John 7:17

John 7:17

John 7:17 – “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or [whether] I speak on My own [authority]. NKJV

Let us look at a few different versions of John 7:17.

John 7:17 – “Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” NLT

John 7:17 – “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is of God, of I am speaking from Myself.” NASB

In today’s world of social media and the internet, TV preachers, and churches that spend large amounts of money on marketing to make themselves known, listening to a sermon is easy. Preachers are everywhere. They take advantage of every possible means to further the cause they believe in, albeit many of them for personal recognition, fame, and fortune. Radio, TV, Streaming Video, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter…. you name it. They are there. Gone are the days when all you would get to hear was a sermon on Sunday at church and thereafter you were left to yourself with the Bible for the rest of the week. That wasn’t even too long ago. And it was good, wasn’t it?

Ever wondered how much of what you hear today is actually of God? Ever find yourself confused about the contradicting doctrines you get to hear these days? For every sermon you hear or watch on YouTube, there are sure to be five others who either criticize or preach a contradicting sermon. And there are preachers sadly competing for the top spot in the perceived Christian “celebrity” podium. People are so saturated with easily accessible sermons and messages from preachers all over the world, that they hardly invest any time to be alone with God and read their own bibles. Most professing Christians today hardly ever read the bible other than the few verses referred to by the preachers during their sermons. Sadly, many self-appointed pastors plagiarize sermons from others and don’t spend time on their knees before God in prayer.

How many of us really will do His will as John 7:17 talks about?

No wonder we do not see much of a difference between Christians today and the world. The priorities of Christians and the world are pretty much the same. Christians too, just like the world want to be prosperous, rich, living it up, and successful. The desire to have large crowds in churches have driven most preachers to become motivational speakers instead of disciple-makers. How sad!! Don’t you think? How many of us really will do His will as John 7:17 talks about? John 7:18 clarifies this aspect, doesn’t it? “The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

Yet in the early days of Christianity in the book of Acts, we see just a handful of people being accused of turning the world upside down.

Acts 17:6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 

How did such a small group of people be able to turn the world upside down when we with all the technological advancements today are still not even making a dent among the millions who are yet to hear the gospel, especially in the western more advanced nations?  I don’t generalize this because I am aware there are a few persecuted nations where Christianity is indeed growing very rapidly. However, the same can’t be said for a vast majority of the more advanced Western World. Non-Christian and unreached countries in South Asia, East Asia, and Africa are seeing exponential growth in believers.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to pick up a magnifying glass, open your eyes and really look, and investigate what really is causing growth in some countries. I submit to you, that it’s the simplicity of the gospel and the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. They share their faith in the simplicity of heart, one with another. They love each other. They meet together daily or as often as they can to study the Word of God…. from the Bible. They are doers of John 7:17 and they will to do His will and therefore are not easily deceived. 

Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

2Cr 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

2Cr 11:3 – But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 

How much of that do you think is happening today? Very little, don’t you think? There is very little preaching on following in the footsteps of Jesus and being willing to do His will as taught in John 7-17. 

1Pe 2:21 – For to this, you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

We are inundated with sermons on how to prosper, how to have great self-esteem, God loves us and has a wonderful plan for us, how to get guaranteed answers to prayers, 10 key promises of God, and 5 keys to a successful marriage, and so on.  Really?? Is that why the Son of the Most High God went through an agonizing, torturous, and painful death on the cross? Was His precious sinless bloodshed at Calvary for this alone? 

Brothers and Sisters, the answer is a resounding NO!! The reality is we are sinners by nature, born into sin. Our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before God. The only way we could be reconciled to God was through the shedding of innocent blood. Our Lord Jesus’ death and His shedding of blood set us free from the power of sin in our lives and reconciled us with our Father in Heaven, and we now belong to our Father, as was originally intended. We are now being transformed into the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the ultimate PURPOSE and CALLING of our faith in Him.  To be transformed into His likeness.

The only way we can grow into that transformation is by spending time with Him alone and understanding His written Word in the bible for ourselves, no matter what situation we might be facing in life. Our belief and trust in Him shouldn’t have anything to do with the challenges we face in life. Through good times and the bad times, we ideally ought to maintain a feeling of gratitude for our salvation, no matter what.  People we call Heroes of Faith all demonstrated this. We have to be willing to do His will and then we will know if the teaching we hear is from God or from men.

Friends, please do not be a fair-weather Christian. Don’t come to Jesus, the King of kings just because some preacher promised you a better life, a better marriage, and a great career or financial prosperity. But come to Him because you realize He is sovereign, He is real and not a fictional character, He indeed is the creator and there indeed is a heaven and a hell. Come to Him because you know you are a sinner and are extremely grateful to Him for your salvation. Come to Him because you willingly WANT to do His will.

So again, in this world of TV preachers, Radio preachers, DVDs, CDs, Internet, Mega Church programs, and a busy “Christian Activity” filled life, how do you know if what you hear is of God or not?

Our Lord Jesus gives us the answer in the gospel of John 7:17.

John 7:17 – “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or [whether] I speak on My own [authority]. 

When you willingly want to obey and do His will, our Lord says, you shall know concerning the doctrine you hear, whether it is from God or whether from man’s own authority.

The peace, the love, the wisdom, and the joy you receive in your quiet time with the Lord and reading His word is simply incomparable to anything else. Especially when you are going through a hard time. Don’t just be a believer, but be a disciple.