For both the Jewish and Christian faith, the whole of the Hebrew scripture is divinely inspired. However, rabbinic Judaism has long favored studying Torah over the prophets, while Christianity from the earliest days “attached itself more to the prophets than the law.” Jews sought teaching and instruction on the Torah and Christians sought teachings that illuminated the gospel. My Jewish friends most often refer to the “law” as a designation for the entire Bible and my Christian friends often designate the Old Testament as “the prophets.”While the New Testament writers often point to both the law and prophets as the initial revelations that testified to Christ (John 5:39), the New Testament writers turn to the prophets more than anything else in the Hebrew scriptures. Paul, in Romans, opens and closes his book emphasizing the foundational importance of the prophets as witness to the ultimate revelation in Christ (Rom. 1:2; 16:26). Peter describes the prophets as the preincarnation conduit for Christ, the special few allowed to glimpse God's salvation plan (1 Pet. 1:10-12). Perhaps more than the law could have, the prophets helped the early church process the confusing death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus as well as the workings of the Holy Spirit.  Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 543. Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 543.
Thank you for listening! Here are some ways to learn more and stay connected! New To Faith? If you prayed with us, visit our New To Faith page! Purchase your Encounter Jesus Journal Learn more about Pastor Derek Neider Follow Derek on Instagram or Facebook Subscribe to email. Subscribe to the daily devotional Explore recent messages This podcast was created by Pastor Derek Neider as a ministry of Awaken Las Vegas (formerly Calvary Chapel Las Vegas) find our website We are located at 7175 W. Oquendo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Our gathering times are 9am & 11am Sundays and 6:30pm Thursdays.
Biblical Teachings by Dr. Olan Stubbs
Timberline Baptist Church Podcast
Guest Pastor Luke Brandon discusses the Mind of Christ
In the summer of 2022, the U.S. Postal Service’s longest-tenured letter carrier, Johnnie Bell, celebrated 70 years of sorting and delivering mail in Oklahoma City. When he started, the pay was only $1.81 per hour. “Thanks so much for this recognition,” he said humbly. “This is just something I do because I enjoy doing it.” We don’t know who delivered the letter of 2 John, but a letter from the revered apostle surely brought joy to the churches in western Asia. The “elder” in verse 1 is of course John himself. The “lady” seems to be a person who was well-known in the church and might have been a house-church host or leader. Some scholars, though, identify “lady” as a metaphor for a particular church congregation. In either case, John loves her “in the truth,” that is, because God’s truth lives in both of them and will do so forever (v. 2). His greeting links truth and love to God’s grace, mercy, and peace (v. 3). John felt joy to write to believers who walked in truth and obedience to God’s commands (v. 4). “Some” meant not everyone, but he still rejoiced. “Children” meant fellow members of God’s family, perhaps specifically believers who had become followers of Christ through his ministry. The main topic of John’s second letter echoes the first: “Love one another” (v. 5). This type of love is not merely a feeling or emotion but means to follow in the humility and servitude shown by Jesus. The church had been following this command ever since it was founded by Christ (John 13:34–35). John defined love as walking in obedience, and obedience as walking in love (v. 6; see February 20). You cannot separate one from the other. >> How do you show love to others? In The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman identified the different ways we tend to show and receive love. Find out your love language today at 5lovelanguages.com.
The only way to a fruitful life and ministry that glorifies God is through abiding in Christ.
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Verse by verse study through the book of John Chapter One and Verse Twenty
- John describes his role and Jesus's role to a group of concerned disciples. - One way John the Baptist declared Jesus as God. - What happens to those who don't believe in Jesus? Grab your Bible Explained t-shirt and other goodies below: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnh-aqfg8rw Website (Subscribe to get 2 free chapters of Out of the Mire)- https://www.p40ministries.com Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/p40ministries Contact - email@example.com Books - https://www.amazon.com/Jenn-Kokal/e/B095JCRNHY/ref=aufs_dp_fta_dsk Merch Store - https://www.p40ministries.com/shop
Good Shepherd Community Church - Sermon Series
Questions? Comments? Prayer Requests? Let us know: http://cc.gshep.us Stay connected with your Good Shepherd Family by downloading the FREE Church Center App: http://churchcenter.gshep.us Give online: http://give.gshep.us
New Hope Daily SOAP - Daily Devotional Bible Reading
Read Here: https://www.bible.com/en-GB/bible/111/JHN.15.NIV . John 15:9-17, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. We are trying something new with the Daily SOAPs this month. Rather than reading a book of the Bible straight through, we are going to do some topical studies. Our first topic is Who I Am in Christ. This seemed like a great way to start the new year. Every day, we will read through a chapter, reflect on a portion of the verses, and then specifically gear the devotional piece to the topic at hand. I hope this is a blessing for you! Who I Am in Christ: We are loved by God. Not just a little bit loved, but the love of Jesus Christ is expansive and wide, self-sacrificing and extravagant. The words of Jesus in this text urge us to remain in God's love. It's only when we remain in Jesus, abide in him, that we have complete joy and can be a true friend to Jesus. How do we remain in God's love? God's love is a firm foundation, never moving or changing. We, on the other hand, drift all over the place! To remain in Jesus' love, we have to make an intentional effort to keep our connection with him strong. We must pray, read Scripture, and make a special effort to listen and obey. My experience has been that the more I seek Jesus, the more I feel surrounded by his presence and love. There have certainly been times throughout my life in which I've gotten busy, distracted, and selfish. I've worshiped superficially. I am still loved in those times, but I bear less fruit and I begin to feel dry and detached. It's only when I am being deliberate about staying connected to Jesus that I feel complete, fulfilled, and productive for the Kingdom. It's then that I experience the presence of Jesus in a profound way and truly feel the love that God intends me to feel. In Christ, we are loved and we are chosen. We were designed to be in relationship with a loving God who has been seeking us and pursuing us. Let's pray…Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving us so much. Help us know that in you, we can be assured of your never-ending, extravagant love. In Your Name, Amen. . We hope you have a blessed Christmas! We invite you to worship with us this Christmas Eve at one of our Worship services, Saturday, December 24th at 3, 5, or 7 pm, in-person or online at https://www.findnewhope.com And Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th in English or Spanish at 11 am in-person or online. Go to findnewhope.com to plan your visit! Our staff and leadership employ what's called the “S.O.A.P. Method”. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Each day, we read one or two chapters of Scripture and focus on one particular verse. We make some observations about how that verse touches us, discern how it applies to our lives, and offer a prayer related to what we have read. - Rev. Dr. Vicki Harrison -- Donate via PayPal to support the podcasts and the Technical Arts Ministry of New Hope! https://goo.gl/o2a9oU Subscribe at: http://www.findnewhope.com/soap (813) 689-4161 keywords: devotional, bible study
Grace Baptist Woodbridge VA Podcast
ONLINE 2023John the Baptist Exalts ChristJohn 3:22-30Tim PerrinJan 01 2023
John 5:1–17Main Idea: Find Wholeness in Christ, the Lord of the New Creation.Outline: 1) The Longing for Wholeness (vv. 1–9) 2) The Lord of Wholeness (vv. 10–17)
Two Rivers Presbyterian Church Sermon Audio
"One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” Happy New Year!!!!! Today is the first day of a new year, the first day of a new month, the first day of a new week, and most important, the first day of the rest of your life! Isn't it awesome how God gives us new beginnings all the time! The most important thing you can do each day is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and He promised that He will meet every need in your life (Matthew 6:33). I want to challenge you to seek the Lord daily by reading through your Bible this year. I have prepared two Bible Reading schedules on my Pastor Mike Impact Ministries website. One plan helps you read though the Old Testament once, the New Testament twice, the Psalms twice and the Proverbs every month. This will take about 20 to 25 minutes a day. You can access it at this link and download it or print it: https://www.pmiministries.org/daily-bible-reading-calendar The other schedule plan helps you to read through the Old and New Testament once, and the Psalms twice. This will only take about 10 to 15 minutes a day. You can access it at this link: https://www.pmiministries.org/bible-reading-calendar-plan-b Every month I will be posting the new schedule for that month. I know I said this yesterday, but it bears saying again. In this great chapter, David was confident that if his heart and his worship was right, he could face whatever troubles might come his way. He could deal with the fear of circumstances (vv. 1-6), the fear of failure (vv. 7-10), and the fear of the future (vv. 11-14). Like David, we make the choice every day, to either live with confident faith or live in constant fear! David had learned at an early age that it was a priority each day to seek communion and fellowship with the Lord. So even though he is fleeing from Saul and hiding in the mountains, he had one great desire! “One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek:” David's heart was set on seeking the presence of the Lord in His Word and in prayer as he began each day! The imagery in verses 4-6 is the Old Testament equivalent of "abiding in Christ" (John 15:1-8). In the ancient Near East, when a visitor entered his host's tent, the host was personally responsible for his protection and provision, and the flimsy tent became a fortress. Jesus made it very clear in this passage in John 15 that only as we abide in Him can we be fruit bearers. Remember the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, and so on! Jesus said, this happens as we allow the Word of God to cleanse us (John 15:3). And also as we bear fruit the Father will also “prune” us so we can bear more fruit (v. 2). He does this through trials and difficult things in our lives that challenge us to totally rely on His strength, His grace, and His help for everything we face and do. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (v. 5). I have the idea that “nothing” means “nothing”! Please start this year praying for a heart to seek after the Lord every day in private communion and devotion. God bless!
