The touch of the Holy Spirit – the One who dwells within the believer – makes the real difference.
Thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I’m gonna start some studies in the Gospel of John for a while, if it’s alright with you. I love that book, because it was from John’s Gospel that I first learned 50 verses, memorized them before my seventh birthday. My father said, “If you’ll learn 50 verses from the Gospel of John, I’ll give you this gold watch, boy.” And he showed me a gold watch, it was a… Do any of you people old enough to remember a Reliant, R-E-L-I-A-N-T, watch made by some company up in New England, I guess, at the time. Well, I was captivated by the look of it, and I went to work to learn the verses, John 1:12 to 14, and 1:29, and John 2:5, and so on. I can say them by heart today, I think, most of them. And said them off before my seventh birthday and then he said, “Alright, my boy, here’s the watch.” Well, it never ran very well.
I tell you, it was absolutely correct twice a day, [chuckle] but, oh, I was thrilled with it because it was a gold watch. Anyhow, I started then in those early years in the word of God and specifically in the Gospel of John, and so I always come back to it with a great deal of affection and appreciation and it always speaks to my heart. I have a series of messages that I give now and then on the way John’s Gospel answers the questions, the great questions of life, the sin question. Chapter 1, the question of what to do when the wine of life runs out? Chapter 2, and also in Chapter 2, the question of leadership, who has the right to give orders? Chapter 3, what to do with doubts and doubters? Chapter 4, what to do with sin and guilt? Chapter 5, what to do when you don’t have anybody to help you? Chapter 6, what to do when you have to meet impossible demands and needs? And a lot of good things. We’ll walk around in this book, alright? Is that alright with you? Well, I hope so, because I’m gonna do it. [chuckle]
“In the beginning,” I’m reading now from my big Bible, King James version. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The same was in the beginning with God, and that word ‘was’ means ‘already was.’ It didn’t start there. Already was in the beginning with God. “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” The word ‘comprehended’ is better translated ‘was never able to put it out.’ The light shines in darkness and the darkness has never been able to put it out. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John, the same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own,” and that word ‘His own,’ is His own creation, His own things, and then it says, “His own,” and that means His own people, a little different grammar there in your original. “He came to His own creation and His own people received Him not. But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” That’s John 1:1-12. Great verses.
Now, you have to start somewhere, and as I’ve often told you at the college we start with God. We don’t reason up to God or around Him, but we start with Him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” the Bible says, and so here you have, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” talking about the Lord, Jesus Christ. What are the great issues of our thought and relationship concerning Almighty God? Well, verses 1 and 2 take care of the question of His being, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The same was already there in the beginning with God. His being, He’s the God that’s there.
Reason back as far as you can, no matter what view you take of the cosmos, whether you think it’s relatively young or whether you think it is billions of years old. If you’re saved, you and I will be in Heaven some day and we’ll know. But regardless of what your chronology of the cosmos is, is way back there before anything ever happened, God was there, Jesus was there, and if you read Genesis 1 you’ll find the Holy Spirit was there. “The Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the deep.” This blessed triune, God; one God, three persons. Our Father, Son, Holy Spirit, God, there in the beginning. The question of ‘being’ is forever settled in the person of God.
Small thought here. People talk about an identity crisis. “Who am I? And what’s it all about?” Do you know, I never had one? And I don’t think I’m a kook. Although some people misspell my name. [chuckle] I’ve had mail come to me, ‘Dr. Robert Kook,’ K-O-O-K. [chuckle] Well, tain’t funny, McGee. But no, I think I’m normal. You know what happened? I was brought up, early in life I gave my heart to Jesus, and I was brought up looking to God, the one who is, and who’s there, the one who’s always in being from eternity to eternity. I was brought up to look to Him for the meaningfulness of life.
I never had an identity crisis. “Who am I?” I want to tell you something. If some of you adolescent folk, teens and 20s, are going through that sort of a thing, and life is a riddle to you, and you don’t know what it’s all about, you don’t seem to have any overriding purpose for life. And you think to yourself gloomily, “Well, who am I, and what does it matter anyway?” Now, I’m not putting down those feelings. They’re real, aren’t they? Yes, they are. And when you’ve got the blues, you’ve really got ’em. And when life seems to be meaningless, that’s how it is to you at that time. I know it. I’m not putting you down for that. I’m simply saying, beloved, listen. I’m simply saying if you get in touch with Almighty God, and your identity problem’s gonna be solved, because He is there, and He’s the reason for it all. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who makes clear to you and to me, us mortals, the meaning of life.
As the spoken word reveals the invisible thought, so the Living Word, the Lord Jesus, reveals the invisible God. He’s the Word. He’s the Living Word. He’s the one who tells you what God thinks, and what God is. All you’ll ever need to know about God the Father is found in the Lord Jesus Christ who said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father. How do you dare say, ‘Show us the Father?’ You’ve been with me for these years and now you know Me. And, so, then, all you need to know about the Heavenly Father is in Me,” Jesus said. “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The question of identity, the question of being, the question of, “Who am I?” and, “Why am I here?” All of it, beloved. Get hold of this, will you. All of these questions that trouble so many in our day can be solved when you bow in worship, and in obedience before the Lord Jesus Christ. A question of being.
And there’s the question, of course, of creation. “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Our Lord Jesus Christ was active in the creation. Paul says in Colossians, “All things were made by Him, and by Him, all things hold together.” ‘Consist’ is the word in the King James, it means ‘hold together.’ What holds the universe together and keeps it from blowing up with the tremendous latent force that’s built into every atom? What holds it together? The power of gravity? No, the power of Jesus. He holds it together. He’s the creator, and He is the sustainer.
At this point, just let me detour long enough to remind you of something I’ve told you once before. Martha Minnick came to hold meetings for me when I was a young pastor in Philadelphia, back in 1935 or 1936. Martha Minnick was a missionary to missionaries, and a minister to ministers. Rich in the things of God, incredibly deep in her spiritual experience, and yet quite down to earth in her practicality. She did a good job there at our church in West Philadelphia 40 years ago, or more.
But I learned one thing, which I’ve always remembered. She said, and she had learned this on the mission field herself. She said, “I was up against situations where I simply didn’t have what was necessary to cope with it.” And she says, “I learned to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, not only as my Savior, but also, as I read the Bible. It said, ‘All things were made by Him.’ I prayed to Him as my creator. And I asked Him to create in me the abilities that I needed, and the qualities that I lacked, and the attributes that I sought unsuccessfully in my own strength. I trusted Him not only,” said she, “as my Savior, but I trusted Him as my Creator. And Oh,” she said, “He has never failed me.”
Now, you know, you can do that. Yes, you can. The anointing of God, the touch of the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within the believer can make a difference in your life, and our blessed living Lord can create in you abilities that you never thought you had. I have found this on the mission field again and again, and I think it’s evident there more so than in our workaday world back home, because you’re thrust entirely upon the Lord so often with no other source, no other possibility of effecting a change. And missionaries have told me, “I never thought I could do this. I never thought I could build a house. I never thought I could add up a column of figures. I never thought I could manage. I never thought I could sing, but God created the ability.” Yes, hallelujah, He does. Will you deal with Him today not only as your Savior but as the Creator? And trust Him to create in you those abilities, those attributes that you need so much? He will. I promise you.
Dear Father today, create in us not only a clean heart and a right spirit but the ability to live for Thee. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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