity. Jesus was about to have huge crowds yelling for His execution. It wasn’t joy based on entertainment or having a fun time. Jesus’ life was very serious.

From Hebrews 12:2 I believe Jesus’ joy was finishing the work God had given Him and receiving the reward for it (that is seeing many people receive salvation). This was what He looked forward to. His joy was obeying the Father and seeing the great results from that obedience. So this joy can also be in us. We can have this joy by being obedient to God in all kinds of circumstances, by remembering that He is always with us, and by the hope of our salvation that is still yet to come. What is our salvation that is still yet to come? In that past we have been saved from the penalty of sin. Now we are saved from it’s power. We will be saved from it’s presence. So our joy is based on our relationship to God and our trust in His promises.

Joy doesn’t come from any worldly things. It doesn’t come from circumstances. Do you remember anyone in the Bible who had joy even in the midst of difficulty? Paul and Silas in prison. Also 2 Corinthians 7:4. And remember also Galatians 5:22-23. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It comes from His work in our life, not things we do or buy, or food we enjoy eating. Often the joy of this world is just a short-lived thrill like a roller coaster. But once the short ride is over reality and misery sets in again. The joy of the Lord is deep-rooted and long lasting. It is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10.

John 17:13 (11) – Another verse on joy.

Hebrews 12:2-3 (11) – For the joy set before Him endured the cross.

2 Corinthians 7:4 (11) – They had joy even in affliction.

Nehemiah 8:10 (11) – The joy of the Lord is your strength.

In verse 12 and after is the command for the basis of believer’s relationship to each other, love. According to 1 Corinthians 13 this is the greatest virtue and that is why Jesus stresses it again and again. It is also a very important one for believers in the church because far too often petty differences and disagreements divide us. Read over part of 1 Cor 13. We are called to love as He loved us. When I read the list of what true love is I realize I fall far short of God’s standard. Primarily I am not patient, do seek my own, and take into account when someone does something wrong to me. Please forgive me guys for not being loving enough.

You should look over this chapter and see which areas you are weak in and make a strong effort to change. Think of ways that you can reach out and love each other as brothers in Christ. I would really like to see you guys be involved in each other’s lives throughout the week encouraging each other and strengthening each other to do what’s right. I hope your love isn’t just saying, “Hi, how are you? And then praying five minutes on a Friday night.” What are some ways you can reach out and love each other? Every one come up with one idea how to love someone else in the group. OK, now we will reverse this. What are some ways that you would like others in the group to show you love. Be honest.

Verse 13. I watched one “Monk” episode this week. In it a psychologist has two borderline insane patients, including Monk. They both really like the psychologist and are obsessed with him. At the end of the episode the psychologist was captured by some bad guys. The one patient jumped in front of him and took a bullet in the heart to save his life. As he was dying, he grinned at Monk and said, “beat that”. Of course Monk couldn’t beat that. The man had shown the supreme act of love. Jesus also the very day after He told the disciples this showed them the supreme act of love. How can we practice this principle to love each other when it is likely we may never have the “chance” to give our life for someone else?

14-15 If we do what He commands we prove that we are truly friends of His. In verse 15 Jesus called the disciples His friends. He also has made known to us what He heard from the Father so we are also His friends. What does that mean to you? It really is an amazing thing that the Almighty God is willing to be friends with low, weak, pathetic, human sinners. It’s almost unbelievable. This is also likely a distinctive of Christianity. The gods of other religions are often far away from the world or if they do get involved it is violently or abusive. In this world, leaders are seldom if ever willing to be friends with the common people. They often look down on the people they rule. But God is willing to be friends with us. What applications does this have for us?

It has two. One, of course we should be thankful to God. We can have a close and intimate personal relationship with Him. We can pray to Him about anything. We can always rely on Him.

James 2:23 (15) – Abraham was called the friend of God.

Secondly, if God is a friend to us, it means that we should be a friend to the world and to those who are under us. If we are a boss in a company we should show ourselves to be a friend of those under us, not ruling it over them. If we are a doctor we should show ourselves (or I should say David and Qinq should show themselves) to be a friend to their patients. Teachers should be a friend to their students. Recently I heard of a pastor who said one of the five most common mistakes of evangelists in is treating those whom they minister to as students rather than friends. Let us treat those whom we share with and those who are under us as friends rather than students.

