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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
New American Standard Version
Bible Study Resources
Nave's Topical Bible - God; Immortality; Jesus, the Christ; Jesus Continued; Resurrection; Righteous; Scofield Reference Index - World-System; Thompson Chain Reference - Blindness-Vision; Future, the; Heaven; Heavenly; Holy Spirit; Home; Spirit; Vision; The Topic Concordance - Holy Spirit; Jesus Christ; Life; Truth;
Verse John 14:19. Because I live — As surely as I shall rise from the dead, so shall ye. My resurrection shall be the proof and pledge of yours. And because I live a life of intercession for you at the right hand of God, ye shall live a life of grace and peace here, and a life of glory hereafter.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 14:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-14.html. 1832.
144. Promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-31)
In assuring the disciples of the blessings that would follow his return to the Father (see John 14:12), Jesus had not specifically mentioned the Holy Spirit. Now he explained. When he returned to the Father, he would send the Holy Spirit as the Counsellor, or Helper, to guide, instruct and strengthen them. Those who did not believe in Jesus would not be able to understand how this Helper worked, because their understanding was limited to the things of the world in which they lived (John 14:15-17). Soon Jesus would leave the world, but he would not desert his disciples. Although people in general would see him no longer, his disciples would, in a sense, continue to see him. They would see and know him spiritually, because he would live within them. He would love them, and in return they would love him (John 14:18-21).
Judas Thaddaeus (not Judas the betrayer), still thinking of Jesus’ physical body, could not understand how the disciples would see him but others would not. Jesus replied that not only the Son, but the Father also, would live with them, provided they gave proof of their love for him by following his teachings. The Holy Spirit would help them recall those teachings (John 14:22-26).
Jesus saw that his disciples were confused and unsettled, and promised them his peace. By this he did not mean a life free from trouble, but an inward calm such as he had. Though outwardly afflicted, inwardly he had peace. The disciples should not have been troubled about Jesus’ coming death, but glad that by that death he was bringing to completion the work his Father had given him to do (John 14:27-29). Though sinless and in no way under Satan’s power, Jesus would allow Satan’s servants to betray and kill him, so that through his death he might fulfil his Father’s will and save sinners (John 14:30-31).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/john-14.html. 2005.
Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more; but ye behold me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Because I live ... is a prophetic reference to the resurrection, because Jesus was clearly speaking of a time when the world should no longer see him. This is a second "because," like that in John 14:12, and shows the necessity of Jesus' return to the Father. The divine plan of establishing a worldwide spiritual kingdom could only have been hindered by the continued physical presence of Jesus on earth. Advocates of a literal return of Christ to a literal throne should take this into account.
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
A little while - This was the day before his death.
Seeth me no more - No more until the day of judgment. The men of the world would not see him visibly, and they had not the eye of faith to discern him.
But ye see me - Ye shall continue to see me by faith, even when the world cannot. You will continue to see me by the eye of faith as still your gracious Saviour and Friend.
Because I live - Though the Saviour was about to die, yet was he also about to be raised from the dead. He was to continue to live, and though absent from them, yet he would feel the same interest in their welfare as when he was with them on earth. This expression does not refer “particularly” to his “resurrection,” but his “continuing to live.” He had a nature which could not die. As Mediator also he would be raised and continue to live: and he would have both power and inclination to give them also life, to defend them, and bring them with him.
Ye shall live also - This doubtless refers to their future life. And we learn from this:
- That the life of the Christian depends on that of Christ. They are united; and if they were separated, the Christian could neither enjoy spiritual life here nor eternal joy hereafter.
- The fact that Jesus lives is a pledge that all who believe in him shall he saved. He has power over all our spiritual foes, and he can deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and from all temptations and trials.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-14.html. 1870.
19. Yet a little while. He continues the commendation of special grace, which ought to have been sufficient for alleviating, and even for removing the grief of the disciples. “When I shall have withdrawn,” says he, “from the view of the world: still I shall be present with you.” That we may enjoy this secret beholding of Christ, we must not judge of his presence or his absence according to carnal perception, but we must earnestly employ the eyes of faith for contemplating his power. Thus believers always have Christ present by his Spirit, and behold him, though they be distant from him in body.
Because I live. This statement may be explained in two ways. Either it may be viewed as a confirmation of the former clause, because I live, and you shall live; or, it may be read separately, because I live, you also shall live; and then the meaning will be, that believers will live, because Christ liveth I willingly embrace the former opinion, and yet we may draw from it the other doctrine, that the life of Christ is the cause of our life. He begins by pointing out the cause of the difference, why he shall be seen by his disciples, and not by the world It isn’t because Christ cannot be seen but according to the spiritual life, of which the world is deprived. The world seeth not Christ; this is not wonderful, for the death of blindness is the cause; but as soon as any man begins to live by the Spirit, he is immediately endued with eyes to see Christ. Now, the reason of this is, that our life is closely connected with the life of Christ, and proceeds from it as from its source; for we are dead in ourselves, and the life with which we flatter ourselves is a very bad death. Accordingly, when the question is, how we are to obtain life, our eyes must be directed to Christ, and his life must be conveyed to us by faith, that our consciences may be fully convinced, that, so long as Christ lives, we are free from all danger of destruction; for it is an undoubted truth, that his life would be nothing, when his members were dead.
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-14.html. 1840-57.
Let not your heart be troubled ( John 14:1 ):
Now, they were troubled because He had been saying these things. "I'm going to go away; where I go you cannot come." He's been talking about His death; He's been talking about His betrayal. He's been saying things that are very troubling to them. And yet, He said unto them, "Let not your heart be troubled." The cure for it is,
believe in God, and believe in me ( John 14:1 ).
"Ye believe in God..." and that is either a question or it's a statement. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me."
For in my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I'm going to prepare a place for you ( John 14:2 ).
The word mansions is abiding places. "In my Father's house are many abiding places. And I'm going to prepare a place for you."
If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Where I go you know, and the way you know ( John 14:3-4 ).
Now, for many years I heard this scripture interpreted as beautiful mansions that God has up in heaven for us. So, when we arrive in heaven, Peter will meet us at the gate and take us through the city of heaven, down Glory Lane, and there, in this beautiful forest of blossoming trees, stands one of these beautiful colonial-type mansions, with the verandas and the porches and the stream running pass and all, and the Lord says, "There you are, check in." But, as time has passed, I've come to believe that what Jesus is referring to is not some beautiful home, English Tudor or Southern Colonial, that He has built up in heaven for me. But I believe that He is referring to the new body that I'm going to receive when I move out of this old tent. And Paul the apostle in II Corinthians, chapter 5, says, "We know that when this earthly tent, the body in which we presently live, is dissolved, that we have a building of God that is not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. So then, we who are in these bodies do often groan, earnestly desiring to move out of them, not to be unembodied spirits, but that we might be clothed upon with the body which is from heaven."
Now, God has a whole new body for us, far superior to the present body in which we live. The present body in which we live is compared to a tent; a temporary place to dwell, contrasted with the building of God, not made with hands, that is eternal in the heavens. The present body in which we live has marvelous features, but yet it also has features that aren't so marvelous. The present body in which we live has an aging process that takes its toll, so that we grow old. And as we grow old, the capacities of the body diminish. And we are not always able to do all of the things that we want to do or would like to do. And sometimes we foolishly get out and try to do some of those things that we used to do, and find that age has taken its toll upon the body. The body deteriorates; the body is subject to sickness, to disease, to weaknesses.
Now, God has a new body for me. It's far superior to this body, in that it will not need sleep for recuperation. Thus, if I had a mansion in heaven, I wouldn't need a bedroom in it. Because the body won't need that period of recuperating its strength. You probably wouldn't need a kitchen, because the body will probably be nourished by other types of foods that the body will use completely...so I probably won't need a bathroom.
So, when the Lord talks about in heaven, He's going to prepare a place for us, I believe that He's talking about that new body that He's gone to prepare for us. "The building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." And there in the kingdom of God, in that perfected state, we will dwell, live and dwell with Him forever.
Now, His promise is, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." So, the Lord kept His promise to His disciples and He came and received each of them to Himself, and they are dwelling with Him now in His kingdom. He kept His word. And He'll keep His word to us. One of these days He's coming to receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there we may be also. And there's come that time in life when leaving this body to be with Him is far preferable to remaining in this body, when the Lord comes to receive us to Himself. "Now where I go you know, and the way you know."
Thomas said unto him, Lord, we don't know where you're going; and how can we know the way? Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me ( John 14:5-6 ).
Now, here again is one of those radical statements of Jesus Christ. Last week He said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. He who lives and believes in Me shall never die" ( John 11:25-26 ). Radical! Now He's making another radical statement. "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me." Here, Jesus is declaring that He is the only way by which a man may come the Father.
There are those people who declare, "All roads lead to God. All religions lead men to God. All roads go to God." Not so! There's only one road that leads to the Father and that's Jesus Christ. "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father..." Now, people may try to find other gods and serve other gods, but they don't serve the true and the living God, except through Jesus Christ. "No man," He said, "comes to the Father but by Me."
A couple of Mormon boys came up to the door the other day. And I said, "The problem is you talk like I talk, but you don't believe as I believe. Your words are like mine. You say that you believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ in His death for you." "Yes," they said, "that is true. We believe that Jesus died for our sins and we're saved by our believing in Him." I said, "Yes, but the Jesus you believe in is a different Jesus than I believe in. For the Jesus that I believe in is not the brother of Lucifer. And you believe that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, don't you?" And they said, "Yes, we believe He's the brother of Lucifer." I said, "Then, he's a different Jesus than the one that I believe in. Because the Jesus I believe in is not the brother of Lucifer, but the only begotten Son of God. And if He were the brother of Lucifer, Lucifer being a created being, would make Him a created being and would put Him on a whole different level than that level in which God's Word declares that He is, 'who was in the beginning with God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.' So, you say you believe in Jesus, but it's a different Jesus. You're preaching a different Jesus than what the Bible reveals. And as far as that goes, you're also preaching a different god. For the God that I believe in is not an ascended man, nor do I believe that you're going to be a god. And you believe in a god that was a man ascended, just as you are ascending to a godhood state." I said, "So, though you may use the terms, 'god' and 'Jesus,' they're a different god and Jesus than what I trust in."
And so, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me." That is a radical statement! A lot of people wish that Jesus had not made that statement. We are accused as Christians as being too narrow. "You need to become more broadened in your outlook on life. Surely God would not restrict the path to Him by just one way." Well, you've got to then set aside the claim of Jesus Christ. And if you say, "He was wrong when He said this," then you're saying He is not trustworthy, His Word is not trustworthy. You see, one thing about Jesus making these radical claims, man, He forces you to a decision. Either He is the way to the Father, the only way to the Father, or there are other ways to the Father. And if there are other ways to the Father, then Jesus was not telling the truth. If He was not telling the truth, then how can you trust Him on anything else that He said? So, call me narrow, call me what you wish. Jesus made this radical claim, and you either believe it or not.
If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. And Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me has seen the Father ( John 14:7-9 );
What a radical statement! Jesus is getting down to the end of the road, and He's just making one radical statement after another. "He that hath seen Me . . . " Do you want to see the Father? "Look, you've been around Me for a long time. If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. For," he goes on to say, "the works that I do I don't do of Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. That words that I speak are not My words, but the Father who sent Me. I'm here representing the Father, and if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."
Now, God would appreciate it if all of us could make that statement, but I don't think that any of us can. I am to be God's representative in the world. I am here to do the works of God. I am here to speak the Word of God. But unfortunately, many times I'm doing my own works and speaking my own words. So it's impossible that I could say, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." In some situations, yes; but not in all. But with Jesus it was consistent all the way through His entire life. He was a perfect representation of the Father; in all of His works, in all of His words, in all of His deeds, He represented the Father.
