VIEWS: 44 PAGES: 10 POSTED ON: 3/11/2010
Jesus is God, with God Jesus is the Word of God God uses His Word to spur creation & action Jesus is unique and eternal Truth The truth is constant over time and from person-to-person God is eternal and constant Man knows Truth through Grace of Jesus Christ Grace God owes man nothing - men rejects him God sanctified Human life through Jesus By Grace man receives Light and Comprehends the Truth Light The Light provides direction, warmth, and allows us to comprehend the Truth Man rejects the Light - it exposes wickedness Man is blind and the can only comprehend the Truth though the Grace of God Jesus is man, with man Jesus was born & resurrected with a real body Jesus understands the suffering of Man Jesus is sinless and gave himself as the final sacrifice John 1:1-2 – Jesus is God Jesus Christ is God. Mathew shows that Jesus is Messiah of the Jews, Mark shows Jesus as servant to God, Luke shows the humanity of Jesus. John has the purpose to show that Jesus is God by following the outline of Stating Jesus is God, proving it over 22 chapters, stating the conclusion once again. In the beginning was the Word. (In 14, John shows that the “Word” refers to Jesus). Jesus is eternal and with God from the beginning. And the Word was God. This means that everything that could be said about God could be said for Jesus – they are one in the same. The fact that Jesus is God means that we can look to Jesus and know the truth about God – apart from Jesus, we know nothing about God. Jesus hates sin – therefore God has always hated sin. Jesus loves the sinner – therefore God has always loved the sinner. Jesus had no sin, therefore he was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. John 1:14 – Jesus is Man. Jesus is God. Jesus Christ is also Man. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. These are not complete unless they used together – he suffered and understands all things that humans go though. Yet he has always also been God. The incarnation of Jesus provided him a vehicle to do earthly ministry and allowed him to die (providing his body as the perfect sacrifice). By being a man, Jesus also understands our temptations, inadequacies, and pain – he understands what its like to be man. He also provides an example of a life fully dedicated to the Father. He had all sorts of interactions with people & situations so that we can see a pattern of how to behave as a Christian. Through the incarnation of Jesus, God sanctified the value of human life. The incarnation is the second greatest truth in the Bible (Him going to the cross for us is of course the first). John 1:14 – God has Spoken Man never grows out of questioning why and trying to explain things we cannot explain. This is true with spirituality – man sees effects but cannot see the cause. Why is Jesus Christ called the Word in John 1, 2 & 14? To the Jew – in Genesis, God spoke and this created things into being – Jesus is the Word. For the Greeks – philosophers believed things were in constant, ordered change. The mind of God (the logas or Word), is the guiding force that puts order to life’s constant change. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. God reveals himself through creations (because things are around us, we know God had to have created them) – God creates things through words (or the Word, Jesus). Things could not have ordered themselves naturally without guidance from God. People can recognize God through nature (or creations) but to know his plan, one must study the Bible and the example of Christ. Indirect communication through creation, directly though scriptures, and personally though Jesus Christ. He who hath seen Me hath seen the Father. John’s Theme – Jesus is the Life Jesus is the Life & Light are the two themes that John uses throughout his book. Light gives life to all living things of the world. God created man out of dust and our bodies are nothing more than dust. In Genesis 2:7, it is the breath of God that is breathed into the nostrils to bring the dust to life. God speaks the Word to man (which John has called Jesus) which brings the spirit of man to life. Just as Jesus is the source of physical life that we received in the body, He is the source of spiritual life. All men are dead spiritually without Jesus Christ. The life that Jesus has given us is eternal – endless. The life that Jesus gives us is abundant – perhaps not of objects (dirt) but of joy, fulfillment. Psalms tells us that the lord allows us to lie in green pastures. (Lambs do not eat while lying and thus the Lord satisfies us so completely, that we do not yearn for more even in the greenest of pastures). John’s Theme - Jesus is the Light – John 1:4-5 Jesus is the light of the world. What does this mean? Jesus knows God and man can know God through knowing Jesus. As long as we live in the darkness of this world, we will be able to see the small lights of this world (rich, poor, beggar, or thief) – these are small candles that can only be seen in total darkness. Jesus is like the sun rising and outshining all insignificant lights and makes them trivial. The darkness of the world has not understood or overcome the light. It certainly has not extinguished or eclipsed the light. On Earth, darkness always follows light. Spiritually, darkness will always follow light except with Jesus who will overcome it. Once Jesus ascended into Heaven and left the world, it is now the followers of Jesus who are the light of the world (only because we follow the light of Jesus). If Jesus is the light of your life, he should put your life