COMMENTARY ON JOHN 4

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Chapter 4 gives us a glimpse of what Jesus will do in human hearts, if we ask Him. And we see the power of giving testimony vs. Jesus actual words, and a miraculous healing. Jesus’ influence goes far beyond all we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)!

Verses 1-2 — Jesus knew the Pharisees would persecute Him for making and baptizing even more disciples than John the Baptist. He was an even bigger threat to their religious power structure. And note that Jesus’ disciples baptized, but He did not. Why? His is not water baptism, but baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Verses 3-6 — Jesus began a long journey into Galilee, and passed through Samaria (36 miles from Jerusalem). He came to Sychar, a large city in Samaria. Jacob’s well was there. The reference may be to Genesis 26:22ff, and the well Jacob named “Rehoboth,” (broad place). Jesus is about to show many people the broad place (place of liberty) that is the kingdom of God.

He was weary from the long journey, and sat alone by the well, at noon. The disciples had gone into the city to purchase food (see verse 8).

Verses 7-8 A woman came to draw water at an unusual time of day; normally, water is drawn at sunset. In a few verses, we’ll find out why she came at noon. Jesus simply said, “Give Me a drink.”

Verses 9-10 — The Samaritan woman pointed out that Jews don’t talk with Samaritans. So why did Jesus speak to her? The people of Samaria worshiped God and other gods (see 2Kings 17:24-41), so they were shunned by the Israelites. But Jesus said that if she knew  1) the gift of God and 2) who it was that said, ‘Give me a drink,’ she would have asked Him and He would have given her living water.

It sounds like a riddle, but it isn’t. He is the gift of God to the world (John 3:16). And so He had much more to offer her than she could offer to Him. She could quench His natural thirst with water from the cistern, but His living water is the Holy Spirit (see John 7:37-39), a never-ending fountain of God’s eternal life and power!

Verses 11-12 — She wondered how He could give her water. When she asked, she was thinking of natural water. She likely had a jug with her, and a rope to lower it down into the well (Greek phrear, a hole in the ground, a cistern). He was empty-handed, so how could He give her this living water? Was He greater than “our father,” Jacob (indicating she was a descendant of Abraham), who gave them this well?

Verses 13-15 — Jesus told her that everyone who drinks of the natural water from Jacob’s well will thirst again. It is just natural water.

But His living water is not natural water. And whoever drinks of the water He will give (through the baptism of the Holy Spirit), will never thirst again. How do I know it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit He is speaking of, and not the first step, which is salvation through faith in Christ? Because John identifies this living water as the Holy Spirit WHO WAS NOT YET GIVEN BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED (restored to His original position at the right hand of God the Father). That living water was given in Acts 2, baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

When you are filled with God, He is an unending source. The water He will give will become “like a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Eternal life is the water in His fountain! [NOTE: My translation, the NASB, says “well,” but the original Greek is “fountain.”] Cisterns will run dry. His fountain springs up, gushes, and leaps! What gushes forth? Eternal life! It is the rushing, flood-stage rivers of eternal life flowing from our innermost beings, as in John 7:38, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. It flows out to others, and yet we never run dry!

The woman then asked Jesus for His water, but she was still thinking in the natural. She didn’t want to have to come all the way to the cistern to draw water. He said if she drank His water, she’d never thirst again. So she wanted His water.

Verses 16-19 — Now we find out why the woman came alone to draw water at noon rather than sunset, like the others in Sychar. Jesus changed the subject on her, to drive home the fact that He wasn’t talking about natural things. He  told her to call her husband, knowing full well that she has had five husbands, and the man she now had was not her husband.

She said, “I have no husband.” He then told her what had transpired in her life, though this was the first time they had met. And she understood that He was from God and called Him a prophet. There was no other way for Him to know her history. It was because of her history, because she was an adulteress, that she was shunned by the people of her city and forced to go out to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day.

Verse 20 — The woman told Jesus that her ancestors worshiped on the mountain where Sychar was located. God was worshiped in Samaria, at one time. But then many gods were worshiped there, and the Lord sent Northern Israel into exile in Assyria, except for a small remnant. She called into question worship of God on the mountain versus God in Jerusalem. The Jews said God could only be worshiped in Jerusalem, because the Temple was there, signifying God’s presence, in the Holy of Holies.

