Fellowship with the Father, Son – and Each Other

Fellowship with the Father, Son – and Each Other

As last week we considered the Apostle Paul’s testimony concerning his encounter with the risen Christ during a time when Paul was actively persecuting Jesus’ followers, so we find here, in the opening lines of the Apostle John’s letter, his testimony concerning Jesus Christ. But an important difference between these two apostles—besides the fact that John never persecuted believers—is that John had far more first-hand experience with Jesus than Paul ever did. In opening his epistle with, “That which was from the beginning,” John is referring to Christ, the eternal Word who was with God and was God prior to the time of his Incarnation on earth.[1] But John goes on to speak about what he learned about and from Jesus during their long relationship. For unlike Paul, John was one of the original twelve apostles whom Jesus called. Matthew recounts,[2]

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

So John’s relationship with Jesus began during the time of Jesus’ ministry and teaching years before his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. So when John builds upon his opening words “That which was from the beginning” and adds, “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched,” he is speaking in literally. He, along with the other 11 disciples whom Jesus first called,[3] regularly spent time with Jesus, living with him, listening to him, learning from him. They did indeed hear him with their very ears; see him with their very eyes; touch him with their very hands. John subsequently recorded and wrote about many of these experiences as did the other apostles—that which we have heard and seen and looked at and touched. Some events recounted by John in his Gospel include:

Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine;[4]

His conversation with Nicodemus[5] and with the woman at the well;[6]

His feeding of the five thousand by multiplying five small barley loaves and two small fish;[7]

His walking on water,[8] healing those born blind,[9] and raising Lazarus from death;[10]

John was present at the first Palm Sunday when the crowds hailed Jesus as their King;[11]

He heard the Father’s voice acknowledge Jesus as his Son at his baptism[12] and then again at the transfiguration;[13]

John experienced Jesus washing his feet;[14]

He witnessed Jesus’ arrest;[15]

He was charged by Jesus with caring for Mary, his mother, as he hung on the cross;[16]

John witnessed the soldier piercing Jesus’ side after he died;[17]

He witnessed the empty tomb after Jesus had risen from death;[18]

And he, as was the case with Paul, saw Jesus after he had risen from death and showed himself to him and the other disciples on at least three occasions.[19] And during the third Jesus even ended up feeding them a breakfast of bread and the fish they had caught.[20]

But not only was John witness to countless events in Jesus’ life during the years he spent as Jesus’ disciple, but a further indication of the closeness that he in particular had with Jesus can be gleaned from his use of the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved” to refer to himself.[21] I’ve always, well, loved this self-designation by John. I find his quiet, unwavering confidence in Jesus’ love for him to be so very touching for all who know Jesus as their Savior and Lord ought to share a similar confidence that “(your name here) is a disciple whom Jesus loves.” But, again, the point in all of this is that John didn’t simply know about Jesus; he hadn’t simply heard stories concerning Jesus. No, John knew Jesus well. He knew Jesus while he lived; he ministered alongside Jesus until he died; and on more than one occasion, he saw and spoke and even ate with Jesus after he had risen from death.[22] John was a witness to Jesus’ life as few others were.

So, again, when John testifies in verse 1 of our passage, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life,” you better believe he knows what he’s talking about. And John’s entire purpose in writing is to be a faithful and true witness. As he states as well near the end of his Gospel, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”[23] Or, as John states in verse 2 of our passage: “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” John wants any and all who hear his words to believe in Jesus and receive the eternal life he gave his life to bring.

Again, John isn’t making any of this up. He is testifying. He is bearing witness to what Jesus, the Word of life, the Giver of eternal life, said and did. In his Gospel John records two instances of Jesus providing this foundational teaching about himself—that he is the eternal life—during the time of his Incarnation.[24] One occurred when “the Jewish leaders began to persecute him”[25] for healing an invalid on the Sabbath.[26] Jesus explained to them how “just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.”[27] And then Jesus announced, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”[28] This very Jesus is the Word of life John is speaking about in verse 2 of our passage.

The second and perhaps more well-known instance of Jesus teaching he was eternal life occurred when he brought Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother, back from death. If you recall, upon meeting grieving Martha who told him that her brother, Lazarus, would not have died had Jesus been there sooner,[29] Jesus replied, “Your brother will rise again”[30] and he went on to proclaim to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die….”[31] And then, upon inquiring where they had laid Lazarus and weeping,[32] Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven,

“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” [And] 43 [w]hen he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”[33]

And with that, Jesus had put his teaching where his mouth was for he who was eternal life itself, had demonstrated this by bringing Lazarus from death to life.

