John 14:15-31 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, March 8, 2015, is from John 14:15-31. Please Note: Some churches will only study John 14:15-26. This posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

John 14:15-31

(John 14:15) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

When we love someone, we want to do and say things that will please them and make them happy. Likewise, if we love our heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will obey them and their commandments out of a desire to express our love for them and bring them happiness.

(John 14:16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.

Jesus was teaching His disciples, but He does not restrict this promise only to the original 12 Apostles. When we love Jesus, we do what Jesus says, and as a result we can enjoy a relationship with another Advocate that the Father will send us, even as the Father sent His Son into the world with the Holy Spirit. Jesus will make the request in our behalf and the Father will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will be with us forever.

(John 14:17) This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

Jesus declared that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As He spoke to His disciples, He was abiding with them and they knew Him (though not as fully as they would come to know Him in days to come after He indwelt them). The Spirit of Truth was with them because the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, remained in Jesus. Soon, the Holy Spirit would be within them as He was within Jesus. Because those of the world do not love and obey God, they do not see or know and cannot receive the Spirit of Truth.

(John 14:18) “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one true God in three Persons; therefore, the “Spirit of Truth” relates to each Person. When Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father on the throne of God, Jesus did not abandon His disciples and other followers. He sent them the Spirit of Truth to remain in them, and by doing so He came to them to abide within them too; whereas, previously Jesus had been beside them or near them as He walked and talked with them.

(John 14:19) In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

After those of this world crucified and buried Jesus, they never saw Him again. Jesus only appeared to His followers and even 500 of His followers at one time. They saw Jesus exactly as He promised them. Because Jesus never died spiritually (only His physical body died on the cross), He rose from the dead and all of His followers will also live even after their physical bodies die. They too will rise from the dead when Jesus returns to earth as visible and reigning King.

(John 14:20) On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

The “day” refers to the day that they would receive the gift of the Father, the Spirit of Truth or Advocate. On that day, they would know by personal experience that Jesus was God, the Son of God. They would also experience the personality of Jesus (a personality they very well knew) within them as the Spirit of Truth indwelt them. Jesus’ disciples are so united with Him spiritually that He could say they would be in Him too.

(John 14:21) They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

True faith in the true God and in what the Father and the Son have done through Jesus’ coming into the world should lead every true believer to love God the Father and God the Son. True love for them should also inspire and motivate us to want to do everything they have taught and commanded us to do. This love involves a mutual relationship between God and us, and a mutual love for one another. Mutual love leads to learning more about Jesus and His truth as we obey Him daily.

(John 14:22) Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Judas knew that wherever they went everyone could see Jesus heal people and hear Him teach. He did not understand how Jesus could begin going places with them and those of the world not see Him when they could see Him. He did not yet understand what the Scriptures taught about the resurrection of Jesus.

(John 14:23) Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Jesus replied by emphasizing His spiritual answer. Those of the world did not love the Father or Him, nor did they honor and seek to obey the Scriptures or them. Only those who love Jesus will cherish His teachings and His commandments in their hearts with an intention to obey and follow Jesus wherever He leads. The Father will love those who love His son; therefore, both of them will make their home with those who love Jesus. When the Holy Spirit indwells believers, the Father and the Son are present in them too.

(John 14:24) Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

Jesus always emphasized that He and the Father spoke with one voice. They spoke and acted in perfect harmony. Jesus always glorified the Father and the Father always glorified the Son. The Son always did what the Father willed, and the Father always did whatever Jesus asked of Him, because they always thought alike as God. If a person loves Jesus, they will do what Jesus says. Disobeying Jesus shows a lack of love for Jesus. Love for Jesus leads to honoring Jesus and His words by the way we live.

(John 14:25) “I have said these things to you while I am still with you.

Toward the end of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus began to prepare His followers for His coming death, resurrection, and departure for heaven. Jesus foretold these truths as the prophet of God. He told them in advance so when these truths became facts of their experience they would understand and have more reason to trust and love Jesus.