Verses 21-22 — Jesus responded by saying, “Believe Me.” If you will believe Him today, He will show you that the time is not only coming, but is now here (see Verse 23), when you are able to worship God the Father regardless of where you are geographically, be it the Temple, a church, or a dungeon (see Acts 16:25). This is the first time “the Father” is used in John 4. There is the Father, and then there is Jesus.

In Samaria’s worship of God, they omitted the historical books of the Old Testament (Tenakh), as well as the Prophets and the Psalms. They did not know the full Word of God, so they did not know God.

But “we” worship what we know, He said. The Jews worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and did not omit any of the Tenakh.

And He said salvation comes from the Jews. What did He mean? The Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied to be a Jew, born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Isaiah prophesies, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,” followed by many Messianic titles (Isaiah 9:6-7). So from a Jewish mother and the Holy Spirit comes Jesus Christ the Jew, the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), the Savior of both Jew and Gentile (non-Jew), the gift of God to whoever will repent and believe in Him.

Verses 23-24 — Referring back to Verse 21, Jesus said an hour NOW IS when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. They will not just go through the motions and say the right words (lip service). They will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will truly worship Him, because God the Holy Spirit is in them, leading them into true worship. No more rote rites or mouthing words, but the Spirit, large and in charge, connecting us to the Father and the Son 24/7!!! Halleujah!!!

God the Father is spirit — He is not human — and those who worship Him MUST worship Him in this way, and in truth — truly worship, not just outward acts and not just knowing “Christian-ese.”  It is essential to be filled with the Holy Spirit, after salvation, in order to worship God as He commands.

Verses 25-26 — The woman began to make the connection. First, she identified Him as a  prophet, but then she remembered that Messiah was coming. He would know everything, too, just like this Jesus.

And Jesus said, “I who speak to you am.” He is saying I am the I AM, I am God the Son, the always existent One. I am the One who spoke My name to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). I am God, and was with God before I was sent here. I am the Messiah.

Verse 27 — The disciples returned with food, and found Jesus talking with a woman, and a Samaritan at that! Just the two of them, alone! Oh, the shame! Yet no one questioned Him.

Verse 28-30 — The woman now realized that this Jesus was the Messiah, and left her waterpot (that would be like you leaving your wallet or smart phone) and went into the city. She testified that Jesus told her everything about herself, and asked, “Is this the Christ?”  They went out of the city and came to Him.

Verse 31-34 — The disciples were like I used to be. They were focused on food, on bringing Jesus food, on the questions in their minds about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman. “Rabbi, eat,” they said.

So He told them that they didn’t know what nourishes Him and satisfies Him. They wondered if someone already brought Him food.

So Jesus made it very clear that what nourishes and satisfies Him is to do the will of God the Father and accomplish the Father’s work. What is God’s will and God’s work? Speaking to the woman, revealing that He is the Messiah, and her testimony causing the whole city to come to see Him and be saved!

Verse 35-37 — Jesus corrects His disciples’ focus. Lift up your eyes and look on the fields! The saying in Israel and among the disciples themselves was, “Four months and then the harvest.” He said, “That’s what YOU say!” That was the natural harvest. But God’s harvest is here and now and continual. The fields are white (the color of the heads of grain)! Lift up your eyes and look!

Already those who reap God’s harvest are being paid and are gathering fruit for life eternal. Salvation is already happening!

If we look and see and act, we will find that the one who sows the gospel seed and the one who reaps (leads a person to salvation) are able to rejoice together. The sowing and reaping can happen one after the other, with no waiting! One will sow, and another will reap. It is an immediate harvest. The seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful! It is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16)!

Already! There is an urgency in Jesus’ words! Don’t be lazy. Your pay awaits! The fields are ready! Get out there! Lift up your eyes! Look!

Matthew 9:38 adds that they should beseech (beg) the Lord of the harvest (Jesus Christ) to send out workers into His harvest. The word “send out” means “eject, thrust out!” Urgency!

He said He sent His disciples to reap that which you haven’t worked for. I am the Sower (Matthew 13:3), I have done the work, and you get to reap what I sow. You have entered into My labor.

