Monday, September 8, 2014

Did God Create the Universe?

Did God Create the Universe?

How did the universe get here? Scientists confirm the Big Bang Theory and the beginning of the universe.

Scientists believe that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists. The beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

Nothing we observe today existed prior to that exact moment.
Further, it was something outside of time, outside of space, and outside of matter that caused all of this to come into existence.
The realization that our universe started, and did not always exist, brings enormous challenges to nontheistic scientists.
Are scientists certain of this Big Bang Theory? Yes. In the late 1920's, astronomer Edwin Hubble saw through his telescope that galaxies (some millions of light years away) were hurtling away from each other at fantastic speeds. This was not caused by some force thrusting them away from each other. Rather, they were still moving as a result of a primeval explosion, all from one point of origin.
In this point of origin, all the mass in the universe was compressed into a single point of infinite density...smaller than a single atom.2 Then in a cosmic explosion--the Big Bang--the universe came into being. Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, gives further description, "At about one-hundredth of a second, the earliest time about which we can speak with any confidence, the temperature of the universe was about a hundred thousands million (1011) degrees Centigrade. This is much hotter than in the center of even the hottest star, so hot, in fact, that none of the components of ordinary matter, molecules, or atoms, or even the nuclei of atoms, could have held together."3 He goes on, "The universe was filled with light."
Beginning of the UniverseThis eerily parallels the record, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth...and God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."4 It came about not from matter, but from pronouncement. A spoken word. "Let there be light."
Looking at the sacred texts of all the major religions, only the Bible describes what scientists have since discovered: there was an explosion of light and a beginning to our universe...from outside of the universe itself. With it came the very start of space, matter and time. It was a singular starting point for everything. Over and over in the Book of Genesis is the description, "And God said...." followed by "...and it was so."
Instead, could our universe have come about through the laws of physics: such as gravity, electromagnetism, speed of light, etc.? No, because those things did not yet exist. The initial start of the universe itself produced the laws of physics and everything began without them.

The Beginning of the Universe - a Singular Start

Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion. It was literally the moment of Creation. ...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."5 As stated, this conclusion is distressing to atheistic scientists. To observe a reaction and not be able to document the cause is unsettling.
Jastrow concludes, "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."6
Imagine the relief of these scientists when astronomers Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle advanced what became known as the "steady state" universe in 1948. Their theory was that the universe was infinite in age. Thus, no creation or no cause was needed.

Beginning of the Universe - Steady State Theory Proved False

However, in the 1960s, the steady state theory suffered a devastating blow when two radio engineers at Bell Labs (Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson) discovered mysterious radiation coming from space. It came equally from all directions. When the temperature of the radiation was measured, its source was confirmed. This radiation did not always exist, or come from one part of the universe. It came from that singular, original moment of creation.
Later, in 1996, NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite also further confirmed that the primordial background radiation pointed to an explosive start of the universe. The levels of hydrogen, lithium, deuterium, and helium that exist in our universe today confirm it as well.
Are there any scientists who still want to counter the implications of the Big Bang Theory? Yes. There are scientists who are uncomfortable living with: (1) an unknown cause or (2) the conclusion that God is the cause. So they opt for a third option.

Other Attempts to Explain the Beginning of the Universe

Beginning of the UniverseWhat explanation do these scientists give for the start to our entire universe, energy, time, and space?

They attempt to simply negate the foundational premise that science rests on: that everything that begins to exist must have a cause.

Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be "uncaused" and may have "emerged from nothing."7 Philosopher Bertrand Russell adopted this position in a debate on the existence of God. He said, "The universe is just here, and that's all."8

It is one thing to state that something is eternal, and therefore no "cause" is necessary. But it is entirely different to scientifically observe the start of something, the instantaneous beginning of something, and then try to say that it had no cause.

Even David Hume, one of the most skeptical of all philosophers, regarded this position as ridiculous. For all his skepticism, Hume never denied causation. In 1754, Hume wrote, "I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without cause."9

Beginning of the Universe - Science Confirms

Pure scientific findings consistently point to only one conclusion: the universe had a singular start, an explosion, where everything we know--the universe, time, space, scientific laws we observe--all had a beginning. If you have ever wanted to believe in God, but certainly did not want to do so in contradiction of known scientific facts, science provides you reason to believe that God exists and powerfully created all things.

