Turn in your Bibles to John chapter 16, verses number 25‑33, in this particular portion Jesus Christ wraps up His conversation with His disciples the night before His death. He pulls it all together‑‑this is kind of a summary of all that He said from chapter 13 on to this point on His last night with His disciples. And the theme of what He says in these verses is faith, hope, and love, and the result of those‑‑peace. And thus it becomes a very classic passage, not on the surface, but as you dig into it you find out how deeply it really unfolds the tremendous possessions of the believer, which are faith, hope, and love, and how knowing that we have these things brings peace. It's a bleak world that we live in. I suppose it's very much obvious to all of us how really sad and sick our world is. It becomes more obvious to me all the time. As I mentioned to some of you on Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to speak on the free speech platform at Cal State Long Beach last Wednesday before hundreds and hundreds of students, and they warned me before I spoke there that there was always some hassling and some harassment and some verbal abuse and all kinds of problems when you tried to confront a whole group of people on an open platform type thing, but it was amazing how that as I stood up there and I talked about the despair of man, the lack of love, the lack of something to believe in, the lack of hope that from the beginning to the end of my talk, which lasted about 45 minutes there was not one single statement made toward me, there wasn't one moving of the crowd, I only saw, I think, one person leave within 45 minutes. It was as if, in contrast with so many other things that have gone on in a similar situation, it was as if in talking about the hopelessness and the bleakness of life I struck the major chord in everybody's mind, and people just kept gathering around to hear this, this identified with them. And it's a truism, it's a truism if anything is true, that men today are desperate for love, they are desperate for something to believe in, and they are desperate for something to hope for. There must be some value in a man. A man must be worth something to somebody, and that's what love is. Love is merely a value system that sets a certain worth on an individual. That's what love is. Love says, you are worth this much. Certain love. Other love says you are worth that much, and the supreme love that says you are worth everything. All the mentions of love are merely a valuing system by which we are assigned a certain worth. Your neighbors may love you in a certain value, your wife loves you in perhaps more or less value, depending upon your own situation, and they're all varying areas of love, and they are merely evaluations. The person you love most in the world is the one whom to you has the highest value as an individual. And people today want to know that they're valuable. They're desperate to know that. They want to know they mean something, they want to know they're not part of a cosmic machine, they want to know that there's something about them that's worth something to somebody. They want love.
Secondly, they want something to believe in -‑ desperately. In a world where you can't put your faith in anything. They want something to believe in, and then they want something to hope for. There's got to be a better world. There's got to be. There's got to be a world where the inequalities become equal. There's got to be a world where injustice becomes justice, where wrongs are put away and rights are substituted. There's got to be a world where all the things that are bad are turned around and there is good and there is a world. There is a new world coming. It's going to be created by Jesus Christ‑‑it's called the Kingdom. There is something to hope for, but the world doesn't know that. And so people in our world are looking for someone to love them, someone they can love. They're looking for someone to believe in and something to hope for. And they're not finding it, and it's a sick sad world, and it's a despairing world, because they can't find it.
The anti‑hero of Sartre's great novel; the first novel that Sartre wrote was a comment on man, and the name of it is "Nausea", so you get a little idea of what he thinks. And in his novel "Nausea" the main character, who is the anti‑hero, describes existence like this. He says, "Nothing happens while you live. Scenery changes, people come in, go out, that's all, there are no beginnings, days are tacked on to days without rhyme or reason, and interminable monotonous condition." Why just nothing? Why just meaningless? It's a series of disconnected events. There's no purpose, and man desperately looks for purpose, he desperately looks for a reason to be alive, for something that makes existence meaningful. He looksin science. He thinks that maybe science has the answer, but science doesn't seem to make it, because science is a two‑edged sword‑‑it discovers wonderful ways to keep him alive, so the longer he lives the more he pollutes and over‑populates. He figures out wonderful ways to harness nuclear energy not only to create energy to run man's machinery and to make life more comfortable but to blow himself to bits. You see, science can only deal with what it observes. It has no morality. Science can't even give him any origin answers. Science doesn't know what happens before and what happened, happened. That's why science gets into such problems when it starts talking about where it all came from, and the best they can do is say once there was a puddle with a piece of protoplasm in it, And then and where did the protoplasm come from? "Don't ask me that." Science can't talk about origins and it can't talk about destinies. It's a study of the observable, and science doesn't give him any answers as to why he exists and where he came from and where he's going and what his meaning is. Somebody says, no it's experience. The only way you can every find meaning in life is to get on the bandwagon of whatever's happening‑‑get in the revolution. Be a part of where it's at. And people have lived like this for centuries. Adventurers‑‑get on the causes, jump on this, join this, join that, better man, sociological ... whatever way you want to do it. Be a part of the cause. This is a classic example of this is Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway did this ... went all over the world. Years ago Playboy Magazineran an article (I wrote a comment on the article in Christianity Today) (Laughter). I've got to be sure and protect myself. (Laughter) No, I believe it was Eternitymagazine, come to think of it‑‑another Christian Magazine‑‑but anyway, and this particular magazine was commenting on an article in Playboy Magazinewhich had reference to Ernest Hemingway. And it was evaluating him, this Playboy Magazinewas evaluating him by saying that he was one that you could cheat sin, that you could do whatever you wanted and get away with it because Hemingway had been all over the world, he'd fought in all revolutions, held killed people, he'd tumbled women, and he'd done this and that and it went on and on and on and on about all of his exploits and how he had proven that the old Christian adage that the wages of sin is death doesn't make it. And ten years later to the month that that article was written in Playboy glorifying Hemingway he took a gun and blew his brains out. No, he didn't make it. He found out that the wages of sin was death. The answer's not an experience, not an adventure.