I have personally experienced His words in this verse. Those who have come to salvation through an encounter with me were prepared in advance by Him. I had very little to do with it — all I had to do was be there. Their hearts were already prepared, sometimes through words the Lord spoke through me, and sometimes entirely apart form me. Therefore, I cannot boast, except in Jesus Christ. Amen!

Verses 39-42 — The first action of the residents of Sychar was to respond to the woman’s testimony about Jesus being the Messiah. They went out to Him. He stayed there two days. And when they heard His words, they no longer needed to rely on the woman’s testimony. They knew Jesus Christ was the One, the Savior of the world. My NAS Bible stops there, I don’t know why they omitted the additional two words in the original Greek — “the Christ.” Those are essential words. No Bible translation is perfect, but the NASB is generally pretty accurate compared with the original texts. They certainly missed this one, though.

Verses 43-45 — Jesus completed His journey to Galilee. He knew and stated in other Gospel accounts that a prophet has no honor in His own country (where He was brought up). Everyone knew Him as the carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph (Mark 6:3).

So Galilee’s residents welcomed Him, because they had been at the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem (John 2:13) and had seen what He had done — cleansing the Temple, and the miracles that are in the other Gospel accounts.

Verses 46-47 — Jesus went to Cana, where He had done the sign (attesting miracle) of changing water to wine. A royal official approached him. His son was at Capernaum, sick, at the point of death. He begged Jesus to come and heal him.

Verses 48-54 — Jesus replied that the Jews won’t believe He is who He says He is, unless they see signs. They had no faith in His words and His exhortations to repent and believe. They were accepted by them only because of the signs He did. It is still true today. So sad! We won’t bow at His words, but we are wowed by His wonders.

The royal official persisted, even with the rebuke of Jesus. He said, “Sir (not Lord or Rabbi), come!” Heal my child before he dies!

So Jesus said, “Go, your Son lives.” Jesus did not have to be physically present in order to heal and deliver. Time and space do not inhibit God’s ability to act. He can do it from anywhere! I was not healed of the incurable disease MS in a church, but in my living room, in the middle of the night —  just the Lord Jesus Christ and me.

And the man believed Jesus’ words — when Jesus commands, it must be so. So he turned toward home, but his slaves met him and told him his son was living. When did it happen? Exactly at the hour Jesus said, Your Son lives. And the royal official and his whole household believed in Jesus Christ.

This was a second sign. At the end of the Book of John, he tells us that Jesus did so many more signs and wonders that there aren’t enough books in the world to record them all (John 21:25). But the Holy Spirit directed John to use a specific set of miracles in his gospel. Why? John 20:30-31 tells us these have been written so you would believe Jesus is the Christ and would have life as God has it, eternal life.

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WHAT ARE YOU EATING?

[SW208] 11/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What Are You Eating?”

The food  you give your physical body affects your health. And the food you give your spirit affects your spiritual health.

Jesus Christ is returning for a healthy church, and He and I want you to be ready.

Text: Hebrews 5:11-14

Here are some believers who were doing well, but they have gone backwards. They ought to be so spiritually healthy that they are able to instruct others, but instead, they need to be taught spiritual truths all over again.

They need milk — basic spiritual principles. They can’t digest meat — the deeper things of God, the word of righteousness — any more.

Something happened to their spiritual digestive system. They stopped eating meat and went back to milk. Now they can’t digest the meat they need, the meat that will bring them to a place of surrender (Romans 12:1).

Infants must have mother’s milk or formula, but as children grow, they begin to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. If they return to drinking milk only, their physical health takes a nosedive.

As an adult, you eat things that are good for you. But then you become attracted to junk food — food packed with calories but not nutrition — and your physical health takes a nosedive.

Both of these things were happening spiritually to the Hebrew Christians, and these things are are happening in the church today.

What is the milk that the church is drinking once again? What is the meat that she used to eat? What is the junk food the church devours?

The milk is the elementary principles of Christianity. What are they?

Repentance from sin
Repentance from believing good works get us to heaven
Jesus Christ as Savior from our sins
Eternal judgment
Resurrection of the dead
Healing
Deliverance
God’s blessings

The meat is the word of righteousness. What does that mean?