(John 14:26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

The Advocate would endorse and promote Jesus’ teachings when He came and indwelt His followers. He would never contradict Jesus, but would speak in unison with the Father and the Son, because all three Persons are the one true God. He would teach them more about Jesus and the meaning of His coming as well as remind them of what Jesus taught; therefore, we can rely on them and the books we have from them in the Bible.

(John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

As Jesus prepared to depart from them immediately after His death and burial, His disciples naturally became afraid for their lives and troubled about what might happen to them since their early expectations about what Jesus the Messiah would do when He came were not according to God’s plan. They saw the peace Jesus had that the Father and He enjoyed. Jesus promised that He would give them this peace (which would also flow from the Holy Spirit within them). The world’s peace is usually for a short time, a brief respite from hostilities before the next conflict or war.

(John 14:28) You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

Once again, the Son honored the Father. If we really love someone, we will rejoice when they go to the Father and Jesus, though we will always feel deep sorrow as the disciples did when Jesus was crucified and buried. We will miss the ones we love. Jesus emphasized that He was both “going away from,” and “coming to” them. He would “go away from” them at His death and burial. He would “come to” them at the resurrection. He would “go away from” them at His ascension into heaven. He would “come to” them when the Father sent the Spirit of Truth into them. He would “come to” them again when He came to take them to heaven, to the place He had prepared for them. He would “come to” His followers again when He came back to earth again as King of kings.

(John 14:29) And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Jesus is our Prophet, Priest, and King. As our Prophet, He foretold what He would do and what would happen before and after His death and resurrection. The fact that Jesus fulfilled what He foretold would happen after His death and resurrection are additional reasons to believe in Jesus and everything He taught.

(John 14:30) I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me;

Jesus would not talk much to them after His Last Supper with them. He would pray with them in the garden before His arrest and trial and crucifixion. He would speak to them again in some post-resurrection appearances. Jesus maintained His absolute control surrounding all of these events, but the time for the “ruler of this world,” the devil, to inspire Jesus’ betrayer and arrest was nearing. However, the devil had no power over Jesus. The devil still has no power over Jesus. The devil has no power over Jesus or the Spirit of Truth who indwell those who trust and love them.

(John 14:31) but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.”

Jesus loved the Father, so Jesus did everything the Father commanded. Jesus lived a perfect human and divine life on earth. The world would see His death on the cross and would know that He died because He loved the Father, but the world, under the influence of the ruler of this world, would misinterpret the meaning and value of what Jesus did for love of the Father (and for the love that God has for the world – see John 3:16).

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What are some of the things you can do if you love Jesus?
2. Who is the Advocate and what will He do?
3. Why does the world not receive the Advocate?
4. Why do some people neglect or refuse to keep Jesus’ words?
5. What is the result of loving Jesus and keeping His word?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

John 14:15-31
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

John 14:15-31
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

John 14:15-31
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

Obeying God Is Not Optional

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23—KJV).

“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’” (John 14:23—NRSV).

Some people believe that because Jesus Christ died for their sins that obeying God is now optional for Christians. They think the laws of God no longer apply to believers, because they are forgiven for all of their sins. Today, some people only follow the very general teachings of the Bible that seem consistent with the ideas of the most vocal in society. However, Jesus taught that His true followers would keep His commandments and heed His words, and they would obey Him because they loved Him. Jesus endorsed the 10 Commandments, and in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus applied the commandments of God to the desires and inclinations of our hearts and minds – not just to our outward behavior. Jesus called people to turn from their sins so He could forgive them and cleanse them from sin. Jesus promised that those who loved and obeyed Him would receive many blessings. He promised He would ask the Father to send the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, to abide with or remain with His followers. The Holy Spirit would live in His followers. The Spirit of truth would teach them and remind them of what He said. Jesus explained that the world could not receive the Spirit of truth, because those of this world refuse to receive Him and know Him as God has revealed Him. The Bible still reveals Jesus Christ to the world, and those who love Him will obey Him; they will be indwelt by the Spirit of truth and God will make His home with them. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

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John 1:29-34 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, March 1, 2015, is from John 1:29-34, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

John 1:29-34

(John 1:29)  The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John the Baptist testified that Jesus would fulfill a difficult task that would lead Him to die a sacrificial death as the Lamb of God. None of Jesus’ or John’s disciples knew what John meant when the Holy Spirit inspired John’s words. They would learn how Jesus would take away the sin of the world after Jesus died a sacrificial death as a substitute for sinners so God could be both merciful and just when forgiving sinners out of His heart of love.