Somebody else says, the answer is humanism. Ultimate humanism. But you know, you got aproblem in humanism, because if man is a piece of the cosmic machine then he's worthless to begin with. So to worship man is the height of idiocy. To be a humanist has to be the dumbest possible position that a man can evertake because if a man is worthless anyway, why worship the worthless? I mean, if there's nothing outside man that says he's valuable and his problem is he thinks he's not valuable, then what is he doing worshipping himself if he's not valuable. Humanism doesn't offer any answers. Man can't handle his own world, he can't kid himself into thinking bets something more than he is.
So Sartre's main character in his novel "Nausea" comes to this conclusion he says, "I dreamed vaguely of killing myself, to wipe out at least one of these superfluous lives." No reason to live. Nothing to love, nothing to believe in, no hope, oh, coming and going, bits and pieces and hope and love and faith, but nothing concrete, nothing lasting, nothing meaningful, no wonder man has no peace, no wonder he lives in a state of existential shock, no wonder he's in a state of trauma. He hasn't figured out what he is and why he is. But you see, it is to this point that Jesus speaks. That man is because God is. And because God wanted man to be, because God has wonderful things in store for man. This is where Jesus moves in, the things that man is looking for‑‑love, faith, and hope, are exactly the things that Jesus gives. You see, in I Cor. 13:13 it says, "and now abideth faith, hope and love; these three." Why does it say these three? Those are the big three, neighbors. Those are the big three. And the greatest of these is what? Is love. In I Thess. 1 when Paul was stating that the Thessalonians were saved people, he was kind of presenting them as real believers in chapter 1 in the first 5 verses, and in verse 3 he proves their salvation by saying this: "I can remember your work of faith, your labor of love, and patience of hope." Now anybody that has love, faith, and hope is a believer in Christ, and that's the next phrase, "in our Lord Jesus Christ." And if you read through I Thessalonians you'll find in chapter 4 in verse 9 he talks about their love he talks about their love, chapter 4 verse 13‑18 he talks about their hope, chapter 4 verse 13‑18 he talks about their hope, chapter 1 verse 8 he talks about their faith, chapter 5 verse 8 he says now you've got them all now use them. Faith, hope and love, all come from a relationship to Jesus Christ. Under the three big things that every man desperately needs. He cannot exist without them. Now those three are what bring us to our passage in John 16. Because those three are the features that Jesus talks about in this final paragraph. And they are really, really important to us.
Now if you were to read this passage superficially you might not even see these three. Because they are not portrayed as such, but in the discourse between Jesus and his disciples when you get into the nitty‑gritty of what he's saying these three things literally explode in your face. And we'll only be able this morning to see the first one which is love, because it's so rich in verses 25‑27 but we must take the time to be careful with it. So these verses, verses 25‑33 then deal with the three cardinal virtues of salvation, did you get that? The three cardinal virtues of salvation, faith, hope, and love. And they are the summary of all of Jesus' discourse beginning in chapter 13. This has been a great discourse, hasn't it? There's nothing like it anywhere in the Bible‑‑fantastic. And really from 14 through 16 is a transition. You don't hear anything about Judaism anymore, everything's about the new age‑‑the dispensation of the Spirit; this is the bridge that Jesus is building to the new age. It's all about the great Holy Spirit age, it all deals with the Christian's position and practice, and Judaism is faded from the scene by the time you come to chapter 14, and Jesus is building the bridge to the new age. And the offer to his disciples in this discourse, and to every man who comes to him, love, faith t and hope‑‑the three things that make meaningful existence.
First of all, let's notice love. And we're going to sneak up on it a little bit. Beginning in verse 25, Jesus says, "These things have I spoken unto you in Proverbs, that the time cometh when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs but I shall show you plainly of the Father. Now I want to talk about that for just a minute. First of all He says, these things have I spoken unto you in proverbs. The Greek word is "peroinia". There are two words in the New Testament that are used commonly, concerning the veiled statements of Jesus, "parabalas", from which we get parables, and "peroinia". Now peroiniais here translated proverb, but that perhaps is not the best translation. Because when we in English think about a proverb we think about some kind of a clever little saying like we read in the proverbs, as this word indicates. Peroimiameans a "veiled, pointed statement". A veiled pointed statement. That is a peroimia. The Hebrew equivalent is "mashal", and a meshalis the same thing‑‑it is a very important sort of pregnant with meaning statement‑‑it's like an iceberg, you know, you get the top of it and you miss the real shot that's underneath the surface. And Jesus spoke continually in meshals, continually in these peroimias, and He by doing that eliminated totally the unbeliever from understanding. Totally. I mean the wise and the prudent (quote) of the world never got anything‑‑I mean they didn't even know what was going on. But He also limited the sense in which the disciples understood. They understood some of the basic things that he was saying, and really that's all he cared that they understand. But the real depth of it He left for us on this side when the Spirit comes and begins to unlock all of these things, you see? I mean He wanted to leave more than was there on the surface, you understand that? Jesus just didn't want to say this is it and this is it and then everybody would say oh year, we all get it. They would have read it once, got it and then chucked it, right? And so He left a wealth of unseen information that needs the Spirit of God's teaching to untie and to unfold.