God calls us to continuously live in a right relationship with Him
Full surrender to God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices
Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, to purify our hearts and fill
us with God’s own love and holiness
Crucifixion of our sinful nature
Partaking of the divine nature
Deliverance from slavery to sin

What is the junk food that is making the church spiritually sick?
Easy-believism — no mention of sin or repentance.
Jesus just came to do good things
Hypergrace
You can’t help but continue to sin
God is your sugar daddy
God is your Santa Claus
Name it and claim it, regardless of how you are living (disobedience)
God wants to make you successful and very rich
Legalism — all about outward appearance, not about your heart condition

And the list goes on!

At one time, the church ate meat. When I look back at sermons preached by men and women from the birth of the church to the first half of the 20th century, there’s meat there! There is the call to righteousness, to holiness.

And those who ate the meat came into the wonderful rest (Hebrews 4:9) —where we rest from our works and then God works through us — that God has for each of us. Those who eat the meat enjoy holy intimacy with God the Father and God the Son, fellowship through the Holy Spirit!!!

But now:

— The leaders of the church have decided that they will serve milk only. Just the basics.

The meat is too difficult for the congregation to digest. There are infants among the congregation. They won’t understand it. Let’s just talk about Easter.

So the whole church goes backwards. When she finally hears the word of righteousness somewhere, she scratches her head, never having heard it before.

“Rouse yourself out of your spiritual stupor and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God,” Paul had to tell the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:34)! They were back on the the milk bottle and had settled down for their afternoon nap.

But if the church repeatedly was taught AND EACH CHRISTIAN MEDITATED DAILY UPON God’s Word, she would see His call to be holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect, and she would grow to the point where she says, “I can’t live this way by my own strength! I must seek to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Then comes FREEDOM and the ability to EASILY walk with Jesus Christ and obey Him. He enlarges your heart so you run in the way of His commandments (Psalm 119:32). Running means it’s easy!!

— Or the church eats popular, ear-tickling preaching, the junk food of this generation.

Her spiritual arteries are so clogged with false teaching that she’s in danger of having a heart attack.

Her spiritual digestive system is a wreck. Again, unless she reads and meditates upon God’s Word, she’ll never detect the junk food. Sounds good, tastes good. but it will kill you.

— Or the church adds the things of this world to that deadly meal. She eats what the world eats, chases after treasures that moth and rust destroy and thieves steal. She clogs her arteries with godless TV programs, violent sports, drugs, alcohol and pornography . . . what are you eating?

Beloved, the writer of Hebrews tells us that God speaks correction and discipline to you because you are His children (Hebrews 12:4ff).

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. That means you have not yet crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

You have not said, “I can’t be obedient! Lord, purify me, fill me with Your holiness and righteousness, so obedience is natural and easy!”

Strengthen your hands (with which you do things) and your knees (with which you walk)! Seek HIS strength, and it will be easy to do right and walk right!

Pursue peace, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Amen.

WHERE ARE YOU SITTING?

[SW207] 11/06/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Where Are You Sitting?”

Location is everything! Where are you sitting?

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

God hit the pause button here . . . I can’t go on until I fully move in what God says is true, in this passage, until I believe and practice every part of it.

I am raised up with Christ, and seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places. It’s an enormous thought, an enormous truth, if I can grasp it!

What does it mean to me, to be seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places?

Access to God (2:18)

Boldness and reliable access (3:12)

Far above  . . . every name which can be named now and in the world to come (1:21).

Every spiritual blessing (1:3)

Intimacy/intimate knowledge (3:18-19). I experience Him.

His power (1:19), the same as what He used to resurrect Jesus Christ

His inheritance (1:11), I am a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)

God’s ear (John 16:26-27), so He hears and answers me

But . . . much more . . .

Hearing and seeing what HE is saying and doing (John 12:49, 14:10). Then I know what needs to be done, and what needs to be said, to set captives free!

How can I do such a thing? I am a mere human being. But because I am seated with God, I have access to the resources of Almighty God.

What else does it mean to be seated with Him? It implies that I have His fullness, that I am baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Why do I say that?

The CONDITION for these promises is obedience (2:1-3). That only happens when I am baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Obedience:

— I no longer follow the prince of the power of the air

— I am no longer a son of disobedience

— I no longer live in the lusts of my flesh

— I no longer have the nature of a child of wrath, but His divine nature

I am holy and blameless before Him (1:4), because the Holy Spirit has come in and purified my heart and filled me with God’s love (Acts 15:9, Romans 5:5).

