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26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
The more we are self-centered in our own affairs and interests and personal welfare and enjoyment, the emptier and cheaper and more useless is our life.
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
The prince of this world - Sin!
Sin made flesh, whose character is revealed in the works of the flesh, is the wicked one of the world. He is styled by Jesus, the prince of this world. Kosmos, rendered world in this phrase, signifies, that order of things constituted upon the basis of sin in the flesh, and styled the kingdom of Satan (Matt. 12:26), as opposed to the kingdom of God, which is to be established upon the foundation of "the word made flesh" obedient unto death. Incarnated sin, and incarnated obedience are the bases of the two hostile kingdoms of God, and of the adversary.
The world is Satan's kingdom; therefore it is, that "the saints," or people of God, both Israelites outwardly (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-7) and "Israelites indeed" (John 1:47), are a dispersed and persecuted community. Satan's kingdom is the kingdom of sin. It is a kingdom in which "sin reigns in the mortal body," and thus has dominion over men.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The judgment of the prince of the world by God, was exhibited in the contest between Jesus and the civil and spiritual power in Judea. "Its poison was like the poison of a serpent" (Psalm 58:4), when "the iniquity of His heels compassed Him about." "The battle was against Him for a time. They bruised Him in the heel (Gen. 3:15). The enemy smote His life down to the ground and made Him "to dwell in darkness, as those that had been long dead" (Psalm 143:3). But here the serpent-power of sin ended.
It had stung Him to death by the strength of the law, which cursed every one that was hanged upon a tree; Jesus being cursed upon this ground, God "condemned sin in the flesh," through him (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3). Thus was sin, the prince of the world condemned, and the world with him according to the existing course of it.
But, Jesus rose again, leading captivity captive; and so giving to the world an earnest, that the time would come when death should be abolished, and sin, the power of death destroyed. Sinful flesh was laid upon Him, "that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," or sin in the flesh (Heb. 2:14): for, for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
We are aware of the difficulty that even the sincere ones experienced in trying to fit Christ as he was into their conception of what the Messiah should be
Bro Growcott - He Must Increase I Must Decrease
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
Veiled in flesh, "the Vail of the Covering" (Exodus 35:12): he that discerneth him who spoke to Philip, "saw the Father" (John 14:9; 12:45). But, veiled or unveiled, the Father-Spirit is substantial. Speaking of the Unveiled Father-Spirit, Paul says in Heb. 1:2, 3, that the Son is the Character of his Hypostasis, rendered, in the common version, "express image of his person."
The Son is the character or exact representation, and the Father is the hypostasis. In reference to the former, the Father says, in Zech 3:9: "Upon One Stone there shall be Seven Eyes; behold I will engrave the graving thereof (that is, of the stone), saith He who shall be hosts." The graving engraved on the stone is termed, in Greek, character, an impress wrought into a substance after some archetype or pattern. The archetype is the hypostasis, so that hypostasis is the basis or foundation of character; wherefore the same apostle in Col. 1:15, styles the character engraved the "Image" of Theos the Invisible (eikon tou Theou tou aoratou).
Phanerosis - One Deity in Multiplicity
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, [the gospel of the kingdom which he preached,] hath one that judgeth him: the word [of the kingdom] that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
"If a man love me, he will keep my words. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word [of the kingdom] which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." (14:23)
It is evident then, from these declarations, that to be subject to any thing for Christ's sake, is to be subject to it for the sake of the gospel of the kingdom preached by him. He judgeth of men's attachment and devotion to his person by their veneration and devotion to the gospel he preached. He associates the not receiving of his words with the rejection of himself, and tells us plainly that a man does not love him who does not keep his sayings.
This intimate connection between the preacher and his doctrine is not surprising, in view of his saying that he is himself "the truth." "I am the truth," saith he; and says Peter, "Ye have purified your souls in the obeying of the truth. Hence, where the truth is, Christ is; therefore, Paul says, "God grant that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
He, then, that believes "the things concerning God and the name of Jesus Christ," is the man in whose heart Christ dwells; because the truth dwells there with full assurance of faith and hope. The Bible is the truth in a book; Christ is the truth incarnate.
[Herald, Jan 1854]
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Nothing can be plainer, more intelligible, or emphatic than this. We may confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, as did the demonized of ancient and, still do, of modern times, but this will give us no right to the things comprised in "the great salvation"; we must not only believe this, but we must also intelligently believe the doctrine which that Son was sent to teach the Jews.
Now, the "testimony of God" came by the Holy Spirit, by which God testified in His prophets (Neh. 9:30); and in the last days, spoke through His Son (Heb. 1:1, 2; John 3:34; 5:47; 6:63; 7:16; 12:48, 49) and the apostles (Matt. 10:19,20).
Hence, the effects of the word believed are attributed to the spirit and because the word sets men to breathing in God's moral atmosphere, it is termed "spirit and life."
These remarks will explain the saying of the apostle to Titus, "according to His mercy God saved us through the laver of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit" (Tit. 3:5). This is parallel to the saying, "sanctified and cleansed in the laver of the water by the word;" for the reader must not suppose, that any man, woman, or child, can be regenerated, or born again, by being plunged into a bath, who is ignorant of the word.
The Holy Spirit does not renew the heart of man as He renews the mortal body, when through Jesus He raises it from the dead. In this case, the power is purely physical. But, when the heart is subject of renewal, it is by the knowledge of the written testimony of God, or the word. "God," says Peter, speaking of the gentile believers, "purified their hearts by faith" (Acts xv. 9); and Paul prays, "that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith" (Eph. 3:17).
Now, faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17); in other words, it is the belief of God's testimony concerning things to come, which are not seen (Heb. 11:1); and without which, it is impossible to please Him (verse 6). When a man is renewed by the truth, he is renewed by the spirit, and not before. There is no such thing in the Scriptures as a renewed ignorant man. Ignorance of the testimony of God, and regeneration, are utterly incompatible.
The truth is the purifier to those only who understand and obey it (1 Peter 1:22) and there is no moral purity, or sanctification of spirit before God, without it. It is only believers of the truth, then, who can be the subjects of a regeneration by being submerged "in the laver of the water." When they come out of this, they have been "washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the spirit of God" (1 Cor. 6:11).
Elpis Israel 1.2.