16 The initiative is God’s. The purpose is to be fruitful. A resource is to pray.

17 Love again.

II.

Who is the “you” in verse 18?

Do these words also apply to us?

Why did the world hate Jesus, His disciples, and us today?

Does the world hate us? Why?

What forms does this hate take?

How have others shown their hate to you?

How did you respond? How should we respond?

Is it discouraging when others ridicule you, make fun of you, or tear you down?

Do you like to be popular and appreciated?

What impact could we have if we routinely give blessings and respond positively when the world hates us?

What does Jesus mean that if He had not come they would not have sin?

Jesus laid out the relationship of believers to Him, the relationship of believers to each other, and now the relationship of believers to the world. Basically Jesus is preparing the disciples by telling them that they will be hated and persecuted by the world.

Go through some of the questions. In general people in the world dislike others who are not like them. It’s not always true, but it is often true. There are a lot of economic, ethnic, and social divisions that cause hatred. But worldwide none of them is bigger than the hatred towards God’s people (I would include Christian’s and Jews, since both are viewed as God’s people). No, not every individual persecutes or hates Christians, but it is very common. Governments make a lot of laws targeting Christians. Schools do also. This hatred and persecution worldwide ebbs and flows. Right now it is not as serious as it was during the disciples’ times, when Christianity was just growing and the Jews were stirring people up against it. As Christianity has grown more nominal and like the world it also doesn’t incur hatred as much. Now this persecution is leveled against the serious, fundamentalist Christians, the ones who are really following Scripture. Why is this?

1. They hate Jesus/God. People in the world don’t like authority. They don’t want to answer for the wrong things they have done. Therefore they hate God. Because we identify with God they hate us also.

2. We’re not of the world. The world says to live and let live. The world encourages tolerance for all kinds of lifestyles. The world wants to sin in the dark. But believers speak out against sinful lifestyles. They speak out against sinful laws. Even if their words don’t, their lives do. Basically Christians are a convicting force and people don’t want to feel convicted.

3. They don’t know God. So who do they know? Satan. Their father is Satan and as we know Satan is fighting continually against God. So of course Satan will use them as puppets to try to suppress Christianity.

What forms does this hate take?

What are some factors that might come into play for how much persecution a Christian suffers?

Where they live in the world, who their family/friends are, the kind of government over them, how outspoken they are about their faith, how pure their lifestyle is, etc.

Read:

2 Timothy 3:12 (20) – All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

This verse tells us if we live godly lives we will face persecution. That is a guarantee. The extent of it depends on other factors around us. But we will face it. If we are never facing persecution the problem is we are not speaking out or not living it. We should not seek persecution. But neither should we try to avoid it by keeping our faith a secret.

Read:

2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (18-) – We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken, etc.

So we will face persecutions. The question is how should we respond?

Read:

1 Corinthians 4:11-15 (18-) – When persecuted we bless, when slandered we conciliate, etc.

1 Peter 3:8-9 (20) – Give a blessing. Don’t return evil for evil.

Have others shown this hate/persecution to you? Go back to questions and ask some more of them.

Facing persecution is a great opportunity to stand for Christ and shine as a light. Many of the most effective believers are ones who were persecuted, but stood for Christ and in the process reached many people for Christ. If we give into persecution we are just proving to the world that God has no power and it is not real. So we must stand strong. And we must give a blessing instead. Stephen. Give story of Corey Ten Boom. Opened a house for the Dutch who helped the Nazis. Went and told the guard she forgave him. The power of a kind word spoken to someone who hates us can be truly amazing. Do you have any examples of this?

They were not sinless. But Jesus’ coming led to the greatest sin of all time, His rejection and execution. It should have led them to repent because they saw who He really was. Yet instead of repenting, they killed God the Son.

“They hated me without a cause.” Originally this was spoken by David in Psalm 69:4. If David could say this though he had sin and hadn’t been a perfect king then surely Jesus was justified in saying they hated Him without a cause. He had never sinned.

John 9:41 (22) – If they were blind they would have no sin, but because they say they see their sin remains.

26-27 Discuss. The Helper is the Holy Spirit. He proceeds from the Father. He is sent by the Father. The Father has the position of being the head within the Trinity. He would testify and so would the disciples. The Holy Spirit would testify through them (see Pentecost). They had a great help in witnessing!

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