It is logical to conclude that God, who is from the beginning, eternal and outside of time, created time. God who is present everywhere and cannot be confined to space, created space. God who is spiritual, non-physical and outside of matter is the source of our universe and all that is. This is the message blatantly repeated throughout the Bible.

"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth."10
"...for he commanded and they were created."11

The Bible says that God formed the earth to be inhabited, with us in mind from the start. He gave people his breath of life and a brief stay upon the earth with the full purpose that we would seek him and find him. If we do not come to know him, we have missed the entire purpose for our existence. Who knows better than God the reason for our being?

Do you want to know the Author of the universe? Here is what he promises, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you."12 If we will seek to know him, God says, "I will be found by you."13 In fact, he states, "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom. Let not the mighty man boast in his might. Let not the rich man boast in his riches. But let him who boasts, boast in this: that he understands and knows me..."14

We have an opportunity to know the God who brought about the beginning of the universe.

God’s Unique Love

God’s Unique Love

by Steven L. Pogue

A relationship with God is like no other relationship you may have experienced. God has a unique kind of love for you. It is unconditional (not based upon meeting certain conditions). God loves you because He loves you.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us…” (1 John 4:9,10)

He does not love you based upon your performance. There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any more than He already does—and there is nothing that will cause God to love you any less. He loves you, even more than you love yourself.

Until now you have probably only experienced conditional love. Conditional love is based upon what you do. Perform well on the job, on the team, or in the relationship, and you are “loved.”

In opening your life to Christ, you have found total love and acceptance. That may be hard to comprehend if you’ve never felt totally loved and accepted by anyone. But it’s true! Unfortunately, you won’t always feel that God loves you. There will be times when you find yourself doubting not only His love, but also His existence. You’ll feel like giving up. Don’t.

When God gave you a new life, it didn’t come trimmed in lace and smelling of perfume. Jesus began His earthly life in a smelly, damp stable. He tasted real life, and that will be the flavor of your journey with Christ—no magic, just the promise of His presence with you.

God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

There’s a Danish proverb: “The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.” The knowledge that God loves you will keep you going when the next mile seems intolerably long: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)

Our faith rests in what God has revealed about Himself to us. He specifically wants us to believe and rely on His love for us:

“…the Lord delights in those who fear [reverence] him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalms 147:11).

“…the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.” (Psalms 33:18)
King David, whom God referred to “as a man after my own heart”1 trusted God’s love: “…I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God” (Psalms 59:16,17).

Jesus describes the depth of His love for us, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-11). He loves us no matter what—even when we disobey. But we will live in His love, enjoy His love, as we obey Him.

To grow in your understanding of God’s love for you, take some time over the next few weeks and read Psalms 103, John 15, and 1 John 4, and note all the ways that God’s love is described.
1Acts 13:22

Beyond Blind Faith

Beyond Blind Faith

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God? See proof from the life of Jesus Christ and why it's not blind faith to believe in him.

By Paul E. Little
Listen to article
Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?
It is impossible for us to know conclusively whether God exists and what he is like unless he takes the initiative and reveals himself.
We must scan the horizon of history to see if there is any clue to God's revelation. There is one clear clue. In an obscure village in Palestine, 2,000 years ago, a Child was born in a stable. Today the entire world is still celebrating the birth of Jesus, and for good reason.

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

We're told that "the common people heard him gladly." And, "He taught as One who had authority, and not as their teachers of the Law."1

It soon became apparent, however, that he was making shocking and startling statements about himself. He began to identify himself as far more than a remarkable teacher or prophet. He began to say clearly that he was God. He made his identity the focal point of his teaching. The all-important question he put to those who followed him was, "Who do you say I am?" When Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,"2 Jesus was not shocked, nor did he rebuke Peter. On the contrary, he commended him!

Jesus frequently referred to "My Father," and his hearers got the full impact of his words. We are told, "The Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God."3

On another occasion he said, "I and My Father are One." Immediately the Jews wanted to stone him. He asked them which of his good works caused them to want to kill him. They replied, "We are not stoning you for any of these but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."4

Is Jesus God? Look at His life.

