Chapter 15 of John from verse 17 through to 16 verse 4, This is my command, love each other.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it's hated me first If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you, a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name for they do not know the 1 who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my father as well.
If I had not done among them the works no 1 else did, They would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen and yet have hated both me and my father But this is to fulfill what was written in their law. They hated me without reason. When the advocate comes whom I will send to you from the father, the spirit of truth who goes out from the father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify for you have been with me from the beginning.
All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue. In fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to god They will do such things because they have not known the father or me. I have told you this so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you.
Well, those that are praying that I'll shut up quickly because of the football are probably winning in their prayers at the moment. My voice is pretty rough, and I don't feel pretty good. So you're winning. You're winning. So those that wanna hear the word of God, you need to be like, you know, air and holding Moses hands up.
Yeah. See who's gonna win this battle here. Anyway, I'll try and be as long as I can. Let me pray. Father help us now, please.
As we look at this word, help us to pay attention to it, and please bless us through it in Jesus' name. Our men. Where are you from? No. Where are you really from?
No. I mean, where are you from? Where are your people from? Where are you from? Now, those that are laughing know what I'm talking about.
And those have not probably don't. But Lady Hussie, which is an interesting name that we'll get on to in a minute, got herself into big trouble in Buckingham Palace when she repeatedly asked that question of a guest. Buckingham Palace. Where are you from? Where are you from?
She was a British black woman and was from Britain. But lady Hussie didn't like that and questioned her 7 times even saying, what African country are you from? And the woman didn't know because she was born in Britain. I don't know why the the the guest didn't come back and say, lady Hussie, where's that name from? Now if you know what the English name for Hussey is, it means loose woman, prostitute, you know, a hussey.
That's what a hussey is. And so I think I would have said, where does Hussie come from? Lady Hussie, you know, lady marmalade, nudge nudge, wink, know what I mean. You know, where are you from? But, nevertheless, I'm gonna ask you this question.
Where are you from? No. Really, where are you from? I mean, where are your people from? Now we're in the part of John's gospel where Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure.
Gonna go to the cross. He's gonna rise again come back for a few days, 40 days, and then ascend to heaven. And he wants his disciples to know who they are What their identity is, where they're from, where their people are from. And that's what I wanna ask you. I wanna keep asking you.
Where are you from? Many years ago, I had a social worker repeatedly ask me a question. Again and again, who are you? She asked me over over a couple of years, actually. Who are you?
What are you? She wanted me to answer that I was a white British male. Now, she had seen my passport, so she knew she I was British. It's pretty obvious I'm white. The only thing in question was the other bit.
And I didn't know really how to prove that to her. And so it was a bit of a worry. She really didn't like and she couldn't compute the answer that I kept giving her when she asked me, who are you, was I am a forgiven sinner and a child of god by the grace and work of the lord Jesus Christ. She wanted me to say I was a white British male, but I didn't actually consider myself that. I considered myself a forgiven sinner and a child of God by the grace of work of the lord Jesus Christ.
So who are you? What are you? Where are you from? According to Jesus in this passage, there's only 2 places anyone can come from. There are only 2 groups of people actually.
The world where are you from? The world or those who have been chosen out of the world and belong to another world. The world and those who've been chosen out of the world and belong to another world. Look at verse 19. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world. But I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. So Jesus has told his disciples that he's going in in chapter 14 to prepare a place in his father's house for them. There is a place for you.
You are from another place. You your home is my father's house. Paul says in the book of Philippians in the New Testament part of the Bible, that Christians are citizens of heaven. That's our home. In the first part of John's gospel, we're told that we're either in the vine Jesus or we're not in the vine.
It's only 2 groups of people. Those in the world, those have been taken out of the world, and therefore have home as their father's house and of citizens of heaven. You're in the vine or you're not in the vine. You're a branch growing fruit or you're a branch stacked up to be burned. So the question, where are you really from?
You, Where are you from? What are you? What's your identity? And you get an answer in this passage. So here's my first point.
Chosen out of the world. Look at verse 19 again. If you belong to the world, it would love you as it's owed. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Now what does Jesus mean by the world here? Because, you know, watch a David Attchenberg thing or you listen to Louie Armstrong. It's a wonderful I could sing that, actually, by the way, because I've got the right voice. It's a wonderful world. I see trees of green.