Why does God want us to be seated with Him in the heavenly places?  So He is praised and glorified (1:6, 12, 14), because He will do in us and through us things that we can’t even think or imagine, and others will see His fingerprints on us and His power working in and through us!

His grace provides salvation (2:8). You believe that.

His grace provides spiritual resurrection (2:5). You believe that.

His grace provides a pure heart. Do you believe that? If you believe, He will show you that He will do it.

Where are you sitting? What is the alternative to being seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places? Go to Psalm 1 and read the whole Psalm. Sitting in the seat of scoffers? Walking in the way of the wicked? Standing in the path of sinners? The second half of the Psalm is where you are headed. Turn around!

If you do not believe, then Ephesians 5:5 applies to you. Do not be deceived.

You cannot sit with Him in heavenly places unless you are obedient, and your heart, like mine, does not naturally obey. A supernatural work — His work — must be done in our hearts, to make you and me obedient out of love! Repent! Ask Him to fill you!

Then you will have these promises —

Access to God

Confident access and boldness

Far above  . . . all powers of this world and the one to come

Every spiritual blessing

Intimacy

His power

His inheritance

God’s ear

Hearing and seeing what He is saying and doing so you can be used to set captives free!

It is so He is praised and given the glory He deserves, because no one will be able to deny that what has been done in you and what you are doing are evidence of His power and the reality of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the sacrifice given so we might have life as He has it!

Freely it has been given to you  . . .  freely you must give!

GO, AND I WILL SHOW YOU

[SW204] 10/16/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Go, And I Will Show You”

Text: Genesis 12:1-2

When I went to my assignment in San Diego, I had no plans of my own. I was totally inadequate for the job, but my adequacy comes from the Lord.

He said, “Go, and I will show you.” When I spoke to Dean and his parents prior to visiting them, I said, “I don’t know what God is going to do, but it will be wonderful!”

What did You show me, Lord?

9/28/15    —    YOU establish the connection (You in me is the key).
Servanthood comes naturally, because You have given me
Your nature.
YOU showed me that my joy and transparency were unexpected,
and that they break down walls and disarm those to whom I am
ministering. Dean said, “I am pleasantly surprised. I thought you
would be a Bible-thumper.” Score one for Jesus! I am assured
that I do not need to change my personality — you will use me
just as I am.

9/29/15    —     YOU reveal the truth, and salvation results!
— Why did Jesus come? To do good things.
— Yes, but Isaiah 53, He took the punishment you
deserved. Dean repents, asks forgiveness, receives Jesus.
YOU reveal the truth and expose Satan’s lies re: pressure to
perform.
— John 5, the power of Jesus’ words
— Not my work or Dean’s, but the power of God.
— Relief, relaxing now, compassion, laughter, and
truth

9/30/15    —    YOU stir Dean’s heart, just as You did me. He confesses openly.
We know we are on Satan’s Most Wanted List, and we are glad!

10/1/15    —     YOU show me Psalm 37:5-6, 34. I will see it!

10/2/15    —     YOU provide a sister in Christ for fellowship and encouragement,                 and show me that transparency is essential for encouragement!
YOU give me Psalm 64:4, 7, 10!
YOU instruct on spiritual warfare from John 10.
YOU shoot at Satan with Your arrows, shooting at him who
shoots at us.

10/3/15    —     YOUR word is powerful.
— Isaiah 61, then YOU cause me to spontaneously speak Matthew 11:28-30.
— Immediately, Dean spontaneously asks You to give him Your yoke, and explains to You what his is (MS). He “gives” his MS to You, out loud. Faith!

10/4/15    —     YOUR words unexpectedly come to free others.
YOU have Jeff and I minister together, even a continent apart.

10/5/15    —     YOU remind me to stay focused. No distractions. The Enemy is
trying to distract. YOU direct me to fast, to break the yoke.

10/6/15    —     YOU are the yoke-breaker. It will come. “Dean, what would God                 say now, if you asked Him if you are right with Him?” With no hesitation, Dean smiled broadly and said, “He would say, ‘You are right with me!’”

10/7/15    —      YOU fill Dean with the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of my hands
upon his head, and he speaks with other tongues.

10/8/15    —     YOU give us all a promise — Psalm 27:13-14, despite a bump in the
road with Dean’s natural condition.