John 1:9-13 Christmas Day
Luke 2:1-20 Luke 2:11 Jesus is Savior Jesus is Christ John 1:40-41Genesis 3:15Isaiah 53:5Luke 24:27Luke 24:44John 20:31 Jesus is Lord Luke 2:11 A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and
Gospel of Grace Fellowship, Sermons (St Louis Park Minnesota)
In this Christmas message, we focus on why God had to become man. John 1:14-18 serves as our primary text which describes how the second person of the Trinity became a man so that we could have the forgiveness of sins. We also prove from predictive prophecies in Isaiah that it is irrational not to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Come and hear for yourself why Christ had to be the “God/man” in order to save us.
Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
Do not Love the World. The apostle John warns Christians, saying, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-16). When John writes and tells the Christian “Do not love the world”, he's not talking about the physical planet. The Greek word κόσμος kosmos as it is used by the apostle John and others most often refers to “that which is hostile to God…lost in sin, wholly at odds with anything divine, ruined and depraved.” The world, or world-system, originated with Satan and consists of those philosophies and values that perpetually influence humanity to think and behave contrary to God and His Word. The world-system is mankind and society functioning without God, and is first and foremost a mindset that is antithetical to divine viewpoint. Lewis S. Chafer explains: "The kosmos is a vast order or system that Satan has promoted which conforms to his ideals, aims, and methods. It is civilization now functioning apart from God-a civilization in which none of its promoters really expect God to share; who assign to God no consideration in respect to their projects, nor do they ascribe any causality to Him. This system embraces its godless governments, conflicts, armaments, jealousies; its education, culture, religions of morality, and pride. It is that sphere in which man lives. It is what he sees, what he employs. To the uncounted multitude it is all they ever know so long as they live on this earth. It is properly styled “The Satanic System” which phrase is in many instances a justified interpretation of the so-meaningful word, kosmos." Satan's world system is a spiritual darkness that envelopes and permeates the human race, influencing every aspect of thought and behavior in such a way that the depraved nature of man is magnified while God is excluded. We should be careful to understand that Satan's system is a buffet that offers something for everyone who rejects God, whether he is moral or immoral, religious or irreligious, educated or simple, rich or poor. Satan is careful to make sure there's even something for the Christian in his world-system, which is why the Bible repeatedly warns the believer not to love the world or the things in the world. We are to be set apart (Col 2:8; Jam 1:27; 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16). Robert Lightner states: "The world is the Christian's enemy because it represents an anti-God system, a philosophy that is diametrically opposed to the will and plan of God. It is a system headed by the devil and therefore at odds with God (2 Cor 4:4). Likewise, the world hates the believer who lives for Christ (John 17:14). The Lord never kept this a secret from his own. He told them often of the coming conflict with the world (e.g., John 15:18-20; 16:1-3; 32-33; cf. 2 Tim 3:1-12). It is in this wicked world we must rear our families and earn our livelihoods. We are in it, yet are not to be a part of it." Do not Quench the Spirit. Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica and said, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Th 5:19). The word “quench” translates the Greek word σβέννυμι sbennumi which means to “stifle or suppress.” The word carries the idea of dowsing water on a fire so as to extinguish it. To “quench the Spirit” is to resist His revealed will and not follow as He leads. The Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives, but we must let Him have His way, and this means yielding, or submitting to Him on a regular basis, as opportunity permits; however, the Spirit does not force us to be spiritual, therefore He can be resisted. John Walvoord states, “Quenching the Spirit may simply be defined as being unyielded to Him, or saying, ‘No.' The issue is, therefore, the question of willingness to do His will.” Do not Grieve the Spirit. To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). The Spirit is a Person, and He is grieved with us as Christians when we sin and act contrary to His holy character. Our sin hurts our relationship with Him and hinders His work in our lives. Grieving the Spirit is a willful act on our part when we think and behave sinfully. John Walvoord writes: "The Scriptures often testify to the fact that the Spirit of God is holy and that He is a person. The indwelling presence of this holy person constitutes the body of a believer a temple of God. In the nature of the case, the presence of sin in any form grieves the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, when the Christian is exhorted to “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30), it is an appeal to allow nothing in his life contrary to the holiness of the Spirit. It is clear that the one cause of grieving the Holy Spirit is sin." When the Christian is walking as he should, according to Scripture, then the Holy Spirit can work through him to touch the lives of others. When the Christian commits sin, then the Spirit is grieved and His ministry to others is diminished, and the Spirit must then begin to work on the heart of the Christian to bring him back into fellowship. Lewis S. Chafer states, “Sin destroys spirituality. It is necessarily so; for where sin is tolerated in the believer's daily life, the Spirit, who indwells him, must then turn from His blessed ministry through him, to a pleading ministry to him.” Restore Broken Fellowship with God Through Confession of Personal Sin. All believers sin, and there are none who attain perfection in this life (Pro 20:9; Eccl 7:20; 1 John 1:8-10). For this reason, familial forgiveness is necessary for a healthy relationship with God. David understood the folly of trying to conceal his sins, which resulted in psychological disequilibrium and pain; however, when he confessed his sin, God forgave him (Psa 32:2-5). John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God forgives because it is His nature to do so, for He “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth” (Psa 86:15; cf. Psa 103:8-14). And He is able to forgive because Christ has atoned for our sins at the cross, satisfying the Father's righteous demands regarding our offenses. The apostle John wrote, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). The challenge for many believers is to trust God at His word and accept His forgiveness and not operate on guilty feelings. William MacDonald states: "The forgiveness John speaks about here [i.e., 1 John 1:9] is parental, not judicial. Judicial forgiveness means forgiveness from the penalty of sins, which the sinner receives when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is called judicial because it is granted by God acting as Judge. But what about sins which a person commits after conversion? As far as the penalty is concerned, the price has already been paid by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. But as far as fellowship in the family of God is concerned, the sinning saint needs parental forgiveness, that is, the forgiveness of His Father. He obtains it by confessing his sin. We need judicial forgiveness only once; that takes care of the penalty of all our sins—past, present, and future. But we need parental forgiveness throughout our Christian life."  Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., rev. and ed. Fredrick William Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 562.  Lewis S. Chafer, “Angelology Part 4” Bibliotheca Sacra 99 (1942): 282-283.  Robert P. Lightner, Handbook of Evangelical Theology: A Historical, Biblical, and Contemporary Survey and Review (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1995), 206.  Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 917.  John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids, MI., Zondervan Publishing, 1977), 197.  Ibid., 200.  Lewis S. Chafer, He that is Spiritual (Grand Rapids, Mich. Zondervan Publishing, 1967), 70.  William MacDonald, Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 2310-11.
Move Forward in Peace! Thank you for joining us at the Union Church YouTube. Stay connected with us @myunionchurch on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, & Twitter. Visit our website at unionchurchonline.org. Sermon notes: Christmas at Union | Moving Forward in Peace Matthew 2:1-2 Matthew 2:9-11 Magi sought Him on a great journey. Maybe their story can help us understand ours a little bit better and we can find the peace that we have been looking for in our journey. The journey to peace starts with the Prince of peace. Isaiah 9:6 If you know Him you can have peace. Peace starts there but Jesus doesn't want you to stay there: I. Know who we are in Christ John 10:9-11 I Peter 2:9-10 Chosen Priesthood Holy Special II.Know purpose Micah 6:8 Do right Love mercy Walk humbly I Corinthians 7:17 III.Know your surroundings Proverbs 9:6 Proverbs 13:20 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Matthew 2:12 There is another way home…your heart, mind, spirit and strength
17. Harmony of the Gospel Accounts Today we have a harmony of the Christmas Nativity from all 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each Gospel gives us a section of the story, therefore telling it from different perspectives. Our Gospel readings are: 1. Pre-existence of Christ - John 1:1-18 2. Gabriel visits Mary - Luke 1:26-38 3. Mary visits Elizabeth - Luke 1:39-56 4. Angel visits Joseph - Matthew 1:18-24 5. Birth of Jesus Christ - Luke 2:1-7 6. Shepherds visit Jesus - Luke 2:8-20 7. Magi visit Jesus - Matthew 2:1-12 In the next Podcast of this series, we start looking at the people involved in this series! Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file Click on the appropriate link below to subscribe or share
A message on Jesus as the light of the world.
John shares on the Church's call to reveal Christ by faith and how we can resist the unbelief that tries to keep us from walking in everything Jesus made way for.
Mariners Annual Read: Gospel Every Day
The Secret of Brotherly Love - November 1-30- Pick up Daily in His Presence by Andrew Murray at the Mariners Bookstore- Visit marinerschurch.org or download the Mariners App for more information
The Bible speaks of two different classes of people in this world. Those "in Adam" or those "in Christ". We are all born into the first group, disconnected from God, spiritually dead. How can we get from this sad condition to being spiritually alive - "in Christ" ? Today's message makes this clear.