Red roses too. I see them blue for me and for you. Excuse me. And I think to myself, I'm killing my voice here. What a wonderful world.
Thank you. That's encouraged me to go on. It is a wonderful world. There's lots of beauty in the world of course there is, and the Christian believes that it's created world by by god. But John uses the word the word world.
It's the word cosmos he uses 57 times in the book of John. And most of the time, although it means different things sometimes in different places, he means the place of darkness. That the world is a place of darkness, not just this beautiful world where roses and trees grow and stuff. God is light. He's he's the light, but the world opposes God and therefore it's in darkness.
In John chapter 3, we've already seen as we've gone through John. The world loves darkness because it can hide its evil deeds. In darkness and oppose God in darkness. And then we're told that Jesus, the light of the world comes into the world. The light of the world.
Why? Because the world is in darkness. In John chapter 14, we're told that there's a prince of the world In John chapter 8, we're told the prince of the world is the devil, that there's a ruler of the world, a prince of the world. That rules the air of the world. And because we've separated from God, that and declared war on God.
God has handed us over and said, okay, you don't want me to rule, then allow the prince of the air. Allow the demons. Allow the the liar and the murderer, the 1 who wants to extinguish light. He'll rule the world. He'll rule people's minds.
That's the world. And by nature, every single 1 of us belongs to the world. Where are you from? The world. Doesn't matter whether you're from Africa or or Britain.
Why would you actually segregate people like that? We're from the world, the world of darkness, the world that's so full of lies, the world that's so full of murder. The world that you can't even play a football game in a country without hearing the atrocities that go on around the world. That's the world we're in. But Jesus is saying as he's going away from his disciples, that you were born into that world, but I've taken you out of the world.
First 19, he says, you don't belong to the world. I've taken you out of the world. That is good news. There's nothing more beautiful in many ways that Jesus could say. I've rescued you out of the world.
I've chosen you out of this dark world that is ruled by satanic powers and by satan himself. You have a new identity. You are children of the light you've come out of darkness. So you will find that the world won't like you, and it won't like what you believe. But when it doesn't, remember this, I've chosen you out of the world into something much more glorious.
And because I've taken you out of the world, both the world that you are still in, as we'll see in a minute, The world that you don't belong to, but you're in will find you uncomfortable and you'll find them uncomfortable. That's the way it goes. It's very uncomfortable to be among a group of people you don't belong in. So the guest at Buckingham Palace, she felt extremely uncomfortable when she was questioned. I don't blame her 7 times.
By Lady Hussie. I don't know whether you've ever been in those situations where you feel very uncomfortable when people questioning you But that's how you're going to feel. But not only that. You'll make people, I think Jesus is saying, feel uncomfortable because you are a branch in a vine that has its roots in heaven, not in this earth. God, the father is the gardener.
Remember, we saw that last week. And you're rooted in foreign soil. You're a foreigner here. You're from another world. You're chosen out of this world, and therefore you're gonna be different to the world.
You're set apart from the world even though you were sent back into the world. You're like a boat if you like. A boat in the water is okay, but water in the boat is not okay. And we are Christians that are in the world, but we don't want the world in us. We floating the water to rescue people who are lost and drowning.
But as soon as the world comes into the boat, the water into boat we're sunk. So where are you from? I I'm not from this world. That would have been a lovely thing to say to lady Hussey. But a consequence being chosen out of the world is to be hated, and that's my second point.
We'll be hated. You see it in verses 18 to 20. It's very interesting, John 15, because the first half of John 15 is all about love and producing love. But suddenly, the second half is all about hate. I don't know whether you noticed that.
And the word hate in the next couple of parables paragraphs is used 7 times. So it's love, love, love in the first half, and then suddenly hate. Look at verse 18. If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it will love you as its own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you, servant is no greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they'll persecute you also. If they obey my teaching, they'll obey yours also.
So Jesus wants his disciples to know that while he's with them, The opposition of this world, this darkness, is largely towards him. But when he goes It will turn around to be largely against the disciples of Jesus left in the world. And Jesus is preparing them for his departure, and he says, I want you to understand this, Christians. It's gonna be uncomfortable for you in this world. He knows that they're fearful.