And so He spoke in peroimias, both by sovereign design to limit them and also because they couldn't understand more than they got anyway. We know that, right. All right, so Jesus spoke to them in veiled statements. All along. For example, back in chapter two, He said, in three days, you know, destroy this temple and in three days I will build it again. And they're all scratching their heads and saying, good night, how will He ever do that? Because they understood not that He spake of His body. You see, they didn't get it until clear on later on afterwards, did they? Post‑cross. Oh, hey. They probably went back to their notes, you know? Look at that, look at that‑‑see. I mean it just unfolded later on, but they didn't get it at that point. But don't you see, Jesus had to say these deep things, because that was proof. It was all there‑‑they just got a little of it. And the world got none of it, see. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," they didn't get that real clearly. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life", He talked about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, and they didn't really get that, and the Jews, they didn't get it at all. They were saying, oh that's ridiculous, there's not enough of you to go around in this town let alone all over the world, you know. They were thinking pure physical. And He spoke to them, He said things like "Before Abraham was I am," and you know they didn't understand that. So many of the times that Jesus had spoken to them all through John He had spoken to them in meshals, or peroimias, veiled statements. Fortunately there was always enough proof to make it meaningful. But there was enough truth left to make it rich for the rest of the era of the dispensation of the Spirit, you see? He gave them the top and then when the Spirit came He began to unfold all the wealth of things that were hidden. The expanse of knowledge. There was enough informationso that a man waswithout excuse‑for rejecting Christ, but there was still enough left unsaid so that the Spirit of God could spend a whole age of Grace unfolding it to us.
Now you'll notice that in the beginning of verse 25 the first two words, "these things", one word in Greek, "These things have I spoken in peroimia." What things? Well, could be many things, could be everything that He said in peroimias, and I'm sure that does have a general reference to that. All of the meshalswere veiled in a sense, particularly, if you'll notice at the bottom of verse 25 the last three words, of the Father, particularly the things that He said regarding the Father. You see, He had talked about coming from the Father and going to the Father in veiled statements and they were still trying to figure out what He was talking about. We won't take the time to go all through them but there are many places in John that we've already studied where Jesus had hinted at the fact that He had come from God and was going back to God, in kind of veiled statements in context and they hadn't been able to figure them out and so held been saying to them all these things that I've been telling you in parables and particularly those that have to do with my relationship to the Father. This was the biggest mystery of all. Divine origin and the return of Christ to that divine place.
Now it's all been veiled‑‑he hasn't really given them a complete and simple statement of His connection with the Father. And may I quickly add that footnote that I hinted at that it was not only that Jesus designed a veil, and it was that they couldn't handle them anyway. You know? If you look back at chapter 16 verse 12 you'll see that that's true, because in 16:12 Jesus even said "I have yet many things to say unto you but you cannot bear them now." They couldn't handle what they had, let alone any more. They were doing real well to see the tops of the iceberg, let alone the rest of it. And so they were veiled not only by sovereign design of Christ but they were veiled also because of the disciples spiritual ignorance and their inability to understand at that point, and it's not really so much that we blame them, because they did not have the resident Holy Spirit who would be the truth teacher, do you see? And the same statements that confused the disciples when we read them they don't confuse us. They are plain to us. We understand them. When the Bible says Jesus came out from God and went back to God we understand that, we who know Christ. That does not confuse us. And so Jesus at this time is prevented from speaking to them in open and closed statements not only by His own design but by their ignorance, but He promises them, remember in chapter 16 verse 13 that the Spirit would come and guide you in all truth, He will not speak of Himself but whatever He shall hear that will He speak, and over in chapter 14 He says He will take the things that I said and He'll show them to you and He'll teach you regarding them. Bring to your remembrance whatsoever I said unto you. So until the man of sorrows actually suffers, until He actually dies on the Cross, until He's risen again, until the Spirit comes, the superhelper the teacher, they cannot understand fully Christ's teaching nor His relationship to the Father. But the great new age is coming, and age with no parables, no peromias, no veiled statements, no meshals, in the dispensation of the Spirit He will speak plainly of the Father.