Now notice that just as Jesus mentioned his heavenly Father in both of these instances of teaching that he was eternal life, so, too, John has faithfully recorded at the end of verse 2. For Christ Jesus, the Word of life who gives eternal life to those who believe in him “was with the Father and has appeared to us.”

Therefore, John continues beginning in verse 3, “3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” Do you see how many interconnections occur as a result of placing our faith in Jesus?

Those who believe in Christ, are united with him by the Holy Spirit whom he sends;[34]

And in being united with Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are also united with our heavenly Father because God is one God in three Persons;

But by being united with our heavenly Father, we are also united with one another so that Triune oneness is extended to all who are joined to God through belief in Jesus Christ.

This union, this fellowship, is the source of all of our joy for this union is the reason for our having been created in the first place. We were made by God in the image of God that we might know and love him with all of our hearts, soul, mind, and strength and that we might know and love each other, our fellow image-bearers, as we love ourselves. Though the Fall broke our fellowship with God and each other, now those who are in Christ, those who believe in Christ, have that fellowship, that oneness with God and each other, restored.

Next John tells of another foundational truth he learned from and about Jesus in verse 5: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Again, John speaks as a witness and conduit of what he heard from Jesus himself. For Jesus proclaimed concerning himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”[35] This truth, that Jesus Christ is the light of the world, is so fundamental to knowing and following Christ that John reflects upon it in the first chapter of his Gospel:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.[36]

Christ who is light took on human flesh to shine God’s light into a world that had fallen into darkness. But as John goes on to state in verse 6, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness,”—and a better translation here is “yet are walking in darkness”[37]—“we lie and do not live out the truth.” The reason for this is that the natural outcome of our union with Jesus should be that we value and become what he taught and modeled. To be united with him means we are united with his light, with the truth that he teaches, with the practices and caring and compassion he himself lived. So if we say we are his followers and yet aren’t living or even attempting to live according to his life and teaching, then we really aren’t his followers. Again, to be a follower of Jesus means that we love what he loves—and we desire to live according to what he taught—and we desire to put in practice, even as he did, the things that he taught. This is what it means to be a follower, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; this is what it means to be a son or daughter of our heavenly Father, a sibling of Jesus Christ, his Son.

Now the positive flipside of walking in darkness can be found in verse 7: “But if we walk”—and again, a better translation is “are walking”[38]—“in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” If we seek to live as Jesus lived; if we seek to live according to his teachings, this indicates that our union with him is true. And John lists two benefits of that union: first, we have fellowship with each other. We can embrace our oneness in Christ and live as the family he has made us to be: loving and caring and laughing and weeping and hurting and forgiving each other. But second, and more importantly, if and when we sin, that sin is no longer held against us for it has been taken on by Jesus himself on the cross. It is his blood that purifies us from all unrighteousness, from any and all sin we may ever commit. For in God’s eyes, our sin has been covered by Jesus’ blood and we thereby are covered with the righteousness that only he can give. So when God looks upon us, he sees not our disobedience but his Son’s obedience on our behalf.

But, wait, you might be asking yourself, isn’t yielding to temptation and sinning the same as walking in darkness? And didn’t John just state that if we walk in darkness, we don’t have fellowship with Jesus but instead lie and don’t live out the truth? Absolutely! But the difference is living in darkness as a way of life versus occasionally yielding to the temptation of darkness, but then repenting, and seeking—and receiving—the forgiveness that is found only in Christ. This is why I noted that a better translation for walk is “if we are walking” since this brings out the continuous sense intended by John. What John states next in verse 8 indicates this: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” John knows that even genuine, sincere followers of Jesus do and will sin. As he underscores again in verse 10, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” If we say we’ve never sinned, we’re lying. What is more, if we say we’ve never sinned, then we have no need for Jesus for as Jesus himself taught, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”[39]

But the important part in all of this, especially on this communion Sunday, is found in what John states in verse 9, the rose between the two thorns of verses 8 and 10! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” On the cross, Jesus Christ died for our sin—not only for our past sin; not only for our present sin; but also for our future sin. He died for all of our sin. What is more, God accepted Jesus Christ, his Son, taking our penalty upon himself; he accepted his Son sacrificing himself in our place. And God is faithful to having accepted this exchange and therefore does not and will not hold our sin, our disobedience towards him, against us. For God is just in allowing the blood of his Son atone for, cover, all the sin of those who turn to his Son for forgiveness. So in his Son, God forgives us all of our sin. And in his Son, God cleanses us, he purifies us from all sin, from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins.