in order, reveal the truths about yourself and your sinful failures, and provide guidance in the mist of darkness. John 1:6-8 – John the Baptist John the Baptists is the second person that John the evangelist mentions – He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. John was the pivot of Biblical history, the end of the prophets of the Old Testament. John was known for his baptism and is known for baptizing Jesus (although this is not spoken about in John’s gospel). However, his greatest achievement is his testimony about Jesus and this is what John the evangelist focuses on. The Baptist emerges in John’s gospel as the first significant witness to Jesus Christ. Witnessing is speaking to others about Jesus Christ. The Baptist is not the light (19-28) but rather sent to witness the Light (29-34) and lead others to the Light (35-42). When a witness is given in this way, men will believe. When you give a witness in this way, men will believe your testimony. John 1:9 – Light for every man John 3:19 – Jesus the Unknown The world did not know Jesus when he was in the world because the world did not want to recognize him. Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil – the light Jesus brings exposes their darkness. Men also were blind and could not see him – they fell from God spiritually. When men fell – they did not fall part- way to have God help them back up… Man fell all the way to the bottom and laid their blind and broken until God picked him up and brought him to the top and said “this is the way – follow this path.” 1. The glory of Jesus of Christ 2. The total depravity of man (The cross is the response of evil people to God’s goodness.) 3. The necessity of Jesus Christ to receive God’s salvation (men are totally unable to find God – God must seek out man). God’s first question to Adam “Adam, where art thou?” The first great word is that that we do not naturally want God. John 1:12-13 – He Gave Authority – Rebirth The Glory of Jesus Christ (1-9) and the Depravity of Man (the rejection of Christ when he came). People do not become children of God naturally – we become God’s children only on the authority of Jesus. There must be a verbal confession of faith – this is prove that believe in the lord is genuine. Nicodemus question Christ but showed no verbal confirmation. The Samaritan woman hears Jesus and runs off calling people to come learn of him. Nobody ever makes the first move toward God – we are only saved because God first plants his seed within us. People had nothing to do with their own physical birth (we did not decide our gender, parents, etc.) The same way, our spiritual birth is done to us. There is a see-saw effect with man and God – when man is up (and can inch along spiritually and reach heaven – then God is down and not need). When man is down (where he should be), God is exalted and the authority. This means nobody would find salvation without God first coming to him. You can ask God to reveal himself to you. You can do this by reading a gospel and asking yourself what kind of person could live this way and this kind of effect on the world. John – 1:14 - The Word became Man and dwelt among us The word “Dwelt” could be translated to mean that he pitched a tent, or tabernacle among us. The tabernacle was entirely set up to worship and expose the truth of God. At the center of the tabernacle is a square area with an alter for sacrifice – the center of worship. Jesus is the center of Christian worship. The tabernacle was the symbolic dwelling place of God which was symbolized by light. The tabernacle was the place of revelation – the place where men met with God and he spoke to them. Again, Jesus is our tabernacle because he is now the means by which God speaks to us. The tabernacle was also erected so that men and women may see God. John – 1:14 – Full of Grace and Truth Jesus is the basis of truth – the reason we know that God is good and that the universe has meaning. Grace is the unmerited favor that God has given to man – grace is the opposite of merit – it is favor given to the one who truly deserves the opposite. God does not owe man anything! All of blessings come only from his grace. We do not deal with the opinions of man when it comes to God’s truth. Absolute truth that does not change over time and it does not change from man to man. Today, we are often told that Christian doctrine is only good if it is good for you and can change for you as you please. This is diabolically wrong. The real truths: Man carries his greatest problem within him (sin/selfishness). The second truth is the truth about God. God is Love, Truth, Justice, and he loves the world so much that he sent his son to die for us. The third truth is about the atonement. Christ suffered for us so that we may have ever-lasting life. This truth came to the world through Jesus Christ and is recorded in the Bible. John 1:18 – The Unique Christ John the Baptist declares four truths: Jesus is unique in his Origin. Jesus is entirely without any historical origin – This declares him as God. Channel of God’s Blessings – All men have been recipients of common grace and this comes from God whether you accept God or not. God remains faithful to men who turn from him to serve other Gods. (story in Hosea of a man who is told to marry and unfaithful woman – then provide for her as she lives with other men – take no credit for it -> this is like God’s relationship with man) Jesus himself is a blessing and can satisfy our thirst endlessly – pleasures of earth are very short-term and not fulfilling. Grace and Truth – Under law: God expects man to behave righteousness, under grace: God gives righteousness through Jesus Christ. No man can see God. But it is also true that through Christ, God came to man in a way that enabled man to know him. Want to believe that God is loving? Do not base this belief on your own imagination – there is nothing weaker than that. Base it on Jesus Christ because he is the truth. Only one in whom you and I can see God John 1:19 - How to Witness for Christ Up to verse 19, we have studied verse-by-verse. How can a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ witness for him? Witnessing is every Christians job, this is not the work of only ministers. Witness outline: Man is not the Light (no independent importance), Jesus is the Light, and this is done for the result of being others into the light. To effectively witness, we must first forget all about ourselves and focus on the person’s need to find Jesus. Elijah – in the Old Testament is said to return before the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6). John 1:24-39 - Witnessing to Jesus Christ We will never be able to focus on the needs of others if our own needs are the focus. We cannot show love for the other person if we cannot place his needs before our own. We must bear witness to light – we must use words. The living of the Christian life is not enough for a complete witness. A non-verbal witness could be puzzling or misunderstood by the person. If it is to be effective at all, it should lead to a conversation about Jesus Christ anyway. 1. Witness to who Jesus Christ is – This is the son of God. We cannot know God apart from Jesus. Begin with Jesus’ claims about himself. 5:18, 10:30, 14:9 2. What he has done – The focus on Christ’s work should be on his death on the cross. The role of sacrifice would be borne by Jesus. He is able to deliver men from death. 3. How a man can come to know him – Jesus is the giver of the spirit. Jesus will come to live in the lives of his followers. It happens by faith, or open the doors of our lives by his knocking. First step is where we first hear his voice and the second is where we allow him through the sinner’s prayer. Credibility: Bridging the Gap Credibility is very important for a witness. What must I be in order for my witness to be credible? I must know that God’s saving work is in my life and done forever. I am a sinner even after my conversion – it is not in my nature to accept God. I must be surrendered to God – we must submit to God’s will even though it is against our nature will. We should give God everything including ourselves. I must spend time with Jesus – without this, the light will fade. I must be planted. It is hard work. Everything I do must be characterized by love. 1:33-34 - The Baptism of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:13 – We are all baptized in the same body. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all Christians and the means by which they identify with the Holy body. This happens to all who believes. We are in Christ and it is the Holy Spirit that put us there. We are identified by Christ in his birth – God resides in us the same way he came to be in the Virgin Mary when she carried Jesus. We are identified with Christ by his death – my sin died with Jesus on the cross. The life of sin is in the past and a holy life lies ahead. We identified with Christ in his resurrection – gives us the possibility of us to live out the life of Christ now. John 2:12-25 – Was Jesus Christ a revolutionary? This is important for Christians who wan to use Jesus as a basis for their current movements. America is not, in itself, God’s kingdom. Christians are not in a position to take it upon themselves to judge their rulers. Render things to Caesar things that are for Caesar; Render things to God that are of God. Man would rather be ruled by slavery and have their lives rather than turn their lives over to Christ. The ones who followed him did not have the fear to be judged by other men. Jesus may often agree that a current system is corrupt or is in dire need of improvement, but he may not agree that the system you propose would be any better. All people, (Jews/Gentiles, Black/White, Slave/Master) are just as corrupt as their counterparts and therefore all new systems will be broken unless people themselves change. Jesus proposed to change people. John 2:13-19 - He Gave Them a Sign^ “I know enough of the Bible to know that there is so much more I should know.” No one can find God through any way other than the Bible. Man cannot find God through reason. Man cannot find God through listening to inner voice. There is no knowledge of God apart from Jesus Christ and there is no knowledge of Jesus apart from the Bible. The Jews demanded a sign to prove Jesus was God – he claimed he would “Destroy this temple and raise it up in three days.” Men only see things on the physical level – this story illustrates what happens when man tries to understand God without receiving spiritual light from God. Nobody understood Jesus when he first began teaching because they tried to understand it with human reasoning (2:20, 3:9, & 4:11). Men often expect God to conform to our own plans and do not try to see things through God’s point of view. Men often do not want to hear what God has to say. God begins speaking to us by showing us our need for him – man’s natural response is to refuse him, it is too painful for them to accept. If we have our minds filled with the ideas of this world, spiritual truths will appear foolish to us. John 2:24-25 - Christ and the Heart of Man Responses to