When a paralyzed man was let down through the roof wanting to be healed by him, Jesus said, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." The religious leaders immediately reacted. "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

When Jesus was on trial for his life, the high priest put the question to him directly: "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"

"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy."5

So close was Jesus' connection with God that he equated a person's attitude to himself with the person's attitude toward God. Thus, to know him was to know God.6 To see him was to see God.7 To believe in him was to believe in God.8 To receive him was to receive God.9 To hate him was to hate God.10 And to honor him was to honor God.11

Is Jesus God? - possible explanations

As we face the claims of Christ, there are only four possibilities. He was either a liar, mentally ill, a legend, or the Truth.

The question is, was he telling the truth?

Maybe Jesus lied when he said he was God. Perhaps he knew he was not God, but deliberately deceived his hearers to lend authority to his teaching. Few, if any, hold this position. Even those who deny his deity affirm that he was a great moral teacher. However they fail to realize those two statements are a contradiction. Jesus could hardly be a great moral teacher if, on the most crucial point of his teaching -- his identity -- he was a deliberate liar.

Another possibility is that Jesus was sincere but self-deceived. We have a name for a person today who thinks he is God. Mentally disabled. But as we look at the life of Christ, we see no evidence of the abnormality and imbalance we find in a mentally ill person. Rather, we find the greatest composure under pressure.

A third alternative is that his enthusiastic followers put words into his mouth he would have been shocked to hear. Were he to return, he would immediately repudiate them. This theory has been significantly refuted by modern archeology. The four biographies of Christ were written within the lifetime of people who saw, heard and followed Jesus. These gospel accounts contained specific facts and descriptions confirmed by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus. The early dating of the Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is why they gained such circulation and impact, unlike the fictional Gnostic gospels which appeared centuries later.

Jesus was not a liar, or mentally disabled, or manufactured apart from historical reality. The only other alternative is that Jesus was consciously being truthful when he said he was God.

Is Jesus God? What is the proof?

From one point of view, however, claims don't mean much. Talk is cheap. Anyone can make claims. There have been others who have claimed to be God. I could claim to be God, and you could claim to be God, but the question all of us must answer is, "What credentials do we bring to substantiate our claim?" In my case it wouldn't take you five minutes to disprove my claim. It probably wouldn't take too much more to dispose of yours.

But when it comes to Jesus of Nazareth, it's not so simple. He had the credentials to back up his claim. He said, "Even though you do not believe me, believe the evidence of the miracles, that you may learn and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father."12

The life of Jesus - His unique moral character

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?His moral character coincided with his claims. The quality of his life was such that he was able to challenge his enemies with the question, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?"13 He was met by silence, even though he addressed those who would have liked to point out a flaw in his character.

We read of Jesus being tempted by Satan, but we never hear of a confession of sin on his part. He never asked for forgiveness, though he told his followers to do so.

This lack of any sense of moral failure on Jesus' part is astonishing in view of the fact that it is completely contrary to the experience of the saints and mystics throughout the ages. The closer men and women draw to God, the more overwhelmed they are with their own failure, corruption, and shortcomings. The closer one is to a shining light, the more he realizes his need of a bath. This is true also, in the moral realm, for ordinary mortals.

It is also striking that John, Paul, and Peter, all of whom were trained from earliest childhood to believe in the universality of sin, all spoke of the sinlessness of Christ: "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."14

Even Pilate, who sentenced Jesus to death, asked, "What evil has he done?" After listening to the crowd, Pilate concluded, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." The crowd relentlessly demanded Jesus be crucified (for blasphemy, claiming to be God). The Roman centurion who assisted in the crucifixion of Christ said, "Surely he was the Son of God."15

The life of Jesus - He cured the sick

Jesus constantly demonstrated power over sickness and disease. He made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak, and the blind to see. Some of his healings were of congenital problems not susceptible to psychosomatic cure.

For example, the man who had been blind from birth. Everyone knew him as the familiar beggar outside the temple. Yet Jesus healed him. As the authorities questioned the beggar about what happened, he said, "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" he declared. He was astounded that these religious authorities didn't recognize this Healer as the Son of God. "Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind," he said.16 To him the evidence was obvious.

The life of Jesus - His ability to control nature

Jesus also demonstrated a supernatural power over nature itself. With just words, he stilled a raging storm of high wind and waves on the Sea of Galilee. Those in the boat were awestruck, asking, "Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!"17 He turned water into wine, at a wedding. He fed a massive crowd of 5,000 people, starting with five loaves of bread and two fish. He gave a grieving widow back her only son by raising him from the dead.