And so, do you want to know what God is like? You can look at Jesus Christ. For the purpose of His coming was to manifest the Father to man. "God, who in sundry times and in diverse manners spoke to our Fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His own dear Son" ( Hebrews 1:1-2 ). God revealed Himself in times past through the prophets, but now He has revealed Himself in the perfect revelation through His own Son. And if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. And so, what kind of a God has He revealed to us? A loving God, a compassionate God, a God who is concerned for the needs of man, a God who is weeping over the failure of man, a God who desires to redeem lost man. For He has said, "I have come to seek and to save that which was lost" ( Luke 19:10 ). What a beautiful God He has revealed to us through all of His life and ministry. And that is the God that we know and we worship and we serve, the God revealed to us by Jesus Christ. "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."
Now, in a sense, we are also God's representatives upon the earth. And even more so, we who have taken the position of teachers of God's Word. We stand here to represent God and to declare God's truth to you, but what an awesome responsibility that is. Because standing here as God's representative, God is concerned that I represent Him in truth.
Now, Moses got into big trouble because he failed to represent God rightly. When they came to the wilderness area and they were out of water the second time, and the people began to murmur and complain unto Moses, and Moses went in and said, "God, I'm sick of it. I'm tired of it. I can't stand it any more! I didn't give birth to all of these people, and I'm tired of carrying their load. Here they are murmuring again. God, I'm so sick of it." And God said, "Hey, cool down, Moses. Go and out and just speak to the rock and they'll get water." But Moses went out and he was angry. And he said to the people, "Must I smite this rock again and give you water?" And he took his rod and he smote the rock in anger. And God, in His love and grace, gave water, but He said, "Moses, come here, son." He said, "Moses, you really misrepresented Me before those people. You went out in anger. You smote the rock. I told you just speak to it. And now, they are thinking that I'm angry with them, I'm upset with them. I'm not angry or upset with them, Moses. But they think I am because you were representing Me to be that way. Moses, I don't like being misrepresented." I wonder what God thinks about all these people who represent Him as being broke. Bankrupt and almost out of business! "Poor God, bail Him out quickly, friends! Get your letter in, or God's going to be in the bread lines next week, and His work is going to fail." What a poor representation of God.
And so, God said, "Moses, because you failed to represent Me there at the waters of Meribah, you cannot go into the Promised Land." Hey, that's serious business. Your lifelong dream is shattered. Why? Because you failed to properly represent Me before the people at Meribah. God's representative. Oh, God, help me to always realize that awesome responsibility of being His representative. So, if ever I look like I'm ever angry with you, I'm not representing God. Because He's not angry with you. He loves you. If I look like I'm really upset and out of sorts, I'm not really representing God, because He's not upset and out of sorts. God has such great patience and compassion and love towards you. And to be His representative, we must also have great compassion and mercy towards one another.
"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." What marvelous words. "How do you say then, 'Show us the Father'?"
Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? the words that I speak unto you I don't speak them of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he is doing the works. Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake ( John 14:10-11 ).
All the way along, Jesus was saying, "The works that I do, they bear witness of Me. I claim to be the Son of God, and the works that I am doing bear witness that My claim is true. I am doing the works of God." What were the works of God? The healing of the sick, the lifting of those that were fallen. This is God's work in a needy world. "I'm doing the work of the Father, or else believe Me for the very work's sake, for the witness they are to you."
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also ( John 14:12 );
We are to do those same works that Jesus did, of showing compassion and love and tenderness and concern and care.
And greater than these shall he do, because I go to my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it ( John 14:12-14 ).
Now, those are two promises for prayer that are absolutely so broad that they are staggering. Jesus is saying, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." Broad, broad promises. But to whom are the promises made? He's not talking now to the multitudes. He's not standing in the temple court crying out, "Ask anything in My name, and I'll do it!" He's talking with those men who have forsaken all to follow Him. He's talking to His disciples. And what constitutes a disciple? Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" ( Mark 8:34 ). To whom is this broad promise of prayer made? To that man who first of all has denied himself. So, his prayer isn't going to be one for his own glory, for his own wealth, for his own enrichment. Jesus isn't saying here, "Just ask for a Cadillac, and I'll give you one. Ask for a Mercedes, ask anything, I'll give it to you!" "Oh, alright," you know. And I start making out my list of all of those things that I want for me and for my flesh. No, no, no; you've got it wrong. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself." And that's the first qualification to a man who has this broad promise.
Secondly, "let him take up his cross." By that, submitting himself totally to the will of the Father. "Not my will; Thy will be done." And that man who has totally submitted his life to the will of the Father, who has denied himself, who is following Jesus Christ, he has a glorious broad promise from the Lord, "Whatsoever you ask in My name, I will do it." Because whatever I am asking will be according to the will of God, because that's what I desire to see.
Now, there are some people who put down the prayer, "Not my will; Thy will be done." But I think that's almost blasphemous to put down that prayer, because Jesus was the one who offered that prayer. "Lord, Your will be done." They say, "Oh, that's a lack of faith." No, it isn't. It's greater trust than anything else. It's greater trust than demanding that I have my way done in this matter of which I know so little about. I'm so stupid in the overall program and purposes of God. I see things one way today, but I see them differently tomorrow. And it would be a shame if God would answer every little whim that I had and change of mind, "Oh, no, Lord, remember yesterday? No, please, no; that was wrong, Lord. This is really what I need." These broad promises of prayer are glorious, but they are to the disciples. They are restricted.
If you love me, keep my commandments ( John 14:15 ).
What is His commandment? That we love one another as He has loved us. In John, again, in writing his epistle, speaks about keeping His commandments. But then, he says, His commandment is that we should love one another, even as He gave His commandment. "If you love me," Jesus said, "keep My commandment." So, I show my love to Him by loving you. Yes, I love Him. And for that reason, I love you. Because that's what He has commanded. But, fortunately, it's very easy because you're so loving. Isn't that neat?
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter ( John 14:16 ),
"Parakletos," one to come alongside of you and help you.
that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth ( John 14:16-17 );
So here we have the Trinity. Jesus is saying, "I'm going to pray to the Father. He's going to give you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, that He may abide with you forever." And so, the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knows him; but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you ( John 14:17 ).
And so here we see a twofold relationship of the disciples to the Holy Spirit. Number one: He is dwelling para, with you...the same "parakletos," but this is just para, the preposition, "He's dwelling with you, alongside of you." "But He shall be in you." He's going to come on in.
Now, prior to your receiving Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was dwelling with you. It was the Holy Spirit that caused you to realize that you were a sinner and you needed help. It was the Holy Spirit that pointed out Jesus Christ as the answer to your sin problem. It was the Holy Spirit that drew you to Jesus Christ and caused you to come and say, "Oh, Lord, come into my life and take over." That was the work of the Holy Spirit with you, to bring you to that place of surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. And the moment you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit came in you and began to indwell you.
"Ye know him," Jesus said, "this Spirit, because He is with you, but He is going to be in you. He's going to come and indwell in your life." Paul said, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you? You're not your own; you've been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God with your body and your spirit, which are His" ( 1 Corinthians 6:20 ).
So, the Holy Spirit; the twofold relationship, dwelling with me to bring me to Christ, and then, now dwelling in me now that I have received Jesus Christ. But, as we move on to the book of Acts, we find one further relationship, where Jesus, in Acts 1:8 ,said, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes epi, upon you." And so, there is that empowering of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, which we will touch on when we get to the book of Acts as soon as we finish the book of John. So, here we find a twofold relationship. There is a threefold relationship, but Jesus isn't making mention of that here.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. But yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you see me: because I live, ye shall live also ( John 14:18-19 ).
Now, He's been talking about going away, "Where I'm going you cannot come." He's been talking about His death, but He's also talking about His eternal life. "I'm going to go away; the world is not going to see Me any more, but you see Me. And because I live, you shall live also."
So, my hope of eternal life is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If Christ is not raised from the dead, then my hope is in vain, my preaching is in vain, and I'm a very miserable person. But because Jesus is risen from dead, Peter said, "Thank God we have a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, which fades not away, which is reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith" ( 1 Peter 1:3-5 ). So that glorious living hope that we have, "Because He lives, we too shall live."
At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you ( John 14:20 ).
What a glorious relationship that we have now with God! Christ is dwelling in the Father; we are dwelling in Christ; Christ is dwelling in us; the Father is dwelling in us. How beautiful it is!
He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him ( John 14:21 ).
To whom? The one that is keeping His commandments.
Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, [he's already gone,] Lord, how is it that you will manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? And Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him ( John 14:22-23 ).
Man's relationship with God must be through obedience to the Word, the commandment of Jesus Christ, demonstrated and manifested in our love. And so, if we love Him, we'll keep His words and the Father and Christ will come and make their abode. They will come and dwell with us.
Paul, writing to the Ephesians, said, "that Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith." That word dwell is the same word here, abode. And it literally means, "just settle down and make himself at home in your heart." Has your heart become Christ's home? Does He feel comfortable there? Does He feel at home? Or does the art on the wall sort of bother Him? What's in your heart, you see? What kind of an imagine or pictures are there on the wall of your heart? As Jesus is relaxing in the lounge and He looks at the wall, what kind of a picture does He see, observing? When I first invited the Lord in my heart, I went in and I could see that He was very uncomfortable, and I said, "What's the matter, Lord?" And He said, "Oh, the pictures on the wall, I can't take them. You're going to have to get rid of that art!" I said, "But Lord, that's costly stuff!" He said, "Get rid of it. Can't take it." What is in your heart? Oh, that Christ might just be at home there. That my heart might be Christ's home, that He might feel perfectly at home within my heart.
"He that loves me keeps my words. The Father will love him, will come and will settle down and make our home with him."
And he that loves me not will not keep my sayings: but the words which you hear are really not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, [the parakletos,] which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name ( John 14:24-26 ),
Again the Trinity, "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,"
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you ( John 14:26 ).
And so here's the promise of that help that the Holy Spirit would give to us by teaching us all things, and by quickening our recall, bringing to our remembrance those things that He has said.
And then, the beautiful bequest of peace,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid ( John 14:27 ).
And so, to a frightened bunch of troubled disciples, Jesus is saying, "Look, My peace I give to you." That kind of peace that He had when the boat was sinking and He was sleeping. That peace that comes through perfect confidence that the Father is in control of everything that surrounds my life. God's in control. The peace. "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
You have heard how I said unto you, I am going away, and I am coming again. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I am going to the Father: the Father is greater than I ( John 14:28 ).
Interesting statement. Jesus said, "If you loved Me, you would rejoice. I'm going to die, I'm going to go be with the Father. Now, if you loved Me, you would rejoice." You know, isn't it interesting that when our loved ones die, we cry? If we really loved them, we would rejoice, because they have gone to be with the Lord. It's because we love ourselves that we cry. I would bring them back to this miserable old earth. I would bring them back to the decrepit old bodies. I would keep them from that glory of dwelling with God in His kingdom, in that new body, in that new glory with Him. Oh, I would keep them from that. I would bring them back to this old decrepit body and sit them there so that they can still give input to me. I've said it before, and I say it again; if the Lord should see fit to take me, and a group gathers around and says, "Oh, Lord, don't let him die, bring him back, Lord," when I get back, watch out! I'll bust ya!
Jesus said, "If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I'm going to the Father." Oh, how glorious to be with the Father! You see, it's only because we don't have a true concept of what heaven is like. We think, "Oh, earth is so wonderful. Life is so glorious. He's so young, what a shame that he had to die so young." Oh, what a blessing, he doesn't have to do through all the misery of this sick world. You just have the wrong concept of heaven. You don't realize how glorious it is. And that's why Paul prayed, "that the mind of your understanding might be enlightened by the Spirit that you may know what is the hope of your calling" ( Ephesians 1:18 ). If you only knew what God has in store for those that loved Him. If you only knew what a glorious inheritance there is for those saints in light, you wouldn't be praying, "Oh, God, bring them back." You'd be praying, "Lord, Your will be done."
In the final days my mother was with us, and the ministers used to come and pray, "Oh, God, heal her," and all. When they'd leave, she'd smile and she'd say, "I wasn't agreeing with them in prayer. I don't want to be healed; I want to go and be with the Lord. Why don't they just let me go and be with the Lord instead of praying, 'God heal me'? So, I just wasn't agreeing with that prayer." Boy, if we only knew the glory of God's kingdom.