10/9/15    —     Changes in scenery and players, even unknowing statements of                 unbelief,  do not affect Your work. Your compassion and love trump unbelief.

10/10/15    —     We change our strength for yours (Isaiah 40:31). YOU prompt me
to say, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.” Dean begins to get up, then sits back down. “I’m afraid to stand up. Jesus, take my fear!” Faith!

10/11/15    —       YOU ask through me, “Why is My church glorious?” Dean says, “Because the Father and Jesus are inside of her!”
YOU will do the final stage of healing when Dean and You are alone together. You always do great things when you get women and men alone with You (Jacob’s name change, Abraham and the covenant-cutting, Paul and the three days fasting, and time in Arabia,
and many more)!

10/12/15    —     All YOU directed me to do has been done. I go in peace, and leave                 my peace with Bob and Inger’s home, and with Dean. I have had a                  front-row seat to watch You work! You continue that on the plane and in the taxi from the airport to our home! Hallelujah!

ENTWINED

SCAN0038

[SW199] 08/28/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Entwined”

Texts: Psalm 37:3-6, 23-31 and Psalm 40:2, 6

The fulfillment of your heart’s desires comes when you entwine yourself with the Lord.

There is a moment in time when you repent, confess your sin, and believe, and then the Holy Spirit begins to speak to your heart.

But there is also another moment in time when you yield your SELF completely to God!

I will speak what the Lord has shown me in the text, and then speak the rest of what He wants to say. You will need to watch the video of my message for the interpretation of the text. The link is in the right column of my blog.

Now I go on to what He wants to say, beyond the interpretation of His Word.

Jeff and I have been married nearly 38 years. It was a happy marriage, to the point that my brother gave this copyrighted photo, “Entwined,” to us as an anniversary card. But we were still selfish, in it to have our own needs and wants met.

Then, 14 years ago this November, we became entwined with the Lord.

Now we live for Him, walk together with Him, serve Him together, and love each other with God’s actual love. Like Jeff, I’m no longer selfish, centered on I, me, and my. And I am no longer a rebel toward God. I am entwined. Jeff is entwined. We are entwined together with the Lord. It is literally a marriage made in heaven!

In Psalm 37:4, what did I say “delight” means? It means being soft, pliable, and twisted together or entwined.

A steel girder does not bend.

A plank of wood does not bend.

A piece of marble does not bend.

By nature, they are inflexible, but we can bend or shape them into a bend, using fire to bend the steel, heat and water to bend the wood, and a hammer and chisel to make the marble yield to our vision, as a sculpture.

Humans do not bend. By nature we are inflexible. In the Bible, the Lord describes us as having stiff necks, hard hearts, and foreheads like stone or bronze. It is a description of the sin nature that we’re all born with.

How, then, can we be made soft and pliable so we can be entwined with the Lord?
By the same means as with steel, wood, or marble, except God does it!

If you ask Him (Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:13, Matthew 6:33), He will do it in you, using:

His heat (Matthew 3:11)

His living water (John 4:10)

The hammer of His Word (Jeremiah 23:29)

Just as He instantly saved you, He will also instantly fill you with His Holy Spirit, changing your nature so you are soft and pliable, so you become entwined with the Lord, and He takes from you your hardness, your stiffness, your sin nature. He must, for if you continue to sin, you will die.

When He instantly fills you with His Holy Spirit, your heart’s desires will be transformed.

Then, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Because  your desires have been transformed, the only desire of your heart will be to do His will, for His law will be written on the tablet of your heart (Psalm 40:6, 2Corinthians 3:3).

He will fulfill your desire to do His will.

And His promises, in Psalm 37:5-6 and 23-31 will be fulfilled in you.

It is that simple, and perhaps that is the problem. Maybe you think you have to work really hard and study the Word continually in order to prepare yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is wonderful to study God’s Word, but I know many who can recite it and yet do not have an intimate relationship with the Lord — even seminary professors and pastors!

For Jeff and me, I can only say that we knew very little of the Word of God. But we were hungry for all of God, and we sought Him with all that was in us.

He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him, beloved. You receive by asking, seeking, and knocking. You cannot make yourself soft and pliable. You cannot make yourself entwined with Him. You cannot make yourself stop sinning.

Good works won’t work. Look at the Pharisees!