the miracles of Jesus ranged from total disbelief to partial informed faith. Although many trusted in Jesus, he did not trust in them for he knows the hart of man. We are in such depravity that he will not trust us although we may trust him. Men cannot see into the minds of other men, only God can do that. According to God, the hart is filled with madness, evil, deceit, and desperately wicked. The first story of the Bible shows man’s fall. It shows man will follow his own way and reject God even though it would kill him. Spiritual wisdom comes when we accept God’s description of man’s heart and ask God to show us how to live our life so that it will please Him. God Love Us In Spite of Our Sin! Look to the cross to see how much God Loves us. John – 3:1-21 – The Man Who Came By Night The rehabilitation of any man begins with his admission of guilt. The failure of man in spiritual things is John’s current theme. Pharisees – Chief Priest of the Jews during Biblical times. There were never many of them and at the time and they were probably the most spiritual people of the time. The Pharisees implemented the equal and specific judgment of the law. He was very educated; his Greek name shows his Greek education and acceptance of culture. (Education is not the answer to man’s spiritual unrest). He was also a member of the Jewish ruling council and politician. He is a well rounded candidate to represent man and his acceptance of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nicodemus represented a man that sought spiritual guidance (he had a great need to know God, his life is STILL empty) and is blind beyond the physical world. Jesus first point, all men need spiritual rebirth in order to receive spiritual light. John 3:2-8 – Intellectuals or New Man Man has an utter inability to save himself – This can be seen in the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Man’s greatest gift is his intellect, can’t we use this to find God and fulfillment. Body – part of man that we can see and shares with a plant. Soul – it is the part of man that we can think and act and have a sense of identity – we share this with animals. Spirit – man has the capacity to have a spirit – the part of man that has consciousness of God. This separates us from animals. Man sinned and when he did, he died in body, soul, and spirit. When God saves a man, he does it in reverse, Spirit, Soul, and Body. Man no longer seeks God, in fact, we run away from God – he believes happiness is to be found in independence. Man will not understand any spiritual truth unless God takes the initiative of saving him. Nicodemus represents the earthly achievements of man and lack of spiritual understanding. Things of the spirit are incomprehensible until a man is born again. The rebirth means that God has restored communication – and man can receive and understand God’s communication. John – 3:3-5 – Becoming New Men You must be born again – everything worthwhile depends upon it. No man can please God by his own achievements or by intellect – only by being born again. No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. …unless born by water and Spirit. Water in this text does not mean “born” from the womb nor does it mean baptism. Baptism is an outward sign that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has taken place; it does not, itself, make a Christian. Some believe water refers to “cleansing” and Spirit means “Power.” In other New Testament text, the word water is used as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit (John 7, 37-38, John 3-13) but it is not the only spiritual reality that uses this metaphor. The Bible, the Word of God, is also uses “water” as a metaphor (James 1:18) – the written word of God and the Holy Spirit are the means by which we are saved. 1 Peter 1:23, We have been born again… through the living and enduring word of God. John – 3:6 – Flesh and Spirit If God created me, why won’t he accept me the way I am without being born again? When God saves a man, he does not patch up an old man – he implants a new spirit and new soul so that the man desires new things. In the Bible, the term flesh refers to the entire body of man. Since the fall, it refers to man being driven by desirers of flesh rather than moved by the spirit. The man and woman should be one body, soul, and spirit. Flesh is also referred to as “Old Man” or “Natural Man” – this man cannot understand or please God. Sinful human nature will never be able to produce anything but sinful human nature. The new birth is a permanent thing, makes a permanent change, and makes one fit for the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh remains flesh – the old human nature remains and struggles against the new nature. The Bible gives us three ways to win the struggle - 1.) We are to think of the old nature as dead. 2.) We are to feed the new nature while we starve the old – this can only be done through Bible Study 3.) We are to walk in the spirit therefore we will not feed the flesh. John 3:7-8 – Breath of God Despite the differences in the use of the words spirit and ghost, ghost and spirit share the same meaning in the Bible. Many ministers have abandoned the word ghost when saying Holy Ghost and simply use Holy Spirit. Wind is a very good image of the breath of God. John 3:8 says that the wind blows wherever it pleases and man cannot control or see where it coming or going. This offends some people because God breaths life into some and not unto others. John 3:9-13 – How to Face a Skeptic^ A dishonest skeptic is one who will find other reasons not