And Jesus said,
I have told you before it is come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe ( John 14:29 ).
He said this back in the thirteenth chapter, the nineteenth verse; and this again is one of the purposes for prophecy in the Bible to make a believer out of you. Telling things in advance before they happen, so that when they happen, you will believe. Yes, He knew what He was talking about. And so Jesus is calling upon this prophecy as a pillar for faith. "I've told you before it comes to pass, so that when it does come to pass, you might believe. Remember that I told you and you'll believe that I am in control. I know what I'm talking about. It's all happening according to plan. Things are not out of hand."
Hereafter I'm not going to be able to talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes ( John 14:30 ),
And Jesus is soon going to go out into the garden to face the prince of this world. He's going to go out into the Garden of Gethsemane and fight against every force and power of hell. "The prince of this world comes,"
but he has nothing [Jesus said] in me ( John 14:30 ).
But there in the garden a tremendous battle was waged. And Jesus sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling to the ground, as there He was fighting this tremendous spiritual warfare as He was facing the cross.
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let's go ( John 14:31 ).
And so, with His disciples He now arises and He makes His way with them towards the Garden of Gethsemane. And chapter 15 is a discourse on the way to the Garden to Gethsemane, probably as they were passing by some vineyards. And He is now teaching them of that glorious relationship that they are to have with Him, as the vine and the branches.
So next week, chapters 15 and 16. And now, may the Lord plant His Word in your heart tonight. And may the Spirit bring it to your remembrance. And may He enable you this week to love as God would have you to love, even as Christ loved us. And may our lives be open and yielded to that work of God's Spirit, and may we each one be very concerned that we keep His commandment to love one another. And may God give us opportunities to show that love to each, by serving one another in love as His children. God bless you and help you as you put into practice His Word this week. In Jesus' name. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/john-14.html. 2014.
3. Jesus’ comforting revelation in view of His departure 14:1-24
Peter’s question was only the first of several that the disciples proceeded to ask Jesus. This shows their bewilderment and discouragement. They should have been comforting Him in view of what lay ahead of Him (John 12:27; John 13:21), but instead Jesus graciously proceeded to comfort them by clarifying what lay ahead of them.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-14.html. 2012.
The promise of the Spirit 14:15-21
At the end of His answer to Peter’s question (John 13:36), Jesus moved the conversation back to the general theme of preparation for His departure (John 14:4). He did the same thing after answering Philip’s question (John 14:8). Obedience to the will of God is not only a condition for getting answers to prayer. It is also an evidence of love for God. Love for God is the controlling idea in the following verses (John 14:15-21).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-14.html. 2012.
Jesus changed the figure from the disciples being without a Helper to their being without a parent. He would not leave them in this traditionally destitute and vulnerable position. He would come to them. Which coming did He have in mind here (cf. John 14:3)?
In view of the context that describes the Spirit’s coming (John 14:16-17; John 14:25-26), we might conclude that His coming in the Spirit is in view (cf. John 14:23). However the passage seems to present Jesus as offering the disciples His personal presence. He had described the coming of the Spirit, but what about His personal return to them (cf. John 14:3)? This question, which would have been in the disciples’ minds, is what Jesus appears to have been addressing here. He seems to have been referring to a post-resurrection appearance to the disciples (John 21:1-14). Support for this view is Jesus’ assurance that His resurrection would be a pledge of their resurrection. Physical resurrections seem to be in view.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-14.html. 2012.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more,.... The men of the world now see me with their bodily eyes, which is all the sight they have of me; and this they will be deprived of in a very little time; they will see me no more until the time that I shall come in the clouds of heaven to judge the world; and then every eye shall see me:
but ye see me; ye see me now, and shall see me after my resurrection, as they did; for then he appeared alive and conversed with them for forty days; and when he ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, they saw him by faith crowned with glory and honour; and will see him as he is when he comes a second time to take them to himself in glory.
Because I live, ye shall believe also: Christ lives as God, as man, and as Mediator: as God, he lives the same life his Father does, partaking of the same nature, and possessing the same perfections; so he lived from everlasting, and will live to everlasting; as man, he lived first a private, and then a public life, attended with meanness, reproaches, sorrows, and sufferings; a life which was filled up with acts of devotion and piety to God, and with doing good to the bodies and souls of men; he lived in all obedience to the law of God, and at last endured the penalty of that law, in the room and stead of his people; when his life was taken away for a while, and then taken up by him again; and now, as man, he lives, and lives for evermore. As Mediator, he has his life from the Father, which is dependent upon him, by whom he was set up in an office capacity from everlasting; and as such will live to everlasting, to see the travail of his soul, the fruit of his sufferings, to make intercession for his people, and to rule until all enemies are made his footstool. And his people "live also", which is to be understood, not of the preservation of his disciples from dying with him, when he died; for then it should rather have been said, "because I die, ye shall live": nor of the continuance of their natural life in this world; for the saints are not to live always here; nor do they desire it, nor is it proper they should; death is for their advantage; it is a blessing to them. Though these words may be understood of a corporeal life, which they shall live after the resurrection; for though they die, they shall live again, and never die more; they shall not only live and reign with Christ a thousand years, but to all eternity. They also live a spiritual life now; a life of grace and holiness from Christ; a life of faith on him, and sometimes of communion with him, and desire to live to his honour and glory; and shall hereafter live an eternal life of perfection and pleasure, with Father, Son, and Spirit, for evermore. Now between these two lives, the life of Christ, and his people, there is a close connection; the one is dependent on the other, and secured by the other: "because I live, ye shall live also"; the spiritual life of a believer is from Christ, and is maintained by him; the same which is in the head, is in the members; yea, it is not so much they that live, as Christ that lives in them, and therefore their life can never be lost; it is bound up in the bundle of life with Christ, and is hid safe and secure with him in God, and so out of the reach both of men and devils. The corporeal life of the saints after death, in the resurrection morn, springs from, and is secured by the life of Christ: his resurrection from the dead is the pattern and pledge of theirs; he undertook to raise them from the dead, and will do it; as sure as his dead body is raised and lives, so sure shall theirs; their bodies, as well as their souls, are united to Christ; and by virtue of this union, which death does not, and cannot dissolve, they shall be raised and live again. They are in Christ whilst they are dead; and because they are "the dead in Christ", they shall "rise first". Their eternal life is in the hands of Christ, and when he, who is the true God, and their eternal life, shall appear, they shall appear with him in glory.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 14:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-14.html. 1999.
|Christ's Consolatory Discourse.|
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
When friends are parting, it is a common request they make to each other, "Pray let us hear from you as often as you can:" this Christ engaged to his disciples, that out of sight they should not be out of mind.
I. He promises that he would continue his care of them (John 14:18; John 14:18): "I will not leave you orphans, or fatherless; for, though I leave you, yet I leave you this comfort, I will come to you." His departure from them was that which grieved them; but it was not so bad as they apprehended, for it was neither total nor final. 1. Not total. "Though I leave you without my bodily presence, yet I do not leave you without comfort." Though children, and left little, yet they had received the adoption of sons, and his Father would be their Father, with whom those who otherwise would be fatherless find mercy. Note, The case of true believers, though sometimes it may be sorrowful, is never comfortless, because they are never orphans: for God is their Father, who is an everlasting Father. 2. Not final: I will come to you, erchomai--I do come; that is, (1.) "I will come speedily to you at my resurrection, I will not be long away, but will be with you again in a little time." He had often said, The third day I will rise again. (2.) "I will be coming daily to you in my Spirit;" in the tokens of his love, and visits of his grace, he is still coming. (3.) "I will come certainly at the end of time; surely I will come quickly to introduce you into the joy of your Lord." Note, The consideration of Christ's coming to us saves us from being comfortless in his removals from us; for, if he depart for a season, it is that we may receive him for ever. Let this moderate our grief, The Lord is at hand.
II. He promises that they should continue their acquaintance with him and interest in him (John 14:19; John 14:20): Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more, that is, Now I am no more in the world. After his death, the world saw him no more, for, though he rose to life, he never showed himself to all the people,Acts 10:41. The malignant world thought they had seen enough of him, and cried, Away with him; crucify him; and so shall their doom be; they shall see him no more. Those only that see Christ with an eye of faith shall see him for ever. The world sees him no more till his second coming; but his disciples have communion with him in his absence.
1. You see me, and shall continue to see me, when the world sees me no more. They saw him with their bodily eyes after his resurrection, for he showed himself to them by many infallible proofs,Acts 1:8. And then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. They saw him with an eye of faith after his ascension, sitting at God's right hand, as Lord of all; saw that in him which the world saw not.
2. Because I live, you shall live also. That which grieved them was, that their Master was dying, and they counted upon nothing else but to die with him. No, saith Christ, (1.) I live; this the great God glories in, I live, saith the Lord, and Christ saith the same; not only, I shall live, as he saith of them, but, I do live; for he has life in himself, and lives for evermore. We are not comfortless, while we know that our Redeemer lives. (2.) Therefore you shall live also. Note, The life of Christians is bound up in the life of Christ; as sure and as long as he lives, those that by faith are united to him shall live also; they shall live spiritually, a divine life in communion with God. This life is hid with Christ; if the head and root live, the members and branches live also. They shall live eternally; their bodies shall rise in the virtue of Christ's resurrection; it will be well with them in the world to come. It cannot but be well with all that are his, Isaiah 26:19.
3. You shall have the assurance of this (John 14:20; John 14:20): At that day, when I am glorified, when the Spirit is poured out, you shall know more clearly and certainly than you do now that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (1.) These glorious mysteries will be fully known in heaven; At that day, when I shall receive you to myself, you shall know perfectly that which now you see through a glass darkly. Now it appears not what we shall be, but then it will appear what we were. (2.) They were more fully known after the pouring out of the Spirit upon the apostles; at that day divine light should shine, and their eyes should see more clearly, their knowledge should greatly advance and increase then, would become more extensive and more distinct, and like the blind man's at the second touch of Christ's hand, who at first only saw men as trees walking. (3.) They are known by all that receive the Spirit of truth, to their abundant satisfaction, for in the knowledge of this is founded their fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. They know, [1.] That Christ is in the Father, is one with the Father, by their experience of what he has wrought for them and in them; they find what an admirable consent and harmony there is between Christianity and natural religion, that that is grafted into this, and so they know that Christ is in the Father. [2.] That Christ is in them; experienced Christians know by the Spirit that Christ abides in them, 1 John 3:24. [3.] That they are in Christ, for the relation is mutual, and equally near on both sides, Christ in them and they in Christ, which speaks an intimate and inseparable union; in the virtue of which it is that because he lives they shall live also. Note, First, Union with Christ is the life of believers; and their relation to him, and to God through him, is their felicity. Secondly, The knowledge of this union is their unspeakable joy and satisfaction; they were now in Christ, and he in them, but he speaks of it as a further act of grace that they should know it, and have the comfort of it. An interest in Christ and the knowledge of it are sometimes separated.
III. He promises that he would love them, and manifest himself to them, John 14:21-24; John 14:21-24. Here observe,
1. Who they are whom Christ will look upon, and accept, as lovers of him; those that have his commandments, and keep them. By this Christ shows that the kind things he here said to his disciples were intended not for those only that were now his followers, but for all that should believe in him through their word. Here is, (1.) The duty of those who claim the dignity of being disciples. Having Christ's commandments, we must keep them; as Christians in name and profession we have Christ's commandments, we have them sounding in our ears, written before our eyes, we have the knowledge of them; but this is not enough; would we approve ourselves Christians indeed, we must keep them. Having them in our heads, we must keep them in our hearts and lives. (2.) The dignity of those that do the duty of disciples. They are looked upon by Christ to be such as love him. Not those that have the greatest wit and know how to talk for him, but those that keep his commandments. Note, The surest evidence of our love to Christ is obedience to the laws of Christ. Such is the love of a subject to his sovereign, a dutiful, respectful, obediential love, a conformity to his will, and satisfaction in his wisdom.