As John states in the opening verse of chapter 2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.” John wants his children, his sheep, his church to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light. He wants them to experience fellowship with their loving and holy and heavenly Father. He wants them to experience fellowship with one another as the brothers and sisters they are in Christ. And so he is reminding them of the eternal life who took their penalty and death upon himself that they might know—and walk in—and live according to that Word of life, the light of the world, Jesus Christ and so experience eternal life with him even on earth.

But ever the realist, John again provides a word of encouragement in the remainder of verse 1 into verse 2 of his second chapter, “But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” We often think of the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, when we think of God being our advocate[40] for he, too, is referred to this way. But so is Jesus Christ whose death in our place, in our stead, was accepted to atone for, to cover and pay for our sins on our behalf. And God, being no respecter of persons,[41] accepts any person who has believed in his Son, no matter who they are, no matter what their background, no matter what their ethnicity. For Jesus Christ the Righteous One’s death and resurrection is sufficient to cover the sins of any and all throughout the world who see their need and acknowledge him as their Savior and Lord.

So let us hear John’s words and believe and confess that Jesus is the eternal life and light;

Let us seek our heavenly Father’s and one another’s help that we might not sin for we are called to be holy as God as holy—and holiness is hard work.

Let us have confidence that if and when we do sin, our advocate Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, has taken our sin upon himself by his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection;

And let us point others to the eternal life of Christ and seek to shed his light on this world yet tainted by evil and darkness;

Let us make our joy complete by living in a way that glorifies Jesus Christ, the worthy Lamb who was slain for us and for our salvation that we might die to sin and live for righteousness for it is by his wounds that we have been healed.[42]

Let us pray.

[1] John 1:1–5: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

[2] Mattthew 4:18–22. See parallels in Mark 1:16–20: 16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.; Luke 5:1–11: 1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

[3] A listing of the twelve may be found in: Matthew 10:1–4: Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.; Mark 3:13–19: 13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.; Luke 6:12–16: 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.; Acts 1:12–14: 12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

[4] John 2:1–12.

[5] John 3:1–21.

[6] John 4:4–42.

[7] John 6:1–15.

[8] John 6:16–21.

[9] John 9:1–34.

[10] John 11:1–44.

[11] John 12:12–19.

[12] Matthew 3:1–17, Mark 1:1–11, Luke 3:21–24, John 1:30–34.

[13] Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36. John also records the Father acknowledging his Son in John 12:27–32 when Jesus foretells his death.

[14] John 13:1–17

[15] John 18:1–14.

[16] John 19:25–27. This is assuming that John is “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

[17] John 19:34–37.

[18] John 20:1–10.

[19] John 20:19–23: 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:24–29: 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

[20] John 21:1–14: 21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

[21] The four mentions in John’s Gospel are: 1) When Jesus predicts his betrayal: 13:23: One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.; 2) While Jesus hung on the cross: 19:25–27: 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.; 3) When Jesus appears after his rising from death: 21:7: Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.; 4) After Jesus (still post-resurrection) tells Peter to feed his sheep: 21:20: Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)

[22] In addition to instances noted above from John’s Gospel, post-resurrection appearances made by Jesus and witnessed by John may be found in: Luke 24:33–49: 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”; Mark 16:14: 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating: 1 Corinthians 15:5:  and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.; Matthew 28:16–20: 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”; Mark 16:15–18: 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.; Acts 1:3–9:After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

[23] John 20:30–31.

[24] Christ Jesus’ eternal nature is also indicated by his testimony—and the people’s response to stone him due to this blasphemy (in their eyes)—in John 8:58–59: 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

[25] John 5:16.

[26] John 5:1–15.

[27] John 15:21.

[28] John 15:24.

[29] John 11:21.

[30] John 11:23.

[31] John 11:25–26.

[32] John 11:35.

[33] John 11:41–44.

[34] See, for example, Romans 9–11, 15:You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you…. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

[35] John 8:12b. In this passage Jesus again indicates his oneness with Father, verses 16–19: But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

[36] John 1:4–5, 9–13.

[37] The aspect of the present tense of the verb “walk,” περιπατῶμεν indicates a continuous behavior.

[38] The same verb and tense are used as in verse 6.

[39] Luke 5:31–32.

[40] John 14:25–26: 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

[41] Acts 10:34–35: 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

[42] 1 Peter 2:24:  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

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