Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “On that day you will know that I am in the Father, you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Christ is in you.”
This morning we will continue our discussion from yesterday regarding how it is that, according to Jesus, His followers would go on to accomplish even greater things than He did while He was here on earth. He made that statement in John 14:12. What He meant by “greater” was not greater in power or in the performing of miracles, but greater in extent. His personal immediate impact on earth was limited to the people in Biblical Israel at that time. But the salvation he brought through His work on earth was intended for all the people of the world. The extent of the impact would be greater than it had been when He was physically present on earth because of the work of His followers down through the ages to share the Good News of the Gospel.
In today’s passage from John 14:20 Jesus takes us a little deeper into the mystery of how this happens. There He was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit in His place, who would then live in the hearts of His followers (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and who would empower and equip His followers to carry on the work. In this verse Jesus reveals that when we place our faith in Him, we enter into a deep and intimate relationship with the Trinity which includes a life that is literally inhabited by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But actually, it’s even more than that. By means of the Spirit, Jesus actually continues to live His life here on earth through the lives of His followers. In order to fully grasp this crucial truth, we will need to carefully consider some companion verses from the New Testament which teach and expand upon this reality for believers.
In John 15:5 Jesus went on to explain, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” Just as the life of the vine is lived-out through the branches, and the fruit of the vine is produced through the branches, so too Jesus lives His life through the lives of His followers, and He produces His fruit through their lives.
In John 15:8 He carried it further by saying, “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.” In other words, when we have submitted ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and we are allowing Him to accomplish the work of God through our lives, much fruit for Christ is produced in the world, and God is glorified.
Then the Apostle Paul took this lesson even further in Galatians 5:22-23 when He described for us what this fruit of the Spirit of Christ looks like in actual practice in the lives of the followers of Jesus, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” That’s what this looks like in your life! Not only will that be what you experience internally in your own heart, but it will be what others get to experience as a result of having been in contact with you.
A greater work than what Jesus did? Well, yes. Greater in extent. There are now hundreds of millions of walking, talking, mobile temples of God’s Holy Spirit fanned out across the world showering the world with the love, joy, peace, patience, and all the manifold blessings of Jesus. And you are a part of that!
Tomorrow we’re going to consider what kind of a powerful motivating force that truth should be in the life of every believer.