Scripture Reading: John 14:1-14 1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 There are many dwelling places in my Father's house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 4 And you know the way where I am going.”5 Thomas said, “Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long and yet you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves. 12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.Main ThemesMany Dwelling Places in my Father's HouseAddressing the Group—FarewellThe chapter opens with Jesus shifting his attention from Peter individually to all his disciples (evident in the shift to plural pronouns and verbs). He says, “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me.” This is clearly a farewell speech. Jesus is saying goodbye. Keeping that in mind, we need to pay attention to what Jesus chooses to highlight as his final words.Indicative Versus ImperativeThe sentence translated as “you believe in God; believe also in me” includes two identical uses of the word believe. That verb can be translated as indicative or imperative. Therefore, translators have to pick between the translation above (which uses the indicative first and then the imperative), or a translation that uses both verbs consistently, such as “believe in God, believe also in me.” The same sentence can even be translated as a rhetorical question and its corresponding response: “Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.” There is no major change in the passage's meaning. The disciples must believe in God and in Jesus. The fact that Jesus makes himself an object of faith is noteworthy. At the very least Jesus is making himself equal with Moses. Recall Exodus 14:31, “When Israel saw the great power that the Lord had exercised over the Egyptians, they feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” At most, Jesus is making himself equal with the Father himself since God and only God is the ultimate proper recipient of faith.Homes Now or Homes TomorrowWhat is the Father's House?Jesus then tells the disciples where he is going: to “make ready a place for [the disciples]” in the “Father's house,” which has many “dwelling places.” To understand Jesus' words, let's begin by asking, what is the Father's house? Both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God's temple was referred to as his house. Consider Haggai 1:2, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Or recall Ecclesiastes 5:1, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.” In the New Testament, Jesus himself uses that language. Consider Jesus' words in Matthew 21:13, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are turning it into a den of robbers!” This language was common in nonbiblical sources as well.The second question we should ask is, why is it the Lord's house? Because the Lord's presence is there. Before there was a temple, there was a tabernacle (a tent). As Exodus 35 tells us, “the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Once Israel was established as a nation, God chose the temple as his resting place. “[T]he Lord's splendor filled God's temple.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)Many “Dwelling Places”Jesus is going to be in the Father's presence. That much is very clear. The controversy is that the Father's house has many “dwelling places.” To what do these dwelling places refer? Primarily, the discussion is centered on whether John is speaking of a present and realized eschatology or a future eschatology. To put it more plainly, will the disciples go to these dwelling places now or in the distant future?Two InterpretationsMost Christians interpret this passage to mean that Jesus goes to prepare a place for believers for a future time when believers go be with the Lord. Jesus can finally make those preparation because of his death. Jesus would die first, reconciling us with God and therefore allowing us to dwell in his presence. This idea of a future home with God was not foreign to Judaism. Different Jewish writings and funerary inscriptions describe the dead as entering a house (e.g., an “eternal house” or receiving a “house” as a reward).The other view, which although significantly less popular has scholarly support, is that Jesus is speaking of a soon-to-be-present reality: the Holy Spirit indwelling believers. In the Gospel of John, Jesus describes his body as the true temple:“Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for 46 years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?” But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body. (John 2:19-21)The argument goes that Jesus is speaking of bringing the believer into union with himself, which is very much in keeping with verse 3. Each believer becomes a part of (i.e., a dwelling place in) the temple because the Spirit of God is in them as well. The Apostle Paul expresses this idea. “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)Moreover, John does seem to emphasize a present reality instead of a future eschatology. Recall John 5:24, “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus speaks in the present tense.Finally, some argue that this interpretation fits the farewell discourse much better. Jesus is reassuring his disciples. Arguably, saying “I will be right back” (through the Holy Spirit) is better than saying, “in the distant future we will be together again.”Your interpretation of verse 2 will determine your interpretation of verse 3. If you think that verse 2 is speaking of the soon-to-come Holy Spirit, then Jesus' coming in verse 3 is referencing Jesus' return to the disciples immediately after his resurrection. If you think that verse 2 is speaking of a future eschatology, then Jesus' coming is a reference to his second coming at the end times.My Take-Away: We Return to the Lord's PresenceRegardless if which view you take, the key point stands: we return to God's presence. This is nothing short of a grandiose moment in history. This is the final act of the whole story of the Bible. The rescue of humanity is complete. Reconciliation with God is accomplished. Heaven can return. I will quote from Sandra Richter's The Epic of Eden extensively to show that this is the overarching story of the Bible:In the initial paradise—Eden—God dwells with man.We have learned in this chapter that Genesis 1–2 essentially provides a blueprint to God's original intent for humanity: God's people dwelling in God's place with full access to his presence. You will hear this little triplet many times throughout the course of this book. Yahweh planned a perfect world in which the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve would live eternally, stretching their cognitive and creative skills to the uttermost, building their civilization within the protective boundaries of their relationship with him. But treason bred tragedy—a broken covenant, a broken race. The end result was that God's people were driven from God's place and forever separated from his presence. The only hope in this wretched state of affairs was God's redemptive mercy. Indeed, redemptive history starts right here. Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 118). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.As man falls, he is separated from God. God's dwelling place and man's dwelling place are separated seemingly forever.When we left Eden, we left a fruit-filled paradise animated by a cosmic river and graced by the Tree of Life. This paradise, which was once the shared dwelling place of God and humanity, is now defended against Adam's race by means of cherubim. The city of man and the kingdom of God are now separated; Adam and Eve now live in exile from their heavenly father. How will this wretched state of affairs be righted? Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 119). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.As God makes a covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai, God establishes a sort of embassy. God resides with his people in a very limited form.Here on Mount Sinai, God instructs Moses to build a habitation for the Holy One among his people. “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them” (Ex 25:8). The text tells us that the reason God wants this sanctuary is “so that I might live among them.” Do you hear the echo of Eden here? This will be the first time since the garden that God has dwelt with ʾAdām. Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 120). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.The prophets see the end game: God's dwelling place engulfing the realm of man.Whereas Ezekiel had lived through the period of the exile in which Jerusalem was captured and the temple razed, in these chapters he is seeing with the eyes of vision the restoration of this beloved temple at the end of all things. In his vision, the temple has subsumed all of Jerusalem; the entire city has become the temple. And the temple is now a perfect square (Ezek 48:35). This becomes very significant when we remember that the only part of Solomon's temple that was perfectly square was the Holy of Holies. Thus, in Ezekiel's vision, the Holy of Holies (the place God actually dwelt) has enveloped the city of man. “He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever'” (Ezek 43:7). In sum, Ezekiel's vision of the “rest of the story” is God and humanity dwelling together within a city that has become a temple. Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 126). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.Finally, it happens. Restoration. Praise the Lord.This brings us at last to Revelation 21–22, the end of the story.Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:1-5)What John is describing here is what Christians call “heaven.” But unlike the images common to our imaginations—disembodied spirits, clouds and wings, harps and chubby cherubs—the biblical author is describing heaven as a new earth. The garden has been restored, the primordial deep (“chaos”) has been defeated, and Ezekiel's city/temple is being lowered from the heavens to serve as the residence of the redeemed. Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 127). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.This is the heart of the story. The end is the beginning. The goal is to return to what was lost: God's presence.So what is God's final intent for humanity? As is obvious from tracing the iconography of Eden through redemptive history, God's original intent is his final intent. Eden was the perfect plan, and God has never had any other. His goal was that the people of God might dwell in the place of God, enjoying the presence of God. This is all our heavenly Father has ever wanted for us. And everything that lies between Eden's gate and the New Jerusalem, the bulk of our Bibles, is in essence a huge rescue plan. In fact, we could summarize the plot line of the Bible into one cosmic question: “How do we get ʾAdām back into the garden?” In Genesis 3 humanity was driven out; in Revelation 21–22 they are welcomed home. Richter, Sandra L.. The Epic of Eden (p. 129). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.John 14 speaks of the culmination of the Bible story as if it is imminent. Sure, some events still need to play out, but the final move is finally announced. Jesus will die and he will return us to God's presence. Each and every one of God's people will dwell with him, in his house, like it was in Eden. As we read the rest of the chapter, we learn that God will send the Holy Spirit to be with each of us. This is a better cohabitation arrangement than even the prophets could have ever hoped for. We are not only with God in a physical sense but in a spiritual one too.The Way, the Truth, and the LifeIf there is a single verse that I think about all the time, it is this one: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” I think the entire Bible can be understood as explaining this singular sentence.Jesus Is the WayJesus is the way. He is going to the Father's presence by virtue of his identity and character. Jesus alone is entitled to this. Jesus is the Word, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.” (John 1:1) But Jesus shares himself with whoever will accept him. “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that has come down from heaven, so that a person may eat from it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live forever.” (John 6:48-51a)It is through Christ that we have access to God. Jesus is the High Priest who can enter the Holy of Holies to see God. But unlike the old High Priest, Jesus tears the curtain of the Holy of Holies and shares God's direct presence with everyone.And it is only through Christ that we have access. He is “the” way, not “a” way (and, yes, the Greek uses the definite article). Recall John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture.” Anyone who jumps the hedge to get into the sheepfold, anyone who enters in any other way but through the door is nothing more than a “thief.”It is only in “Jesus name” that we can confidently walk into the kingdom. Indeed, “in Jesus name” we can ask for anything as if we were kings ourselves.Jesus is the TruthThroughout our study of this gospel, I have often mentioned that John draws from the personification of wisdom to explain who Jesus is. As we discussed in session 2, the closest connection to the personified logos is the personified sofia. In short, Jesus is “the wisdom.” As in the case of the way, Jesus is not “a” wisdom but “the” wisdom. Forgive my grammatical unorthodoxy, but I am trying to make clear that Jesus is the truth and all truth. The existence of “the truth” has many implications. There is a right and a wrong. There is a knowledge of what is true and there is deception. There is an understanding that leads to life and a path that leads to destruction.In Christ there is no deception or error. In Christ no knowledge is lacking. In Christ, truth meets purpose and beauty.Remember as well that unlike the Greeks, when Jews spoke of truth or wisdom they emphasized moral knowledge. Jesus audience would have heard, “Do you want to know how to live well before God, I am that knowledge.”Jesus is the LifeRecall the covenant that God made with Israel on Mount Sinai. God ends the covenant with the following exhortation:“Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to possess. However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Today I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, emphasis added)Choose life! That phrase is perpetually in my mind. Jesus offers life and life abundant. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus offers the kind of life full of joy and peace and purpose for which we were created. He offers life in which we give love eternally and receive love eternally. And he is that life. We can access it only through him and by remaining in him.Believe in the Father, Believe in Me, Believe the Miracles, Do Even Greater MiraclesThe Union of The Father and SonBeginning in verse 8, Jesus emphasizes his unity with the Father in the strongest terms possible. This is not a new idea in John's Gospel. This is a recurring theme that has appeared all throughout. That is why Philip's questions is nearly offensive. “Show us the Father,” Philip requests. Jesus responds, “Have I been with you for so long and yet you have not known me, Philip?” Somehow Philip has missed the point for years on end. Recall how the book begins (John 1:18), “No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.”Jesus sets the record straight one more time, “The person who has seen me has seen the Father!” Jesus and the Father are perfectly united. To see one is to see the other. Too hard to believe? “Believe the miracles,” says Jesus. This is, I think, an unexpected claim given the modern understanding of faith. Jesus is not asking Philip for blind faith. Jesus is making an evidentiary argument. Not only those opposed to Christianity but many Christians as well disregard all evidence and ask people simply to believe. I do not think that is the approach Jesus is taking here.A Strange Excursus into Reformed EpistemologyGiven my comment on evidence above, what if we haven't seen a miracle. Is it irrational for us to have faith? I certainly do not think so. I think this is a good opportunity to introduce a concept called “reformed epistemology.” This is a relatively obscure idea outside the circles of philosophy of religion, but it has made a huge impact in my life and I think it is worth sharing. As much as I try to stick to the text, please allow me this one rabbit chase.Let's begin by asking a question: are we warranted in believing a proposition only if we have inferred it from evidence-backed propositions? Your initial reaction may be, “yes!” But hold on a minute. Consider the concept of a “properly basic belief.”The idea basically is that there are beliefs that we hold which I think we are rational in holding, and indeed which we know to be true and which are warranted for us which are not grounded in inference from other beliefs, from arguments and evidence. Examples of such properly basic beliefs, as they are called, would be belief in the reality of the past, belief in the external world around us, memory beliefs, beliefs that spring from testimony of others to us. These are not inferences that we make; these are properly basic beliefs that are grounded in certain experiences. Alvin Plantinga has argued that belief in God is similarly a properly basic belief, which he would say is grounded in certain experiences of the world like feelings that I am a sinner before God, or all of this was designed by God, or in the case of Christian beliefs, that when we read in Scripture that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, the Holy Spirit produces in us a conviction of the truth of that scriptural proposition. So these beliefs are warranted for us, not by way of inference or argument, but in a properly basic way. Reasonable Faith website. Before you accuse me of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and disregarding or even opposing evidentiary arguments, notice that a properly basic belief may be incorrect. It may be “defeated.”You mustn't equate being properly basic with being indefeasible. Memory beliefs (e.g., “I left the car keys in the dresser”) and perceptual beliefs (e.g., “I see a cat in the backyard”) are, like beliefs grounded in testimony, properly basic but are defeasible, that is to say, they can be mistaken. The fact that my properly basic beliefs may sometimes be false does nothing to remove their proper basicality (that is, I am rational and exhibit no cognitive defect in holding such experientially grounded beliefs non-inferentially). If I become aware of some defeater of one of my properly basic beliefs, then I must give it up (or find a defeater of the defeater). Reasonable Faith website.Surely at this point you are thinking: “why in the world are we digressing into this obscure concept?!” Because, like in the case of Jesus and Philip, I think that evidence is a way in which people can come to faith in God. However, I also think that reformed epistemology holds a modest but brilliant insight. If Christianity is true, so is the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is a real person who can really witness to us in a way we can perceive, however that perception works, then we can be warranted in holding our faith without evidence. Why? Because if Christianity is true, it is experiential. We can experience our faith.Again, notice how modest this assertion is. It begins with the assumption that Christianity is true. This is not a argument for Christianity. It is only an argument that works if Christianity is true. If we can experience God, that can be sufficient warrant to believe in him absent any deafeaters.Allow me to give an example to close this section. Imagine I am accused of shooting the deputy. I know I did not do it (I only shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy). However, at trial the prosecutors offer incredible evidence of my guilt. A receipt shows I ate at the same restaurant and at the same time as the deputy; the bullet that killed the deputy matches the caliber used by the gun I was carrying; a witness says they saw me pull the trigger. All evidence points in a certain direction. In fact, the jury would be warranted in finding me guilty. However, if I know I did not do it because I experienced not doing it, I am warranted in my belief as well. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I did it and forgot. Perhaps my memory failed me because of a mental condition. Perhaps I was under the influence of drugs. My experience is not infallible, but my belief of my own innocence is in fact warranted until one those defeaters is proved. The point I am trying to make is this: evidence is very important, but so is proper epistemology. You can believe in God because you have experienced God.Back to the Text: Miraculous DeedsIn verse 12, as a follow up to asking Philip to believe the “miraculous deeds,” Jesus adds, “[the person who believes] will perform greater deed than these.” As if that were not scandalous enough, Jesus adds, “I will do whatever you ask in my name.” What?!Honestly, I find these verses difficult to interpret, and it is not for a lack of trying. Let's begin with the idea of miraculous deeds.Maybe the best way to go about understanding these verses is to consider what different people think. The well-known pastor John Piper gives what I think is the majority view among protestants. (As I have pointed out in the past, I do not have some study that shows what is the majority or minority view. I am relying on my own experience. I could be wrong.)Verse 12a: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Now we create problems for ourselves immediately by thinking of Jesus' most amazing miracles. At this point in the Gospel of JohnJesus has turned water into wine (John 2:1–11).He has read the mind of the woman of Samaria (John 4:18).He has healed the official's son (John 4:46–54).He had healed the man crippled for 38 years (John 5:1–9).He had fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish (John 6:1–14).He had walked on water (John 6:19).He had healed a man born blind (John 9:1–7).And he had raised Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:43–44). What did Jesus mean when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Did Jesus mean that every Christian would do all these? Or that every Christian would do one or two of these? And if you don't, you don't believe?That's not likely in view of the fact that in the New Testament letters where miracles are mentioned they are a gift that some Christians have and not others. For example, in 1 Corinthians 12 . . . .Well, if Jesus doesn't mean that all believers will do miracles like his, what does he mean . . . ? Let's look closely at the connections here and then at a more distant parallel.First, the connection between verse 11 and 12. Verse 11: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” So the word “believe” and “works” occur together in verse 11 just like they come together in verse 12. Jesus' works are designed to help people believe. …Then verse 12 follows: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Now put verse 11 and 12 together and let the function of the works be the same in both verses. Verse 11: my works function to lead people to faith in me. Verse 12: when you believe in me, I will work in you (like a vine works in a branch, John 15:1–7), and your works, like mine, will lead people to faith.So the connection between verses 11 and 12 goes like this: believe in me on account of my works — let my works lead you to faith (verse 11), because whoever believes in me (verse 12a), will also do works that lead people to believe in me.So whatever the specific works are that Jesus has in mind, what defines them here is that they are pointers to Jesus which help people believe in him. [emphasis added]…So I conclude that, however many Christians God may give gifts of miracles and healing, all of them (and that is what the text is about, “whoever believes in me”) — all of them will do the works of Jesus in the sense that all his works of every kind testified to his truth and deity. And every Christian does these works — that is, lives this life. We are the aroma of Christ. We are the light of the world. [emphasis added]…The second part of this text (John 14:12b) is that, in some wonderful way, we will all do something greater than the works of Jesus. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do because I am going to the Father.”Again it is every believer, not just the apostles, not just pastors or elders or charismatics or evangelists. “Whoever believes in me . . . greater works than these will he do.” This is the mark of being a Christian, not being an apostle.If you think “greater works” means “more miraculous” you will be hard put to exceed walking on water, feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and raising the dead. I don't know of any Christian who has ever lived — inside or outside the New Testament — who has ever done all three of those miracles, let alone something more miraculous. Let alone every Christian having done these miracles or something more miraculous. [emphasis added]…So in John 14:12 Jesus is saying that his disciples will not only continue his works, but will do greater ones because he goes to the Father. And on the way to the Father, he goes to the cross and lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:15; 1:29), rises from the dead and ascends to God, from where he sends the Holy Spirit so the disciples can do the works they are called to do.And in John 20:21–23 he is saying that his disciples are to continue his work by receiving the Holy Spirit and, in that power, imparting the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus — on the basis of Jesus death and resurrection.