Much study is good for you, but you must ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth that you must be filled. Otherwise, you have knowledge of the Word of God in your brain, but still lack the intimate knowledge of God, and still be a prisoner of sin.

Ask God the Father now! He will make you soft and pliable, entwine you with Himself, His desires will be your desires, and you will no longer be a slave to sin.

GIVING UP

[SW198] 08/14/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Giving Up”

Do you ever feel like giving up on trying to be an obedient child of God? Don’t give up! But give up! It’s a different kind of giving up.

I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me to serve you up a full-course meal of God’s Word today, choice pieces of meat, marrow and aged wine (Isaiah 25:6), so you may learn the truth, so it divides soul and spirit, and causes you to say to the Lord, “I give up!”

I’m speaking a word of righteousness to you. Many of you are accustomed to a diet of milk (the basic tenets of Christianity). It’s what you generally get on a Sunday in many churches. But you ought to be teachers by now, teaching and feasting on the meat — the word of righteousness! (See Hebrews 5:13).

Willful disobedience to God — sin — is an age-old problem, begun by the first man, Adam. We expect those who do not know Christ to sin. But it also has flooded the church.

It would never be, if we truly understood the depths of our depravity, our illness. We’d be seeking a cure!

How serious is sin? So serious that God the Father sacrificed His Son to heal us of our past sins and set us free from slavery to sin!

Even before the earth was formed, the Father had a lamb prepared (Revelation 13:8). We can’t even calculate or estimate or imagine the cost of our salvation!

But try to comprehend it. God sent His Son to die in order that you may live. On that cross, God the Son bore God’s wrath toward you. He took what you deserved. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

Text: Romans 7:14ff

If you struggle with sin, join the wretched man Paul speaks of in Romans 7:14ff. You were born with a sin nature, just like he was. In verse 17, it is sin which dwells in him that causes him to disobey God. The sins he commits are the evidence of the sin nature that dwells inside of him.

But learn the truth — you don’t have to stay that way! Who shall save the man Paul writes about? Christ Jesus our Lord! He made the way for you to be freed from your sin nature and given His divine nature (see 1Peter 1:4)!

Paul did not only write Romans 7, but he also wrote Galatians 2:20 and 5:24. The divine nature doesn’t dwell in you when you’re a baby Christian, as evidenced by the problems Paul had to address with the Corinthians. But it surely does happen when you give up, and you will know it when it does!

The Lord wants YOU to give up. We get it wrong, thinking he wants us to give up habits, the people we associate with, dreams, situations, circumstances. He wants YOU. Once YOU have given up to Him, your heart will entirely change, and you will love to obey Him — there will be no more resistance, because His love accompanies His nature in you, so you love Him with the same love He has for you (Romans 5:5).

Some believe they won’t have fun anymore if they tell the Lord, “I give up!” Some Christians have told me that they like what they’re doing, they like their habits, they like their associates. They don’t want to give up any of that. They’re not ready, they say.

But if that’s your thinking, the struggle will continue, and your life will continue to be a mess until you give up that rebellious sinful nature and ask the Lord to kill it and put His nature inside of you.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of giving up, especially if it involves a spiritual crucifixion or getting on an altar and letting God’s fire consume everything in you that is not of Him. It certainly doesn’t sound comfortable.

Text: Romans 12:1

Many worship with great passion and emotion, but their disobedient living belies their passionate worship.

What is worship, according to God?

In light of all He has done for you, with that in mind, it is willingly placing yourself on an altar so He can purify you and make you holy on the inside. It is asking the Lord Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Some will say, “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in water,” or “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost.” Tongues are the initial evidence, as the scriptures show in the Book of Acts.

But where is the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Are you continuing to willfully disobey God?

Then I say you have not yet been to God’s altar; you may have received something from God, but you are not filled with and controlled by the Holy Ghost, or you would be holy from the inside out!

If you are a Christian, your desire should be to do God’s will. And His will is that you be filled with His Holy Spirit, so you don’t struggle with sin anymore.

What a good word! What a freeing word! Will you believe Him? Do you really want to be His witness here, for more than Sunday morning?

But it is far more serious than being His witness here. It is life and death to you. The wages of sin is death. Keep on sinning, and you face the place where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.

Cry out to God today! Tell Him you give up YOU! Beloved, He wants all of you.