He knows they're troubled in heart. We saw that in chapter 4 in verse 1. But he's reminding me, he's saying, you won't necessarily you're very, very likely, patient. If you're gonna follow Jesus to live a very difficult for us that lives in a world that the more likes we can get. The more bang the more unlike you get, I mean, they don't have that.
Actually like you or respond to things you put up. Why we need last week's sermon? We need above But at John 15, you are going to be you're called to love, but you that's why you need to ask Christ for the impossible. It is impossible, so I need your power to help me, lord, to love Even when I'm persecution, the sweeter, the fruit on the vine will verse 19. If you belong to the world, it would love you as it would.
That is why the world hates you. If they would admire you. If you follow the world, you'll be loved. Just to go with the current alive. You'll swim against you're not of this world, and it won another world.
And it's irritatingly want the you're a glaring light in the eye. Keep in mind it hated me first. Look at verse 20. Of. If they persecuted me, they'll per that when you read John's gospel, come over.
It's wanna kill him. In chapter 7 11, they wanna stone him to death. A limb. And Jesus says in there's no reason you're not of this world. It's not rational.
Delivered? It's irrational. They irrationally hated Jesus, who was healing and feeding and showing who he was, and they irrationally hated him, and that's what happens in the world. The world doesn't like anyone that's a nonconformist. The world doesn't like anyone who's really different.
The world doesn't like the light because it loves the darkness. This week, I read last week or rather, I read this little book. It's a it's a terrific little book called How Christianity Transformed The World. It's a sort of book that is easy to read, and she's taken other bigger books and boiled them down into into these terrific chap 10 chapters. And she goes through things like how Christianity brought freedom around the world, religious liberty and justice how it's protected life and how it's brought dignity for women around the world.
I mean, And and then it's how it's given money generously to to causes that are outside of itself, health care, and education, and and all of that sort of stuff. And it's just an amazing book where it and there are other books like it, but it's a it's a shorter 1. And it just shows you the blessing Christianity has come. But in under every 1 of those titles, like dignity for women, There are vicious people, unirrationally attacking women that have been liberated by the Christian faith attacking Christianity, and hating Christianity. It's extraordinary.
And there's just 1 line here I thought was quite quite interesting. It says Baronis Caroline Cox has often visited Burma or Miami. It's called now. She worked with local partners in areas where human rights abuses abound. These partners testify that the Burmese government dislikes Christianity, especially because it fosters genuine democracy by encouraging individuals to think for themselves.
Christianity has been a blessing to Burma, Miami. It's a blessing to individuals to think and to grow and mature and become hard workers and bless the country. And yet the country just irrationally hates it. And you go through all of these chapters, and it's just irrational. How Christians have just how non Christians have hated it, and that's what happens.
Wherever there's civilization that's overrun by tyrants, wherever a man has you've got unchallenged power without sort of that Democratic restraint. Whenever a man is left to himself and can run the country, he opposes the church. Because his works are evil and dark and selfish. And you see that all over the world. You see that in Qatar?
You see that in Belarus. We know that very much in Belarus, where there's a maniac man who's just about himself and how he'd destroys Christians. And it's irrational because when you know those Christians, they would bring blessing to that country. And love to that country and grow that country, Prosperously. It would it it it's so ridiculous when you know.
Those questions that are so intelligent and got great ideas and and and and life and vigor that had put down and slammed down and thrown into cells and beaten and tasered constantly until they're in utter pain and unconscious and battered. It's irrational. When the blessings come. And that's what happens. If you're gonna follow Christ, you're none of this world.
And if you're not of this world, you're part of a group that there is an irrational hatred towards, which leads me to my third point. You see it how they treated Jesus, this irrationalness. Look at verse 21, the second half of verse 21 to 25. For they do not know the 1 who sent me, that's God. If they had not come and spoken to them, If I had not sorry.
If I had not come and spoken to to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my father as well. If I had not done, among them the works no 1 else did, they would not be guilty of sin as it is. They have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my father.
But this is to fulfill what is written in their law. They hated me without reason irrationally. World doesn't believe in the 1 who sent him. People don't believe in the true god and They don't believe in the God that sent Jesus, and it's not an ignorance that can be excused. Jesus is saying.