to believe when one is proven wrong. Why does Jesus begin using a plural tense in the 11th verse? In these verses, Jesus is not speaking about the new birth itself, but the effects of the New Birth. He is talking to Nicodemus because he does not believe in the new birth because of the earthly visible things. This applies to non-Christians: there are things in the Bible they cannot understand, they cannot be sure of the Bible, the Bible contradicts itself, etc… but how can you refute the change the Spirit has in men? Christ Changes Lives! John 3:13-14 – The Serpent in the Wilderness Salvation is not to be prayed for? Christianity is not a works religion – good works gets the follower of the religion rewards. Christianity teaches that man cannot accomplish anything but receives salvation by the grace of God. Numbers 21:4-9. Sin is not cure by social organizations – the cure lies only in the death of Jesus Christ and in the promises that accompany it. Salvation is to be believed, not be prayed for. Man cannot be saved by material things that have religious significant. John 3:16 – The Love of God Ephesians 2:4-5 –But God who is rich in mercy for his great love… has made us alive in Christ. By Grace we are saved. The love of God is great and Infinite – it is a giving love. He loves me so much that he gave his only begotten son. His love is unchangeable. The Greatest Gift We know that God loves us because he sent his son to be crucified for us – this is his greatest gift. This is because through Jesus we know God’s love and can have salvation. Jesus is the unique son of God, when God gave Jesus, he gave the best gift in the universe. He is not a creature like man, he is God, and he gave himself. The greatest gift a man can give is himself. John 3:29 – The Bride and the Bridegroom John the Baptist likens himself to a Jewish “best man” that arranges the wedding, sends the invitations, MCs the ceremony, but disappears as the bridegroom becomes the central figure. He was applying an Old Testament image to Christ where Jehovah is the Bridegroom to the church (Exodus). In several of these books, God is the faithful husband to Israel, and Israel is the unfaithful wife. Sexual immorality is wrong because 1) God says so. His character is the morality of the universe and he says it is wrong. 2) These things are not good for us the way we were made. 3) These things break down the things God has said marriage to be. John 3:30-36 – The Great Revealer To some people God is only the end of a logical chain – I know everything was created by the Big Bang and something had to create that – it must be God. These people do not know God as being a personal God. To be a good witness – the man must have personally see or experience the event. He must be willing to testify and get involved. He must be reliable. By these three criteria – Jesus is the perfect witness. This makes him above all other prophets; they only knew the portion of God that was revealed to them. He alone has been sent to us to reveal God and save humanity – he is not a messenger, he is the messenger. For John – Jesus is still testifying through the Bible. His witness was consistent. God has not with held any measure of the spirit from the Son. Jesus never pointed to a higher truth – he said the truth had come in his person, he never showed a way to God because he was God. John 4:1-6 Christ at Sychar's Well The differences between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman: he has class, education, religion, he’s a man, Jew, he is named, etc… the woman was none of these things. Nicodemus shows that no man can be “Too High” to need Jesus. The woman shows that no person can be “too low” to need Jesus. They are the same because they both are content in their current life; however, they have a need for the light although neither can understand the light. When Jesus speaks of spiritual things, they both respond trying to rationalize his comments with the 5 senses. This is no different from people today who believe science provides all the answers man needs and cannot comprehend religious spirituality. All people are lost without Jesus and in need of salvation. When you are lost – you look for one who can save you and show you the way home – to God, our heavenly father. John 4:15-18 Facing the Truth^ Christianity brings man to his own depraved condition but only to show the need for Jesus Christ. Up to this point, much has been said between Jesus and the woman but there has not been a point that has changed the woman’s life. Jesus saw into the heart of the woman and knew that she had 5 past husbands and now an adulterer. He brings this up to show that he is omnipotent in each life and that people must realize their sin. Hedonist – the man for whose basis for life is materialist. He has determined to live for his own enjoyment. This leads him away from God. They profess wisdom but are foolish, lack of meaning, etc… Exceedingly moral man – philosopher, high ethical standards but does not believe in Jesus Christ. He has come short of God’s standard of perfection, he is not perfect. He falls short of his own standards no matter how high or low they may be. A man who has his faith in religion – a person who plays church but never has a change of heart. Jesus also says to the woman, “… Come back” – this means that although Jesus understands her sins, he welcomes her back. John 4:19-22 Salvation is of the Jews Jesus reminded the Samaritan woman about her many husbands. She asked where she should worship, on the mountain or in Jerusalem as do the Jews – Jesus’ response led toward