WDJS [What Does Jesus Say]About … Being His Disciple [Vol.3]

In the previous two studies we learned:
WDJS [What Does Jesus Say] ABOUT …..[Introduction]
WDJS [What Does Jesus Say] About … Himself  [Vol.2]

These studies are certainly not an exhaustive study of each individual topic but met only to help us get a big picture perspective, a “Biblical Worldview”, in order to live the life that Jesus came to give. He says to us that He “… has come to give us life and life more abundantly”Jn 10:10  What is that abundant life anyway???

I think we can all agree that we can only know God and know how to live in His Kingdom and possess the life that He intents for us only through what He has to say. We cannot discern spiritual things through natural thought processes.

It is like, in the natural, looking into a mirror where we see our reflection; we don’t actually see our physical bodies we can only see a reflection of ourselves. Same thing with God; since God is Spirit we cannot see Him with our natural / physical eyes we can only see Him and rightly perceive Him through His Words and His works [creation] because He says that His Words are Spirit and they are life Jn 6:63. He reveals Himself to us through His Words and it is only through His Words that we can rightly perceive our Spirit. Scripture is like a mirror to the Spirit.

So in the beginning God dwelt with Adam but Adam decided to live life on his own terms and thus died spiritually. That was not God’s intent. Getting back to Genesis 2: 7 Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.

Adam, by the creative work of God, became a speaking Spirit; God’s DNA released in flesh.

Mankind in all creation is the only one God breathed into in order to give life. He breathed His Spirit into man thus explaining Geneses 1:26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Man was made in the image of God by the fact that He gave us / breathed into man, His creation, His Spirit. We were made to literally walk and commune with the Creator of the universe; Spirit to Spirit.

Through sin we lost that relationship; man became spiritually dead, and Jesus came to restore that same relationship by taking on the penalty of the sins of the world; all of our collective sin past present and future for all mankind everywhere as payment in full in order for us to be restored to relationship with God:“It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).  2 Corinthians 5:19

Jesus put it this way:   “and just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must [so it is necessary that] the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross],
In order that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him, and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.   John 3: 14-17

So the penalty has been paid, now it is up to us to accept the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice for each of us individually by believing and responding to God’s gift in order to be declared righteous by God.

Jesus said: “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.”  John 5: 24

First we need to hear and obey His voice in order to receive His Spirit; this is known as being “Born Again”. John in his gospel reveals the following:
John 3 “Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (a leader, an authority) among the Jews,
2 Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know and are certain that You have come from God [as] a Teacher; for no one can do these signs (these wonderworks, these miracles—and produce the proofs) that You do unless God is with him.
3 Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?
5 Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.
6 What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above).”

Verse 6 is one of the most fundamental principles in the Kingdom of God: “…what is born of the Spirit is spirit”.This spiritual birth comes from accepting by faith through the gift [grace] of God, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment in full for our sins.

Being Born Again is receiving God’s Spirit which now dwells in us and we now recognize His voice within us. We learn to hear His voice through reading and obeying His written Word.

God The Father sent Jesus and Jesus sends us.

Jesus said:  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

It is as if The Spirit of the LORD declares, “I want you to listen for My voice. I want to speak encouragement to your soul and to direct you to higher places in the realm of the spirit. I want to give you wisdom and revelation of My kingdom, says the Lord. But, I need you to open your heart, like a child would do, to receive all that I have for you, to quiet your soul, and perceive spiritually. Silence your flesh; listen, hear, understand and then obey what I am saying to you.”

“It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

As was originally intended [Geneses 1:26, Geneses 2:7] those born again now are a:

  • spirit being [remade into God’s image],
  • we have a soul [mind, will, emotions], and
  • live in a body.

Our Soul directs our bodies into action and is driven, in simplified terms, either by the old sin nature or our new Spirit nature. The apostle Paul says: “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].Romans 12:2

We are God’s Spirit with a voice. God created and Jesus performed miracles through the spoken word. God, Jesus, created the heavens and the earth through the spoken word; Jesus healed, forgave sin, and commanded storms to be still through the spoken word.

Our Spirit is now what is totally righteous in God’s eyes because we now have the Spirit of Christ living is us to hear, obey, and speak out His words. Our minds [souls] need to be transformed by reading and obeying the Word of God.

Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church said this:
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Being Born Again we now, according to the Word of God, are a new creature. We are new because we now possess a new:
Voice [Voice of Truth]
Love / Joy / Peace
Consciousness [a God consciousness vs. self-consciousness]
Grace [Jn 1:17]; a new supply, empowerment, enablement
Truth [Jn 8:32]

We are empowered and enabled and capable of Walking in the Spirit vs. walking in the flesh [Gal 5]

And we are given a new command: Jesus said:
                      “to love one another as I have loved you!”  Jn 13: 34

To the extent that we listen and obey God’s Word will depend on the fruit our lives produce. Jesus said this specifically to us in telling the parable of the “Sower and the Seed”; the Seed is the Word of God:
 “And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.” Mark 4: 20

Jesus warns us however:
And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word;Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke andsuffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.  Mark 4: 18-19

Personally I choose verse 20 over verses 18-19; and specifically in verse 20 about producing a hundred times as much fruit with the Word I take in. Have you given this any thought lately???

About bearing fruit Jesus says:
Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
         If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.
If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine [disciples].   John 15: 5-8

Final comments:

Jesus said:
“Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!”  Luke 11: 28

It goes without saying that this is easier said than done. The good news is that we do not have to HEAR, OBEY and PRACTICE the Word of God under our own power for He has given us unmerited GRACE that empowers and enables us to do so IF we are open to HEAR; after all, we cannot receive what we don’t know is available. [I know this is talking to someone right now!]

May the Peace of Jesus be with you.

The disciple that Jesus loves,