2. What returns he will make to them for their love; rich returns; there is no love lost upon Christ. (1.) They shall have the Father's love: He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. We could not love God if he did not first, out of his good-will to us, give us his grace to love him; but there is a love of complacency promised to those that do love God, Proverbs 8:17. He loves them, and lets them know that he loves them, smiles upon them, and embraces them. God so loves the Son as to love all those that love him. (2.) They shall have Christ's love: And I will love him, as God-man, as Mediator. God will love him as a Father, and I will love him as a brother, an elder brother. The Creator will love him, and be the felicity of his being; the Redeemer will love him, and be the protector of his well-being. In the nature of God, nothing shines more brightly than this, that God is love. And in the undertaking of Christ nothing appears more glorious than this, that he loved us. Now both these loves are the crown and comfort, the grace and glory, which shall be to all those that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Christ was now leaving his disciples, but promises to continue his love to them; for he not only retains a kindness for believers, though absent, but is doing them kindness while absent, for he bears them on his heart, and ever lives interceding for them. (3.) They shall have the comfort of that love: I will manifest myself to him. Some understand it of Christ's showing himself alive to his disciples after his resurrection; but, being promised to all that love him and keep his commandments, it must be construed so as to extend to them. There is a spiritual manifestation of Christ and his love made to all believers. When he enlightens their minds to know his love, and the dimensions of it (Ephesians 3:18; Ephesians 3:19), enlivens their graces, and draws them into exercise, and thus enlarges their comforts in himself--when he clears up the evidences of their interest in him, and gives them tokens of his love, experience of his tenderness, and earnests of his kingdom and glory,--then he manifests himself to them; and Christ is manifested to none but those to whom he is pleased to manifest himself.
3. What occurred upon Christ's making this promise.
(1.) One of the disciples expresses his wonder and surprise at it, John 14:22; John 14:22. Observe, [1.] Who it was that said this--Judas, not Iscariot. Judah, or Judas, was a famous name; the most famous tribe in Israel was that of Judah; two of Christ's disciples were of that name: one of them was the traitor, the other was the brother of James (Luke 6:16), one of those that were akin to Christ, Matthew 13:55. He is called Lebbeus and Thaddeus, was the penman of the last of the epistles, which in our translation, for distinction's sake, we call the epistle of Jude. This was he that spoke here. Observe, First, There was a very good man, and a very bad man, called by the same name; for names commend us not to God, nor do they make men worse. Judas the apostle was never the worse, nor Judas the apostate ever the better, for being namesakes. But, Secondly, The evangelist carefully distinguishes between them; when he speaks of this pious Judas, he adds, not Iscariot. Take heed of mistaking; let us not confound the precious and the vile. [2.] What he said--Lord how is it? which intimates either, First, the weakness of his understanding. So some take it. He expected the temporal kingdom of the Messiah, that it should appear in external pomp and power, such as all the world would wonder after. "How, then," thinks he, "should it be confined to us only?" ti gegonen--"what is the matter now, that thou wilt not show thyself openly as is expected, that the Gentiles may come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising?" Note, We create difficulties to ourselves by mistaking the nature of Christ's kingdom, as if it were of this world. Or, Secondly, as expressing the strength of his affections, and the humble and thankful sense he had of Christ's distinguishing favours to them: Lord, how is it? He is amazed at the condescensions of divine grace, as David, 2 Samuel 7:18. What is there in us to deserve so great a favour? Note, 1. Christ's manifesting himself to his disciples is done in a distinguishing way-to them, and not to the world that sits in darkness; to the base, and not to the mighty and noble; to babes, and not to the wise and prudent. Distinguishing favours are very obliging; considering who are passed by, and who are pitched upon. 2. It is justly marvellous in our eyes; for it is unaccountable, and must be resolved into free and sovereign grace. Even so, Father, because it seemed good unto thee.
(2.) Christ, in answer hereto, explains and confirms what he had said, John 14:23; John 14:24. He overlooks what infirmity there was in what Judas spoke, and goes on with his comforts.
[1.] He further explains the condition of the promise, which was loving him, and keeping his commandments. And, as to this, he shows what an inseparable connection there is between love and obedience; love is the root, obedience is the fruit. First, Where a sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience: "If a man love me indeed, that love will be such a commanding constraining principle in him, that, no question, he will keep my words." Where there is true love to Christ there is a value for his favour, a veneration for his authority, and an entire surrender of the whole man to his direction and government. Where love is, duty follows of course, is easy and natural, and flows from a principle of gratitude. Secondly, On the other hand, where there is no true love to Christ there will be no care to obey him: He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings,John 14:24; John 14:24. This comes in here as a discovery of those that do not love Christ; whatever they pretend, certainly those do not love him that believe not his truths, and obey not his laws, to whom Christ's sayings are but as idle tales, which he heeds not, or hard sayings, which he likes not. It is also a reason why Christ will not manifest himself to the world that doth not love him, because they put this affront upon him, not to keep his sayings; why should Christ be familiar with those that will be strange to him?
[2.] He further explains the promise (John 14:23; John 14:23): If a man thus love me, I will manifest myself to him. First, My Father will love him; this he had said before (John 14:21; John 14:21), and here repeats it for the confirming of our faith; because it is hard to imagine that the great god should make those the objects of his love that had made themselves vessels of his wrath. Jude wondered that Christ should manifest himself to them; but this answers it, "If my Father love you, why should not I be free with you?" Secondly, We will come unto him, and make our abode with him. This explains the meaning of Christ's manifesting himself to him, and magnifies the favour. 1. Not only,I will, but, We will, I and the Father, who, in this, are one. See John 14:9; John 14:9. The light and love of God are communicated to man in the light and love of the Redeemer, so that wherever Christ is formed the image of God is stamped. 2. Not only, "I will show myself to him at a distance," but, "We will come to him, to be near him, to be with him," such are the powerful influences of divine graces and comforts upon the souls of those that love Christ in sincerity. 3. Not only, "I will give him a transient view of me, or make him a short and running visit," but, We will take up our abode with him which denotes complacency in him and constancy to him. God will not only love obedient believers, but he will take a pleasure in loving them, will rest in love to them, Zephaniah 3:17. He will be with them as at his home.
[3.] He gives a good reason both to bind us to observe the condition and encourage us to depend upon the promise. The word which you hear is not mine, but his that sent me,John 14:24; John 14:24. To this purport he had often spoken (John 7:16; John 8:28; John 12:44), and here it comes in very pertinently. First, the stress of duty is laid upon the precept of Christ as our rule, and justly, for that word of Christ which we are to keep is the Father's word, and his will the Father's will. Secondly, The stress of our comfort is laid upon the promise of Christ. But forasmuch as, in dependence upon that promise, we must deny ourselves, and take up our cross, and quit all, it concerns us to enquire whether the security be sufficient for us to venture our all upon; and this satisfies us that it is, that the promise is not Christ's bare word, but the Father's which sent him, which therefore we may rely upon.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on John 14:19". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/john-14.html. 1706.
Life In Christ; Sharing Christ's Life
Life In Christ
January 1, 1871
C. H. SPURGEON
"Because I live, ye shall live also."-John 14:19
This world saw our Lord Jesus for a very little time, but now it seeth him no
more. It only saw him with the outward eye and after a carnal sort, so that
when the clouds received him and concealed him from bodily vision, this
spiritually blind world lost sight of him altogether. Here and there,
however, among the crowds of the sightless there were a few chosen men who
had received spiritual sight; Christ had been light to them, he had opened
their blind eyes, and they had seen him as the world had not seen him. In a
high and full sense they could say, "We have seen the Lord," for they had in
some degree perceived his Godhead, discerned his mission, and learned his
spiritual presence of its object, those persons who had seen Jesus
spiritually, saw him after he had gone out of the world unto the Father. We
who have the same sight still see him. Read carefully the words of the verse
before us: "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see
me." It is a distinguishing mark of a true follower of Jesus that he sees his
Lord and Master when he is not to be seen by the bodily eye; he sees him
intelligently and spiritually; he knows his Lord, discerns his character,
apprehends him by faith, gazes upon him with admiration as our first sight of
Christ brought us into spiritual life, for we looked unto him and were saved,
so it is by the continuance of this spiritual sight of Christ that our
spiritual life is consciously maintained. We lived by looking, we live still
by looking. Faith is still the medium by which life comes to us from the
life-giving Lord. It is not only upon the first day of the Christian's life
that he must needs look to Jesus only, but every day of that life, even until
the last, his motto must be, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of
our faith." The world sees him no more, for it never saw him aright; but ye
have seen him and lived, and now, through continuing still to see him, you
remain in life. Let us ever remember the intimate connection between faith
and spiritual life. Faith is the life-look. we must never think that we live
by works, by feelings, or by ceremonies. "The just shall live by faith." We
dare not preach to the ungodly sinner a way of obtaining life by the works of
the law, neither dare we hold up to the most advanced believer a way of
sustaining life by legal means. We should in such a case expect to hear the
apostle's expostulation, "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are
ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Our glorifying is that our life is not
dependent on ourselves, but is safe in our Lord, as saith the apostle, "I am
crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in
me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son
of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Because he lives, we live,
and shall live for ever. God grant that our eye may ever be clear towards
Jesus, our life. May we have no confidence but in our Redeemer; may our eyes
be fixed upon him, that no other object may in any measure or degree shut out
our view of him as our all in all.
The text contains in it very much of weighty truth, far more than we shall be
able to bring forth from it this morning. First, we see in it a life;
secondly, that life preserved; and thirdly, the reason for the preservation
of that life: "Because I live, ye shall live also."
I. First, we have LIFE here spoken of.
We must not confound this with existence. It were indeed to reduce a very
rich text to a poverty-stricken sentence if we read it, "Because I exist, ye
shall exist also." We could not say of such a use of words that the water of
ordinary speech was turned to wine, but rather that the wine was turned to
water. Before the disciples believed in Jesus they existed, and altogether
apart from him as their spiritual life their existence would have been
continued; it was something far other and higher than immortal existence
which our Lord was here dealing with.
Life, what is it? We know practically, but we cannot tell in words. We know
it, however, to be a mystery of different degrees. As all flesh is not the
same flesh, so all life is not the same life. There is the life of the
vegetable, the cedar of Lebanon, the hyssop on the wall. There is a
considerable advance when we come to animal life-the eagle or the ox. Animal
life moves in quite a different world from that in which the plant vegetates-
sensation, appetite, instinct, are things to which plants are dead, though
they may possess some imitation of them, for one life mimics another. Animal
life rises far above the experience and apprehension of the flower of the
field. Then there is mental life, which we all of us possess, which
introduces us into quite another realm from that which is inhabited by the
mere beast. To judge, to foresee, to imagine, to invent, to perform moral
acts, are not these new functions which the ox hath not? Now, let it be clear
to you, that far above mental life there is another form of life of which the
mere carnal man can form no more idea than the plant of the animal, or the
animal of the poet. The carnal mind knoweth not spiritual things, because it
has no spiritual capacities. As the beast cannot comprehend the pursuits of
the philosopher, so the man who is but a natural man cannot comprehend the
experience of the spiritually minded. Thus saith the Scripture: "The natural
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no
man." There is in believers a life which is not to be found in other men-
nobler, diviner for education cannot raise the natural man into it, neither
can refinement reach it; for at its best, "that which is born of the flesh is
flesh," and to all must the humbling truth be spoken, "Ye must be born
It is to be remarked concerning our life in Christ, that it is the removal of
the penalty which fell upon our race for Adam's sin. "In the day that thou
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was the Lord's threatening to our
first parent, who was the representative of the race. He did eat of the
fruit, and since God is true, and his word never fails, we may be sure of
this, that in that selfsame day Adam died. It is true that he did not cease
to exist, but that is quite another thing from dying. The threatening was not
that he should ultimately die, but "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt
surely die;" and it is beyond all doubt that the Lord kept his word to the
letter. If the first threatening was not carried out we might take liberty to
trifle with all others. Rest assured, then, that the threat was on the spot
fulfilled. The spiritual life departed from Adam; he was no longer at one
with God, no more able to live and breathe in the same sphere as the Lord. He
fell from his first estate; he had need if he should enter into spiritual
life to be born again, even as you and I must be. As he hides himself from
his Maker, and uttersvain excuses before his God, you see that he is dead to
the life of God, dead in trespasses and sins. We also, being heirs of wrath
even as others, are through the fall dead, dead in trespasses and sins; and
if ever we are to possess spiritual life, it must be said of us, "And you
hath he quickened." We must be as "those that are alive from the dead." The
world is the valley of dry bones, and grace raises the chosen into newness of
life. The fall brought universal death, in the deep spiritual sense of that
word, over all mankind; and Jesus delivers us from the consequences of the
fall by implanting in us a spiritual life. By no other means can this death
be removed: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on
him." The work of regeneration, in which the new life is implanted,
effectually restores the ruin of the fall, for we are born again, "not of
corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and
abideth for ever." But you remind me that still sin remains in us after we
have received the divine life. I know it does, and it is called "the body of
this death;" and this it is which rages within, between the power of the
death in the first Adam, and the power of the life in the second Adam; but
the heavenly life will ultimately overcome the deadly energy of sin. Even to-
day our inner life groans after deliverance, but with its groan of "O
wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" it
mingles the thankful song, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
This life is of a purely spiritual kind. We find analogies and resemblances
of it in the common mental life, but they are only analogies, the spiritual
life is far and high above the carnal life, and altogether out of sight of
the fleshly mind. Scarce are there words in which it can be described. To
know this life you must have it; it must pulsate within your own bosom, for
no explanations of others can tell you what this life is; it is one of the
secrets of the Lord. It would not be possible for us with the greatest skill
to communicate to a horse any conception of what imagination is; neither
could we by the most diligent use of words, communicate to carnal minds what
it is to be joined unto the Lord so as to be one spirit. One thing we know of
it, namely, that the spiritual life is intimately connected with the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul. When he comes we are "born again
from above," "born of the Spirit." While he works in us mightily our life is
active and powerful if he withdraws his active operations our new life
becomes faint and sickly. Christ is our life, but he works in us through his
Holy Spirit, who dwelleth in us evermore.
