John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
Obedience demonstrates love and Jesus knows we need help with that. He has a plan…an invisible helper, a “Spirit of Truth” to show us how to practice what He preaches. The world cannot recognize this Spirit of truth but “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him…and we will come to him and make our home with him.” This Spirit will clearly demonstrate [manifest] everything true about who “I am” to each one individually. “The word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me…I will not leave you as orphans.”
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
The Father will give you another helper. I am in my Father. I will love and manifest [demonstrate] myself to those who love me. I will not leave you as orphans, WE will come…
What does it say about people?
Not all people will see Jesus demonstrate Himself.
Is there truth here for me?
John has told us Jesus has come to nourish life, (John 6:35) give us light to see it unfold, (John 8:12) provide a door to enter into another life (John 10:9) and a guide (John 10:11,14) to demonstrate for us what will make it last (John 11:25) so we can be a complete family…forever. (John 14:6). That’s what “the world cannot receive, because it neither sees [Jesus] nor knows Him” but thanks be to God for that “Spirit of Truth” and that Jesus has demonstrated our destiny. “You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
“Predestined” is an attention getting word. The dictionary definition of predestined is “an outcome or course of events determined in advance by divine will or fate.” I’ve heard the “elevator” explanation of predestination: when you step into an elevator you trust it’s going to take you where you want to go. The “airplane” explanation is similar; you get on the plane trusting the pilot will get you safely to the planned destination. Those explanations make some sense to me. They’re based on faith not fate. Nobody gets on an elevator or in a plane saying “whatever will be, will be.”
What doesn’t make sense to me is that the God who sacrificed his own Son to remove sin’s power to destroy us would then turn around and pick and choose those who would be saved. The phrase “turn around” became my catalyst to turn these eight verses around and read them in reverse changing only the punctuation at the end of verse 14 because that’s a question I could answer.
V14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory[?]
V13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
V12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
V11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
V10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
V9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
V8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
V7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace,
I turned around those verses and as I read I found myself caring less about my understanding of how “predestined” relates to personal choice and more about the question I could answer. “Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory[?] Predestination is still an elusive concept but I do know the answer to V14 is where destiny begins. The big turn around ends at the right destination too; “in him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
The Revised Story
There was no confusion about Adam and Eve’s genealogy. God had created them himself and placed his own DNA within them. The tragic story of what they lost when they were expelled from that first Garden became human destiny. They had to leave minus God’s genetic link; his own DNA.
DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid. 1. a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.
Our genealogy was created there in the Garden and that never changed. We are still God’s creation…but with that big genetic loss. We no longer carry God’s unique and perfect DNA within us but Hebrews tells us The Revised Story.
Adam and Eve’s loss no longer has to be our destiny. We no longer need to be satisfied with just a cover-up. God has dealt with our genetic loss with his promise: “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”