Lazarus, a friend of Jesus' died and was buried in a tomb for four days already. Yet Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth!" and dramatically raised him from the dead, witnessed by many. It is most significant that his enemies did not deny this miracle. Rather, they decided to kill him. "If we let him go on like this," they said, "everyone will believe in him."18

Is Jesus God, as he claimed?

Jesus' supreme evidence of deity was his own resurrection from the dead. Five times in the course of his life, Jesus clearly predicted in what specific way he would be killed and affirmed that three days later he would rise from the dead.

Surely this was the great test. It was a claim that was easy to verify. It would either happen or not. It would either confirm his stated identity or destroy it. And significant for you and me, Jesus' rising from the dead would verify or make laughable statements such as these:

"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me."19 "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not live in darkness, but will have the light of life."20 For those who believe in him, "I give them eternal life..."21

So by his own words, he offers this proof, ""The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise."22

What this would mean

Talk is cheap. Anyone can make claims. But when it comes to Jesus of Nazareth... He had the credentials to back up His claim.

If Christ rose, we know with certainty that God exists, what God is like, and how we may know him in personal experience. The universe takes on meaning and purpose, and it is possible to experience the living God in this life.

On the other hand, if Christ did not rise from the dead, Christianity has no objective validity or reality. The martyrs who went singing to the lions, and contemporary missionaries who have given their lives while taking this message to others, have been poor deluded fools.

Paul, the great apostle, wrote, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."23 Paul rested his whole case on the bodily resurrection of Christ.

Did Jesus prove he is God?

Let's look at the evidence for Jesus' resurrection.

Given all the miracles he had performed, Jesus easily could have avoided the cross, but he chose not to.

Before his arrest, Jesus said, "I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord...and I have authority to take it up again."24

During his arrest, Jesus' friend Peter tried to defend him. But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its place...Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?"25 He had that kind of power in heaven and on earth. Jesus went willingly to his death.

Jesus' crucifixion and burial.

Jesus' death was by public execution on a cross, a common form of torture and death, used by the Roman government for many centuries. The accusation against Jesus was for blasphemy (for claiming to be God). Jesus said it was to pay for our sin.

Jesus was lashed with a multi-cord whip having metal or bone fragmented ends. A mock crown of long thorns was beaten into his scull. They forced him to walk to an execution hill outside of Jerusalem. They put him on a wooden cross, nailing his wrists and feet to it. He hung there, eventually dying. A sword was thrust into his side to confirm his death.

The body of Jesus was taken from the cross, wrapped in mummy-like linens covered with gummy-wet spices. His body was placed in a solid rock tomb, where a very large boulder was rolled down to it, to secure the entrance.

Everyone knew that Jesus said he would rise from the dead in three days. So they stationed a guard of trained Roman soldiers at the tomb. They also affixed an official Roman seal to the outside of the tomb declaring it government property.

Three days later, the tomb was empty.

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?In spite of all this, three days later the boulder, formerly sealing the tomb, was found up a slope, some distance away from the tomb. The body was gone. Only the grave linens were found in the tomb, caved in, empty of the body.

It is important to note that both critics and followers of Jesus agree that the tomb was empty and the body missing.

The earliest explanation circulated was that the disciples stole the body while the guards were sleeping. This makes little sense. This was an entire guard of highly trained Roman soldiers, and falling asleep on duty was punishable by death.
Further, each of the disciples (individually and separately from each other) were tortured and martyred for proclaiming that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead. Men and women will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie. If ever a man tells the truth, it is on his deathbed.

Maybe the authorities moved the body? Yet they crucified Jesus to stop people from believing in him. This also is a weak possibility. If they had Christ's body, they could have paraded it through the streets of Jerusalem. In one fell swoop they would have successfully smothered Christianity in its cradle. That they did not do this bears eloquent testimony to the fact that they did not have the body.
Another theory is that the women, distraught and overcome by grief, missed their way in the dimness of the morning and went to the wrong tomb. In their distress they imagined Christ had risen because the tomb was empty. But again, if the women went to the wrong tomb, why did the high priests and other enemies of the faith not go to the right tomb and produce the body?

Men and women will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie.

