Focus: The Holy Spirit in the World Today
Week Four Devotional: “He Testifies”
Scripture Lesson: John 15:26-27; 16:13
John 15:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Coming Rejection
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
John 16:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
John 15:26-27Contemporary English Version (CEV)
26 I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help[a] you and will tell you about me. 27 Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
- 15.26; 16.7 help: See the note at 14.16.
John 16:13Contemporary English Version (CEV)
13 The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen.
The Church Communicating – Part 4
Study Texts: John 1
John 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Eternal Word
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.
John’s Witness: The True Light
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[b]
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
A Voice in the Wilderness
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,”’[g]
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara[h] beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah.[i] You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
Philip and Nathanael
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter[j] you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
- John 1:5 Or overcome
- John 1:9 Or That was the true Light which, coming into the world, gives light to every man.
- John 1:11 That is, His own things or domain
- John 1:11 That is, His own people
- John 1:16 NU-Text reads For.
- John 1:18 NU-Text reads only begotten God.
- John 1:23 Isaiah 40:3
- John 1:28 NU-Text and M-Text read Bethany.
- John 1:42 NU-Text reads John.
- John 1:51 NU-Text omits hereafter
John 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Word of Life
1 In the beginning was the one
who is called the Word.
The Word was with God
and was truly God.
2 From the very beginning
the Word was with God.
3 And with this Word,
God created all things.
Nothing was made
without the Word.
Everything that was created
4 received its life from him,
and his life gave light
5 The light keeps shining
in the dark,
and darkness has never
put it out.[a]
6 God sent a man named John,
7 who came to tell
about the light
and to lead all people
to have faith.
8 John wasn’t that light.
He came only to tell
about the light.
9 The true light that shines
was coming into the world.
10 The Word was in the world,
but no one knew him,
though God had made the world
with his Word.
11 He came into his own world,
but his own nation
did not welcome him.
12 Yet some people accepted him
and put their faith in him.
So he gave them the right
to be the children of God.
13 They were not God’s children
of any human desires.
God himself was the one
who made them his children.
14 The Word became
a human being
and lived here with us.
We saw his true glory,
the glory of the only Son
of the Father.
From him all the kindness
and all the truth of God
have come down to us.
15 John spoke about him and shouted, “This is the one I told you would come! He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born.”
16 Because of all that the Son is, we have been given one blessing after another.[b] 17 The Law was given by Moses, but Jesus Christ brought us undeserved kindness and truth. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.
John the Baptist Tells about Jesus
19-20 The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and temple helpers to ask John who he was. He told them plainly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 Then when they asked him if he were Elijah, he said, “No, I am not!” And when they asked if he were the Prophet,[c] he also said “No!”
22 Finally, they said, “Who are you then? We have to give an answer to the ones who sent us. Tell us who you are!”
23 John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “I am only someone shouting in the desert, ‘Get the road ready for the Lord!’”
24 Some Pharisees had also been sent to John. 25 They asked him, “Why are you baptizing people, if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”
26 John told them, “I use water to baptize people. But here with you is someone you don’t know. 27 Even though I came first, I am not good enough to untie his sandals.” 28 John said this as he was baptizing east of the Jordan River in Bethany.[d]
The Lamb of God
29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said:
Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I told you about when I said, “Someone else will come. He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born.” 31 I didn’t know who he was. But I came to baptize you with water, so that everyone in Israel would see him.
32 I was there and saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven. And the Spirit stayed on him. 33 Before this I didn’t know who he was. But the one who sent me to baptize with water had told me, “You will see the Spirit come down and stay on someone. Then you will know that he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” 34 I saw this happen, and I tell you that he is the Son of God.
The First Disciples of Jesus
35 The next day, John was there again, and two of his followers were with him. 36 When he saw Jesus walking by, he said, “Here is the Lamb of God!” 37 John’s two followers heard him, and they went with Jesus.
38 When Jesus turned and saw them, he asked, “What do you want?”
They answered, “Rabbi, where do you live?” The Hebrew word “Rabbi” means “Teacher.”
39 Jesus replied, “Come and see!” It was already about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him and saw where he lived. So they stayed on for the rest of the day.
40 One of the two men who had heard John and had gone with Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and tell him, “We have found the Messiah!” The Hebrew word “Messiah” means the same as the Greek word “Christ.”
42 Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. And when Jesus saw him, he said, “Simon son of John, you will be called Cephas.” This name can be translated as “Peter.”[e]
Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael
43-44 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. There he met Philip, who was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Jesus said to Philip, “Come with me.”
45 Philip then found Nathanael and said, “We have found the one that Moses and the Prophets[f] wrote about. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46 Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip answered, “Come and see.”
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, “Here is a true descendant of our ancestor Israel. And he isn’t deceitful.”[g]
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
49 Nathanael said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God and the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered, “Did you believe me just because I said that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see something even greater. 51 I tell you for certain that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”[h]
- 1.5 put it out: Or “understood it.”
- 1.16 one blessing after another: Or “one blessing in place of another.”
- 1.21 the Prophet: Many of the Jewish people expected God to send them a prophet who would be like Moses, but with even greater power (see Deuteronomy 18.15,18).
- 1.28 Bethany: An unknown village east of the Jordan with the same name as the village near Jerusalem.
- 1.42 Peter: The Aramaic name “Cephas” and the Greek name “Peter” each mean “rock.”
- 1.45 Moses and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
- 1.47 Israel. . . isn’t deceitful: Israel (meaning “a man who wrestled with God” or “a prince of God”) was the name that the Lord gave to Jacob (meaning “cheater” or “deceiver”), the famous ancestor of the Jewish people.
- 1.51 going up and coming down on the Son of Man: When Jacob (see the note at verse 47) was running from his brother Esau, he had a dream in which he saw angels going up and down on a ladder from earth to heaven (see Genesis 32.22-32).
Objective: To recognize the numerous changes in communication that technology has introduced to churches as they seek to do ministry.
~Devotional and Lesson by Late LaVerne Hadley
~ Today’s technology can be an effective, blessed tool for all believers who know, communicate, fellowship, and worship the true and living God. Read 1 Timothy 3:15 and discuss it. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know He is real?
- Do you help a new Christian to grow?
- Do you appreciate your home Church?
- Can the church communicating today truly say “We Know”?