The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 44 – John
Copyright, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
* KEY VERSE–Joh 20:31.
* KEY PHRASE–CHRIST IS THE DIVINE SON OF GOD.
Read the gospel of John this week. It has been called “The Crown Jewel of Revelation!” For family altar read:
* Sunday–The divine Christ existed in the beginning,–Joh 1:1-10.
* Monday–The spiritual birth,–Joh 3:1-12.
* Tuesday–Spiritual worship,–Joh 4:19-24
* Wednesday–Jesus gives eternal life,–Joh 10:22-30.
* Thursday–Jesus and the Father are one,–Joh 14:7-15.
* Friday–The promise of the Spirit,–Joh 14:16-26.
* Saturday–The fruitful life,–Joh 15:1-14.
WRITER–The Apostle John who wrote five books in all–this gospel, the three epistles and Revelation. His father, Zebedee, a fisherman of Bethsaida, was in good circumstances, and his mother, Salome, was a devout follower of the Lord. John was about 25 years of age when called by Christ early in His ministry, and so devoted was he to the Master that he was called “the beloved disciple,” Joh 12:23. With James and Peter he was selected by Christ to witness His transfiguration, and go with Him in the garden of Gethsemane. John was present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and at the crucifixion, and was the first disciple at the tomb after the news of the resurrection. His later life he is thought to have been the pastor of the church at Ephesus and was banished from there to the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Revelation.
DATE–About 90 A. D. Place–Ephesus.
PURPOSE–“That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might live through His name,” Joh 20:31.
John Is a Gospel of:–
2. Eternal Life.
THE TIMES OF JOHN–Jerusalem had been destroyed twenty years previously, and the temple with it, which weakened the religion of the Jews. The gospel had been preached all over the Roman empire and had made a great impression everywhere. All the books of the New Testament except this gospel and Revelation had been written so that the facts and doctrines of the gospel were getting to be well known. Already, however, false teachers were arising who denied that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God come in the flesh. John, therefore, writes just those scenes, works, and words of Jesus that reveal His divine person and power, grace and glory.
Great Fact I. The Gospel of Christ’s Divinity
The gospel of John is the most read and the best-loved because of how it treats the person of Jesus Christ. If John did not know Christ, then no one knew Him, for John had not only the best but the latest knowledge of Jesus. With John, everything in heaven and earth, of time and eternity all centered about Christ. John taught that
1. Christ was God the Son,
2. that He existed back at the beginning with God the Father,
3. that in Him the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled,
4. that He was the perfect teacher;
5. perfectly sinless,
6. the perfect example,
7. that He wrought miracles as none else ever did,
8. that He arose from the dead,
9. that He will return for His servants.
LESSON–Because Christ was divinely sent, divinely announced, and divinely attested. Because He spoke divinely, lived divinely and wrought divinely. Because of His perfect character, perfect teachings, and perfect salvation, we should say with Thomas, “Thou are my Lord and my God!” We should always reverently speak of Thu as the Lord Jesus Christ, and take every opportunity of praising that Name that if above every name!
Great Facts II. The Gospel of Eternal Life
John teaches that the soul by sin has lost it spiritual life, its first purity, its harmony and happiness arising from peace and friendship with God. The soul left God like a falling star from its central sun, and is indeed described as being dead; dead in sin, dead to God, and dead to heaven. In Joh 5:24 we see that Christ came to give us eternal life. Eternal because it is not temporary and fading. Eternal because it is not material and eternal because it is the life of God, which .restores His image to the soul. This eternal life comes by believing in Christ. As we believe, the Holy Spirit applies the very life of Christ Himself to our hearts, and spiritual nature is born in us, Joh 10:10.
LESSON–The “I ams” of Christ are not only beautiful but full of meaning. “I am the life,” means a new nature from Christ. “I am the Way,” means progress in Christ. “I am the Vine,” means fellowship with Christ. “I am the Good Shepherd,” means the watch-care of Christ. “I am the Bread of life,” means spiritual food from Christ. “I am the Light of the World,” means the spiritual instruction from Christ. “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” means final triumph in Christ.