Now notice the little phrase, the time cometh, in the middle of verse 25. The time cometh can be connected with verse 23 in that day, verse 26, at that day, what day is it. The day of Pentecost. It's the day and the time when the Spirit of God comes and indwells them. In the new age, in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, you remember after Christ died, about 50 days later the Spirit of God descended and indwelt the believers, and continues to indwell believers throughout all the Grace age, and in all that period of time the Spirit of God is in them. Jesus is saying, at that time in that hour on that day when the Spirit comes then you'll know all of these things simply, because we'll begin to clarify all the mystery. And it's true. You read Paul, and Paul doesn't speak in parables. Neither does James, neither does Peter, neither does any other New Testament writer. There aren't any parables. The closest thing to mysterious truth is Revelation, and the reason it's mysterious is because we're back on the other side of it again, see. We're where the disciples were before the death of Christ in reference to Revelation, that's all stuff that hasn't happened yet. That's why it's difficult for us to understand it. But in terms of the epistles, all the epistles are designed to do is unfold the teaching of Christ to us. They are to remove the veil, to remove the mysteries, to eliminate the parables and to teach plainly the truth. And so from the time that the Spirit of God comes on Pentecost the teaching will be clear, and the coming age the meshalswill be over and it's true. In fact, in verse 23, look at the first statement of verse 23, chapter 16,"and in that day you shall ask Me (what?) nothing." Your questions will be answered. That's one of the meanings of that statement. We saw that last week. You're questions will be answered in the new age. You know sometimes we say to ourselves well those stupid disciples, what a bunch of clods. I mean this stuff isn't that tough. I mean they should have gotten a lot of that stuff. But remember whom you have teaching you, friend. Remember who lives within you‑‑the Holy Spirit of God, and let's face it without the Holy Spirit of God you'd be a dodo. You'd be worse than the disciples, because they at least had Christ around, they could ask Him. You wouldn't know anything. In case you don't believe that, I want to read you something out of the Bible that will tell you that. I Cor. 2:9, "but as it is written, eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him." We can't know it by our senses, can we? We can't know what God has for us just by our eyes and ears. You can't know it by that human understanding. Watch this. "But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit." The only reason you know anything is by the Holy Spirit. People say I don't know whether the Holy Spirit's within me. I know one way you can answer that and I often do that is to say well do you know anything about the Bible, Yeah. Well who do you think taught you? God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit for the Spirit searches all things, yeah the deep things of God. He's the one that knows the deep things of God and teaches them to us, for what man knoweth the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. We don't know these things. God's Spirit teaches us. "Now we have received not the spirit who is of this worldbut the Spirit who is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, which things also we speak; I know what I know because the Spirit teaches me and so I tell you about it. Not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth comparing spiritual things with spiritual. And then He goes on to say and the natural man understandeth not the things of God. They are spiritually discerned, so he can't know them. Realize where your knowledge comes from. The only reason you know anything is because the Spirit of God is your teacher, and He's the only one who knows the mind of God. He's the only one who searches the deep things of God and reveals them to you and to me. So what we know about spiritual truth we know from the Holy Spirit, either directly as He teaches us or indirectly as He teaches you through me, see. But it's all the Spirit of God's teaching. We know nothing apart from Him.
Now I want to show you how this works in the transition by having you go with me for a minute to 11 Cor. 3, and I wish you'd turn there, because there are enough verses here to make us stay for awhile. II Cor. 3:4, and I'm not going to take the time to tear this whole thing apart but I'm just going to hit some highlights. Forgive me for the part that we pass. Verse 4, "And such trust have we through Christ toward God." All right, we trust God. Through Christ we've come to God. We've got that. Now watch 5. Picking it up. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves but our sufficiency is what? Of God, II Cor. 3:5: "our sufficiency is of God." We don't know anything by ourselves. Now watch this. Talking about God some more, God is the key to this next verse, God who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life. Always comparing the New Testament with the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the letter, the law, and the law kills. You know that the law would kill? Because you can't keep it, can you? You break the law and death is the result. The law is a killer, God's law. Verse 7, it even calls it, but the ministration of death. You see that's the name of the law. The name brings death. Written and engraved in stones, let me read again verse 7, if the ministration of death written and engraved in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of His countenance which glory was to be done away, how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be more glorious? Now what he's saying is this, if there was some majesty and glory to the Old Covenant which was deadly, how much more glory to the New? Right? And if the old law was a good thing, and it was, if the Old Covenant was goodenough to put a glow on Moses' face and bring glory to God because of it then that's great, but how much more glory in the New Covenant. Now we'll see what that means, verse 9. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory much more doeth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. All the law could do is condemn you, right? The law can't save anybody. The only way you could be saved by the law is to keep it all, can you do that? No. so the law could only condemn. If a law that can condemn is glorious, how much more glorious is a New Testament that can give righteousness? You see? And how much more glorious, see. Verse 10, "for even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth." In other words, when you compare the two the old law looks like it's unglorious. Now, we re going to get down to the nitty‑gritty. Verse 11, "for if that which was done away with is glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great what? Plainness of speech. The old thing is gone, the old thing with all the pictures and types and all the parables and peroimiasand all the meshalsand that's what the Old Testament is full of are the types all over the Old Testament, you know there are. Pictures and all different kinds of views of Messiah, and all this that you had to kind of unscramble. And it's very difficult, and Paul says that's all over‑‑the old one is gone and the new one is hear and we speak with great plainness of speech, see. Not like Moses who put a veil over his face, verse 13, and the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which was fading away. I don't want to go into this too long but Moses had the glory of God on his face when he came down with the tables of testimony, the law, and he put a veil over his face to veil the glory, see. Because it was fading away. He wanted to veil that glory. Verse 14, and that's just a hint at the Old Testament, because the Old Testament was kind of veiled glory, that's something to illustrate, but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament. Did you get that? There is this, and I'm not going to give you every little meaning here, but the whole general passage is saying this, the old covenant was a veiled covenant. It was a covenant of parables and pipes and pictures, and it did not have the plainness of speech.