a Grace-based faith. The Samaritans sprang from a mixture of Jewish and conquering nations. These people were only part Jews and the pure- blooded Jews did not accept them. The Samaritans built their temple on a Mountain and the Jews built theirs in Jerusalem. The Samaritan religion was a human religion. Jesus says salvation is of the Jews because their religion was based on God – God’s grace, not merit. Grace could only be gotten from the priests’ sacrifices in the Jerusalem temple. John 4:23-24 How to Worship God^ Much that passes as worship is not really worship at all, many that want to worship do not know how or where to begin. We must worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 3:7 – you must be born again, must be lifted up, and (23-24) must be worshiped in the spirit. The old English word would have been Worthship which means we would be showing God his true worth. We must do so in spirit and in truth. Jesus does not mean we must worship in the Holy Spirit, but in our own spirit in general. A person would not worship in a certain place but rather anywhere in his spirit. Man has three parts, body, soul, and spirit. True worship only comes through the spirit. Many worship in body – people who think they have worship God because they filled a seat in church. Worship is not a feeling therefore it does not originate with the soul. It may be that there are emotions evoked during worship but these emotions are not themselves worship either. True worship occurs when the spirit of man meets with God and praises him for his endless grace and blessings. It is not to follow a routine, it is not to bring gifts, it is when man personally knows God and shares a relationship with him. How effective is the service at turning one away from the service itself, and focus on God. The perfect Church service is one that we are almost unaware of because our attention is on God. True worship if God is in spirit and in truth. 1. We must approach God truthfully (I must worship with my heart, we must not follow through the motions). 2. We must worship in the Biblical revelation – our worship must be aligned with the Bible and completely focused on the Bible. 3. We must approach God through Christ (Jesus said no man cometh to the father but by me). You must not come to God through any human devising. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. John 4:25-26 I am He The accomplishments of a person can often be summed up by the various names and titles that are given to him over his life. The same thing is true for the names of Jesus Christ but they are more important because they are names given by God to reveal important characteristics and roles of Jesus. In some respects, the greatest name given to Jesus is I AM. This name is the same name given to the Old Testament God Jehovah – this is above all earthly names. Jesus’ claim to be the great I Am comes 7 times in John’s gospel, each referring to his deity. Greek word Christ is Hebrew for Messiah. Messiah means anointed – this was the way kings and high priests were initiated into their positions. These were persons set apart by God for a special task. If you will trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior – he will save you and transforms you into one who shows no anguish about an unknown future, but rather shows a quiet confidence in God. John 4:27-30 The Cry of New Life The Samaritan woman is the first clear example of a person who had been reborn in the Holy Spirit. As a result of Christ’s words, she believed in him and become his witness. We can see this in the change in her talk and outlook in life. Between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus came to Jesus, asked about being saved, and appeared to be the most spiritual oriented person. However, it is not evident that he believed in Jesus as his savior. We fail to hear his cry – the breath of God evident in the saved person. The Samaritan woman did not want to talk about spiritual things yet she was saved and it is evident in her changed behavior – she left her water pot and ran back to town calling Come see the man that told me everything, could this be the Christ? This shows her priorities have changed. What made her want to share her testimony? It was the Love of Jesus – after he had seen this divine love, it began to flow from her for others. John 4:30 – Christ the Soul Winner^ 1. The witness must realize that he has no importance himself. 2. The witness must realize Jesus is the answer and he has the power. 3. The witness must point toward Jesus so that the person might come to know Jesus. When studying the story of Jesus with the Samaritan woman, we see five important points: 1. Be a friend to those that you are trying to win – Jesus did this to all people – the sick, the lonely, and sinners. He could have been aloof but he would have won nobody this way. Do you have contact with non-Christians socially? 2. Ask questions. Jesus established a point of contact by asking a simple question. He aroused her interest by getting her to speak. The woman also found her curiosity aroused. 3. Offer something relevant. Jesus spoke of water to the woman at the well and spoke of light to the man born blind. If a person doesn’t believe because science has proven it untrue – we should point him to study it himself. If a person cannot break habits – show the strength gained through God. 4. Stress the Good News. Do not stress condemnation – stress that there is spiritual fulfillment and that people never need to be perfect to come to Christ. We should stress that a man is never unworthy of God and there is comfort for sinners in Grace. 