One other possibility is what some call "the swoon theory." In this view, Christ did not actually die. He was mistakenly reported to be dead, but had swooned from exhaustion, pain, and loss of blood, and in the coolness of the tomb, he revived. (One would have to overlook the fact that they put a spear in his side to medically confirm his death.)

But let us assume for a moment that Christ was buried alive and swooned. Is it possible to believe that he would have survived three days in a damp tomb without food or water or attention of any kind? Would he have had the strength to extricate himself from the grave clothes, push the heavy stone away from the mouth of the grave, overcome the Roman guards, and walk miles on feet that had been pierced with spikes? It too makes little sense.

However, it wasn't the empty tomb that convinced Jesus' followers of his deity.

Not just the empty tomb.

That alone did not convinced them that Jesus actually rose from the dead, was alive, and was God. What convinced them were the number of times that Jesus showed up, in person, in the flesh, and ate with them, and talked with them.

Luke, one of the gospel writers, says of Jesus, "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."26

Is Jesus God?

All four of the gospel writers give accounts of Jesus physically showing up after his burial, obviously alive. One time that Jesus joined the disciples, Thomas, was not there. When they told him about it, Thomas simply wouldn't believe it. He flatly stated, "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 it."
One week later, Jesus came to them again, with Thomas now present. Jesus said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas replied, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus told him "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."27

Your opportunity

Why did Jesus go through all of that? It was so we could know God now, in this life, by believing in him.

Jesus offers us a far more meaningful life, by being in a relationship with him. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly."28

You can begin an intimate relationship with him right now. You can begin to personally know God in this life on earth, and after death into eternity. Here is God's promise to us:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."29

Jesus took our sin on himself, on the cross. He chose to receive punishment for our sin, so that our sin would no longer be a barrier between us and him. Because he fully paid for your sin, he offers you complete forgiveness and a relationship with him.
Here is how you can begin that relationship.
Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him."30

Right now you can invite Jesus Christ into your life. The words are not important. What matters is that you respond to him, in light of what he has done for you, and is now offering you. You could say to him something like, "Jesus, I believe in you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I ask you to forgive me and to come into my life right now. I want to know you and follow you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me a relationship with you, right now. Thank you."

Who Was Jesus?

Who Was Jesus?

The following gives you a quick look at the life of Jesus Christ. These are excerpts straight from the Gospel of John, in the Bible. No comments added. They will give you an accurate and fast read of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection...and why his life is significant for you.

John 3

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. "Rabbi," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you."
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
"What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?"
Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don't be surprised when I say, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit."
"How are these things possible?" Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, "You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don't understand these things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. Everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only Son.

John 1

In the beginning the Word [Jesus] already existed.
      The Word was with God,
      and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
      and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
      and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
      and the darkness can never extinguish it.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.

John 5

Crowds of sick people--blind, lame, or paralyzed--lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time.
Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!"
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! The law doesn't allow you to carry that sleeping mat!"
But he replied, "The man who healed me told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'"
"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded. Then the man...told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I."
So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

John 6

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip replied, "Even if we worked for months, we wouldn't have enough money to feed them!"
Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. "There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?"
"Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.
After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, "Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted." So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
"I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval."
They replied, "We want to perform God's works, too. What should we do?"
Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day."

John 7

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, "Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, 'Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'" (When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, "Surely this man is the Prophet we've been expecting." Others said, "He is the Messiah."

John 10

"I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant, so he explained it to them:
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he's working only for the money and doesn't really care about the sheep.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
"The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.
But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don't believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father."

John 11

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, "Lord, your dear friend is very sick."
But when Jesus heard about it...although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.
Finally, he said to his disciples, "Let's go back to Judea." But his disciples objected. "Rabbi," they said, "only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?"
Jesus replied..."Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up."
The disciples said, "Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!" They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. So he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead...Come, let's go see him."
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask."
Jesus told her, "Your brother will rise again."
"Yes," Martha said, "he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day."
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?"
"Yes, Lord," she told him. "I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God."
When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. "Where have you put him?" he asked them. They told him, "Lord, come and see."
Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, "See how much he loved him!" But some said, "This man healed a blind man. Couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?"
Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. "Roll the stone aside," Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man's sister, protested, "Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible."
Jesus responded, "Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe?"
So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me."
Then Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!" And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, "Unwrap him and let him go!" Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.
But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. "What are we going to do?" they asked each other. "This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him." So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus' death.

John 12

Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

John 13

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!" Judas left at once, going out into the night.