Jesus even said on the Road to Amaeus, if you'd really known the Old Testament you'd have known all about this, remember? Because they didn't understand even their own Old Testament. The Jews certainly didn't understand it. So much veiled statement. and here Paul says this, their minds were blinded verse 14 and until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament. Do you know the Jews today still have the same veil on? 2,000 years after the veil was taken away they still have it on. One‑half block down the street they all have the veil on. They do, and it's a sad thing. They're veiled. Their minds are blinded. They get up every Sabbath and they read the Old Testament but they haven't got the faintest idea what it's talking about. They cannot untable the parables or the types or the meanings or the prophecies. They're veiled. Look at the end of verse 14. No wonder, which veil is done away where? In Christ. In Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read the veil is upon their heart; that's a commentary, on Jewish worship today in 1971. They read the law of Moses, there's a veil on their hearts. Oh, look at this. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord the veil shall be taken away. Then the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. All of a sudden the freedom to know and to understand. And then what happens in verse 18, we all with unveiled face, don't you love that now? You know what it means to have an unveiled face? You can read the New Testament and under stand it. Why? Because the veil was taken away when you received Christ. You behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and you get changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. That's the whole economy of the New Testament in a nutshell, verse 18. The veil is removed, and as you gaze into the unclouded glory of Christ in the New Testament the Spirit changes you into His image. That's what Christianity is, did you know? It's becoming like Christ, isn't it? And the only way to become like Christ is to gaze into His glory, unveiled, while the Spirit changes you into His image.
Now, the reason I took all that time with that is that I want you to understand what we're saying here. The old age veiled, darkness, parables, peroimias, types, prophecies. In the new age‑‑plainness of speech. No more veil, everything is clear, because the indwelling Spirit is our teacher. You see?Tremendous, tremendous things. I mean you've got to believe that there was a tremendous climactic change when the Spirit came. Has to be. The whole new concept, the whole new age is born. Now try to understand the disciples' problem‑‑they're in the veiled age. They're hearing it with mosaic, legalistic ears. And they can't decipher all that's being said, but when the graceage begins, with the resident Holy Spirit, all of that new stuff is going to be plain and clear to our understanding. Because the Spirit will be our teacher. So Jesus says, catch it again in chapter 16 verse 25 "these things have I spoken unto you in proverbs, but the time comes when I shall no longer speak to you in proverbs but I shall show you plainly of the Father." Isn't that a tremendous promise? Fantastic. And you know one thing we Christians know is about the Father, don't we? We may not know all the doctrine in the Bible but we know about the Father, don't we? You know that even a spiritual babe knows that? In I John chapter 2 you know when John was talking about spiritual babes, he says "I write unto you babes, little children, "paidea", you know, little ones, because you have known the Father." See? I mean, a little baby in your family doesn't know ‑much, but he knows mom and dad. That's it. But that proves that child is alive in your family. And so it is with a Christian. You may not know anything. You may be a spiritual babe. But you know one thing. You know the Father. You know the Father. That's the first thing the Christian learns is that God loves him and cares for him, and that's exactly what Jesus is saying, plainly folks in the new age you'll know the Father. No more questions about the Father. And then little by little it begins to unfold the beauty of Christ's own relationship to the Father and the tremendous redemptive plan which God designed which involved both Christ and the Holy Spirit, tremendous truth.
So He says, it's coming, in a new time and a new age, and I'll show you plainly of the Father. And another thing, we who know Jesus Christ know about is the Trinity. We know that God and Christ and the Spirit are three in one. We see that in the Word of God. We don't understand it, we believe it. So there he says, I used to speak to you this way but soon that will all change in the new age, Now watch verse 26: "At that day, (same day, Pentecost) from then on in the new age you shall ask in my Name." Ask who? Well, the Father, of course, and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you... Now hold on a minute. Is that verse saying that Jesus never prays for us? Is that what that says? Well if it does, it contradicts Hebrews 7:25 and it contradicts Romans 8:24 and it contradicts Romans 8:26. Did you ever read in the Bible that Christ is at the right hand of the Father interceding for you? Well what does this mean hear, when it says in verse 26, 1 say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you?" Well what is he saying? Look at the first part of the verse, "At that day ye shall ask in my name." Now listen, let's startright there for a minute. In the new dispensation of the Spirit, the disciples will be able to do what they have never been able to do before; they will be able to go to the Father directly in the name of Jesus. And they will be able to have direct access to God the Father. Go back to verse 23, in the middle, "whatever you shall ask the Father in My Name He will give it you, hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name‑‑(this is something new, guys, you never did it before this way) keep on asking and you shall keep on receiving that you're joy may keep on being full." There's a new age coming, guys, and you're going to go directly to the Father and I'm not going to have to ask for you. You know, and they had spent all of three years that they'd been with Him saying would you speak with God on this, if they asked Him for anything. And now He says there's a new age. You can go straight in on your own. Just say Jesus sent you. Isn't that good? When we pray in Jesus' name that's what we're doing, we're saying, Father, Jesus sent me to ask you this. Now that's how you ought to qualify your prayers. You say, you mean I can pray for anything and God will give it to me? No, you can pray for anything like this, "Uh, Father, I'm coming because Jesus sent me and I'm asking you for Him to do this. You're asking consistent with what you know is Christ's will, consistent with Christ, yet the promise, watch in verse 26, ye shall ask in my name‑tremendous. And back in verse 23, you'll get it; He'll give it to you. In the new age, the believer, will go straight to God and just say, Jesus sent me.