5. Stress the importance for the person to make a decision about Jesus Christ and that the decision is necessary. John 4:31-34 – The Secret of Satisfaction Many people want to accept God’s will – but when God shows what he wants them to do, they ignore this and keep searching until a situation appears that is favorable to them. True satisfaction comes from yielding to God’s will – above all else, the purpose of the life of Jesus was to do his father’s work. Naturally, we always desire our own will over God’s. My will is to do the will of him who sent me and finish his work. John 4:35-38 – God’s Harvest The first great motive of evangelism is that we are not setting our own priorities – Jesus has set the priority in the Great Commission and we are to follow God’s will. John 5:37-38 – The Witness of the Scriptures The Bible is the best selling and most popular book in history. John the Baptist was the witness of a real person – he was a prophet but still it was only the witness of a man. The witness of the miracles are important because they showed the working of the Father and they revealed the nature of God. The final witness is the scriptures that reference him. They come from God and point to the Son. The Bible is of divine authority – in the reformation, the high view of the Bible began to be questioned. Around the 1800’s, the Bible began to be viewed as man’s book about God rather than God’s book about man. The same way the divine touched the human to create Jesus in the womb of the virgin, so did the Holy Spirit come upon the writers of the Bible so that their words were those of our God. John 5:37-38 – Christ’s View of the Scriptures God stands behind the writers of the Bible to ensure that they have written exactly what God intended, everything God intended, and nothing that God did not intend. The purpose of the Bible is to point men and women to the Son so that we may know God. The Bible is the absolute authority and is inspired even in its smallest points. Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but rather to fulfill the scriptures. You cannot take parts and portions – you must take the ENTIRE Bible because Christ took the entire Bible. John 6:5-9 - Three and the Master The fourth miracle performed by Jesus was feeding the 5,000 people – this was to show that the food Jesus provides is greatly abundant. Jesus asked Philip about feeding the people and he told Jesus that there was not enough money to buy food to feed the people – and even if there was enough money – there is not enough food in the area to feed them. Philip didn’t realize that this problem could be solved if he were to “take it to the Lord” and allow him to handle it. His knowledge of the land and his reliance on money was a handicap in trusting the Lord. We see God working in others but we often fail to allow it to carry over into ours. There is nothing that God has done for any other person on earth or in history that God cannot do in my own life if that is the plan he has for me. A small boy had two loaves of barley bread (this was very bad bread and ultimately very insignificant food.) But, when this insignificant boy gave what little he had to Jesus, it was more than enough for the people. I need to ask God to clarify my gift so I will understand what it is he has given me – then I need to place it in His hands. Do not ever look at your own littleness, but rather, look to God’s greatness. Andrew realizes he does not have anything to give Jesus, but he finds the boy who does and gets him in contact with Jesus. John 6:10-15 – Who is in Charge After the group witnessed these miracles, they wanted to make him King and force out the Romans. Jesus did not allow this and went to a mountain to pray. They knew the messiah was to be a great prophet and King; however, they failed to realize the scriptures also called for Jesus to be a great priest. We must not let spiritual success allow us to turn away from God and toward our self and success. The crowd wanted him to be King while he was providing food however it does not take long for a mob of people to demand that he be crucified. They only want Jesus while he is providing things they feel they need and want. We often do this when we reject Jesus when we are presented with a challenge he issues us. There must be a death to self before there is an abundance of blessings – this means we are to say no to anything that lies outside God’s will for us. We cannot use the Lord Jesus for our own ends rather than allowing ourselves to be used by Jesus. John 6:6-16 - The Fifth Miracle Often, people focus on the physical aspects of Jesus’ miracles rather than the spiritual. God wants to make us reflect his image and he does this by working (testing) us until we are refined and reflect his Son. One truth the disciples learned was that Jesus was watching them and knew what they were dealing with. Jesus sent them out ahead of him in the boat and in the middle of the night, a fierce wind came up and the boat began to rock violently. Jesus walked across the lake to the boat which first terrified the disciples (they thought he was a ghost) but soon trusted him. You must believe that you can do nothing to save yourself through good works. You must believe that Jesus can do what you cannot. Jesus can take your place for atonement of your sin. You must commit yourself to him. We are to believe in Jesus. You will see that Jesus did not come just to atone your sin, but also to take guidance of your life.
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