Further, we know that this life very much consists in union with God. "For to
be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the
law of God, neither again can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot
please God." Death as to the body consists in the body being separated from
the soul; the death of the soul lies mainly in the soul's being separated
form its God. For the soul to be in union with God is the soul's highest
life; in his presence it unfolds itself like an opening flower; away from him
it pines, and loses all its beauty and excellence, till it is as a thing
destroyed. Let the soul obey God, let it be holy, pure, gracious, then is it
happy, an truly living; but a soul saundered from God is a soul blasted,
killed, destroyed; it exists in a dreadful death; all its true peace,
dignity, and glory, are gone; it is a hideous ruin, the mere corpse of
manhood. The new life brings us near to God, makes us think of him, makes us
love him, and ultimately makes us like him. My brethren, it is in proportion
as you get near to God that you enter into the full enjoyment of life-that
life which Jesus Christ gives you, and which Jesus Christ preserves in you.
"In his favour is life." Psalms 30:5 . "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of
life." Proverbs 14:27 . To turn to God is "repentance unto life." To forget God
is for a man to be "dead whilst he liveth." To believe the witness of God is
to possess the faith which overcometh the world. "He that believeth on the
Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made
him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And
this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is
in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of
God hath not life."
This life within the soul bears fruit on earth in righteousness and true
holiness. It blooms with sweetest of flowers of fellowship with God below,
and it is made perfect in the presence of God in heaven. The life of
glorified spirits above is but the life of justified men here below; it is
the same life, only it is delivered from encumbrances, and has come to the
fullness of its strength. The life of heaven is in every believer even now.
The moment a sinner believes in Jesus he receives from God that selfsame life
which shall look down serenely upon the conflagration of earth, and the
passing away of those lower skies. Blessed is that man who hath everlasting
life, who is made a partaker of the divine nature, who is born again from
above, who is born of God by a seed which remaineth in him, for he is the man
upon whom the second death hath no power, who shall enjoy life eternal when
the wicked go away into everlasting punishment.
Thus much concerning this life. We have now to ask each of you whether you
have received it. Have you been born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God? Was there a time with you when you
passed from death unto life, or are you abiding in death? Have you the
witness in yourself that you have been operated upon by a divinely spiritual
power? Is there something in you which was not once there, not a faculty
developed by education, but a life implanted by God himself? Do you feel an
inward craving unknown to carnal minds, a longing desire which this world
could neither excite nor gratify? Is there a strange sighing for a land as
yet unseen, of which it is a native, and for which it yearns? Do you walk
among the sons of men as a being of another race, not of the world, even as
Christ was not of the world? Can you say, with the favoured apostle, "We know
that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may
know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus
Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." Oh! then, thank God for
this, and thank God yet more that you have an infallible guarantee for this,
and thank God yet more that you have an infallible guarantee that your life
shall be continued and perfected, for so saith the text, "Because I live, ye
shall live also."
II. Our second head treats of LIFE PRESERVED. "Because I life, ye shall live
also." There stands the promise, " Ye shall live also. This heavenly life of
yours which ye have received shall be preserved to you.
Concerning this sentence, let me draw your attention, first of all, to its
fullness: "Ye shall live." I think I see in that much more than lies upon the
surface. Whatever is meant by living shall be ours. All the degree of life
which is secured in the covenant of grace, believers shall have. Moreover,
all your new nature shall live, shall thoroughly live, shall eternally live.
By this word it is secured that the eternal life implanted at regeneration
shall never die out. As our Lord said so shall it be. "Whosoever drinketh of
the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I
shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting
life." We may not view this precious word as referring to all the essential
spiritual graces which make up the new man? Not even, in part, shall the new
man die. "Ye shall live," applies to all the parts of our new-born nature. If
there be any believer here who has not lived to the full extent he might have
done, let him lay hold upon this promise; and seeing that it secures the
preservation of all his new nature, let him have courage to seek a higher
degree of health. "I am come," saith Christ, "that ye might have life, and
have it more abundantly." There is no reason, Christian, why your love to
Jesus should not become flaming, ardent, conquering; for it lives, and ever
must live. As to your faith, it also has immortal vitality in it, and even
though it be just now weak, and staggering, lift up the hands that hang down
and confirm the feeble knees, for your faith shall not die out. Here in your
Lord's promise the abiding nature of the vital faculties of your spirit is
guaranteed. There is no stint in the fullness of Christian life. Beneath the
skies I would labour to attain it, but herein is my joy , that it shall be
most surely mine, for this word is faithful and true. As surely as I have
this day eternal life by reason of faith in Christ Jesus, so surely shall I
reach its fullness when Christ who is my life shall appear. Even here on
earth I have the permit to seek for the fullest development of this life; nay
I have a precept in this promise bidding me to seek after it. "Ye shall
live," means that the new life shall not be destroyed-no, not as to any of
its essentials. All the members of the spiritual man shall be safe; we may
say of it as of the Lord himself, "Not a bone of him shall be broken." The
shield of Christ's own life covers all the faculties of our spiritual nature.
We shall not enter into life halt or maimed; but he will present us faultless
before the presence of his glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such
thing, much less nay dead limbs or decayed faculties. It is a grand promise,
and covers the spiritual nature as with the wings of God, so that we may
apply to it the words of David, in the ninety-first Psalm: "Surely he shall
deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the
terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence
that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A
thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it
shall not come nigh thee."
The text secures that the death-penalty of the law shall never fall upon
believers. The quickened man shall never fall back into the old death from
which he has escaped; He shall not be numbered with the dead, and condemned
either in this life or the next. Never shall the spiritually living become
dead again in sin. As Jesus being raised form the dead dieth no more, death
hath no more dominion over him; even so sin shall not have dominion over us
again. Once, through the offense of one, death reigned in us; but now having
received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, we shall reign
in life by one, Christ Jesus. Romans 5:17 . "For if, when we were enemies, we
were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life." Romans 5:10 .
We are united to Christ this day by bands of spiritual life which neither
things present nor things to come can separate. Our union to Jesus is
eternal. It may be assailed; but it shall never be destroyed. The old body of
this death may for awhile prevail, and like Herod it may seek the young
child's life, but it cannot die. Who shall condemn to death that which is not
under the law? Who shall slay that which abides under the shadow of the
Almighty? Even as sin reigned unto death, even so must grace reign unto
eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Remark carefully the continuance insisted upon in this verse. Continuance is
indeed the main element of this promise-"Ye shall live." It means certainly
that during our abode in this body we shall live. We shall not be again
reduced to our death-state during our sojourn here. Ten thousand attempts
will be made to bring us under dominion to the law of sin and death, but this
one word baffles all. Your soul may be so assailed that it shall seem as if
you could not keep your hold on Christ, but Christ shall keep his hold on
you. The incorruptible seed may be crushed, bruised, buried, but the life
within it shall not extinguished, it shall yet arise. "Ye shall live." When
ye see all around you ten thousand elements of death, think ye believers, how
grand is this word, "Ye shall live." No falling from grace for you, no being
cast out of the covenant, no being driven from the Father's house and left to
perish. "Ye shall live."
Nor is this all, for when the natural death comes, which indeed to us is no
longer death, our inner life shall suffer no hurt whatsoever; it will not
even be suspended for a moment. It is not a thing which can be touched by
death. The shafts of the last enemy can have no more effect upon the
spiritual, than a javelin upon a cloud. Even in the very crisis, when the
soul is separated from the body, no damage shall be done to the spiritual
nature. And in the awful future, when the judgment comes, when the thrones
are set, and the multitudes are gathered, and to the right the righteous, and
to the left the wicked, let what may of terror and of horror come frothy, the
begotten of God shall live. Onward through eternity, whatever may be the
changes which yet are to be disclosed, nothing shall affect our God-given
life. Like the life of God himself-eternal, and ever-blessed, it shall
continue. Should all things else be swept away, the righteous must live on; I
mean not merely that they shall exist, but they shall live in all the
fullness of that far-reaching, much-comprehending word "life." Bearing the
nature of God as far as the creature can participate in it, the begotten from
the dead shall prove the sureness of the promise, "Ye shall live."
Let me further call to your notice that the fact here stated is univeral, in
application to all spiritual life. The promise is, "Ye shall live," that is
to say, every child of God shall live. Every one who sees Christ, as the
world sees him not, is living and shall live. I can understand such a
promised given to eminent saints who live near to God, but my soul would
prostrate herself before the throne in reverent loving wonder when she hears
this word spoken to the very least and meanest of the saints, "Ye shall
live." Thou art not exempted, thou whose faith is but as a smoking flax, thou
shalt live. The Lord bestows security upon the least of his people as well as
upon the greatest. It is plain that the reason given for the preservation of
the new life is as applicable to one saint as another. If it had been said,
"Because your faith is strong, ye shall live" then weak faith would have
perished; but when it is written, "Because I live," the argument is as
powerful in the one case as in the other. Take it home to thyself, my
brother, however heavy thy heart, or dim thy bone, Jesus lives, and you shall
Remark yet again that this text is exceeding broad. Mark its breadth and see
how it meets everything to the contrary, and overturns all the hopes of the
adversary. "Ye shall live." Then the inbred corruption which rides within us
shall not stifle the new creature. Chained as the spirit seem to be to the
loathsome and corrupt body of this death, it shall live in spite of its
hideous companionship. Though besetting sins may be as arrows, and fleshly
lusts like drawn swords, yet grace shall not be slain. Neither the fever of
hasty passion, nor the palsy of timorousness, nor the leprosy of
covetousness, nor any other disease of sin, shall so break forth in the old
nature as to destroy the new. Nor shall outward circumstances overthrow the
inner life. "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in
all thy ways." They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy
foot against a stone. If providence should cast you into a godless family,
where you dwell as in a sepulcher, and the air you breathe is laden with the
miasma of death, yet shall you live. Evil example shall not poison your
spirit, you shall drink this deadly thing and it shall not hurt you, you
shall be kept from giving way to evil. You shall not be decoyed by fair
temptation, you shall not be cowed by fierce persecution: mightier is he that
is in you than he which is in the world. Satan will attack you, and his
weapons are deadly, but you shall foil him at all points. To you is it given
to tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon shall you
trample under foot. If God should allow you for awhile to be sorely tried, as
he did his servant Job, and if the devil should have all the world to help
him in his attempt to destroy your spiritual life, yet even on the dunghill
of poverty, and in the wretchedness of sickness, your spirit shall still
maintain its holy life, and you shall prove it so by blessing and magnifying
God, notwithstanding all. We little dream what may be reserved for us; we may
have to climb steeps of prosperity, slippery and dangerous, but we shall
live; we may be called to sink into the dark waters of adversity, all God's
waves and billows may go over us, but we shall live. WE may traverse
persilent swamps of error, or burning dewerts of unbelief, but the divine
life shall live amid the domains of death. Let the future be bright or black,
we need not wish to turn the page; that which we prize best, namely, our
spiritual life, is hid with Christ in God, beyond the reach of harm, and we
shall live. If old age shall be our portion, and our crown shall be delayed
till we have fought a long and weary battle, yet nevertheless we shall live;
or if sudden death should cut short the time of our trial here, yet we shall
have lived in the fullness of that word.