John 14

[Jesus speaking] "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."

John 15

[Jesus speaking] "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!"
"This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
"If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If I hadn't done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: 'They hated me without cause.'"

John 16

[Jesus speaking] I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.... the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father."

John 17

After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said:
"Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life--to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.
O righteous Father, the world doesn't know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them."

John 18

After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. "Who are you looking for?" he asked.
"Jesus the Nazarene," they replied.
"I Am he," Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) The soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up.
Pilate, the governor, asked, "What is your charge against this man?"
"We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal!" they retorted.
"Then take him away and judge him by your own [Jewish] law," Pilate told them.
"Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone," the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus' prediction about the way he would die.)

John 19

Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. "Hail! King of the Jews!" they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.
Pilate went outside again and said to the people, "I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty."
Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, "Look, here is the man!" When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
"Take him yourselves and crucify him," Pilate said. "I find him not guilty."
The Jewish leaders replied, "By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God."
When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, "Where are you from?"
But Jesus gave no answer.
"Why don't you talk to me?" Pilate demanded. "Don't you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?"
Then Jesus said, "You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin."
Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted... "Away with him," they yelled. "Away with him! Crucify him!" Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross.
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn't want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus' body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

John 20

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed--for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
"Dear woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked her.
"Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him."
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him.
"Dear woman, why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?"
She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."
"Mary!" Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, "Rabboni!" (which is Hebrew for "Teacher").
"Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!"
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," he said.
As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas...was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he replied, "I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side."
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. "Peace be with you," he said.
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!"
"My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me."

Study #1: How did we get into this relationship with God?

Study #1: How did we get into this relationship with God?

Begin with prayer: “God, I ask you to speak to me through your Word, the Bible. Speak to my heart to understand what you want to say to me. Amen.”

Study #1

How did we get into this relationship with God?

The following verses will help you understand what God says is now true of your relationship with Him. After you read the verse, the question that follows will help you notice what that verse says.
(The little numbers in front of each sentence designate “verses” and is simply a numbering system created long ago to help Christians refer to specific sentences in the Bible.)
John 1
12Yet to all who received Him [Jesus], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
Q – How does a person become a child of God?
You may type your answers here and print the lesson when you finish.

You might think that you chose to believe in Jesus, much like choosing a car to buy or choosing a political viewpoint. But the following shows God’s involvement in your becoming a Christian.

John 15
16You did not choose me, but I chose you…

1 Corinthians 1
9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Ephesians 1
4For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. 5In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Q – In verse 5, what was God’s motivation for choosing us?

Ephesians 2
4But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

Colossians 1
13For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Q – As you look at these verses, what four things has God has done for you?

Romans 5
9Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!

Q – When the Bible says that Jesus saved us, what did He save us from?

Ephesians 2
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Q – Is it up to us to earn our salvation?

Q – Can anyone gain salvation by doing good things?

Conclusion: Summarize what these verses have said about God’s involvement in your becoming a Christian:

You may now print study #1.

Is God in my life now?

Is God In My Life Now?

When you made that decision and invited Jesus into your life, it is important to know, did God hear you? Yes. Jesus promised that He would enter our lives, if we ask Him.

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus makes this offer, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Did you open the door of your heart to God? If so, what did He say He would do? Would God mislead you?
First John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

In John 6:37, Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.” And in John 10:27-29 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that we could be in relationship with Him. He’s not indifferent to the issue. He went to great lengths to bring us into relationship with Him. Jesus took our sins on Himself and covered us with His righteousness, making us fully forgiven and fully accepted by Him. We don’t have to first live good lives, or perform religious rituals, or spend years begging Him. God is the one who made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. And we come to Him based on what He did for us, rather than what we can do. He paid for our sins, in order to forgive us and come into our lives. First Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

When a person asks Jesus into their life, it is exciting to know what God says is now true about your relationship with God:

  • You are at peace with God — “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
  • You became a child of God — “to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
  • You are no longer living in darkness — “for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13,14)
  • You are forgiven — “To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43) “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.” (Ephesians 1:7,8)
    “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)
  • You have been given eternal life — “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life. I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)
  • You are sealed with the Holy Spirit — “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13)
  • You can begin to know God’s love for you — “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:7-11)

To grow in your relationship with God:

To get to know God better, spend time in His word (the Bible) asking Him to reveal more of Himself to you and for Him to build your relationship with Him. The Gospel of John (fourth book in the New Testament) is a great place to start.