Now you know that the Father loves the Son, don't you? And you know that if the Father really loves the Son, anyone who comes to the Father in the Son's name is going to get what he asks, don't you? Sure. I mean if somebody comes to me and asks me for something and says I was sent by your son who wants this too, and it's something good and something wonderful, I'm going to give it all the faster because I love my son, and if he sent him on his behalf, how much quicker is my response. And the same thing is true perhaps of God. God would answer something perhaps, but how much faster does God respond in a human sense when He knows that we are sent by His Son whom He loves with an infinite love. So prayer is the power to move God's hand. Prayer is joy. Prayer is going directly into God's presence. Gerhardt said this, "The benefit of prayer is so great that it cannot be expressed, Prayer is the dove which when sent out returns again bringing with it the olive leaf of peace and joy. Prayer is a golden chain which God holds fast and let's not go until He blesses. Prayer is the Moses rod which brings forth the water of consolation out of the rock of salvation. Prayer is Samson's jawbone which smites our enemies, prayer is David's harp, before which the evil spirit flies, prayer is the key to Heaven's treasures." That's prayer.
And so when we are in the new age indwelt by the Spirit of God because we have put our faith and love in Jesus Christ we have immediate access into the actual presence of God. Then, with that in mind, look at verse 26, "Therefore," Christ says, I'mnot going to tell you that I will pray to the Father for you." No, He doesn't say that I'm not going to pray for you, he just says I'm not going to tell you that I'm not going to pray for you. I don't have to pray for you in those any more. You can go straight into God on your own, you don't need Me, you don't need to come to Me as it were and have Me beg God, just go in My name‑you belong to Me, and He loves Me so much that whatever you ask in My name for My sake He'll do it for you. We come into the presence of God and are received as He would receive His own Son, do you know that? That's a fantastic thought. You have the instant and total access to God's presence as a Christian. Now this is important, because you see, for example the Roman Catholic Church has taught for centuries that access to the Father and to Christ comes through Mary, and access to Mary and to Christ comes through angels or certain saints, and so they've set up a whole barrier of individuals to get to God. Ought, look what we've got, in the Catholic theology, the Catholics' own theology book, says this, "Mary's intercessory cooperation extends to all graces, so that no grace accruesto mankind without the intercession of Mary. The redemptive grace of Christ is conferred on nobody without the actual intercessory cooperation of Mary." Now I'll tell you, friends, I don't read that in my Bible. And I looked into the evidence of Ought's theology to try to find out by what he supported this, and he supported it by the tradition the church councils and certain decrees. It is not in the Bible. My Bible tells me the words of Jesus are very simple. "From this day on, you may go immediately into My Father's presence, in my Name." Just tell Him that I sent you. You don't need saints, you don't need priests, you don't need angels, you don't need me, you don't need anything. Just go straight to God in my name and say, "Here I am, God, Jesus sent me, "and that's enough. That's enough. We don't have to beg Mary or saint somebody to ask Christ to ask God, we go straight to God. Instant, immediate access, entrance into God's divine presence, direct. You say, well, umm, I'm still bothered by the part that says, "And I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you." Well, I'll tell you how this works. In regards to this, Jesus doesn't need to pray for us. Now hang on a minute. I can pray for certain things in my own life, can't I? Let me give you an illustration of what I mean. In Romans 8:26, well in Romans 8:34 it says that He makes intercession for us. In Romans 8:26 it tells us how. The Spirit of Christ is within us, right? And in chapter 26 it says this, "for the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Over what? For we know not what to pray for as we ought. You know where Christ is interceding for us? He intercedes for us in the areas where we don't know how to pray. Did you get that? Christ's intercession is in the area where we don't know how to pray. We can go directly to God in the area of our own need and the anxiety of our own heart, and our own request and our own desires and in the areas we don't know about Christ picks up the slack and goes to God on our behalf, do you see? I mean that's totally covering all the ground, isn't it? You go to God and immediate access for everything you need and the stuff you can't even think about Christ will take care of that. And there's one other area where Christ intercedes for you, and that's in I John chapter 2, "My little children, sin not, .‑but if any man sin we have an advocate, an intercessor with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." You know the second place that He intercedes for you? In the matter of your sin. He constantly sees to it that the Father forgives your sin. He just constantly intercedes on behalf of your sin, see. Constantly. He's the propitiation the covering for your sins. So Jesus Christ's intercessory work has to do with sin and it has to do with that which you do not know how to pray for. And He prays for you on behalf of those two things and those are areas where you and I can't get because we can't touch those areas. He picks up all the loose areas. We pray directly to God for those things that are on our hearts. That's a fantastic thing, isn't it? And you see, that's why in Romans 8:28 it says, "All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to their purpose. Why? Because of the constant intercessory ministry of the Spirit of Christ on our behalf. In verses 26 and 27 leading up to 28.
