Last month, my blog topic was The Great Deception. I suggested that one of the top lies that Satan has convinced many to believe is this: that if a person is breathing in his body, then he is alive. That seed was planted in the heart of Adam and Eve and it led to the original sin that has destroyed the human race. Satan said, “You surely shall not die.” They ate the forbidden fruit, died, yet were still breathing in their bodies in this world. The great deception was to convince them that they would not die if they disobeyed God and that they were not dead after they had sinned. We humans are easily deceived to think that as sinners, we can have life without Jesus Christ in this world.
This month, as promised, I want to encourage you by sharing about the great conception. God has made a way that the life of God, His life, can be conceived and reproduced in the souls of men and women who once were dead. I wonder how many times has it been said at the birth of a new baby, “It’s a miracle.” The birth of a new baby is indeed a miracle of God’s procreative power, but the birth of His life in the soul of a man or woman is a far greater miracle. Have you experienced that miracle, the miracle of the great conception?
Do you believe that Jesus is the Life?
My purpose in writing these things is so that you might not be carried away by the great deception of the devil and so that you might believe that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life in this world. In believing, you may receive His abundant life, which He came to give to all who believe that He is the resurrection and the life. If you have received His life, then I, with Him, call you to live His life each day loving for the glory of God.
Jesus’ disciples did not realize that Jesus’ purpose in coming was to reveal the life of God. Up to that point in history, although God had visited man, revealed Himself to man, and used men to accomplish His purposes, never had the life of God had a place in a man. Not until Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit within Mary, had God’s life dwelled in a man. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." To Martha, just before the resurrection of Lazarus, her brother, Jesus testified. "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). The life of God is in the God-man, Jesus, and He has the authority to give life to anyone He wishes. He said, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.” Let this amaze you! Let’s look at Jesus’ explanation from John 14 of who He is and then who His disciples are to be.
Believe that the life of God is in Jesus
The life of the Father, God, is in Jesus. After commanding His disciples to love one another as He loves them, Jesus explained how it was going to be possible for them to obey His commandment. They had to know how He loved them. He and God are one. So He told them, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (v.1).
Jesus was going to prepare a place for His disciples to abide in or live in.
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (v.2). The Father, God, has a household with many places to live. You’ll notice the plural for places, however, in Jesus’ mind is one place for all of His disciples. Jesus let them know ahead of time what He was going to do so they would believe in Him. He was going to prepare a place for them that if He didn’t go was not available for them.
The place He prepared was Himself!
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (v.3). Before Jesus gave His life for us and went to the Father with His sacrifice, His disciples (and all believers after them) could not dwell in Jesus’ life. No man could have the life of God in them (I will come to you) until all of their sin was identified with Him, paid for, and removed. Then and only then could the life of God in Jesus be conceived and born in the soul of a man. This was a new paradigm for His disciples and for many now. Jesus wasn’t thinking about preparing a place for believers in heaven, although He has. He’s thinking about God being glorified in Him as He becomes the dwelling place for His disciples out of which He continues to work and love His own. Where is this place prepared?
Jesus, Himself, is the place where His own are united with the Father as He is united with the Father.
“And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (v. 5-6). Jesus, Himself is the way, truth, and life of the Father. There’s no way anyone can be united with the Father (come to the Father) except through what Jesus was about to do on His way to the Father, that is, through the substitutional death on the cross. His disciples didn’t know Him.
This is a pivot point for the disciples: Jesus’ purpose was to reveal that the life of God could be in a man in this world.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (v. 7-8). The disciples had the wrong idea for why Jesus came so they didn’t know Him. They were expecting Him to set up the kingdom on earth now and liberate God’s people from the domination of Rome. As a result, they didn’t know or could not see that Jesus had a more important and powerful purpose: to glorify His Father by expressing the life of God to the world. He came to show that the kingdom of God is within a man, not outside. From now on, from this moment on they would know that He came to reveal the life of the Father.
The life of the Father and the life of the Son are one.
Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (v. 9-11). This would have been a seismic shift of understanding and worldview for the disciples. For us, we may be so familiar with the idea that Jesus went to make a place for us in heaven, that we may miss the significant pivot point. Jesus told them clearly. Excuse my paraphrase and interpretation, please. He was saying, “The life of the Father is in me. You’ve been watching Him work when I speak. His life and my life are one. If you don’t believe my own testimony, believe we are one because of the glory and power revealed in the works that He has done in Me.” Here comes the second great pivot point.
The life of the Father and the Son will become one with you because He went to the Father by way of the cross.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (v. 12). Don’t miss this. Connect “I go to prepare a place for you” in verse 3 and “because I go to the Father”. Jesus came to bring us to God and make our lives one with His life. After His resurrection, His life is now a place where He can receive us to Himself and come to us in this world to reveal that the life of God and the life of a man can become one just as the life of the Father and the Son are one. Amazing! The life of God, the life of the Son, will be in the disciples so He can continue loving His own through them.
Jesus does the work of loving in His disciples.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (vs. 13-15). This is another pivot point. The disciples are running down the road of working for God and living for Jesus. At this point, they plant their spiritual lead feet and change direction. It should affect us the same way. Jesus doesn’t need us to live for Him (have you thought that?); we need Him to live His life for us! By Jesus’ work on the cross on our behalf, He made Himself a dwelling place for all who are His. This made it possible for the Father’s work in the Son to continue in this world in His disciples. God never intended His disciples to keep His commandment to love each other as He loves them. He never intended them to perform and keep the Law for the glory of God (as the disciples thought they were supposed to do if they were good followers of Christ). For God to receive the glory, the work of God had to continue to be done by the Father through His Son. Loving others with Jesus, by His life, is what it means to be in Jesus’ name. He commanded us to love, so we ask the Father for the power to love with confidence because He commanded it in and through Jesus. So we ask for help to love because we have received His word and His life. Because Jesus went to the Father, there is a place prepared so He can receive us to Himself and so He can come to us here on the earth.
The place of Himself that He prepared was a place where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit become one with the believer.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (vss. 16-18). Watch the verb tenses in vs. 18. He told His disciples they would know the Holy Spirit because He abides with you. This is another glorious revelation they couldn’t see until now. The life of the Father and the life of the Spirit are one with Jesus, the Son. He that will come to them is one with He who has been walking before them, so they will know they have the life of God and the Son in them when the life of the Spirit comes to them. This could not happen if Jesus did not go to prepare this place of union with God in Himself for all who believe.
The day the Holy Spirit, the life of Jesus, is given to you, you will know that everything I’ve said to you about My making a place for you is a reality. You will see Me living in you, and you’ll know these things are true. You have passed out of death into life!
“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (vs. 19-20). Ever since Jesus was raised from the dead, the life of God has been conceived and born in millions of men and women. That is the great conception. You know you are no longer dead in your sins because Jesus has gone to the Father and has come to you and received you to Himself. Do you see His life in you? If not, it’s time for you to pivot away from trying to live your best life in this world, which is a deadly deception, and look to Jesus. Go to Him, confess your faith in Him as the life of God, and receive His forgiveness and presence. Ask Him for the life of His Son so you can obey the commandment to love in His name. He will do it!