It's not an ignorance that can be excused. I mean, it's interesting because people can use this chapter by saying, If Jesus chooses the ones out of the world and he hasn't chosen me to be out of the world, it's not my fault. It's his fault. It's never like that in the bible. There's no excuses.
They are responsible and have no excuse. Faith definitely is a gift of God But unbelief is a work of people. Faith is God's gift, definitely, and you need God's gift. To be chosen out of the world, but unbelief is your responsibility in the bible. There's no excuse because of the words of Jesus.
Look at verse 22. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Now he's not saying they were innocent before he came, but he is saying that it's their guilt is so absolutely obvious and clear now. There is no excuse. The son of God came and spoke to them.
Their sin is willful refusal. To respond to the words spoken by none other than the son of God. They have no excuse. Unbelief is sin, he's saying. Because Jesus came and spoke spoke through them.
And you get that throughout John. Jesus says, I tell you the truth. I tell you the truth. I tell you the truth. I tell you the truth.
The truth of God, the truth of God, God sent me to speak to you, and they wouldn't listen. You study the scriptures diligently because you think that by them you have eternal life. These are the words These very scriptures testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me. To have life. You've got very scriptures in your hands.
And the 1 the scriptures talked about came to you and you refused to come to have life. Jesus declared I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, You have seen me and you still do not believe. You don't believe the word of Jesus. You have no excuse.
And then you have no excuse because of the works of Jesus. Look at verse 24. If you had not done among them if I had not done among them, the works no 1 else did, they would not be guilty of sin. No 1 else had done these works. Who else had done the miracles of Jesus?
No 1 else had done, but they wouldn't believe. They would not believe. Jesus says, believe me when I say that I am in the father and the father is in me, or at least believe the evidence of my works. You reject my word, and you reject my works. And whoever does that not only hates me, but hates God.
Not only do you hate me, but you hate God. You can't love God and hate me. So that leads me to my fourth point, which is in fact my last. So you're happy. What do we do then in this world that hates us?
What are we meant to do if we're not of this world? What what do we do? We love. We love. We produce a supernatural fruit.
We love. We're not to go astray. Or as he says in chapter 1 chapter 16 verse 1, We're not to fall away from our task. Don't fall away from that. Stick at the task.
Keep going. Don't go astray, some other versions say. Don't do do the job. We testify to Jesus. And how do we testify to Jesus?
By loving 1 another, and loving the world. A church that loves is a massive testimony in a world that hates. We must work hard at love. We must work hard at love. We must work hard at forgiving each other and loving each other.
And giving our gifts to each other building each other up, giving ourselves to others. We must work hard at love. We fail each other. We we'll do each other harm. We can't help it.
We're humans. We fail each other. We constantly will do that. But there's gotta be forgiveness and love and acceptance of each other. We must work hard.
Don't go astray. Don't fall away. We must love each other. And as we love each other, we need to love the world in its darkness. And you will be given help in a hating world.
Look at verse 26. When the advocate comes, talking about the Holy Spirit here, whom I will send to you from the father the spirit of truth who goes out from the father, he'll testify about me. As we stick the course, as we don't fall away, as we love each other and love the world, The holy spirit comes within that arena of battle. There's hatred that you can expect but in that hating world, we can expect the help of the Holy Spirit. It's supernatural stuff, and we can enjoy him.
The Holy Spirit's Ministry is to convey truth. He's called the Spirit of Truth. Not of silliness, not of stuff that's weird and religious and has nothing to do with anybody but yourself and your own experience. He's the spirit of truth. Jesus said, I am the truth.
The holy spirit will come, says Jesus, after I've departed and he will drive home my truth into your heart and into the hearts of men and women. Just go down to John chapter 6 in verse 13. I'm butting into someone else's sermon. But just have a look. But when he, the spirit of truth, notice he's called the spirit truth again comes.
He will guide you into all truth. That's his big job. He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He's the spirit of truth that speaks what he hears from the person of truth, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And he conveys that truth to us, the truth of the embodied Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts. You have help of the Holy Spirit to stand up against the devil's lies. He's a liar from the beginning says Jesus. He's a murderer. He likes to destroy and stamp out light.
