Part I: John 1:1-18 | Part II: John 1:19-12:50

“Here are four great promises: that we will be made alive spiritually and will be raised as Jesus was raised, that we will know him as God, that we will receive an increasingly full revelation of him (if we continue to obey him and grow in his love), and that he will come to dwell within us by his Holy Spirit. Some of these promises are more or less automatic; that is, they are the product of pure grace and are fulfilled in us regardless our response or obedience. One promise, the promise of a fuller revelation of Christ, is contingent; it depends upon our obedience and growth in love. What then? Shall we accept the three promises and neglect the one? Shall we neglect the one that is costly? Or shall we rather determine to pursue that promise at all costs, knowing that as we do we will be coming to know that One who is altogether lovely and who out of his great love gave himself for us? To do anything less would be ingratitude and folly. It would be to exchange out spiritual birthright for a mess of worldly pottage.” – James Montgomery Boice

In part I of this series, we looked at obedience in the life of a Christian and concluded that obedience plays a pivotal role. In part II, our individual conduct was further defined by how much trust we have placed in the promises of God. Together we begin to see an outline of what Christian obedience entails. We are to obey God because we are in fact His. Our obedience is directly proportional to our trust; therefore, disobedience stems from a lack of trust in a promise of God. As you can begin to see, there are numerous facets to obedience. The next aspect explored is the role of the Spirit.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” – John 16:7-15

The upper-room discourse is one of the most significant passages in the New Testament. Jesus is explaining to His disciples that God’s Spirit will now come upon the world in new and wondrous ways: He will convict the world. First sin, belief is not possible without a convicted conscience. You see this is not a human ability; we cannot by any stretch of the imagination reveal to an individual how defiled their life truly is—the Holy Spirit alone has this power. More specifically though, John 16:9 directly states the Spirit convicts us of refusing to believe. Wait a minute! The Spirit doesn’t convict us of anything else? Not murder or even adultery? You see, that’s the whole point. It is not that the other sins are not important—for they are; but that the one thing that God requires for salvation is belief. Unbelief, has very little consequences in this life; but unbelief carries the greatest consequence for what follows. Not believing in Christ, in God’s promises, is the ultimate form of rebellion from a creation toward its creator. It is pride in its most glorious form, placed against the glory of God.

Second righteousness, the Spirit does not stop with conviction. He also shows them the way to salvation through the righteousness of Christ (v. 10), which in turn spares them from judgment. Best stated by Spurgeon, “The Lord takes a man, even when he is sinful and conscious of that sin, and makes him righteous on the spot, by putting away his sin and justifying him by the righteousness of faith, a righteousness which comes to him by the worthiness of another who has wrought out a righteousness for him.”

Followed by judgment, that final piece of the puzzle that no one wants to acknowledge. Fact of the matter is, those of us who choose to not believe are not counted righteous. For them, judgment is inevitable. For the rest of us, we understand and trust in god’s promises to judge Satan (v. 11), our fate is unavoidable as well.

In explaining the future role of the Spirit, Jesus continued noting the empowering of believers through the Spirit comes through the authority of God and for the glory of God (v. 12-15). Everything God does has a doxological purpose. Therefore, that which brings glory to God should be our primary focus.

While I have barely scratched the surface on the relationship between the Spirit and Christian obedience, a final verse shall be sufficient to summarize:

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” – John 17:6

God’s Word was received and obeyed:

“Observing Christ’s word is the end product of first hearing it and then understanding it to the point at which it makes a difference in our behavior. Some people have never heard that word. That is why we have missionaries, radio programs, Christian books, and all other kinds of gospel communication. Some people have never understood. Indeed, all fail to understand unless the Holy Spirit makes these things comprehensible to them. That is why we pray as we give out the message, for we know that our efforts are wasted unless God intervenes to do this miracle. But at last, there must also be the keeping of Christ’s words, involving commitment and change. This had been true of the disciples. Jesus says so clearly. It must also be true of us and all who would follow him.” – James Montgomery Boice

-Next, John 21 an epilogue.


Boice, The Gospel of John, p. 1146.

Boice, The gospel of John, p. 1274.

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