…What are the “greater works” that you will do — all of you? You will receive the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the crucified and risen Christ. Before the resurrection of Jesus, nobody in the history of the world had ever done that, not even Jesus. And in the power of that absolutely new experience — the indwelling of the crucified and risen Christ — your works of love and your message of life in union with Christ, will point people to the glory of the risen Son of God, and you will be the instrument of their forgiveness on the basis of the finished work of Christ (John 20:23). [emphasis added] This will be new. This will be greater than Jesus's earthly miracles because this is what he came to accomplish by his death and resurrection. Desiring God website.You can read Piper's whole article by following the link above.What about a more Catholic perspective? Consider the following excerpt from a Catholic blog:In other words, the greater works that the apostles will perform are the sacraments. [emphasis added] Because although for most of us, we are more amazed by the visible, material miracles that Jesus performed in his lifetime, Jesus is more correct to say that the Sacraments are actually greater miracles. Because what Jesus does during his public ministry visibly through his visible miracles, is going to point forward to what God will do in the apostles through the Holy Spirit invisibly in the mysteries of the Sacraments. And you might think, “that is kind of strong Dr. Pitre, how could you say that?” Well let me just give you an example here. St. Thomas Aquinas, when he was writing a commentary on this particular passage, this Gospel today from the Gospel of John, St. Thomas Aquinas says that:“What is remarkable is that he adds, “and greater works than these will he do” (John14:12)… Christ is speaking of this result or work when he says that believers “will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do” (John 14:12), for the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth. [emphasis added] For the justification of the wicked, considered in itself, continues forever… But the heavens and the earth will pass away…”That is St. Thomas Aquinas' commentary, and he is actually quoting St. Augustine's commentary on the Gospel of John as well, which is also quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1994. So this is kind of a standard stream of tradition in the Catholic Church, that John 14 is Jesus promising the disciples not only that he would be the road to salvation, but that that road is going to take the particular shape of the Sacraments of the Church. Catholic Productions website.Of course, I could also offer a charismatic perspective that will take the promise to do miraculous deeds very much literally. I have not been able to find a good summary of that view, otherwise I would post it.My personal input can best be presented as a series of questions. Have Christians not fed the masses? Have they not built hospitals and healed the sick? Have they not built schools and universities and educated countless people? Did they not put an end to slavery? Did they not fight for the rights of the downtrodden? Did they not share the good news with the world? It seems to me that Jesus fed the 5,000; we have fed millions. Jesus healed a blind man; we heal blind men daily. Sure, we don't often do it miraculously, but for me that's a distinction without a difference.In Jesus' NameNow let's address the idea of asking “in Jesus' name.” This is a powerful phrase that means to ask in the authority of. Think of the clichés “stop in the name of the King” or “stop in the name of the law.” They invoke and apply the authority of another person or entity. With that in mind, consider the unimaginable delegation of authority that Jesus is making in John 14:13 and 14.Several questions immediately come to mind. The first is obviously about limitations: is this a blanket power given to Christians? I don't think so. The closest scriptural reference I can provide to substantiate my answer is Acts 19:11-17:God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands, so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Now seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; fear came over them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised.I know that a possible response is that the “Jewish exorcists” were not followers of Jesus. That's why their use of Jesus' name did not work. That is certainly possible. But notice also that specifically Paul was doing all the miracles. It was not every Christian doing so. So not even in New Testament times did Christians behave like they could request anything in the name of Jesus (like a healing or wealth) and immediately obtain it. If there are limits, then why even pray in Jesus' name? I think that there is an interaction between the believer and Jesus. The believer must ask to receive. Jesus will grant if the request is in accordance with his will and character. To quote James 4:2-3, “You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.”Much more importantly, we need to notice the radical change that Jesus is making. We do not notice this because we are not first century Jews. They certainly would have been scandalized by Jesus' words, but for different reasons than us. Consider the following Old Testament passage (2 Chronicles 6:24-35) with emphasis added by me:24 “If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they sinned against you, then if they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, and pray for your help before you in this temple, 25 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.26 “The time will come when the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, and turn away from their sin because you punish them, 27 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly you will then teach them the right way to live and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess.28 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight, and disease, or a locust invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 29 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, as they acknowledge their intense pain and spread out their hands toward this temple, 30 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of their motives. (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 31 Then they will honor you by obeying you throughout their lifetimes as they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.32 “Foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will come from a distant land because of your great reputation and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds; they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 33 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, obey you as your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you.34 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, and they direct their prayers to you toward this chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 35 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help and vindicate them.God listened to prayers given at or at least directed to the temple. But who is or is in (depending on how you interpret the beginning of this chapter) the temple now? Who will be dwelling in the many dwelling places in the Father's house? Believers! Believers no longer need to pray in or towards the temple. They are always there. This is a radical change. Now we can go directly to God through Jesus. This is the main point. Not what things Jesus will grant and which ones he won't. Recall Jesus' words to the woman at the well:But a time is coming—and now is here—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)Moreover, In Mark 11, Jesus gives a similar “guarantee” that whatever we ask he will grant. In Mark 11, the speech is given within the context of Jesus predicting the destruction of the Temple. Of crucial importance was to explain how the people of God could remain connected to God after the temple's destruction. Still don't believe me? After the destruction of the first temple, some rabbis taught that God would no longer hear Israel's prayer. It's in the Talmud!All I can say is, the time is here when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
Harrisonburg First Church of the Nazarene.
http://bible.com/events/48976245 Church of the Nazarene - Harrisonburg What We Believe What we believe: Jesus Christ What do you believe about Jesus? Have you really thought that question out in your life? No matter how you would answer that question today- I would suggest that your answer, is shaping your life. What we believe influences our relationships, it sets our priorities, it shapes our lives, in all kinds of ways…Over the next few weeks as a church we are going to explore what we believe, a few of the key doctrines and concepts of scripture, that shape our life individually as well as our life together as the Church. Together we want to get a clearer picture of the nature of our faith as the Church of the Nazarene, not just to gain knowledge, but to value the freedom and joy found in living out the way of Jesus of Nazareth. I welcome you to our new teaching series “What we believe” Today we begin in what perhaps is the obvious place to start in a series addressing what we believe- and that's with Jesus. What we believe about Jesus will shape every aspect of our lives, and every aspect of our Church. Matthew 1:18-23 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew has included theological clues and testimony of who this child was. He links this announcement to the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Matthew understood that Jesus being born in a stable in Bethlehem was important, but he knows the most important thing was who this child was-This is the Messiah born in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. God had come in the flesh, on a mission to save his people from their sins. So what do we believe as a church? We believe that Jesus Christ is eternally one with the Father We believe the angel's announcement that Jesus was born, became flesh/incarnate, by the work and creative power of the Holy Spirit upon a young virgin girl named Mary. We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins- This is the mission the angel announced at his birth. God was intervening in our human story in a new way that we could experience freedom from sin and new eternal life in him. We believe that Jesus arose from the grave, taking on his resurrected body, and he now is engaged in intersession for us at the right hand of the father. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at a few key aspects of Nazarene faith based on the scriptures. Next week we will seek to understand that in bringing people to salvation, God has acted first, going ahead of us, providing the grace and power that we need to choose him. Then we will seek to understand that we no longer need to be slaves to the sin nature and its destructiveness when we are in Christ. In Christ, we can be free from the power of sin in our lives. And we will conclude our series looking ahead with joy, knowing that death doesn't hold the final answer for those who are in Christ. For them, a great resurrection is coming to eternal life in paradise. At this point you might still be wondering, “So what?” What's the big deal about this Jesus thing- Why is that where it all begins and ends? I would propose to you today “The life you are seeking is only found in Christ” John 14:1-7 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Friends, Jesus is the only way to the father. He is the truth And he is the life. That's what it means to believe in him. Verses for further study/reflection: Luke 1:26–35 John 1:1–18 Acts 2:22–36 Romans 8:3, 32–34 Galatians 4:4–5 Philippians 2:5–11
Pastor Jay Song
Mariners Annual Read: Gospel Every Day
The Secret of United Prayer - October 1-31- Pick up Daily in His Presence by Andrew Murray at the Mariners Bookstore- Visit marinerschurch.org or download the Mariners App for more information
Richard P Oldham - Glendale Baptist Church
Recorded Oct 15 1988
Is Jesus the Messiah? What did the religious leaders of the day think of His claims?
Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
Introduction This chapter begins a new section in the book of Deuteronomy. Moses' first speech to Israel was a review of God's faithfulness to them since the exodus from Egypt (Deut 1:6—4:43). His second speech was an exposition of God's laws to the newly formed theocracy (Deut 4:44—28:68). And this third address was an appeal to faithfulness and commitment to God, with a promise of blessing if they obeyed and cursing if they did not (Deut 29:1—30:20). Moses' audience was the second generation of Israelites since the exodus from Egypt and, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, would have been under 60 years of age (Num 14:28-33). Moses speaks to them in the present, “today” (Deut 29:4, 10, 12), recalls the Lord's gracious care for them in the past (Deut 29:2-8), and calls for their commitment (Deut 29:9-13), which commitment would positively impact future generations (Deut 29:14-15). This chapter repeats some of the material previously addressed, and this repetition was intentional on Moses' part. Wiersbe states, “As we read and study Moses' farewell address, we may get weary of these repeated themes, but they are the essence of God's covenant with His people. While the priests and Levites had a copy of the Law of Moses and could refer to it (Deut 17:18; 28:58; 29:20, 27; 31:26), the common people had to depend on their memories, and therefore repetition was important.” Both Paul and Peter used repetition in their writings as a pedagogical tool (Phil 3:1; 2 Pet 1:13; 3:1). An Historical Review (Deut 29:1-8) In our English Bible, the chapter opens, saying, “These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb” (Deut 29:1). Most conservative scholars believe this verse should be included in the previous chapter. According to Thomas Constable “Chapter 29 verse 1 is the last verse of chapter 28 in the Hebrew Bible. Moses probably intended it to be a summary statement of what precedes, rather than an introduction to what follows. The renewed Mosaic Covenant, to which Moses now called on his hearers to commit themselves, contrasts somewhat with the original Mosaic Covenant to which the Israelites committed themselves at Mt. Sinai.” Eugene Merrill agrees, saying, “It seems quite clear, then, that a major break occurs between 29:1 and 29:2, with the former bringing all the previous material to a close and the latter introducing at least the epilogic historical review.” What follows in the next two chapters is a renewal of the covenant that God made with the exodus generation. The original Mosaic covenant was ratified at Sinai, and the renewal of the covenant occurred in the land of Moab, where God had already displayed His power by defeating “Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan” (Deut 29:7), and then distributing it to “to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites” (Deut 29:8). Moses was the divinely authorized representative of Yahweh to mediate the covenant between Him and the people of Israel. The review opens, “And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, ‘You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; 3 the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders” (Deut 29:2-3). Some of Moses' audience would have personal memories of the exodus event; however, those born in the wilderness would not. Yet, Moses calls on everyone to remember and identify with the exodus generation, as that connection will define who they are and serve as the basis for commitment. Some could recall seeing the Lord's work with their own eyes, whereas the others were to see with the eyes of faith as they heard or read about the Lord's deliverance. Moses, being a man of repetition, was doing all he could to firmly establish the Lord's words and works into their minds (cf., Deut 1:30; 4:34; 7:18-19; 8:2-4; 11:2-7). Moses continued, saying, “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear” (Deut 29:4). This verse is somewhat difficult to understand. The heart (לֵב leb) refers to the mind or inner person. The eyes and ears represent a person's capacity to receive information, which should lead to understanding. The statement might imply a degree of negative volition, which impairs a person's ability to understand (cf., John 7:17). Even if this is correct, it did not stop Moses from being faithful to communicate God's Word to others. The Lord Himself said, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot” (Deut 29:5). Here was a display of God's logistical grace, in which He provided for His people, even though they had sinned away their inheritance of the land of Canaan (Num 14:26-35). Moses had previously said, “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing”'(Deut 2:7), and, “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years” (Deut 8:4; cf. Neh 9:7-21). God's faithful provision for His people is a major motif throughout Scripture. The Lord continued, saying, “You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God” (Deut 29:6). Bread and wine were the common foods of the day; foods obtained by means of human production. But God's people did not possess what others possessed, partly because they were in the wilderness and there were no natural resources to draw from. However, the Lord cared for them in His own way, by means of manna and water, which He supplied for them supernaturally. Moses continued, “When you reached this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out to meet us for battle, but we defeated them; 8 and we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites” (Deut 29:7-8). Originally, when the Israelites approached the land of Canaan, they were met with hostility by Sihon and Og, and God caused His people to defeat their enemies in battle and to take their land (Deut 2:26-3:17). Again, the Lord provided for His people whenever there was a need. Thomas Constable states: "The emphasis in this section is on God's faithfulness in bringing Israel to its present geographical location (cf. Deut 1:6–4:40). To do this, God had provided for the people's needs in the wilderness, and had given them victory over some of their enemies (i.e., Sihon and Og). He had also given them some of the land He had promised them (in Transjordan: for the Reubenites, Gadites, and the eastern half-tribe of the Manassites)." A Call to Commitment (Deut 29:9-15) As a result of God's goodness and faithfulness, Moses called his people to respond in obedience to the One who so loved and cared for them, saying, “So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deut 29:9). God is good, and He always desires the best for His people. God's good laws are never for the harm or deprivation of His people. He desired His people to be blessed, and He'd given them everything they needed to walk in His will (Deut 5:33; 6:3; 7:12-16; 11:26-28; 28:1-14; 30:15-20). Moses addressed the whole nation and not just a few, saying, “You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water” (Deut 29:10-11). God desired prosperity for the whole nation, and everyone was called upon to walk according to the Lord's directives in order to open the channels of blessing. According to Wiersbe: "The secret of prosperity was the blessing of God, and the secret of receiving that blessing was obedience to God's law. Moses began with the leaders of the nation (v. 10), for if leaders don't set the example as spiritual people, there's not much hope for the followers. However, nobody in the camp was excluded, and this included the women and children, the resident aliens and the lowest servants. God could not truly be God to them if they refused to accept and obey His law." And Eugene Merrill adds: "The assembly gathered here is described with unusual fullness—the leaders, the ordinary citizens, wives and children, and resident aliens. That is, the entire believing community was invited to enter into covenant relationship with the Lord without reference to social, economic, gender, or age differences…The covenant was made with all Israel as a collective, to be sure, but it was also made with each and every member of the body." The covenant renewal required the people of God to act accordingly, by choosing rightly, “that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today” (Deut 29:12). This was not a new covenant, but a revitalizing of the original covenant given at Mount Sinai. Peter Craigie states, “God, in sovereignty and grace, initiated the relationship and in so doing committed himself in a promise to the chosen people; the people's obligation to commit themselves in the covenant was based not simply on law or demand, but on a response of love, for the purpose of the covenant relationship elicited such a response.” And the blessing of the Lord was promised to His people, “in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deut 29:13). Here was theological continuity of commitment on God's part. Just as the Lord had promised to bless Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so He promised to bless their ancestors. God has integrity and keeps His Word. Eugene Merrill states, “the present covenant rises out of the ancient promises of the Lord to the patriarchal ancestors of the nation (v. 13b). He who had promised to be the God of the fathers (cf. Gen 17:7; Lev 11:45; 26:12) once more gave opportunity to the descendants to seize upon that great privilege and responsibility of being his people.”Accepting God's offer of covenant renewal, with all the blessings associated with it, meant walking with Him and being a blessing to others. Moses finished this pericope, saying, “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today” (Deut 29:14-15). Here was a very sober statement, for the decision of Moses' audience would not only impact them, but also others who were not present, which included future generations. According to Jack Deere, “The scope of the covenant renewal also embraced future generations (those who are not here today, 29:15). Therefore the obedience of that present generation had a great effect on those not yet born.” And Peter Craigie confirms this, saying: "The people on the plains of Moab were indeed renewing their covenant with God, but they were not to forget that they were but one part of a larger community, a community not limited by the passage of time. The one who is not here with us today—the reference is not to those who could not be present for some reason such as ill health. Rather, the words indicate the generations to be born in the future. The reference to future generations impressed even more firmly the responsibility incumbent on those who were present on the plains of Moab, for not only their own future, but also the future of their posterity would be contingent upon their obedience to the law of the covenant." Individual actions have consequences, both for the present and the future, and for self and others. The choices of one generation would impact the next, for better or worse, creating a pattern of behavior that would lead to blessing or cursing. Of course, the faith of one generation is the faith of one generation, and good choices by parents is no guarantee that subsequent generations will walk in the wisdom of those who came before. Still, each generation must choose to walk with the Lord and abide by His directives, or to turn away into a life of sin. But again, actions have consequences, both for the present and the future, for self and others. Choose wisely. Present Application In Deuteronomy 29:1-15, Moses revealed God's goodness and faithfulness to His people and called for them to respond in obedience to the One who so loved and cared for them. Likewise, as Christians, God has demonstrated His love for us through the cross of Christ (John 3:16; Rom 5:6-10; Eph 2:1-9), wherein Jesus has born our sin and paid the penalty that rightfully belongs to us (Isa 53:10; Mark 10:45; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Rev 5:9). In Christ (ἐν Χριστῷ) we have judicial forgiveness of sin (Col 1:13-14; 2:13-14), reconciliation to the Father (Rom 5:11; 2 Cor 5:18), peace with God (Rom 5:1), eternal life (John 10:28), and imputed righteousness (Rom 5:17; Phil 3:9). As a result, God calls us to commit ourselves to Him and to live as obedient children. The apostle Paul, having written at length about the mercies of God in his letter to the Christians living in Rome, said, “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom 12:1). In this verse, Paul is drawing a logical conclusion to God's great mercy toward us who have trusted Christ as Savior, and calls us to respond with a life of ongoing service. Earl Radmacher states: "Based on God's mercy (Rom 9:11, 15, 16, 18, 23; 11:30–32), Paul entreats believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, meaning they should use their bodies to serve and obey God (Rom 6:13). Such giving of the body to God is more than a contrast with a dead animal sacrifice, it is “newness of life” (Rom 6:4). Holy means set apart for the Lord's use; acceptable means pleasing to Him; and reasonable indicates that such a gift is the only rational reaction to all the good gifts God has showered on us." But how do we accomplish this task of living holy lives to the Lord? Paul answers it, saying, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2). Being conformed to this world means we follow the values of this world, which values are always at odds with God and His Word. Like a stream that flows in one direction, there is a current to this world that pulls at our hearts and minds to carry us along its course. Any dead fish can float downstream, but one must be alive to swim against the current and not simply be pulled along its course. As growing believers we are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might know God's will and live the acceptable and mature life. The word transformed translates the Greek verb μεταμορφόω metamorphoo, which means “to change inwardly in fundamental character or condition, be changed, be transformed.” This is an internal transformation that occurs gradually, over time, as our minds are renewed by the daily intake and application of God's Word to every aspect of our lives. According to Radmacher: "Instead of being molded by the values of this world, the believer should be transformed, that is, changed by the renewing of the mind. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart. A mind dedicated to the world and its concerns will produce a life tossed back and forth by the currents of culture. But a mind dedicated to God's truth will produce a life that can stand the test of time. We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God's truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors." There is intentionality here, as the Christian is called to a life committed to the Lord and His interests and not our own. The fulfillment of this committed life occurs as we study God's Word daily (Josh 1:8; Psa 1:1-3; 19:7; 40:8; 119:1, 9-11, 97; Jer 15:16; 2 Tim 2:15; 1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18) and then actively apply it to our lives (Matt 7:24; Jam 1:22). In this way, we will advance to spiritual maturity, glorify the Lord, bless others, and live the best life possible. __________________  Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Equipped, “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1999), 171.  Tom Constable, Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Dt 29:1.  Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, vol. 4, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 373.  Tom Constable, Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible, Dt 29:2.  Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Equipped, “Be” Commentary Series, 172–173.  Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, vol. 4, The New American Commentary, 378.  Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 357.  Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, vol. 4, The New American Commentary, 380.  Jack S. Deere, “Deuteronomy,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 314.  Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 357–358.  Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 1447.  William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 639.  Earl D. Radmacher, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary, 1447.
