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Lesson # John 12:42
Study Material - John 12:42
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
42 Nevertheless [homos] [mentoi] among [ek] the chief rulers [archon] also [kai] many [polus] believed [pisteuo] on [eis] him [autos] ; but [alla] because [dia] of the Pharisees [Pharisaios] they did [homologeo] not [ou] confess [homologeo] him, lest [hina me] they should be [ginomai] put out of the synagogue [aposunagogos] : KJV-Interlinear
42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; NASB
Outward appearances are deceiving sometimes. God looks on the heart not the genetics or the outward appearances of mankind in order to determine the spiritual status of a person. The content of the soul determines the direction in life you will take. Take note in Romans 2.
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. NASB
Now we have an odd set of circumstances. Initially in His ministry, the people (the general population) worshipped Jesus for his miracles and the leaders hated Him for His popularity. Now we are getting closer to the Cross and the leaders of the faith (so to speak) are having their doubts as to the fake identity they perceived Jesus had. And now more and more they are being convinced that He is from God. Many believe in Him, but they believe secretly.
They have little faith so they have little true courage, and the 'system' presents them with more fear than does God. They will go to heaven because of their faith, but they will not offer any opposition to the established faith of Judaism which has saturated and has become well entrenched in the popular opinion of the day.
We actually have several lessons in this passage. First what is a Jew? A person who is from Judea? No. A person who is descended from Abraham? No.
A Jew is an individual who has been chosen by God. Who has been chosen by God? All who believe in His Son. So what does that make you? A Jew is not genetic, but a spiritual descendentcy based on faith in Christ.
What is the nation of Israel? A geographic region in the Middle East? No.
The nation of Israel is the chosen nation of God. A nation is a collection of peoples who have something in common. In this case the nation of Israel is made up of all believers in Christ. It is not genetic, nor geographical. What nation do you belong to? Those who are not believers in God are represented by the word gentiles (unbelievers) or those outside the chosen nation.
The Pharisees and elders of the nation, as well as the common population of Judea thought that they were the chosen people due to their relationship with Abraham. Not so. They had long before lost sight of the intended purpose of the scriptures It was not to give them some form of exclusive ownership of all access to God, but to make them a conduit through which Gods Word could flow to all of mankind. Thus we have the dual meanings of gentile and Jew. One to relate to the spiritual and one to relate to the genetic side of mankind.
Second, the Pharisees had academic knowledge of the scriptures. Probably memorized much of the scriptures, but they had no courage when they came to the point of faith in Christ. Why? Because all spiritual resources get into the soul through the human spirit by means of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the principle communicator of all scripture to mankind.
You cannot see Him, nor sense Him in any way, but all scripture or rather its spiritual benefit is not of the human realm. It is outside the human experience. Satan and anyone for that matter can read and even memorize the Bible in its entirety, but they will not gain the spiritual benefit from Gods Word. That can only be done by a believer in fellowship. A believer has a human spirit through which doctrine can flow (potentially), and the fellowship status is the online link up which allows Gods Word to flow properly through the human spirit and into the soul. God the Holy Spirit is the engine which moves the information through your spirit and soul.
This is why these leaders who just believed in Christ, had no spiritual growth and no spiritual courage despite their huge content of knowledge on the scriptures. They were spiritual infants. They just happened to have a lot of academic knowledge. Academic knowledge does you absolutely no good when it comes to the spiritual life. That is a human or worldly concept.
Anyone can learn and some more than others. If your IQ is 200 then you are pretty smart. If your IQ is 2, then you have others help you with your socks. That difference in ability would not be fair when it comes to the spiritual life.
But God takes all human ability out of the equation in the spiritual life because it is God the Holy Spirit who teaches, and makes clear all spiritual phenomena, not you. So anyone who is positive and is able to make a decision for or against God, is able to learn and advance to maturity. For those who do not have that option, then God is fair and those folks are saved automatically (ie. the infant son David lost).
This is why your fellowship status is so important. Fellowship is a state of cleanliness, from which God will allow you to enter into His presence. We have studied many passages on the washing of the feet, the washing of the hands, the wearing of white, removal of ones shoes, and so forth. All of these teach the removal or cleansing of sin out of ones life. We do this through our confession prayer to God the Father (all prayer is directed to the Father only and no one else).
We do not and can not have a spiritual life when out of fellowship. This is how so many people get mixed up in life. They go to church, they study their Bibles, they do good deeds, but their spiritual life goes nowhere. They get depressed, discouraged and the like. Why? Because they have not approached God in the proper way, through fellowship. They have approached God as it were from the energy of their own righteousness.
Isaiah has described mans righteousness as filthy rags. Actually this description is of filthy, unwashed, and reused over and over, menstrual rags. So out of fellowship you are trying to approach God as one used over and over menstrual rag. Would you let someone into your home who looked like that? Not a chance! And too, God does not receive us unless we wash ourselves first - confession. Confession is to God only and to no one else. It is a very short ??? Prayer listing your sins and that is all. 'God, I did this and that and this and that. Amen.' It is just that simple and you are in fellowship. You cannot feel it. You cannot sense it. It is Gods promise of recognition, 1 Jn. 1:9.
Spiritual growth provides real courage. When one has true courage, then you are not afraid of anything in this world. God is greater than anything in this world and when God has you in His hand, then there is nothing that the world can do to you.
The leaders despite their awesome knowledge of the scriptures, had no spiritual life because their knowledge was not of the spiritual realm. They were spiritual babe's, and as infants subject to being made fearful of the powers of the world.
The time was short now. The Cross was just days away, and it was the Cross for which Jesus came into this world. Even the elders of Judea would not be able to change the course of history due to their change of attitude toward Christ at this late date. Jesus Christ controls history.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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