III. Our third point is, THE REASON FOR THE SECURITY OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE.
The reason assigned is this, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Christ has
life essentially as God. Christ, as man, having fulfilled his life-work,
having offered full atonement for human sin, dieth no more, death hath no
more dominion over him. His life is communicated to us, and becomes the
guarantee to us that we shall live also.
Observe, first, that this is the sole reason of the believer's spiritual
life. "Because I live, ye shall live also." The means by which the soul is
pardoned is found in the precious blood of Jesus; the cause of its obtaining
spiritual life at first is found in Christ's finished work; and the only
reason why the Christian continues still to live after he is quickened, lies
in Jesus Christ, who liveth and was dead and is alive for evermore. When I
first come to Christ, I know I must find all in him, for I feel I have
nothing of my own; but all my life long I am to acknowledge the same absolute
dependence; I am still to look for everything to him. " I am the vine, ye are
the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit: for without me, yet can do nothing." the temptation is after we
have looked to Jesus and found life there, to fancy that in future time we
are to sustain ourselves in spiritual existence by some means within
ourselves, or by supplies extra and apart from Christ. But it must not be so;
all for the future as well as all for the past is wrapped up in the person
and the work of the Lord Jesus. Because he died, ye are pardoned; because he
lives, ye live; all your life still lies in him who is the way, the truth,
and the life. Does not the Christian's life depend upon his prayerfulness?
Could he be a Christian if he ceased to pray? We reply, the Christian's
spiritual health depends upon his prayerfulness, but that prayerfulness
depends on something else. The reason why the hands of the clock move may be
found first in a certain wheel which operates upon them, but if you go to the
primary cause of all, you reach the main-spring, or the weight, which is the
source of all the motion. Many secondary causes tend to sustain spiritual
life; but the primary cause, the first and foremost, is because Jesus Christ
lives. "All my fresh springs are in thee." While Jesus lives, he sends the
Spirit; the Spirit being sent, we pray; our payer becomes the evidence of our
spiritual life. "But are not good works essential to the maintenance of the
spiritual life?" Certainly, if there be no good works, we have no evidence of
spiritual life. In its season the tree must bring forth its fruit and its
leaves; if there be no outward sign we suspect that there is no motion of the
sap within. Still, to the tree the fruit is not the cause of life, but the
result of it, and to the life of the Christian, good works bear the same
relationship, they are its outgrowth, not its root. If then my spiritual life
is low, what am I to look to? I am not to look to my prayers, I am not to
find comfort in my works. I may from these discover how declining I am; but
if I want my life to be renovated, I must fly to the fountain of my life,
even Jesus, for there, and there only, shall I find restoration. Do let us
recollect this, that we are not saved because of anything that we are, or
anything that we do; and that we do not remain saved because of anything we
are or can be. A man is saved because Christ died for him he continues saved
because Christ lives for him. The sole reason why the spiritual life abides
is because Jesus lives. This is to get upon a rock, above the fogs which
cover all things down below. If my life rests on something within me, then
to-day I live, and to-morrow I die; but if my spiritual life rests in Christ,
then in my darkest frames-ay, and when sin has most raged against my spirit-
still I live in the ever-living One, whose life never changes.
Secondly, it is a sufficient cause for my life. "Because I live, ye shall
live also." It must be enough to make believers live that Christ lives; for
first, Christ's life is a proof that his work has accomplished the absolution
of his people from their sins. He would have been in the tomb to this hour
had he not made a complete satisfaction for their sins, but his rising again
from the dead is the testimony of God that he has accepted the atonement of
his dear Son; his resurrection is our full acquittal. Then if the living
Christ be our acquittal, how can God condemn us to die for sins which he has
by the fact of Christ's resurrection declared to be for ever blotted out? If
Jesus lives, how can we die? Shall there be two deaths for one sin, the death
of Christ and the death of those for whom he died? God forbid that there
should be any such injustice with the Most High. The very fact that Jesus
lives, proves that our sin has been atoned for, that we are absolved, and
therefore cannot die.
Jesus is the representative of those for whom he is the federal head. Shall
the representative live, and yet those represented die? How shall the living
represent the dead? But in his life I see my own life, for as Levi was in the
loins of Abraham, so is every saint in the loins of Christ, and the life of
Christ is representatively the life of all his people.
Moreover, he is the surety for his people, under bonds and pledges to bring
his redeemed safely home. His own declaration is, "I give unto my sheep
eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out
of my hands." Will he break his covenant bonds? Shall his suretyship be cast
to the winds? It cannot be. The fact that if any of his people for whom he
died, to whom he has given spiritual life, should after all die, Christ would
be disappointed of his intent, which supposition involves the grossest
blasphemy. What so many shall he have for his reward? The purchase-price
shall not be given in vain; a redemption so marvelous as that which he has
presented upon the tree, shall never in any degree become a failure. His
life, which proves his labour to be over, guarantees to people. Know ye not,
my brethren, that if one of those to whom Christ has given spiritual life
should after all fall from it and die, it would argue either that he had a
want of power to keep them, or a want of will to do so. Shall we conceive him
to be devoid of power? Then how he is mighty God? Is he devoid of will to
keep his people- is that conceivable? Cast out the traitorous thought! He
must be as willing as he is able, and as able as he is willing. While he was
in this world, he kept his people; having loved his own, he loved them to the
end; he is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," he will not suffer one
of these little ones to perish.
Recollect, and this perhaps will cheer you most of all, that all who have
spiritual life are one with Christ Jesus. Jesus is the head of the mystical
body, they are the members. Suppose one of the members of the mystical body
of Christ should die, then from that moment, with reverence be it spoken,
Christ is not a complete Christ. What were the head without the body? A most
ghastly sight. What were the head with only a part of the members? Certainly
not perfect. There must be every member present to make a complete body.
Therefore we gather that you, brother, though you think yourself the meanest
part of the body, are nevertheless, essential to its perfection; and you,
sister, though you fancy yourself to be one of the uncomely portions of the
body, yet you must be there, or else the body cannot be perfect, and Christ
cannot be a complete Christ. From him, the head, the life streams into all
the members and while that head lives as a perfect head of a perfect body,
all members must live also. As we have often said, as long as a man's head is
above water you cannot drown his limbs; as long as our head is above the
reach of spiritual death we also are the same-no weapons can hurt, no poison
can destroy, not all hell's fires could burn, nor all earth's floods could
drown, the spiritual life within us: it must be safe because it is
indissolubly one with Jesus Christ the Lord. What comfort, then, lies in
this, the sole but sufficient reason for the eternal maintenance of the new-
born life within us, is this, "Because I live, ye shall live also."
And be it remembered, that this reason is an abiding reason-"Because I live,
ye shall live also"-a reason which has as much force at one time as another.
From causes variable the effects are variable; but remaining causes produce
permanent effects. Now Jesus always lives. Yesterday, dear brother you were
exalted in fellowship with him, and stood upon the mountain top; then your
heart was glad, and your spirit rejoiced, and you could say, "I live in
Christ." To-day darkness has intervened, you do not feel the motions of the
inner life as you did yesterday, but do not therefore conclude that the life
is not there. What is to be your sign; what is to be the rainbow of the
covenant to you? Why, that Jesus lives. Do you doubt that he lives? You dare
not. You trust him, doubt not then that you live, for your life is as sure as
his. Believe also that you shall live, for that also is as sure as the fact
that he lives. God gave to Noah, a token that he would not destroy the earth-
it was the rainbow: but then the rainbow is not often seen; there are
peculiar circumstances before the bow is placed in the cloud. You, brother,
you have a token of God's covenant given you in the text which can always be
seen, neither sun nor shower are needful to its appearance. The living Christ
is the token that you live too. God gave to David the token of the sun and
the moon; he said if the ordinances of day and night should be changed, then
would he cast off the seed of David. But there are times when neither sun nor
moon appear, but your token is plain when these are hidden. Christ at all
times lives. When you are lowest, when you cannot pray, when you can hardly
groan, when you do not seem to have spiritual life enough even to heave a
desire, still if you cling to Jesus this life is as surely in you as there is
life in Christ himself at the right hand of the Father.
And lastly, it is a most instructive cause. It instructs us in many ways: let
us hint at three. It instructs us to admire the condescension of Christ. Look
at the two pronouns, "ye" and "I"; shall they ever come into contact? yes,
here they stand in close connection with each other. "I"-the I AM the
Infinite; "ye" the creatures of an hour; yet I, the Infinite, come into union
with you, the finite; I the Eternal, take up you the fleeting, and I make you
live because I live. What? Is there such a bond between me and Christ? Is
there such a link between his life and mine? Blessed be his name! Adored be
his infinite condescension!
It demands of us next abundance of gratitude. Apart from Christ we are dead
in trespasses and sins; look at the depth of our degradation! But in Christ
we live, live with his own life. Look at the height of our exaltation, and
let our thankfulness be proportioned to this infinity of mercy. Measure if
you can from the lowest hell to the highest heaven, and so great let your
thankfulness be to him who has lifted you from death to life.
Let the last lesson be see the all-importance of close communion with Jesus.
Union with Christ makes you live; keep up your enjoyment of that union, that
you may clearly perceive and enjoy your life. Begin this year with the
prayer, "Nearer to thee, my Lord, nearer to thee." Think much of the
spiritual life and less of this poor carnal life, which will be soon be over.
Go to the source of life for an increase of spiritual life. Go to Jesus.
Think of him more than you have done, pray to him more; use his name more
believingly in your supplications. Serve him better, and seek to grow up into
his likeness in all things. Make an advance this year. Life is a growing
thing. Your life only grows by getting nearer to Christ; therefore, get under
the beams of the Sun of the Righteousness. Time brings you nearer to him, you
will soon be where he is in heaven; let grace bring you nearer also. You
taste more of his love as fresh mercies come, give him more of your love,
more of your fellowship. Abide in him, and may his word abide in you
henceforth and for ever, and all shall be to his glory. Amen.
Sharing Christ's Life
December 1st, 1867 by C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
"Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also." John 14:19 .