Christ Redeemer Church » Sermons
QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Underneath human anxiety is the reversal of identity in which the finite attempts to be infinite. With our finite knowledge, we want to know everything so as not to be caught off guard by anything. With our finite abilities, we want and try to control everything so we're not controlled by anything. We fail to do both because it's impossible to be like God.” ~Jackie Hill Perry, poet, author and hip hop artist “Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul's peace and sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin that ever was, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building, and is the most difficultly rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility.” ~From Jonathan Edwards' (1703-1758) Letter to Deborah Hatheway (1741) “The Son of God was crucified: I am not ashamed—because it is shameful. The Son of God died: it is immediately credible—because it is absurd. He was buried, and rose again: it is certain—because it is impossible.” ~Tertullian (c. 155-220) North African church leader in On the Flesh of Christ “John is explicitly incomplete in aspects which… the Synoptic Gospels supply.” ~Richard Bauckham, New Testament scholar I know a place, y'all (I'll take you there) Ain't nobody cryin' (I'll take you there) Ain't nobody worried (I'll take you there) No smilin' faces (I'll take you there) Lyin' to the races I'll take you there. ~ “I'll Take You There” by The Staple Singers SERMON PASSAGE John 13:36-14:7 (ESV) John 13 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”… [A little later, Jesus said to the disciples:] 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.'… 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.” John 14 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 2 13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Here is Pastor Mark Knox sermon on 9-25-22 titled, “The Messenger of the Christ” John-1:19-34
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8) 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Matthew 5:17-18) Big Idea: The Father's purpose for true disciples is to bear lasting fruit as we abide in Christ. 1. True disciples abide in Jesus by being completely dependent upon Him (vv.1-9) “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:6) 2. True disciples abide in Jesus by following his commandments out of love (vv.10-11) If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10-11) “We can't live however we want to live, and claim to still love God, he defines what love is, loving God means obeying God, and how awesome that this leads to fullness of joy, this is abundant life, this is supernatural living, this is how to live above your circumstances, you're not being tossed by every storm in life because you are abiding in the Lord over the storm” Kim Cash Tate 3. True disciples abide in Jesus by loving one another like Jesus loves (vv.12-17) “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:13-17)
All Saints Presbyterian Church, Brentwood, TN
The Light of Christ John 8:12-19 Sunday, 9/25/22 1. The light of Christ shines and overcomes the darkness of the world v.12 2. The light of Christ shines upon everyone but must be accepted v.12 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord. For God made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 3. The light of Christ shines through the truth of his word v.13-18 4. The light of Christ shines so I can have a close relationship with God v.19
ABOUT THE EPISODEThis week, Cherie and Tami remind us to continue abiding in Jesus, friends. He is the only One who brings life from death, brings peace, and produces fruit in us. Stay connected to Him!BIG IDEASBig Idea #1: Lazarus raised from the dead (John 11:1-45) Jesus is the Author and Sustainer of all things. He's not thrown off by bad news. Big Idea #2 - The Gift of Peace (John 14:27)Don't limit peace to simply a feeling. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, a gift to us!Big Idea #3 - Remain In Me—Abiding in Christ (John 15:1-8)Jesus is not commanding His disciples to bear fruit. His command is to remain! He will produce the fruit. EPISODE LINKSNeue Thing 2022 Worship PlaylistJillian Edwards song: “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”John Mark Comer Podcast on PrayerWHAT IS NEUE THING?Neue Thing is a non-profit ministry, founded by Cherie Wagner, that exists to encourage, equip, and empower women with the Word of God. Cherie's life-long passion is two-fold: knowing Jesus Christ and making Him known. Author of Found On My Knees, Awake O Sleeper, Rest, Hope, and Psalms for Life, Cherie writes Bible studies for women that will encourage them to know and believe God's Word, equip them to live it, and empower them to take it and transform this generation for Jesus Christ.CONNECT WITH NEUE THINGWebsite: https://neuething.org/Email Subscription link:https://neuething.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neuethinginc/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neuethingRESOURCESFound On My Knees: The Journey from Brokenness to BlessingAwake O Sleeper: EphesiansRest: 30 Days of Exploring God's Invitation to RestHope: Tethered to an Unwavering GodPsalms for Life
Did you ever wonder why so many church members fail in their Christian walk? They seem to start out so well. They are so excited that their sins are forgiven. They have found a group of people that accept and love them unconditionally. They jump in with both feet to be involved with the “church life”. They show up every time the doors are open. They serve in any way they can. They sing on the praise team and in the choir. They teach in Sunday School. They become deacons and leaders in the church. They might even feel the call to ministry and go off to Bible College and become pastors, evangelist, and missionaries. But then something happens and the next thing you know they are sitting on the sidelines. They no longer serve, go to church, and they start hanging out with their old friends that care nothing for the Christian life. They might even get to the point where they don't even claim to be a believer anymore. How sad, but how true this is! I could name dozens of people that this has happened to in my years as a pastor. So, why does this happen? I believe we find the answer right here in the first three verses of Psalm 1! When the storms and challenges of life came their way and they got knocked down, they started listening to the lies of the devil through ungodly people. Anyone who is sincerely serving the Lord is a target for Satan and his devices. And usually, it comes from someone they thought was their Christian friend, or someone that they respected as a leader, that disappointed them or hurt them deeply. But the real reason they were not able to properly deal with the offence or disappointment and get back up, is because they failed to put down deep roots like a tree into the “Living Water” of God's Word and His Holy Spirit. There are far too many believers who are a mile wide in their Christian experience but only a half an inch deep in their walk with the Lord and His Word. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:47-49. The Psalmist tells us here that the godly person like a tree that is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer's life is the "spiritual root system" that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ (Eph. 3:17; Col. 2:7). This is known as "abiding in Christ" (John 15:1-9). In Scripture, water for drinking is a picture of the Spirit of God (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:4), while water for washing pictures the Word of God (Ps. 119:9; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Thirst for water is an image of thirst for God (42:1; 63:1; 143:6; Matt. 5:6; Rev. 22:17), and the river is often a picture of God's provision of spiritual blessing and help for His people (36:8; 46:4; 78:16; 105:41; Ex. 17:5-6; Num. 20:9-11; Ezek. 47; and Rev. 22:1-2). We can't nourish and support ourselves; we need to be rooted in Christ and drawing upon His spiritual power. To meditate on the Word (v. 2) is one source of spiritual energy, as are prayer and fellowship with God's people. Trees may wither and die, but the believer who abides in Christ stays fresh, green, and fruitful (see 92:12-14). "Fruit" speaks of many different blessings: winning people to Christ (Rom. 1:13), godly character (Rom. 6:22, Gal. 5:22-23), money given to the Lord's work (Rom. 15:28), service and good works (Col. 1:10), and praise to the Lord (Heb. 13:15). It's a tragedy when a believer ignores the "root system" and begins to wither. We must remember that the tree doesn't eat the fruit; others eat it. We must also remember that fruit isn't the same as "results," because fruit has in it the seed for more fruit. Fruit comes from life, the life of God flowing in and through us. We must dig deep into God's Word and build the foundation of our life on the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ! God bless!