(John 1:30)  This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’

Jesus was before John because Jesus was in the beginning God and Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning before Jesus was born (see John 1:1-5). John the Baptist was conceived in Elizabeth and born before Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus ranked ahead of John as God and King of kings, the long promised Messiah. Though born after John, and though His public ministry began after John, John came to point people to Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy. John came to prepare a way for the Lord.

(John 1:31)  I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

John did not know Jesus was the Messiah and the Lamb of God until the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to him, though he no doubt knew the story of Mary’s visit to his mother Elizabeth before he was born. John preached a message of repentance and baptized with water to prepare people for Jesus’ coming and for Jesus’ revelation of himself as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. During John’s ministry of baptizing in the wilderness, Jesus came to be baptized and the Holy Spirit revealed to John a special aspect of Jesus’ ministry as the Lamb of God.

(John 1:32)  And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.

All four Gospels insist that John was an important forerunner of the Messiah. John was indwelt by the Holy Spirit from birth and the Holy Spirit empowered his ministry which led to multitudes of people going to hear him preach and being baptized at the Jordan River. John recognized the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at His baptism, because he had always known the Holy Spirit as a divine Person living within him. One key thought that John emphasized was the fact that the Holy Spirit remained on Jesus and empowered His ministry. Though Jesus was the unique Son of God, He was also the Son of Man indwelt by the Holy Spirit for ministry.

(John 1:33)  I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

God the Father and the Holy Spirit within John the Baptist told him how he would recognize the Messiah. God made John a promise, and then God did what He promised. The subsequent ministry of Jesus, His death and His resurrection, confirmed what John preached about Jesus. John’s preaching about Jesus inspired some of Jesus’ disciples to follow Him as the Messiah, and John’s ministry began to decrease as Jesus’ ministry began to increase, finally leading to John’s arrest and beheading by King Herod. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus baptized believers with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and that also confirmed what John saw and said about Jesus.

(John 1:34)  And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

To testify to something in a court of law as a witness, you must either be an eyewitness or an ear witness to the event or situation. John heard the word of the Lord. John knew the work of the Holy Spirit by experience. John saw Jesus and John saw God fulfill what He promised. As in any court of law with witnesses giving testimony, a verdict usually follows. Believers in Jesus Christ believe in Jesus because of many eyewitness reports in the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives confirming the Word of God. The Word of God, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit teach that Jesus is the Son of God, Messiah, Lord, and Savior.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. If someone asked you what Lamb of God meant, what might you say?

2. What did John say the Lamb of God would do?

3. How did John the Baptist know that Jesus was the Lamb of God?

4. In addition to Jesus being the Lamb of God, who else did John say Jesus is?

5. What are some of the ways Jesus, who is the Son of God and the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

John 1:29-34
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

John 1:29-34
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

John 1:29-34
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

How God Takes Away Sin

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29—KJV).

“The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29—NRSV).

When we hear about a criminal and his crimes, we usually feel that they should be punished to stop them, to protect others from them, and to encourage others not to do the same. Executing just punishments shows what a government or a society thinks about a law’s importance and obedience to the law as a whole. When a criminal does not receive the punishment that a law specifies or that we think they deserve for an especially horrid crime, we can become outraged at the injustice. When someone of the privileged class ignores or violates the law and escapes the punishment that the law demands, we are sometimes offended by the injustice; we also lose respect for the law and the government. We know we would be punished if we broke the same law. We expect lawbreakers, especially persistent lawbreakers, to be punished in some way. As the Great King, God must deal justly with situations such as these; however, all of us have broken God’s law of love as written on our hearts and on Moses’ stone tablets. Even worse, we have been persistent breakers of God’s law of love: we have not loved God and others as we ought. We all deserve God’s punishment forever. For God to emphasize obedience to His law, for God to uphold justice and show mercy when forgiving sinners, the Son of God took upon himself the punishment we deserve. By His death, Jesus won the love of repentant believers, and He takes away the sin of the world one transformed sinner at a time. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off