This was, and is, the mark of the true believer, that he see Jesus. When Jesus was here among men, the world saw him in a certain sense, but yet in truth it did not see him at all. The world's eye saw the outside of Christ the flesh of the man Christ, but the true Christ the ungodly eye could not discern. They could not perceive those wonderful attributes of character, those delightful graces and charms, which made up the true spiritual Christ. They saw but the husk, and not the kernel; they saw the quartz of the golden nugget, but not the pure gold which that quartz contained. They saw but the external man; the real, spiritual Christ they could not see. But unto as many as God had chosen, Christ manifested himself as he did not unto the world. There were some to whom he said, "The world seeth me not, but ye see me." Some there were whose eyes were anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, so that they saw in the "the man Christ Jesus," the God, the glorious Saviour, the King of kings, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. The blind world said of him that he was a root out of a dry ground, and when they saw him there was no beauty in him that they should desire him; he was despised and rejected of men. But these men saw him as God over all blessed for ever, descending to tabernacle among men, and to take upon himself man's imperfect nature, that so he might redeem him from all iniquity and save him. Now, to this hour, this is the mark of the true Christian: this is to be of the elect: this is the very badge and symbol of the faithful they see Jesus. They look beyond the clouds. Other men see the cloud and the darkness, and they wist not what it is; but these men with more than eagle eye pierce through the clouds of mere sensual impressions, and they see the glory that was always his, even the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Beloved, have you ever seen Jesus with the eye of faith? Have you ever perceived the glory of his person, and the beauty of his character? Have you so perceived Jesus as to trust in him? Have you been so enamoured of him as to have yielded yourselves to be his servants for ever? Do you take up his cross? Do you avow yourselves to be his followers, come what may? If so, then are ye saved; but if ye see not Christ with your spirit, neither do ye know him, nor shall ye enjoy a portion with him. Blessed be God, there is this to be said, that he who has once seen Christ shall always see him. The eye may sometimes gather dimness, but the light shall yet return. Where Christ hath opened a blind eye, blindness comes not back again. He take the cataract totally away. He does not give a transient gleam of spiritual sight, and then permit the soul to go back into the darkness of its grave; but the sight which he gives is the sight of things eternal, a sight which shall strengthen and grow until at the last, when death shall take away every barrier which parts us from the unseen world, we shall know even as we are know, and see even as we are seen. To see Jesus! 'Tis heaven begun! And heaven consummated is but to see Jesus, no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face still it is to see Jesus, to behold the King in his beauty. This, I say, is the sum and substance of life eternal, and it is true life here below. And now our Lord, speaking to those who had seen him, seen him truly and in spiritual recognition, talks to them concerning life. Sometimes it is ours to speak to you of death, not necessarily with gloom, for it is to the Christian illuminated with rays of heavenly light; but here and now we desire to speak of life, the best and divinest life; we will forget the raven with its dusky wing, and see only the tender, gentle dove, bearing for each one of us the olive-branch of peace and victory. We shall speak of life life of the highest possible degree: not the life which gladdens our eyes in the sunlight when we behold the flowers of the field opening their cups: this is vegetable life. Nor the life of the young lambs as they frisk, and caper, and dance for very gladness in the spring sunbeams. This is but animal life. Nor even the life that enables men to think and speak upon common themes of interest, and perform the ordinary duties of their different calling: this is but mental and social life. We reach to something higher still spiritual life, life in Christ Jesus; a life twice created; a life which is grafted, and is an advance upon the first life which we have when we are born, surpassing far the life of the flesh, because that shall by-and-bye expire; but this is a life which springs from incorruptible seed, and which liveth and abideth for ever. The text, in talking to us about life, gives us, first the assurance that Jesus lives; it the promises us that his people shall live; and it clearly states that there is a link of connection between the two things that because Jesus lives, his people shall live also. First, then: I. JESUS LIVES. He always lived. There never was a time when he was not. "Before the hills were brought forth I was there," saith he. The eternal Wisdom of God is from everlasting. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God. The same was in the beginning with God." The life, however, which we think is intended in the text, is not his divine life, his life as Deity, but his life as man, his life as Mediator between God and man. In that life he lives. We needed not to be assured of his divine life: but seeing that, as a Mediator he died, it was necessary to assure us that as a Mediator he descended into the tomb; it is well for us to be assured that as a Mediator he rose again from his grave, and now lives at the right hand of the Father, no more to bleed and die. Jesus Christ at this time lives in his proper manhood. He lives as to his soul: his human soul is as it was on earth. He lives as to his human body. He is a man before the throne; and I have no doubt that he wears the symbol, of course, mightily glorified, of his sufferings.
"Looks like a Lamb that had been slain. And wears his priesthood still."
That very Christ, who did once as a babe lie upon his mother's breast, and who afterwards trod the waves of Gennesaret: who, after his resurrection, ate apiece of broiled fish and of honeycomb that very Christ is now before the eternal throne. In very soul and body the man Christ Jesus is there. He lives. He lives a real life. We are so very apt to mystify and becloud everything, and to suppose that Christ lives by his influence only, or lives by his Spirit. Brethren, he lives, the very man that died, as surely as he bled upon the tree, and in his own proper person, from five actual wounds poured out the warm life-torrents of his heart, so surely does he actually live at this present moment in the midst of unnumbered hearts that sound his praise the delightful object of the vision of the myriads of spirits who continually adore him. He actually lives; he really and truly lives, as he lived here below. He lives, also, actively not in some wondrous sleep of quiet and sacred repose. He is as busy now as he was when here. He proposed to himself when he went away a certain work. "I go to prepare a place for you," said he. He is preparing that place for us still. He intercedes, also, daily for his people. Oh! if your faith is strong enough, even now you can see him distinctly standing before the throne of God, pleading his glorious merits. I think I see him now as clearly as ever the Jews saw Aaron when he stood with his breast-plate on before the mercy-seat, for remember, the Jew never did see Aaron at all there, for the curtain was dropped, and Aaron was within the veil, and therefore, the Jew could only see him in his fancy. But I say I see him as clearly as that, for I see my Lord, not by fancy, but by faith. There, where the veil is rent, so that he is not hidden from my soul's gaze. I see him with my name and yours upon his breast, pleading before God. Why, gaze awhile and you may think you see him now. Just as the Jew saw Aaron, waving the censer, standing between the living and the dead, and staying the plague, even so is Christ standing at this hour between the living and the dead, and so moving the whole Deity to spare the guilty yet a little longer, whilst he makes intercession for them that they may live. And then comes his higher intercession for them that they may live. And then comes his higher intercession for his elect, of whom he says, "I pray for them; I pray not for the world." He lives, then, an actual life, of which you and I reap the daily fruits. Not a life of slumber and stillness, but an active, busy life, by which he continually dispenses gifts to us. For this reason it is well to remind you, that, therefore, Jesus can only lives as a man in one place. When we speak of Christ being found in every assembly of his people, we understand that of his presence in his Godhead and by his Holy Spirit, who rules on earth in this dispensation of the Spirit. But the man Christ can be but in one place, and he is now at the right hand of the Majesty on high. It is absurd, it is horrible both to faith and to reason, to say the Christ's body is eaten, and that his blood is drunk in tens of thousands of places wherever priests choose to offer what they call "the mass." A "mass" of profanity, indeed, it is! Our Lord Jesus Christ, as to his real, positive, corporeal presence, is not here. As to his flesh and his blood, he is not, and cannot be, here. He will be here one day, when he shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God, but in his real person, he is now where his saints are before the throne, whence by-and-bye he will descend. Meanwhile, his spiritual presence is our joy and our gladness, but his corporeal presence a doctrine which our faith grasps and lays hold of his corporeal presence is before the throne of God, and there he lives in proper flesh and blood as the Son of Man. Brethren and sisters, listen to a brief sketch of the biography of Christ's life in glory. When the holy women and godly men wrapped him in spices, and laid him in the tomb, Jesus was dead. There for parts of three days and nights he tarried. He saw no corruption, but yet he was in the place of corruption. No worm could assail that holy thing which no sin had tainted, and yet he laid in the place where death seemed sovereign. A while he slept, and the Church mourned, but blessed was the day when, at the first rosy dawn of the light, the Saviour rose. Then could he say, "I live." His body, instinct with life, rose from its slumber, and began at once to put off the grave-clothes. He unwound the winding-sheets and the fine white linen, and laid them carefully down, and left them there, for you and me, that we might have our bed well sheeted when we come to lie in it at the last. As for the napkin, he unwound it, and laid it by itself, as though that were for us who are living, to wipe our eyes when our dear ones are taken away, since we have no cause to sorrow as they do who have no hope. And when this was done, an angel rolled away the stone, and forth came the Saviour glorious, no doubt, but so much like other men that Mary "supposed him to have been the gardener," so that there could have been no very supernatural splendour surrounding his person. He revealed himself to many of his disciples sometimes to as many as five hundred at once. He ate with them; he drank with them; he was a man among men with them, till, when forty days had passed, he gathered them all at Olivet, the mountain from which he had so often addressed them, and took his final leave. While he was blessing them, his hands outstretched in benediction, a cloud received him out of their sight. And since then he hath sat down at the right hand of God, expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. He is tarrying there yet a little while longer. When the fulness of time shall come if I may go on with his biography he will come again. "This same Jesus," said the angels, "which is taken up from you heaven, shall so come in a like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." He will, therefore, come in proper person a second time, without a sin offering, unto salvation. Then will he gather his saints together who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. Then shall they reign with him. Then shall the earth be covered with his glory. All nations shall bow before him, and all people shall call him blessed. And then shall come the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and God shall be all in all. But Christ shall still live, for he hath received a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, without beginning of days, or end of years a priest for ever. When suns and moons shall grow dim with age, and the round world shall all dissolve, like the morning hoar-frost, and time shall be rolled up like a vesture, and all the ages shall have been trodden out like sparks beneath the foot of the Eternal God, then shall Jesus Christ live on still, world without end. Thus have we spoken concerning Christ as living. But now, in the next place: II. LIFE IS PROMISED TO CHRIST'S PEOPLE. This does not mean their natural existence. That they have received from Adam, and, through their sin, it has become a curse to them, rather than a blessing. Should they remain unpardoned, the fact of continued existence will become to them the dreadful of calamities, since it must be an existence in God's holy abhorrence of sin for ever; driven from every glimpse or hope of forgiveness. The life which comes to us through Christ is of this sort I trust you know it in your own hearts it is life spiritual, given to us in regeneration. When the Holy Spirit quickens a dead soul, that dead soul then receives the life of Christ. No man is alive unto God spiritually, except through Christ. Because Christ lives, we live. When a dead soul gets into living contact with the living Saviour by the power of the Spirit, then it is that spiritual life begins. The very first evidence of spiritual life is trusting in Jesus, which shows that s the first symptom is alliance to Christ, the cause of the life must be somewhere here, namely, union with Christ. One of the very first outward signs is prayer prayer to Christ, and that, again, rises from the fact that Christ gives us of his life, and then that life goes back again to him. Brethren, if you seek the life of other souls, and desire to see them brought to God, preach Christ to them. Do you not see, "Because I live, ye shall live"? Then no sinner ever will live spiritually apart from Christ. Though you and I cannot quicken them, yet we can preach the gospel to them, and faith cometh by hearing, and where faith is, there life is. It is no use trying to raise the dead by preaching the law to them. That is only covering them up fairly with a lie in their right hand; but preach of dying love and of rising power, to tell of pardons bought with blood, and to declare that Christ died a substitute for sinners this is the hopeful way of bringing life to the dead. IT is by such instrumentality that souls are brought to life eternal. Because Christ is alive, his elect in due time receive spiritual life by the power of the Holy Spirit, and, although once they were dead in sin, they begin to live unto righteousness. Further, this spiritual life is preserved in us by Christ still living. "Because I continue to live, ye shall continue to live also." The text clearly means that: it bears that paraphrase. Oh! dear friends! when we once get spiritual life into us, what a thousand enemies there are who try to put it out! Many and many a time has it seemed to go hard with my soul as to whether I really had a spark of life within my spirit. Temptation after temptation have I endured until it appeared as if I must yield my hold on Christ and give up my hope. There has been conflict upon conflict, and struggle upon struggle, until at last the enemy has got his foot upon the neck, and my whole being has trembled, and had it not been for Christ's promise, "Because I live, ye shall live also," it might have gone harder with me, and I might have