Artist and author Christ John Otto is on the Creatively Christian podcast, interviewed by Rachel Oxborough. Christ describes the importance of struggling as an artist and shares his advice to never take advice. He also dives into an important theme in his theology of art: trusting in God and living without fear. Christ (rhymes with "wrist") John Otto directs Belonging House, an international hub for artists which aims to build Jesus a throne on earth. He has published ten books for artists. Originally in pastoral ministry, he eventually found his calling as a full-time artist and encourager of Christian creatives. This episode can also be found on YouTube. Show Notes The following resources were mentioned in the show or are useful resources recommended by the guests. Links might be marked as affiliates, meaning we earn a commission if you buy through the link. Very God: An Artist Explores the Nicene Creed by Christ Otto: https://amzn.to/3S9AoznChrist's Poetic Theology for Artists books: https://amzn.to/3qXzc6FAn Army Arising: Why Artists are on the Frontline of the Next Move of God by Christ Otto: https://amzn.to/3BH2aOd Learn More About Our Guest You can follow this guest on several platforms, including: https://www.christjohnotto.com Credits Today's episode is hosted by artist and art therapist Rachel Oxborough. With her company ColorMeIn Wellbeing, Rachel has worked with individuals, businesses, and government programs to support mental health using art and creativity. Follow Rachel on Instagram, or Facebook. Support this show and get access to exclusive content by donating at https://www.patreon.com/creativelychristian. This show is produced by Theophany Media (https://www.theophanymedia.com). The theme music is by Bill Brooks and Andrea Sandefur. Our logo is by Bill Brooks. This show is hosted by Brannon Hollingsworth, Andrea Sandefur, Dave Ebert, and Rachel Anna. Jake Doberenz produces. Follow Theophany Media and the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
September 11, 2022
More Than a Song - Discovering the Truth of Scripture Hidden in Today's Popular Christian Music
Sometimes Christians say things that are meant to be a comfort to others but aren't theologically sound. Shocking, I know. Some of my favorite videos to watch are when the guest has to guess if it's something that comes from the Bible or a quote. Today on the podcast, we prove the comforting ideas found in Matthew West's song "Me On Your Mind" come from Scripture. We'll study a wonderful prayer of Jesus to encourage us that He, indeed, had us on His mind. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditate on Scripture Read in context Use the subheadings to gain your bearings Follow the cross-references Slow down Look up words in the dictionary Consult an outside resource Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Amazon Paid Link How Jesus had us on His mind in his recorded prayer in John 17 Backing up to John 13 and reading forward to get the full context of what was happening Contrasting two gardens in Scripture - "Two Gardens, Two Betrayals, Two Outcomes" by Dr. Jim and Janean Reish Jesus' posture - John 17:1 Exploring when Jesus' hour "had not yet come" compared to the hour that has come at the time of Christ's prayer John 2:4 John 7:30 John 8:20 "Glory" and "glorification" and what they mean Eternal life through Christ - John 17:2-3 Christ's role in bringing attention to God's character through His obedient life What it means that Christ "manifested" the name of God - John 17:6 Highlighting themes of sanctification and unity in addition to glorification A pattern we can follow from this prayer (see the Fire Bible Amazon Paid Link) Pray that they may know Jesus Christ and his Word intimately (John 17:2-3, 17, 19) Pray that God may protect them from the evil influences of the world, keep them from turning away from him and give them discernment to recognize and reject ungodly beliefs and false spiritual teaching (John 17:6, 11, 14-17) Pray that they may constantly possess the full joy of serving Christ (John 17:13) Pray that they may live by God's standards of purity and truth in thoughts, actions, and character (John 17:17) Pray that they may be unified in love and purpose, just as Jesus and his Father are (John 17:11, 21-22) Pray that they may lead others to Christ (John 17:21, 23) pray that their faith will endure so they will one day be with Christ in heaven (John 17:24) Pray that they may constantly experience God's love and presence (John 17:26) Am I following Christ's pattern in my own life? Do I look at my obedience to God's ways as a way to magnify His character, or as something I'm supposed to do? More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com "Loved by the Father in the Son" - Ligonier.org Devotional John 17 Commentary - Enduring Word Commentary "What is sanctification? What is the definition of Christian sanctification?" - GotQuestions.org Article ESV Fire Bible - Amazon Paid Link "Two Gardens, Two Betrayals, Two Outcomes" - Dr. Jim and Janean Reish Article Weekly Challenge Read John 17 in context, then go back and study it line by line and word by word. Look up words
Wednesday, 31 August 2022 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Acts 10:4 The previous verse is where Cornelius saw in a vision an angel of God having come to him. Now, Luke records, “And when he observed him, he was afraid.” Both verbs are aorist participles. “And having looked intently on him and having become afraid” (BLB). The word translated as “observed,” atenizó, is one that indicates being completely fixed in staring at something. It is giving full attention to what is seen. One can see hints of the word “attention” in it. Cornelius was praying and all of a sudden, this messenger was there. This caught his full attention and brought him to a state of terror. With this state over him, it next records, that he “said, ‘What is it, lord?'” The word kurios is used. It can be used in a reference to the Lord, meaning Yehovah. It can be used as a title of respect to one greater than another, as in, “My lord, what can I do?” It can be used as a title of general respect, such as, “Sir, what is it?” And etc. In this case, he understands that he is a divine messenger, “What is it, lord.” This seems to be the case because of the terror just noted. If it was a senior from his military chain of command, he would have simply said, “Yes, sir, I am almost done praying.” With his state of terror, and with his question spoken, Luke next says, “So he said to him.” This is now the messenger speaking to Cornelius. He has come for a reason, he has been asked about what his coming is for, and so he now gives a reply, saying, “Your prayers and your alms have come up.” The same word used to describe the alms the beggar asked for in Acts 3:2 and that also described the charitable deeds of Tabitha in Acts 9:36 is used here. These alms are derived from compassion that is directed to the poor and needy. Those, along with his obviously heartfelt prayers are said to have ascended. The meaning is that they were as an offering burned on an altar that had then become a fragrant aroma. These are then specifically noted, “for a memorial.” This is the third and last time that the word mnémosunon, or “memorial,” is seen in the Bible. The word signifies a reminder. It is something that is worth remembering such as in Matthew 26:13 and Mark 14:9, both of which speak of the same event – “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matthew 26:13 In this case, the prayers and deeds of Cornelius were something worthy of remembrance, as it says, “before God.” Taken together with the word “ascended,” it is as an offering on an altar that is described in Leviticus. They were a true and complete sacrifice that would otherwise be acceptable to God. They were not enough to save him, however. This is evident based on the rest of the passage. However, they demonstrate that his heart was set in the right direction. Charles Ellicott states the matter well, as long as it is understood that apart from faith in Jesus (which will come as the chapter continues) his deeds cannot justify him, only his faith can – “If we ask, in the technical language of a later theology, how they could be accepted when they were offered prior to a clear faith in Christ, and therefore before justification, the answer is that ... He was believing in the Light that lighteth every man, though as yet he did not identify that Light with its manifestation in Jesus as the Christ (John 1:9). He had the faith which from the beginning of the world has justified—the belief that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).” Charles Ellicott The ellipsis in the quote from Ellicott removes something that may lead to a false sense of what is being said. Ellicott is close in his analysis, but it must be understood that when he says, “he had the faith which...justified,” it must mean a potential justification, not actual at this time. People all over the world have faith, they do good deeds, and they really believe there is a God that we must answer to. The issue isn't that they believe this. The issue is, first and foremost, that sin must be dealt with. Abraham was surely the same person before and after the note in Genesis 15:6. But he had to have faith in God's provision first. Abraham believed in the Lord (YHVH), and He credited it to Him as righteousness. Cornelius believes in God, in a general sense. Now, in Acts 10, he will be introduced to the Lord (Jesus who is YHVH) and he will believe in a specific sense. This is what brings justification. Sincere people can believe in a false gospel or a false messiah and not be saved. Cornelius has faith and it is now going to be directed to the One who can mediate that faith before God in an acceptable way. That will become explicitly clear in verse 10:43. Life application: We must never waffle in our theology and say that someone has faith that can save apart from Christ. A person can have great faith and misdirect it and not be saved. Only when the faith is directed to Jesus, the Lord God incarnate, can a person then be saved. Those of the past who knew of the Lord's promise of Messiah, such as Job, had the appropriate faith because they had faith, and they believed in the right Person to come. Now, all must believe in the right Person who has come. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is not. The resolution to man's problem, meaning sin, must be dealt with. The only One who can deal with it is Jesus who is the Christ (Messiah). Jesus is the Lord (YHVH). Any other “messiah” is not the Lord (YHVH) and is thus a false messiah. With more revelation has come more precise responsibility. Only through the name of Jesus can man be saved. Lord God, help us to not error in our wording and thus lead others astray through misunderstanding. May we carefully think through our presentation of the gospel and then give it in a manner that will convict and then heal the person who hears it. Help us in this, O God, that people will come to a right and saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.
Abundant Life Episode 38 In this episode Saso and Ben discuss the topic of being unadopted. Websters 1828 UNADOPTED - Not adopted; not received as one's own. WRATH - The just punishment of an offense or crime. Romans 8:1. Gods wrath in Scripture, is his holy and just indignation against sin. Romans 1:18. Key Verse John 3:36 On the last episode we spoke to Bob and he talked about his adoption. We also read verses that talked about the spirit of adoption, and how good it is to be part of the family of God. Hence, why we call each other brother. We talked about how good it is to be part of the family of God, but what about those who have not been “adopted”? What is their current condition? Sadly those who will be left behind on the day of the rapture or those who will split hell wide open because they wanted no part of the spirit of adoption. Condition of man without Christ John 3:18 John 3:36 The wrath of God is immediately upon us when we choose not to believe in Him, and there are many in this world who seem to have no care in this world and they are ignorant of their current condition. Oh, the despair of man who is ignorant of his condition and shakes his fist at a just God. John 12:48 Judgement is coming for all of us but one will be judged to hell eternal because they chose not to believe. Proverbs 11:21 Wickedness is always punished but God will deliver those who have chosen to place their faith and trust in Him. Matthew 25:46 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 As mentioned, in the last episode we spoke about being a child of God through the Spirit of adoption, but before being a child of God, we were children of Satan. John 8:44 Acts 13:9-10 1 John 3:8 This is clear, you are either a son of the Satan or a son of God. There is no middle ground, or on the fence state of life. Every human being, aside from Christ was born a child of Satan. Ephesians 2:1-3 This passage is clear that we were all sons of disobedience, following the prince of the power of the air which is a reference to Satan, living a life a sin and therefore destined to the wrath of God, hence the term children of wrath. It is a fearful thing to be outside of the family of God, or another way to put it, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, and remember God's anger is perfectly just and righteous. Without God, your destination is hell. In Luke 16 there is the story or parable, there is debate over this, but in any case there is a lesson. The rich man died and was in hades or Sheol, and Lazarus was at Abrahams side and Abraham spoke to the rich man telling him to remember his past life. I find it fascinating that in the life to come we may have memory of the lives we lived before our physical death and I think how regret is going to feel. Will you regret not making that choice to receive the precious gift of Jesus? No condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1 John 8:11 I believe this woman had repented and therefore Jesus told her to go and sin no more. She had found forgiveness because she had repented, and He did not condemn her because of this. John 12:47 He came to seek and to save the lost but because He is just He will have to judge but His desire is that all should come to repentance. Romans 8:34. How do we get this hope and how can one became a member of the family of God? The term “no condemnation” is used in a judicial setting. CONDEMNATION - The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment. The reality is that we will all face the judgement of God. 2 Corinthians 5:10 According to the verse we will appear before Christ who is the judge. God has granted Jesus the authority to execute this judgement. John 5:27 We are the defendants in this case. Satan is the accuser or the prosecutor who, according to Revelation 12:10 accuses us day and night. The charge brought to us is that we are guilty of s...
Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She's addressed women's groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She's the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She's a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts' Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace's newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthorQUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father.Follow Quinnise:Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfatherInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J