Ephesians 6:10-20 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, February 22, 2015, is from Ephesians 6:10-20, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Ephesians 6:10-20

(Ephesians 6:10)  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.

Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers would know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power” (Ephesians 1:19). Then, Paul commanded believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” God’s power is so great that His power in Christ raised Christ from the dead and seated Christ at His right hand (Ephesians 1:20). Believers must choose to be strong in the Lord and also pray for the strength of the Lord’s power to make and keep them strong.

(Ephesians 6:11)  Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Through Paul’s letter in these concluding verses, God commands us to “stand firm” three times depending on the translation (Ephesians 6:11, 13 and 14). Having told believers how to live as Christians in Christ and together in the church, he now wrote that they would face enemies who would do all they could to destroy their lives, their faith in Christ, and deceive them in many ways; therefore, they needed to put on the armor that God gave them. The only way believers can remain standing firm is to put on “the whole armor of God” and not make the mistake of thinking they can resist with only a few pieces of God’s armor.

(Ephesians 6:12)  For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Believers recognize and fight against evil in a variety of ways as they pray and seek the Lord’s guidance and strength. Behind those who do evil are “cosmic powers” and “spiritual forces of evil.” In the world, there is a “present darkness.” The Light, the Lord Jesus Christ, shines in this present darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend Christ and cannot overcome Him (John 1:5). Believers are “light in the Lord,” and evil or those who are “darkness” cannot comprehend believers, and though they may try, they cannot spiritually overcome believers who pray and stand firm in “the whole armor of God” (see Ephesians 5:8 and 6:11). Believers do have spiritual enemies who will try physically and spiritually to spread darkness and evil through physical enemies who remain in darkness.

(Ephesians 6:13)  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Paul once again insisted believers must put on “the whole armor of God,” and not rely on themselves or their own thoughts or false ideas and leaders who do not know Christ or trust in the Scriptures. A day is coming, and perhaps many days are coming, when believers can only and must “stand firm” as Christians in the whole suit of armor and with the spiritual weapons God has given them. When the disciples of Jesus died for their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, all they could do was pray and stand firm in the whole armor of God and in the strength of God’s power in Christ; and they prevailed even though they died physically, for they went to the place in heaven that Jesus had prepared for them and they inherited eternal life with God in His Kingdom.

(Ephesians 6:14)  Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

The devil will use those who are darkness or those who are only partially suited in the armor of God to attack Christians with false accusations, lies, and other deceptions (personal, philosophical, or theological). The only defense is to surround ourselves with the truth of Christ and the Scriptures and with those who cling to and fervently teach the truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible. The darkness will attack the truth and those of the truth, who seek to live by the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, in a variety of ways. Believers must protect their hearts by putting on Christ, who is our Righteousness and by living rightly in the strength of Christ’s power (see also Isaiah 11:5).

(Ephesians 6:15)  As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

While we are under attack by darkness and those under the influence and power of the devil, we can pray for an opportunity to share “the gospel of peace;” the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ believers can find peace with God, peace within themselves, and peace with others in so far as peace is possible through their new nature and way of living. The power of God through the gospel can change unbelievers from darkness to light, even as the power of God and the gospel changes all believers from darkness (from living as slaves and tools of Satan) to light (to living as faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ) – see Ephesians 5:6-14.