But, hey, you've got the spirit of truth in you. To stand up to truth. Excuse me. But it'll do something else as well. He will convict the world of sin.
Now there's something worth having. Just go down to again, in order to Nick from someone else's sermon, chapter 16 verse 8. Look at it. When he comes, that's the spirit of truth. He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment about sin because people do not believe in me.
There's the big sin. Don't believe in Jesus. That's the only unforgivable sin. Every sin can be forgiven if you come to the savior of sins. But if you will not believe in the savior of sins, then no sin can be forgiven.
The big sin is not to believe that Jesus will save you from your sin. Anyway, let's carry on. When he comes, just trying to fill in time. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin. And righteousness and judgment.
About sin because people do not believe in me. About righteousness because I am going to the father where you can see me no longer and about judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned. So the Holy Spirit is gonna come into this battle that we have. Here we are, loving the world. He's gonna help us stand firm in truth and to preach a message to the world that it doesn't believe that they're sinners, they're under the judgment of God, and there is a righteousness.
And that's our simple message that we have to go into the world and preach, and we have helped to do that. Yeah? Who are you, says lady Husia, and I can't wait to meet her. Who? Who?
I'm boom. How are you? Who are you, miss Hussy? That's lovely, isn't it? You hussy?
You you person that hasn't believed in God. Yeah? Don't talk to me like that. But let me talk to you like this. You're a sinner under the judgment of God, and you need the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who are you? But then, verse 27, we're nearly done. And you also now is talking to the disciples, the apostles, and you also must testify. For you have been with me from the beginning. So there are 2 sources.
It's not quite right, but there are 2 sides to the same thing. Verse 26, the advocate, the counselor, the spirit. He'll speak to human hearts about Jesus. But how does he do that? Verse 27, through the apostles and then testifying to Jesus.
So it's the very word of God. So this book is the word of the apostles and it's a testimony of of the Holy Spirit. As we preach this word, as we teach this word, as we go into the world to open up the bible and take the bible, into places where it isn't at the moment. As we go into I mean, perhaps we should have all gone to Qatar. With Bibles in our hands.
Perhaps we should have done that. I don't know why we didn't do that. And, you know, we could go and watch the football. But we've got John 3 16 plastered all over our heads. As that bloke used to do at sports things, really good.
But they're the 2 testimonies. They testify about Jesus. It's the written word of God and the spirit of truth and they go together. Now let me land this then. How will you respond to those things?
How will you which group are you in? Where are you from? There are only 2 groups. You're following Jesus and be hated by the world, and you'll know 2 things You'll know whether you belong, whether you have the fruit of love, and you have the persecution of hatred. Does the world love you?
Yeah? Those things? There's 2 2 2 places that you come from. The world wants to put you into all kinds of groups. Have you noticed?
LGBTQ, Africa, British, whatever. It wants you to you know, mental health, this issue, that where there's thousands of groups, isn't there? But the world wants to put you in. Jesus says you're in 1 or the other. You're from the world or you've been taken out of the world.
Which group are you in? And who are you gonna live for? I read a a thing about the Titanic. I mean, everybody's always interested in the Titanic, isn't it? Even though it happened years and years and years ago, but it is an interesting thing, and it always grabs attention when you see a little thing written on the Titanic.
But apparently, the passengers that got onto the Titanic, were divided into 5 categories when you became a passenger on the Titanic. Here are the 5 categories. Royalty and government ministers, Lady Hussie would be there. Film stars and other celebrities, that's another category. Millionaires, that's another category.
First class, that's another category, and then steerage. That's everybody else. 5 groups of people. The world always wants to split us into lots of groups. But after the Titanic sank and the passenger list was published, It was only published under 2 headings, known to be saved, known to be lost.
None to be saved, known to be lost. That's exactly what Jesus is saying. You're of the world, therefore lost, or you're taken out of the world by Christ and therefore saved, and for a little while be hated. Where are you from? Who are you?
Are you a loved hater loved by the world of darkness but hating Jesus, or are you a hated lover You know the love of Jesus in you, and you go into the world that hate you. Where are you from? Who are you? A loved hater or a hated lover? Let's bow our heads and ask the Lord to help us to see these truths.
I hand over to Abri to pray.