You say, well I don't understand one thing, I mean this is fabulous; I mean this is fantastic that I can go immediately into God's presence and I don't have to come up to you and have you do it for me and I don't have to go through the motions that God's not behind a wall and saying smash it down and pray it through, brother, and all of this and that, and I don't have to pray to saint so and so or Mary or a priest or anybody, I can go immediately to God and the rest of the stuff that I don't know how to pray for Jesus is picking it all up and praying for it and He's constantly interceding for me on behalf of my sin and everything is covered. This is fabulous. What I don't understand is why? You know? I mean, that's nice, God, I mean what are you doing this for? I mean, I'm a crumb, right? I mean, you know I'm speaking collectively (laughter). But you know, I mean, we don't deserve this. We don't deserve this, God. I mean what right do we have to expect this out of you? I mean, if I'd been a disciple and had been kind of prompted to ask a question, I would have said that, I would have said now just tell me one thing, Jesus, why in the world does God bother to do this? And that's the answer in verse 26, look at it. So beautiful. "For the Father Himself" (what?) "loves you." Loves you. That's fantastic. You know why God did this? He loves you. Now watch this. Why doesHe love me so much, what did I do? Because you loved Me, and believed that I came from God. You know, when you love Jesus Christ God loves you with a unique kind of love, and that unique kind of love prompts that kind of bounty and blessing and answered prayer on your behalf. Isn't that fantastic? God loves you. You say, God loves me? That's right. God loves you. You're worth something. That is the basis of human existence, my friend, that God loves you, did you know that? If God doesn't love you, you're a joke. If God doesn't love you God is off on some cloud just cracking up, laughing at the brutality of existence'.' If God doesn't love you, this is a sick joke, the whole thing. But He does love you. I mean, imagine being loved by the God of the Universe. Does that give you a little self value? I mean, God's made some beautiful stars and some fantastic things, He's created some massive kind of things, I was watching last night on television the ascent of Mt. Everest and I thought what a creative masterpiece, creating those mountains and all that grandeur and that beauty, it's beyond belief, you know, and then I began to think about what I'm going to preach and I thought well that's no big deal, God loves me way more than He loves all that stuff. You know that outside of the Trinity you're the hottest commodity in the universe? God loves you. You are worth something. You are so highly valued; you know how much he loves you? He loves you so much that He came to earth to die for you, that's how much He loves you. I mean, you're the most valuable thing He owns. God loves you, and that's the reason for human existence. God loves you, get that through your head.
But I want to dive in a little deeper for a minute because I want to take the word love and show you what it is. Now there's a very famous word for love in the Bible, "agape" which means divine love, you know, kind of over all divine love. That's not the word that's used here, and I want to show you something really exciting. Verse27, "for the Father Himself loves you," uses the word "philetto" for love (philethere, this form). You know what it means? It means, really likes you. God not only loves you withthe kind of sweeping grand love but He really likes you a lot. Isn't that good? You know, it's one thing to say, God loves you. You say, that's no big thing, He loves everybody. Yeah, but for some peopleHe really likes 'em, in the vernacular, He digs on 'em, see. That's what the young people say. You know, God really likes you, a lot. Very much He likes you‑God is crazy about you, That's philet, philetis a family love, it's a deep affection, In the Greek form is a duative present, you know, it's a continual. God just keeps on really having a deep affection for you. Now He loves in a divine sense the whole world, right, John 3:16. But He has a really deep, warm, fatherly caring affection for those who love Jesus. And that's why He hears and answers their prayers. They're part of the family. He cares for them. God loves all men, then with a divine love, but He has a special deep intimate warm love for those who love Jesus. I like both those loves, don't you? I mean, I'm glad He loves me with a universal divine love because that love made Him give me Christ. I'm also really excited that He likes me a lot, that He has a warm tender fatherly affection for me, because that love makes Him give me everything I ask for in Jesus' name. I'm glad for both of those loves. And you know something; you can't be a Christian and understand the love of God and how much He really likes you without having a tremendous sense of self value. Self value. You're worth something to God. You're the highest prize that He ever claimed in the universe, do you know that? When the angels fell, He never redeemed them. When men fell, He set everything in motion in the universe to redeem those men back. That's because He loves us, and especially does He really like us when we love Jesus. That's good.
So many Christians have the idea that God has a whip, you know, that He's after them, and that it's a horrible brow‑beating existence. I mean, you say to your God, "Don't do that or God won't like you." Oh, that's terrible to say that‑that's a lie. If you're a Christian God likes you. He doesn't like you because of you, figure that one out. He likes you in spite of you anyway. (Laughter) So many Christians are beaten down with inferiority feelings and persecution complexes and feelings of inadequacy and nobody likes me, you know, andkind of down‑in‑the‑mouth. Get it into your head‑‑God likes you a lot if you're a Christian. He has a deep, warm, tender loving Fatherly affection for you. If you have a saving love for Jesus, if you believe that Jesus came from God, if you believe the redemptive plan in Jesus if you've given love for Jesus Christ, God has a love for you that is deep and warm and it is real, and it is personal, and it is intimate. And that's even though He knows you're unfaithful, sinful, critical, sour, a lousy husband, a poor wife, not a very good mother and a father, don't work like you should‑‑whateverHe knows about you and whatever He knows about me. They're all in spite ofs. He loves us. And He just keeps on loving every one of us; it's a constant kind of affection. That brings up an interesting footnote. If God loves all Christians, I thought about this in my own mind, if God loves all Christians with that kind of tender affection, and He loves them all in spite of what He knows about them, how 'bout us, do we love one another? With that same kind of inclusiveness, even though we know certain things? Most of us don't. Most of us would rather elevate ourselves above God and chose whom we will desire to love. We sort of select those who receive our affection. And I ask you what Jesus asked His disciples twice, is the servant greater than his Lord? Jesus even washed Judas' feet, you know. Instead of judging others we ought to make our salvation visible by loving all in the body of Christ. God does. We ought to have the same tender, gentle affection He has. And so God likes us a lot. And He's a Father to us. That's why when a Christian prays, Romans 8:15, he doesn't go in fear to God. You know, we don't pray like, God I'm coming into your presence, I'm coming, God‑‑don't hit me. What till you hear what I have to say, you know. We don't go like that, see. There's no fear. When we pray, we say, Abba, Father, don't we? What does that mean? That's Daddy, Papa. That's a term of intimacy. When we go to God we go in complete trust, complete confidence, we come into His presence. We say, Abba, Father. Here's my need, and we just kind of unbear our hearts. We know He loves us, we sense this intimacy that God has for us. You know, you can try to explain this to people who don't knowChrist, but it's inexplicable. In a loveless world that thrives on loveless words and a kind of wordless sexual love in homes where there is no love and in lives where there is no love here comes the real stuff. Not only a divine kind of love but a divine tender kind of warm affection, that gives a soul value and worth. Listen, my friend, if you're worth something to God, you're worth something, And you know, the shock of it all is that some of us can't even assign value to people. When God does, and we're infinitely less holy than‑He is. And yet God can see in every one of you value to send Him to the cross. And when you once sense that love and when you love Him back, when you love Jesus and He loves you, it's so fulfilling. You know why you live; you know what it means to be alive.