A friend who had an orange orchard told Mr. Moody to take some fruit whenever he wanted any. He, therefore, did not go to an orange tree and pray that the oranges would fall into his pocket, but walked up to a tree, reached out his hand and took the oranges. The friend said “Take,” and he took. God offers us the gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23. He says, “Take!” Shall we take it?
Great Facts III. It Is a Spiritual Gospel
John’s gospel is known as the spiritual gospel because it deals much with the heavenly origin and life of our Lord, and of the spiritual facts of the Christian life. It is the gospel of
1. The spiritual birth. In reply to Nicodemus, Joh 3:3, Jesus taught that all must be born again, which means that every sinner must have a change of heart that is wronged by the Holy Spirit when he repentingly believes in Jesus Christ. Natural birth makes us like our earthly parent, and spiritual birth makes us like our Heavenly Father. If you had an incurable thief in the family, it would help little to give him a change of clothing, or supply him with fine shoes or adorn him with jewellery. No, nothing on the outside would help, it would take a complete change in the man’s thoughts, desires, and nature. Thus when the Holy Spirit would change a lost wicked man, He begins not with his outward words and acts, but with his heart. He makes him to hate every sin and to love every virtue. A new spiritual nature leads to new ritual conduct.
2. Spiritual worship. While the heathen worshipped the sun, moon, etc., “Greeks their unknown God,” and the Samaritans the God of the temple, Jesus taught that true worship did not depend upon so-called holy places, or holy ordinances, or holy ritual, but rather upon the sincere, reverent prayer and praise of each heart, Joh 4:24. Worship is the loving attempt to pay our unpayable debt of love–the expression of devoted hearts. Public worship of God in the presence of His people is a necessity of the Christian’s life, but spiritual Christians will always think less of the forms and ceremonies than they will of the power and spirit of worship.
3. Spiritual growth. Christ is ever represented as giving better, larger, more abundant life, Joh 10:10. It is more abundant life than that which was forfeited by sin, more abundant that that which was promised by the law of Moses, yea it is far exceeding abundant, more than we are able to ask or think. This larger life must have an ever-growing fruitfulness. Jesus had often said to His disciples, “Come unto Me, Follow Me, Learn of Me, Abide In Me,” hut in the fifteenth chapter He says, “Be increasingly fruitful for Me.” He expects us all to be third-degree fruit bearers, not only to bear fruit and more fruit, Joh 16:2, but much fruit, Joh 15:8. This fruit which is ninefold and is specified in Ga 5:22-23, will prove the reality of our religion, and also glorify the Father.
Great Facts IV. The Gospel of the Holy Trinity
John teaches that there is one only true God, but that in the Godhead there are three eternal distinctions, which are represented to us under the figure of persons and these three the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal. Christ declares that He and the Father are one, Joh 10:30. In Joh 14:16, all Three Persons are brought together in one verse. Indeed as we read through this gospel, particularly Joh 15; 16, we clearly see three manifestations of the one God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. A converted Indian gave the following reasons for his belief in the Trinity: “We. go down to the river in winter, and we see it covered with snow, dig through the snow, and we come to the ice; we chop through the ice, and we come to the water; snow is water, ice is water, and water is water; therefore, the three are one.”
Questions on the Lesson
1. Give keyword. How many times does it occur?
2. Read key verse.
3. Tell what you know about the Apostle John.
4. Give date and place of writing.
5. Give the purpose.
6. Tell of the Times of John.
7. Name the great facts.
8. Why is John the most read and best-loved?
9. Give the nine things taught about Christ.
10. Why should we with Thomas accept Christ as Lord?
11. Why do we need eternal life?
12. In what three senses is the life which Christ gives, eternal?
13. How does this eternal life come?
14. Give the meanings of Christ’s “I ams.”
15. Why is this known as a spiritual gospel?
16. Tell of the spiritual birth, how it comes and what it does?
17. What is spiritual worship?
18. Show that Christ gives abundant life.
19. How can we be third-degree fruit bearers?
20. Give the nine-fold fruit of Ga 5:22-23.
21. What does John teach about the Trinity?
22. Give an illustration of three in one.
23. How much of John have you read?
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. — Luke 9:23 KJV