And talk to Him freely. We are encouraged to “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)

Revelation 3:20

Revelation 3:20

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Parallel Commentaries

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
3:14-22 Laodicea was the last and worst of the seven churches of Asia. Here our Lord Jesus styles himself, The Amen; one steady and unchangeable in all his purposes and promises. If religion is worth anything, it is worth every thing. Christ expects men should be in earnest. How many professors of gospel doctrine are neither hot nor cold; except as they are indifferent in needful matters, and hot and fiery in disputes about things of lesser moment! A severe punishment is threatened. They would give a false opinion of Christianity, as if it were an unholy religion; while others would conclude it could afford no real satisfaction, otherwise its professors would not have been heartless in it, or so ready to seek pleasure or happiness from the world. One cause of this indifference and inconsistency in religion is, self-conceit and self-delusion; Because thou sayest. What a difference between their thoughts of themselves, and the thoughts Christ had of them! How careful should we be not to cheat our owns souls! There are many in hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to heaven. Let us beg of God that we may not be left to flatter and deceive ourselves. Professors grow proud, as they become carnal and formal. Their state was wretched in itself. They were poor; really poor, when they said and thought they were rich. They could not see their state, nor their way, nor their danger, yet they thought they saw it. They had not the garment of justification, nor sanctification: they were exposed to sin and shame; their rags that would defile them. They were naked, without house or harbour, for they were without God, in whom alone the soul of man can find rest and safety. Good counsel was given by Christ to this sinful people. Happy those who take his counsel, for all others must perish in their sins. Christ lets them know where they might have true riches, and how they might have them. Some things must be parted with, but nothing valuable; and it is only to make room for receiving true riches. Part with sin and self-confidence, that you may be filled with his hidden treasure. They must receive from Christ the white raiment he purchased and provided for them; his own imputed righteousness for justification, and the garments of holiness and sanctification. Let them give themselves up to his word and Spirit, and their eyes shall be opened to see their way and their end. Let us examine ourselves by the rule of his word, and pray earnestly for the teaching of his Holy Spirit, to take away our pride, prejudices, and worldly lusts. Sinners ought to take the rebukes of God's word and rod, as tokens of his love to their souls. Christ stood without; knocking, by the dealings of his providence, the warnings and teaching of his word, and the influences of his Spirit. Christ still graciously, by his word and Spirit, comes to the door of the hearts of sinners. Those who open to him shall enjoy his presence. If what he finds would make but a poor feast, what he brings will supply a rich one. He will give fresh supplies of graces and comforts. In the conclusion is a promise to the overcoming believer. Christ himself had temptations and conflicts; he overcame them all, and was more than a conqueror. Those made like to Christ in his trials, shall be made like to him in glory. All is closed with the general demand of attention. And these counsels, while suited to the churches to which they were addressed, are deeply interesting to all men.
Pulpit Commentary
Verse 20. - Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; behold, I have stood (ἕστηκα) at the door, and am knocking (κρούω). "These gracious words declare the long-suffering of Christ, as he waits for the conversion of sinners (1 Peter 3:20); and not alone the long-suffering which waits, but the love which seeks to bring that conversion about, which 'knocks.' He at whose door we ought to stand, for he is the Door (John 10:7), who, as such, has bidden us to knock (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9), is content that the whole relation between him and us should be reversed, and instead of our standing at his door, condescends himself to stand at ours" (Trench). The view, that stand at the door signifies "to come quickly" (Dusterdieck), as in Revelation 2:5, 16; Revelation 3:3, 11, is scarcely in accordance with the context, since the whole passage has changed from rebuke and menace to patient beseeching and loving exhortation. These words recall the frequent use by our Lord of this figure of knocking, and especially Luke 12:35, 36, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately." If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (see the parallel passage in Song of Solomon 5.). Christ knocks and speaks. A distinction has been drawn in the work of conversion, corresponding to these two actions. The knocking is likened to the more outward calls of sickness, trouble, etc., by which he makes his presence known; while the voice, which interprets the knock and informs us of the Personality of him who knocks, is the voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking to us, and explaining the meaning of our trials. Man's free will is here well and plainly set forth. Though the opening, to be effective, needs the help and presence of Christ, yet he does not forcibly effect an entrance; it is still within the power of man to disregard the knock, to refuse to hear the voice, to keep the door fast shut. To take food with any one is an outward sign of brotherly love and reconciliation. Christ will sup with those who do not drive him away, and they will sup with him. The whole figure is an image of the perfect nature of the sinner's reconciliation with God, and of the wonderful goodness and condescension of Christ. But we may well see an allusion to the Holy Communion, by which we are reconciled to God through Christ, and by which we may even now have a foretaste of the final supper of the Lamb, which shall eventually last for ever.