You say, I'd like to have that experience of love‑‑it's easy. God did it all, He made it all happen. He proved His love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. He made the way open. All you need to do is love Jesus Christ, believe He came from God, accept His death on the Cross and you'll know that love. And that, my friends is the worth of a man. If a man is not loved he is worthless. Because love is pricing him. One who believes in and one who knows God makes sense out of life because he is loved. He has the chief clue to the meaning of existence, which is human value. You do matter. You matter to God. You're not just a piece of a cosmic machine. You're a beloved individual, whom God not only loves in a vast spiritual divine dimension, but for whom He has a deep affection. I'll tell you, when you think about that it makes you want to shout. Fantastic.
Well, there it is. In John 14, let me just give you two verses. Verse 21, same thing. "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." Now watch this. This is how you love Christ, by being obedient to His commands. And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. Isn't that good. God loves those who loveJesus. How do you show your love for Jesus, by obeying His commands. Verse 23. Jesus answered and said untohim, "If a man love me he willkeep my words (same thing, and what happens when a man loves me) my Father will love him, you see? I mean you can be involved in a love relationship with God, with Christ, and then you'll find out with other believers that we're in the same love bond. You can bask in love.
So man feels the call of love. He realizes he's not truly a man apart from it. He is alienated, he is conscious of his guilt, his loneliness, and his despair. And what would a loving God do to alleviate this? He encounters man in love, expresses His love to that man in a supreme sacrifice, and asks that man to do one thing to respond and love Him back. And tells him how he can love Him‑‑by loving His Son and obeying His commands. And when that man does that then he is liked by God in the warm tender affectionate sense of the word. This is what God created you for, so He could love you. And when you love Him and He loves you in return you have meaning to existence. Apart from that you have no meaning. What you really need to know and what you really need to experience is what Paul mentioned in Ephesians when he said this: "We are accepted in the beloved. In Christ, we are beloved of God." Tremendous truth.
Father, we thank you this morning as we just kind of close our thoughts for what we've learned. Thank you that you love us. First of all, with that agape, that divine kind of love, that caused you to die for us, and secondly that warm kind of caring family love that causes you to answer our prayers, even those we don't pray. That causes you to know that we have need before you ever ask and I thank you right know for loving me, in spite of myself, and for really liking me, and just to know that I'm worth something, just to know that I have a reason to exist. That you care about me. That I'm a joy to your heart, that I'm a trophy of your grace, that I'm someone that you can love, because you need to have an object to love. Father, I thank you that you love me, and that youlove everyone here who loves Jesus Christ in that same warm caring kind of love, and I thank you that whenever I ask in Jesus' name you hear and you answer and you meet the need. I thank you for the new age of the Spirit, that I may know you, plainly and clearly, and understand. I thank you for the Spirit teaching me. Father, I also would pray right now for some who are here whom you love in a divine sense and whom you died for, to show that love, but who have never come and received Christ, and believed and loved him in return. Father, I pray that right now they would open their heart to Jesus Christ, that they would receive Him as Savior, that they would love Him, and thus would know your warm tender affectionate love. To that end we pray, Father, that even as we close this service you'll draw hearts to yourself. While your heads are bowed, as we conclude in a moment, we like to always give an invitation. Perhaps you're hearing the Spirit of God speak to you and you know you need Jesus Christ. You're really looking for so‑me kind of love that's so permanent and so rich and so full, and I offer to you what Jesus offers, that same kind of love. It can be yours, if you'll respond to Christ and receive Him as your Savior, believe in the perfect work that He did and accept His love for you and love Him in return and show that love by obeying Him. Father, as we close, we ask you to do your perfect will. Direct those who need to come and make some real decisions‑‑critical decisions of time and eternity. Direct them, Father, give them the strength to come. Defeat Satan. May this be a time of real victory. We thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.
You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You's Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).