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John 18:36  (King James Version)
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<< John 18:35   John 18:37 >>


John 18:36

God alone has the wisdom and power and the right to take vengeance. Regarding war, Exodus 14:14 says, "The LORD will fight for you." War has never solved man's problems, and God promises that those who live by violence will die by it (Matthew 26:52). Christians must treat others with kindness, gentleness, and love (Luke 6:31; Galatians 5:14-15).

Martin G. Collins
The Sixth Commandment

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John 18:36-37

Recall Philippians 3:20, that "our citizenship is in heaven." We are not of this system; we do not fight in the wars of the kingdoms of this world. We are to come out of this world and not conform to its ways so God will not destroy us with it. However, Revelation 19:11-19 shows that when the Kingdom of God is set on earth, we will fight.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sixth Commandment (Part 2): War! (1997)



John 18:36-37

 II Corinthians 5:20, like John 18:36-37 and Philippians 3:20, defines our position by showing that we are not only citizens but also ambassadors of that heavenly Kingdom. We may love the nation we live in and be subject to its laws and authority, but we must reserve our fullest allegiance for God in heaven and His Kingdom. As ambassadors and sojourners, we do not have the legal authority to involve ourselves in the affairs of the human nation in which we reside.

The issue of war is not as complicated as it might first appear. The central fact is that God has said we must not kill. We will either be obedient to that or we will not. What determines our choice is the measure of our faith in the Bible's clear statements and examples. If we will obey God's commandments and exercise our faith in His promise, He will intervene to fight our battles for us. We never have to resort to killing.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sixth Commandment (Part 2): War! (1997)

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John 18:35-37

Christ gives two clear distinctions about Himself in these verses. First, He says that He was not really a part of the Jewish nation, and further, not really of this world. Second, He says that if His Kingdom were of this world, His servants would fight for Him. The implication is that because they are not of this world, they do not go to war because His Kingdom is not presently established on earth.

This presents us with a vivid example of "us and them." The basis of this is that a Christian's loyalty is elsewhere. A true Christian sides with the spirit, while the merely professing Christian sides with the world, claiming to know God and to worship God, but denying Him by his works.

God has given us a clear command to come out of this world (II Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4), and He clarifies it with examples such as this. In Philippians 3:20, He says through the apostle Paul that our citizenship is in heaven, and anyone familiar with the Bible ought to understand the legal ramifications of that. Not only that, we understand that His Kingdom is here only in spirit; it is not fully established as part of the earthly systems. The suggestion in verse 37 is that when it is fully established, if it were challenged, Christ's servants, true Christians, would go to war on its behalf, because our loyalties, our orientation, that which the true Christian sides with, are always with God's Kingdom. We will always rally to the things of the spirit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian and the World (Part 2)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing John 18:36:

Mark 1:14
Luke 17:20-21
John 3:5
John :
Romans 8:5-6
2 Corinthians 5:20

 

<< John 18:35   John 18:37 >>
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