Give YOU to Him. By faith, you asked God to forgive your past sins through Jesus Christ. By faith, ask Him to destroy sin’s power over you.

Will you believe He can do it? If you truly believe, He will show you that He can, and then He will do it, just as He did in healing me of an incurable disease and then making me so hungry for all of Him that for two months, I cried out to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!

That is how you become Jesus Christ’s witnesses here. You will have His Spirit in you, large and in charge. You will walk as He did on the earth (1John 2:6).

You will be tempted, as He was, but you will have power over sin, and be a super-conqueror (Romans 8:37).

You will walk, live, love, and speak as He did. And His very presence in you will cause many to repent and turn to Him.

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UNDERSTANDING SIN

[SW197] 08/07/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Understanding Sin”

If we understand the reality and extent of our sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we will love Him much! This is the very Good News of the gospel!

I am compelled by the love of God to speak of sin (Jeremiah 23:22) because all have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

I have come to announce that God has the solution — Jesus Christ!

Text: Luke 7:36-50

What did the woman do?

She HEARD Jesus was in her city.

She CAME TO HIM.  Why?

I believe she CAME TO HIM because she knew she was sinning and had heard that He heals and also forgives sin (see Matthew 9:2, the paralytic). She did not need physical healing, but healing of her relationship with God.

She CAME TO HIM intending to worship Him, because she brought an alabaster vial of perfume.

Thus, she HAD FAITH that He was God in the flesh, for only God is to be worshiped, and only God can forgive sin.

She WEPT. As He reclined, she stood at His feet, weeping tears of repentance and gratefulness.

She BROKE ALL THE RULES, letting her hair down in public, to wipe the tears that fell on His feet. With her brokenness, she honored Him.

She WORSHIPED EXTRAVAGANTLY, kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Oh how beautiful are the feet of Him who brings Good News (Isaiah 52:7)!

Thus, she LOVED MUCH, largely, abundantly, greatly.

What did the Pharisee do?

He INVITED Jesus to come to dinner.

He did not welcome Jesus according to custom — there was no kiss on the cheek, no washing of feet, no anointing with oil.

He went out of his way NOT to worship Him.

He did not seek forgiveness.

He did not have faith.

He judged the woman, and he judged Jesus.

He did not weep.

He did not break all the rules.

He did not worship Him extravagantly.

He did not honor Christ.

Thus, he LOVED LITTLE (literally, his love was puny).

You see:

1. If we understand the reality and extent of our sin
2. And we understand the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ
3. Then we love Christ much

I tell you the truth, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by doing #3.

With that gospel, you will love little.

You might say, like the Pharisee, “I am a good person. I do good things. I obey the rules.”

You might even judge sinners by avoiding them. You might say, “Thank God, I am not like them” (see Luke 18:9ff).

You might even judge Jesus when He ministers to sinners. Why is He with THEM?

You might even judge Jesus when He sends someone to speak His truth to you. After all, if you have heard a gospel with no sin and no repentance, then no one has told you that He came to forgive you of your sins, if you repent.

You might even say, “You can’t be speaking for Jesus. He would never speak to me that way. He loves me just the way I am. We are buddies and the Father is my sugar daddy, giving me whatever I want.”

And so, you will love little, like the Pharisee, because you do not understand the reality and extent of your sin.

Who had faith?

Who was forgiven?

Who was saved?

Who went in peace?

The woman who loved much, because she understood the reality and extent of her sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Again, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by loving Him much.

And what is more, a gospel preached without sin and repentance cannot bring you to the truth that Jesus will set you free from slavery to sin, by baptizing you in the Holy Spirit (John 8:31-36). Sin is not mentioned, repentance is not mentioned, and so you do not understand that you are a slave to sin.

But if you repent and ask His forgiveness for your sin, He will not only forgive you, but He will show you that He commands you to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4).

These also are commands, given by the Spirit-inspired Apostle Paul:

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And the result will be inward holiness because the Holy Spirit dwells in you, large and in charge!

And you will be filled with the actual love of God,  you will love Him with His love, and you will not struggle to obey Him, for your heart will be entirely His!

And He will shine forth from you, drawing people to Himself through His presence in you, so they, too may understand the extent of their sin, and the availability and extent of Gods forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and they will love Jesus Christ much!

Romans 10:14   How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”