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, I stand at the door and knock,.... The phrase of standing at the door may be expressive of the near approach, or sudden coming of Christ to judgment, see James 5:9; and his knocking may signify the notice that will be given of it, by some of the immediate forerunners and signs of his coming; which yet will be observed but by a few, such a general sleepiness will have seized all professors of religion; and particularly may intend the midnight cry, which will, in its issue, rouse them all:
if any man hear my voice; in the appearances of things and providences in the world:
and open the door; or show a readiness for the coming of Christ, look and wait for it, and be like such that will receive him with a welcome:
I will come unto him, and sup with him, and he with me; to and among these will Christ appear when he comes in person; and these being like wise virgins, ready, having his grace in their hearts, and his righteousness upon them, he will take them at once into the marriage chamber, and shut the door upon the rest; when they shall enjoy a thousand years communion with him in person here on earth; when the Lamb on the throne will feed them with the fruit of the tree of life, and lead them to fountains of living water, and his tabernacle shall be among them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. stand—waiting in wonderful condescension and long-suffering.
knock—(So 5:2). This is a further manifestation of His loving desire for the sinner's salvation. He who is Himself "the Door," and who bids us "knock" that it may be "opened unto" us, is first Himself to knock at the door of our hearts. If He did not knock first, we should never come to knock at His door. Compare So 5:4-6, which is plainly alluded to here; the Spirit thus in Revelation sealing the canonicity of that mystical book. The spiritual state of the bride there, between waking and sleeping, slow to open the door to her divine lover, answers to that of the lukewarm Laodicea here. "Love in regard to men emptied (humbled) God; for He does not remain in His place and call to Himself the servant whom He loved, but He comes down Himself to seek him, and He who is all-rich arrives at the lodging of the pauper, and with His own voice intimates His yearning love, and seeks a similar return, and withdraws not when disowned, and is not impatient at insult, and when persecuted still waits at the doors" [Nicolaus Cabasilas in Trench].
my voice—He appeals to the sinner not only with His hand (His providences) knocking, but with His voice (His word read or heard; or rather, His Spirit inwardly applying to man's spirit the lessons to be drawn from His providence and His word). If we refuse to answer to His knocking at our door now, He will refuse to hear our knocking at His door hereafter. In respect to His second coming also, He is even now at the door, and we know not how soon He may knock: therefore we should always be ready to open to Him immediately.
if any man hear—for man is not compelled by irresistible force: Christ knocks, but does not break open the door, though the violent take heaven by the force of prayer (Mt 11:12): whosoever does hear, does so not of himself, but by the drawings of God's grace (Joh 6:44): repentance is Christ's gift (Ac 5:31). He draws, not drags. The Sun of righteousness, like the natural sun, the moment that the door is opened, pours in His light, which could not previously find an entrance. Compare Hilary on Psalm 118:19.
I will come in to him—as I did to Zaccheus.
sup with him, and he with me—Delightful reciprocity! Compare "dwelleth in me, and I in Him," Joh 6:56. Whereas, ordinarily, the admitted guest sups with the admitter, here the divine guest becomes Himself the host, for He is the bread of life, and the Giver of the marriage feast. Here again He alludes to the imagery of So 4:16, where the Bride invites Him to eat pleasant fruits, even as He had first prepared a feast for her, "His fruit was sweet to my taste." Compare the same interchange, Joh 21:9-13, the feast being made up of the viands that Jesus brought, and those which the disciples brought. The consummation of this blessed intercommunion shall be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, of which the Lord's Supper is the earnest and foretaste.


19'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.…

Cross References

Matthew 24:33
Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
Luke 12:36
like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.
John 10:3
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 14:23
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
James 5:9
Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Treasury of Scripture

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I stand.

I will.

will sup.