Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

The Joy of the Lord, Part 4
Pastor Steve Schell
John 16:23, 24
On the night in which He was betrayed Jesus gathered with this disciples in a furnished upper room to take the Passover meal and prepare them for what was about to take place. Chapters 13-17 are John’s record of that evening. Here in my words is a summary of His teaching during those hours.

After Judas left the room (13:30) Jesus said, “I’m leaving and going back to the Father, but don’t be sad because I’ll prepare a place for you there and someday you’ll be with Me again. And don’t worry about what will happen to you until then, because I won’t leave you as orphans (14:18). I will ask the Father and He will send you the Holy Spirit (14:16). First I’ll be crucified and resurrected and then I’ll go back to the Father and when I do the era of the New Covenant (Lk 22:20) will begin. The Spirit will move inside of you and He will enable you to see Me not with your physical eyes but with spiritual “eyes,” and you will be conscious of Me dwelling in you just as I am now conscious of the Father dwelling in Me (14:20; 17:22). He will work with and through you as He has Me, and you will stand before the Father with the same privilege as I do. The Father loves you because you believe in Me and He will answer your prayers as He does Mine (16:26, 27). When you discover His hand working with you in such might, you will find ministry very joyful (16:24), even when the world opposes you (16:33). This has been a great source of joy for Me and it will be for you as well (15:11; 17:13).”

A. The New Covenant
The cross and resurrection would make possible an entirely new level of relationship with God. His disciples would now experience the same relationship with God as Jesus had. Here are two areas of change Jesus emphasized:
1) The Indwelling Spirit:
• Jesus was baptized in the Spirit and now we can be also (Lk 3:21, 22; 24:49; Ac 1:4, 5).
• The Spirit will dwell inside us (Jn 7:38, 39; 14:17).
• We will be conscious of Jesus and the Father always being with us (Jn 14:20).
• The Spirit will guide us into all truth (Jn 14:26; 16:13-15).
• He will enable us to “see” Jesus and follow Him in the same way Jesus saw and followed the Father (Jn 14:7,10, 19; 15:26; 16:13-16).
2) Loved by the Father (16:27)
• We will have new access to the Father in prayer (Jn 15:16; 16:23, 24)
• The Father loves us because we love Jesus and believe (Jn 16:26, 27)

B. Disciples
We must notice to whom He speaks these words. It is to His disciples, not just anyone who wishes to pray or simply tacks on the phrase “in Jesus name” to their prayer. So this brings us to the question of who is a disciple? A disciple is a person who:
1) Has repented and believed on Jesus Christ
2) Has been transformed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
3) Is disciplined by the Lord’s commands
4) Who lives to serve Him

C. Questions about Prayer
Jesus challenged His disciples to pray saying the Father would gladly answer. He then said these answered prayers would be a great source of joy, yet for many whose prayers have appeared to go unanswered, prayer has been a great source of frustration. While there are no perfect explanations to all our questions (this side of heaven), there are some key concepts that must be understood if we are to be effective in prayer.
1) Why must we participate in prayer?
• If God knows what we need before we ask (Mt 6:8), why do we need to ask?
• At creation God delegated much authority over this earth to humans (Ge 1:26, 28; Ps 8)
• There are authority patterns in families, churches and governments.
• Ezekiel 22:29-31 “stand in the gap”
2) Why must we persevere?
• Daniel 10:1-5, 10-13, 20, 21
• There are spiritual powers which oppose the will of God and these must be forcefully removed. They can be deeply embedded and take intense prayer over time to break.
• The world is a battlefield, not a stage where God is sovereignly directing all events.
• God has given humans much free-will. We are often waiting for stubborn people to decide to do the right thing. In some cases they never do.
• Humans have delegated their authority to Satan (Lk 4:6)
• Hayford: “Prayer is essentially a partnership of the child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth” (Prayer is Invading the Impossible, 1977, p. 92)
3) What changes when we pray?
• Our human authority is removed from Satan and given back to God.
• Satan’s influence on that person or situation is driven back.
• God is invited into the need by faith (Mt 6:10)
• Sin is forgiven so God’s judgment is removed (Mt 18:18; Jn 20:23).
4) Why does it help to gather for prayer?
• Matthew 18:19, 20 “If two of you agree…”
• Just as worship is strengthened by gathering, so is prayer.
• We learn to pray by modeling
5) Why do we need to be taught to pray?
• Sincerity isn’t enough
• We are engaging a real spiritual world and we must engage it on it’s terms, not ours
• We must base our prayers on scriptural promises
• We must grow in faith
6) What is the result of effective prayer?
• Increased faith
• Joy

D. Questions
1) What’s the most wonderful answer to prayer you’ve ever seen?
2) Read 1 Kings 18:41-46. What do we learn about prayer from Elijah?

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