(Ephesians 6:16)  With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Faith includes believing and believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and as the King over all, who sits on God’s throne at the right hand of God. Faith includes living in ways that demonstrate who you believe in and what you believe. Faith includes believing and trusting in the Word of God written, the Bible, and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

(Ephesians 6:17)  Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ as the Bible has revealed Christ, as Lord and Savior, we are freed from our sins, cleansed from our sins, and saved from the eternal consequences of our sins and former life of darkness and evil and slavery to Satan. By continually reminding ourselves of these facts and living on the basis of these facts we can protect our minds from Satan’s many attacks and arrows of falsehood. The Word of God, the Bible, is the sword that the Holy Spirit can use to help us deflect the falsehoods of Satan in his various attempts to mislead us away from the Truth (Hebrews 4:12-13).

(Ephesians 6:18)  Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

When we “pray in the Spirit” we pray for a better understanding and use of “the sword of the Spirit,” the Word of God. When we pray for others, especially in their time of need, we can pray for them to have a better understanding and use of the sword of the Spirit. Paul wanted people to pray for him so while he was in prison he could speak the Word of God boldly or better as the sword of the Lord in the strength of God’s power. Perseverance or the command “to always persevere” means we will face opposition when we seek to pray and pray for others, so we must keep on praying in every circumstance.

(Ephesians 6:19)  Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

Paul knew the mystery of Christ and the gospel that Jesus wanted him to teach. He prayed and wanted others to pray for him, so he could preach and teach the message of Christ using the right words and the divine power of Christ that would convince others to accept the gospel of peace. Paul knew that he would need divine strength and wisdom to teach about Jesus Christ coming into the heart and the life of those who would accept Him and how He would bring Jews and Gentiles together in loving fellowship in the church, which is “the mystery of the gospel.”

(Ephesians 6:20)  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

An ambassador represents someone else; often a ruler, king, or nation. Paul represented Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God as an ambassador. He wanted prayer so he could boldly proclaim the message of his King that he must or ought to speak as an official representative of his King and God’s kingdom. Even though he was in chains in a prison, Paul wanted people to pray that he could speak boldly as a sincere ambassador of Jesus Christ right where he was, and he had an audience in chains all around him who needed to hear the gospel of peace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What are some things we can do to get strength to stand firm when we are attacked?
2. What did the six different parts of the armor that God has given us represent?
3. What parts of our protective armor and weapons seem to be most attacked today?
4. To be ready to fight and stand firm in a battle against Satan and his tricks, of the six pieces of armor needed what item do you personally need the most? Explain your answer.
5. In addition to putting on the full armor of God, what else does Paul emphatically say we must do?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

Stand Firm in God’s Whole Armor

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13—KJV).

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13—NRSV).

Jesus declared, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus did not come to compromise with sin and evil but to confront the enemies of God with the truth of God. Jesus has given His followers a spiritual sword, because “Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus has given all those who trust in Him “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Christian’s warfare is a war of words; the Word of God against the lies of evil cosmic powers; the promises of God against the false claims of evil spiritual forces. In Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Christians achieve spiritual victory by standing firm in the faith when under attack. For hundreds of years, Christians have suffered persecution and martyrdom at the hands of authorities entrapped in this present darkness. But just as the first martyr, Stephen, stood firm and proclaimed the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, which eventually led to Saul becoming the Apostle Paul, so countless believers have stood firm in the whole armor of God and have proclaimed the Word of God when under attack; therefore, the Holy Spirit has freed countless numbers of those enslaved by evil forces, enabling them to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

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Matthew 25:31-46 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, February 15, 2015, is from Matthew 25:31-46, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Matthew 25:31-46

(Matthew 25:31)  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

Jesus Christ identified himself as the Son of Man. He said He would come again after His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. When He comes again everyone (sheep and goats) will see Him in His glory as King of kings. He will come and visibly show himself as the Great King upon His throne, as He truly is in glorious splendor forever. His angels will come with Him to do His will and carry out His promised plans.

(Matthew 25:32)  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,

Jesus Christ is now and will visibly show himself to be the Lord and King over all the nations of the earth. Many worldly leaders in all nations are goats, and Jesus will deal with these evil leaders when He comes again. He will set the evil goats to one side so they can never afflict or persecute His followers (the sheep) again. The sheep will inherit eternal life and joyous celebrations in heaven forever.