despaired, and given up all hope, and laid down to die. The assurance, then, that the spiritual life of the Christian must be maintained because Christ lives, was the only power to get me the victory. Let it teach us, then, this practical lesson. Whenever our spiritual life is very weak, and we want it to grow stronger, let us get to the living Christ for the supply of his strength. When you feel you are ready to die spiritually, go to the Saviour for revived life. The text is like a hand that points us to the storehouse. You who are in the desert, there is a secret spring under your feet, and you know not where it is; this is the mysterious finger which points you to the spot. Contemplate Christ; believe in Christ; draw yourselves by faith nearer and nearer to the Lord Jesus Christ, and so shall your life receive a divine impetus which it has not known for many a day. "Because I live, ye shall live also." And further, brethren, we get from Christ an educated life. Any man may be spiritually alive, and yet he may not know much about the higher life. There is in spiritual life a scale of degree. One man is just alive unto God; another man may bee vigorous; another may be rapturously consecrated. I hope you and I will anxiously desire to get the highest form of spiritual life that is known. We do not wish to beggars in the kingdom of Christ, but, if we can, to take our place in the House of Peers, to be princes through Jesus Christ. We need not be poor; Christ is willing to enrich us. We are not straitened in him; we are straitened in ourselves. Now, Christ gives the promise, "Because I live," saith he, "the highest life, far above all principalities and powers, ye shall live also this higher life with me." You may have it; you may obtain it, but brethren, if you want to get it, never go to Moses for it; never go to yourselves for it. Do not seek to school yourselves by rules, and regulations, and resolutions, or by a morbid asceticism, such as some men delight in; but go the living Saviour, and in the living liberty which you will enjoy in communion with him , your soul will take unto itself wings, and mount into a clearer atmosphere: your spirit will be braced to a higher degree of robust devotion: you will draw nearer to heaven, because you have got nearer to Christ, who is the Lord of heaven. "Because I live, ye shall have life: ye shall have that life continued, and ye shall have that life yet more abundantly: I am come, not only that ye may have life, but more abundantly." There are your Master's words; plead them before your Master's throne. And now, brethren, we will go a little further. We will suppose that you are well acquainted with these forms of life, and now there comes a jerk, as it were. You are travelling along the iron road of th railway, and there comes a sudden jerk, and you stop. What is it? It is the thought of death. Well, but Jesus tells us here that that is of no consequence. It is an item in the great world of life that to you who are in him is scarcely worth consideration, because the text over-rides that, and swallows it up, as it is written "death is swallowed up in victory": it is made as though it did not exist. "Because I live, ye shall live also." Your continued life of happiness, of holiness, of spirituality, of consecration, and of obedience which, indeed is your only life worth having is guaranteed to you in the text. Death cannot interfere with it, not even by the space of a single second nay,. I tell you not even by the space of the ticking of a clock. What, a Christian die? "Because I live, ye shall live also," is never suspended. There is not time for it to be suspended in. Do you know what death really is? Does it take long to die? I have heard of men who have been said to be weeks in dying. Not so; they were weeks living; the dying occupied no space; that was done at once, and immediately. And so with the believer. To him death is so slight a jerk that he still keeps on upon the same line. He still lives, only there is this difference, that it is as though the railway had hitherto been running through a tunnel, and he now comes out of it into the open plain. His life below was the train in the tunnel, but when he dies, as we call it, there is a jerk, and then it comes right out of the tunnel into the fair, open, champaign country of heaven, where all is clear and bright, where all the birds are singing, and the darkness is over, and the mist and fogs are gone, and his soul is for ever blessed. "Because I live a life that cannot be suspended," Christ seems to say, "ye shall live also." At the bottom of every man's heart there is, I suppose, a fear of ceasing to be. Some infidels seem to find comfort in the thought of being annihilated, but that thought is, perhaps, the most abhorrent that ever crossed the human mind. There is a something which makes us hope we are, and shrink with loathing from the idea of being annihilated. Now, at that point comes in our text, and it says, "What! Annihilated! You who believe in Jesus cannot be: you shall live also, live with that higher life which you have received a life of beauty, a life of excellence, of holiness, and of God-likeness: that new life implanted within you shall never be suspended." Nay, never by the space of a single tick, for "Because I live, ye shall live also." Further, brethren, our text is such a wide on that we have a hold of the fact that we are to continue to live as to our spirits and our souls. The text beneath its sheltering wings, like a hen gathering her brood, gathers many precious truths, and the next one is that this very body of ours is to live, too. It must take its time for that. It must abide in the earth, whereon it has dwelt. It is so decreed that there it should lie, unless Christ should come before that time. But concerning this very body, there is no decree of annihilation. It will smoulder away. It may be taken up by the spade of the careless sexton, and scattered to the winds of heaven may all the atoms of the body be. But there is a life-germ within it which no human power can destroy, and over which the divine eye perpetually watches; and when that mysterious and long-expects sound of the angelic trump shall ring o'er land and sea, through heaven and earth, and the graves shall all be opened, then shall my soul find my body yet again fashioned after a more beautiful form; more fit for the spirit than aforetime; more elastic; altogether free from weakness; no longer such as shall be subject to pain, to sickness, to accident, to decay, to ultimate corruption; but a spiritual body, raised in power, in glory, and in immortality; not raised in the likeness of the first Adam in the garden, but in the likeness of the second Adam in the everlasting Paradise of God. Courage, my eyes, courage! Ye shall be closed for a while, but ye shall not be so for ever, for ye, even ye, shall strike the strings of those celestial harps that pour forth his praise. Courage, all ye members of my body, which have been sanctified to be members of Christ, and made to be parts of the Holy Spirit's temple! Ye shall all take your part in the grand triumphal entry of Christ, when he shall descend to take possession of his kingdom. "Though worms destroy this body yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall behold for myself, and not another." So go to thy bed in the earth, poor body, and sleep there awhile. Bathe thyself like her who bathed herself in spices to make herself ready for the King, so go and get thyself prepared to meet thy Lord. Put off thy word-day dress, and put on thy Sabbath garments, thy bridal array, and then shalt thou come to the King and see him in his beauty, and crown him with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the days of his espousals. Yea, because he lives in the body which he bore, his body shall live again, also. And so, beloved, the text amounts to this, that in body and soul, the Christian shall be immortal, like his Master. When our reign on earth whether it shall last a thousand years, or a thousand ages (we know not what the Word of God intends) but when that glorified state on earth, which I do most assuredly believe in, shall be over, and it shall be said:
"Now Jehovah's banner's furled, Sheathed his sword because 'tis done";
when the drama of the mediatorial reign shall all be closed, and we shall dwell under the immediate sovereignty of God once again, then, beloved, every believer shall be with Christ, eternally glorified, for here stand the irrevocable decree and the divine mandate of creation's Lord, who is also the redeeming Lamb, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Reel, ye pillars of earth! Be shaken, ye arches of the starry heavens! Pass away, O Time, and you ye rolling worlds, dissolve into your native nothingness! But the believer must live on, because Jesus lives, and until the Lord's Christ can bow his head, till he who hath immortality can expire, till God himself can cease to be, no soul that believed in Jesus can lose the life incorruptible which God's own Spirit hath put within it. I want to sing, brethren, rather than to talk with you. These are words and thoughts fit for some ancient bard, or for the spirit of some inspired prophet sent from heaven. I do but lisp where even seraphs might find their loudest songs fail in the them. Let your hearts mount! Let your souls exult! Let your spirits be glad! Do you
"Long for evening to undress, That you may rest with God,"
and enter into his heaven? Long for the evening of death, when your toil shall be over, and the hour of your bliss shall have come. I shall have no time, I fear, for the third and last point, and, therefore, must only give a few hints of what I would have said. III. THIS LIFE IS LINKED WITH CHRIST'S LIFE. Immortal, all glorious, promised to true believers, it is bound up with the life of our immortal Lord. Why is this? First, because Christ leads a justified life. I scarcely know how to express my meaning. You understand that so long as Jesus was here he lay under the charge of our sins. Whilst he was in the world, his Father had made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all. But when he died, his death discharged all the liabilities of his elect. The handwriting of ordinances that was against us was then taken away. When he went to Calvary as our Surety, the sins of all his people were his debts: he had taken them upon himself. But when he rose from the dead in the garden that first Easter morning he had no debts of ours: he had no longer any substitutional engagement or liability. All the debts which he had taken upon himself as our Redeemer he had fully and completely discharged. No officer can arrest a man for debt who has none, and Christ now lives, therefore, as a justified person. And,. brethren, no officer of justice can arrest any of the people for whom Christ paid their debts. How, then, shall death have any dominion over those whose debts are all discharged? How shall they be laid in prison for whom Christ was laid in prison? How shall they suffer death, which is the penalty of sin, for whom Christ has already suffered all the penalties which just ice could have demanded? Because he lives the life of one who has discharged the debts of his people, they must, in justice, live. Secondly, Christ lives a representative life . He is no longer Christ for himself. As the Member of Parliament represents a town, so Jesus Christ represents all the people who are in him, and as long as he lives they live. He is their Covenant Head. As long as Adam stands, his race shall stand; when Adam falls, the human race falls. While, therefore, Christ lives, the Christly ones, who are in him, live through his representation. In the next place, Christ lives a perfect life. Perhaps you do no see how this is a link between his living and your living, but it is, because we are a part of Christ. According to the Word of Scripture, every believer is a member of Christ's body. Now, a man who lives perfectly has not lost his finger, of his arm, or his hand. A man may be alive with many of his limbs taken away, but you can scarcely call him a perfect-living man. But I cannot imagine a maimed Christ. I have never been able to conceive in my soul, of Christ lacking any of his members. Such a thing was never seen on earth. The barbarous cruelty of the Jews could not effect that, and, by the Providence of God, Pilate's officers were not permitted to cause such a thing. "Not a bone of him shall be broken," was the ancient prophecy. They brake the legs of the first and second thief, but when they came to the matchless Lord they saw he was already dead, so they brake not his legs. Even in his earthly body, which was the type of his spiritual body, he must suffer no maiming injury. Therefore, my brethren, because Christ lives as a perfect Christ, everyone that is one with him must live also. Then, fourthly, Christ lives a blessed life a life of perfect blessedness, and, therefore, we must live also. "Why?" say you. Why, look you: there is a mother here. She is alive: she is in good health, but she is not perfectly happy, for she is a Rachel weeping for her children, and will not be comforted, because they are not. Time will heal her wounds, it is true: for the most affectionate heart cannot be always mourning; but our Lord Jesus Christ in that infinitely affectionate heart of his would not only mourn over one of his children if lost, but he would mourn for ever over it. I cannot conceive of Christ being happy and losing one of his dear children. I cannot conceive Christ to be personally blessed, and yet on of the members of his own person cast into the "outer darkness." Because he lives in perfect happiness, I conceive that all who are dear to him will be round about him. It shall not be said that he lost one of them, nor shall one of the family be missing, but:
"All the chosen seed Shall meet around the throne, To bless the conduct of his grace, And make his wonders known."
And, lastly, Christ leads a triumphant life, and, therefore, ye shall live also. You say again, "How is that?" Why, brethren, the triumph of Christ concerns us. This is the triumph of Christ, "Of all those whom thou hast given me, I have lost none" Now, suppose there to be heard a whisper from the infernal pit, "aha! Aha! Thou liest! There is one here whom the Father gave thee, but who thou didst lose" why, Christ would never be able to speak again by way of triumph! He could never boast any more. Then might he put down his crown. If it were but to happen in that one case, at any rate, the enemy would have got the advantage over him, and he would hot have been the Conqueror all along the line. But, glory be to God! he who trod the winepress with none for his assistant, came forth out of the crimson conflict, having smitten all his foes, and won a complete victory. There shall not be in the whole campaign a single point over which Satan shall be able to boast. Christ has brought many sons to glory as the Captain of their salvation, and never yet has he failed, and he never shall in any point, neither the least nor the greatest, neither the strongest nor the weakest. This is essential, dear friends. It is essential to the acclamations of heaven, that every soul that believes in Jesus should live for ever. It is essential to the everlasting harmony and to the joy of Christ throughout Eternity, that all who trust in him should be preserved and kept safe, even until the end. Therefore, says the text, "Because I live, ye shall live also." So I leave this truth with you, only praying that those who have no part in this matter may seek Christ at this very time, and be led by the Spirit to cry mightily to him, and his promise is, "They that seek me early shall find me." Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found, call ye upon him whilst he is near." God bless you, for Christ's sake. Amen.
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Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on John 14:19". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/john-14.html. 2011.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17