(Matthew 25:33)  and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

The right hand of God is sometimes described as the authority and power of God. The loyal and loving followers of Jesus Christ will be placed at the right hand of God to exercise His authority and power as God directs. The evil leaders and people of the world will be replaced by the followers of Jesus to reign with Him. Notice: Jesus did not say that He would kill the goats. Sheep and goats will live forever, but in different places.

(Matthew 25:34)  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

The Father and Jesus prepared a kingdom for the followers of Jesus before they ever created this world. Jesus was, is, and will be the King of this kingdom. His followers will inherit eternal life in His eternal kingdom, because Jesus the King died and rose again for them. They are blessed because of God’s many gifts. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to heaven to prepare a place for them: imagine what a place this will be!

(Matthew 25:35)  for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Those who love God and others as the Scriptures teach will live, love, and act in ways similar to Jesus and the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit indwell every one of His faithful followers and enable them to live as He directs. When His followers love and help one another, they are showing love and helping Him. Jesus’ followers will meet the needs of one another and others as Jesus leads them.

(Matthew 25:36)  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Food, drink, compassionate companionship, clothing, medicine offered with personal concern and tenderness, are all needed and will be needed by everyone. The New Testament and 2000 years of history show Christians being persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for following Jesus. The goats try to destroy the lives and testimony of God’s sheep; therefore, believers seek to help one another especially. When they do so, they are helping Christ, who indwells His followers.

(Matthew 25:37)  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

The sheep, the righteous people, are righteous because of their faith in Jesus Christ, who leads them in their daily lives as Lord and Savior. The supernatural loving power of the Holy Spirit within them leads them to do as Christ without any self-righteous concern or focus on themselves. They do not even remember all the good they are doing or have done, because their focus is on following Christ and not on their achievements or on their rewards from God for doing good deeds.

(Matthew 25:38)  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

Some people see the list that Jesus gave as “duties,” as something they must be sure to do to earn eternal life, as a check list of duties to complete before they see Jesus. However, as much as it is true that Christians must do their duty and obey God, the list Jesus gives actually describes the attitude and perspective of one of His true followers. His followers will seek to love and serve others because of their new character as born-again believers and their love for their Savior.

(Matthew 25:39)  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

Christians will suffer physical needs and even from neglect, from sickness and persecution. Jesus as our Great King did not say that He would prevent our suffering in this world; rather, He promised to be with us in our suffering and time of need. One of the ways He is with us is by living His life within us. Another way He is with us is when our brothers and sisters in Christ draw near us to bless and help us, to offer us encouragement and support when truly needed. When we as Christians draw near to help others, Jesus himself is reaching out to them through us to meet their needs.

(Matthew 25:40)  And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Jesus answered or will answer someday, that the righteous in Christ did this for the righteous in Christ. That does not mean that Christians only help one another, because Jesus commanded His followers to love their enemies (our enemies are also our neighbors). He did not tell His followers to restrict their service to true Christians only. However, true Christians will love and serve one another, and show special concern for their brothers and sisters in Christ.

(Matthew 25:41)  Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

Sheep and goats are two different species of animals that act very differently. Sheep and goats are fitting descriptions of different types of people who naturally act according to their nature. We all like sheep have gone astray, but those who trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior are born again. Christians have a new nature, quite unlike the nature of goats. The goats are the accursed. As Jesus once said to some, your father is the devil. There are some (even some powerful leaders in business, church, and government), who act like the devil and oppose Christ and His people. They promote ungodliness and wickedness and specific sins that the Bible especially condemns. God prepared a place for the devil and his angels, and God will send their followers to join them in a place of eternal punishment. The goats do not die; they are only separated from the sheep forever. Jesus, who died on the cross to save them, will send them away because they refused the salvation and new life that He offered them after He rose from the dead.

(Matthew 25:42)  for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

Jesus indwells His followers. Goats either ignore those who follow Jesus, disparage them, or do horrible things to them. When goats see one of Jesus’ followers in need, they refuse to help them. They especially refuse to help them because they follow Jesus. The right way of living by the sheep brings feelings of self-condemnation and other feelings to the unrighteous, so they want to destroy or live as far away from the sheep as possible. Rather than destroy the goats, Jesus will give them what they chose: He will send them away as far as possible from the sheep.

(Matthew 25:43)  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Jesus listed the same opportunities to love and serve others that both the sheep and the goats had and have. The sheep, when presented with the opportunities, helped those in need. The goats, when presented with the same opportunities, did not help others. If they ever helped anyone, it was because they wanted to serve their own or the devil’s selfish purposes. They had no real care or love for others.

(Matthew 25:44)  Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’

The goats will ask Jesus the same question as the sheep, but the reason they did not serve others was because they were so selfish and self-centered they did not see or care about the needs of others. Their sins were sins of omission for lack of love for God and others. They had a supreme love only for themselves, and they only helped others if they perceived the possibility of some selfish benefit.

(Matthew 25:45)  Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

The goats, as children of the devil, will either afflict Christians or refuse to help Christians, especially Christians in need. Jesus expressed deep love and concern for “the least” of His followers, and His followers should do the same. The goats will, or will try to, take advantage of “the least,” and they will often look for “the least” so they can take unjust advantage of them.

(Matthew 25:46)  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is the second time in this lesson that Jesus mentioned eternal fire or eternal punishment. He was seriously making an important point. The goats did not find happiness living with the sheep; they hated it. God will not force them to live with the sheep or try to get along with them. God will send them far away from the sheep and himself. They will suffer there because they are going to a place that was originally prepared for the devil and the devil’s angels that rebelled against God. Here, the goats experience many of God’s good gifts and good gifts from God’s people. They will be going to a place where they will experience no good at all. This should not surprise us, because our loving God did and will do the most loving thing for the goats – He will send them to their desired and deserved place forever, but make no mistake, it will be a place of punishment, but perhaps less of a place of punishment than the goats spending eternity with those they hate in heaven. The righteous, those who have come to love and serve God and others through faith in Jesus Christ, will spend a joyful eternity with the ones they love and the One who loves them.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

  1. Jesus has told us some of His plans upon His return to earth as our glorious King. Who are those who will rejoice when he comes?
  2. For what group did God prepare the place of eternal fire for eternal punishment?
  3. Based upon the way they act and have acted, with which group will the goats be the happiest: the sheep or other goats? Which group forever?
  4. What might you say to someone who says they do not believe in hell, and a loving God would never send anyone to hell?
  5. When Christians help other Christians in need, how are they helping Jesus? How is Jesus helping those in need?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Matthew 25:31-46
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

NEW —› True and False Test ‹— NEW

Matthew 25:31-46
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

NEW —› Crossword Puzzle ‹— NEW

Matthew 25:31-46
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

A Great Separation is Coming

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32—KJV).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32—NRSV).

The more we learn about some world events the more appalled we become. Jesus Christ promised to take away the sin of the world (to solve the world’s problems). For two thousand years Jesus has done this when people have come to believe in Him and obey Him. Unhappily, some people hate Jesus and His followers; furthermore, they do not want to have anything to do with His way of life. Jesus promised to come again someday and solve this problem too. Surprisingly, perhaps, Jesus will not solve the world’s problems by killing those who do evil. When He comes, He will separate those who love God from those who do not, the sheep from the goats. Interestingly, the devil is often pictured as a goat, but Jesus will not kill the devil and those who live like the devil. Jesus promised He would bring peace to the world by separating the sheep from the goats. Jesus said that He would send those He characterized as goats to the place originally prepared for the devil and his angels (those who rebelled against God). Jesus will never compel a goat (someone who does not want to love God and live with Him and His followers) to live with sheep; however, those who do not want to live with His sheep will live forever in a place not prepared for them; therefore, people must choose wisely where they want to live forever. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off