The first century Book of Acts church followed a pattern:
– Explore = the truths of the faith in safety
– Embrace = the truth of Jesus Christ as Savior
– Experience Truth = living the experience Monday through Friday
– Express Truth = express the truths learned to others
The breakdown is between stage 2 and 3. The devotionals we are going to use are designed to help us take the truth learned into the highways and byways.
We will begin our journey through the Gospel of John with the 3-day devotional and the accompanying Passion Translation by Dr. Brian Simmons.
The book of John has a twofold purpose:
– He was writing to non-believers = both Jews and Gentiles, to convince them that they could experience eternal life through Jesus.
– He was writing to believers = that they would more fully experience the fullness of life promised by Jesus himself.
John 1:1-9 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
These verses refer to John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. Although they were family, John did not grow up in the Galilean hill country near Jesus, where he was born. John was all about Jesus and eternity.
The truth is:
– We all want to be significant.
– We all want to be special, unique, and known for something.
– The need to be someone but is never satisfied with this world’s affections.
Once you go to that well of…success, wealth, infamy, popularity, once you gain more Facebook friends than anyone else, all that’s left is the desire to gain more.
Jesus said it this way:
Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
That is a terrible game to play – it’s the devil’s roulette wheel and the house always wins!
Jesus is not just talking about eternity:
– He’s talking about what you put your energy into here on this earth.
– He’s talking about what you are investing your life into.
– He’s making you an offer that you really shouldn’t refuse.
He loves you and really wants the best for you.
John the Baptist:
– was nobody special.
– dressed in camel hair.
– ate locust and honey.
– had no brilliant gifts.
– didn’t perform miracles. John 10:41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.”
John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
He came as a witness. He came to testify and to reflect the light of Jesus. He came so others would believe as a result of the way he lived.
He was a man that wanted to be used by God.
He didn’t perform any miracles, preach any great sermons, or sing any powerful songs.
He doubted his own message and needed Jesus to validate him.
He was like you and me.
The difference in John’s life was that he purposed to be:
– a voice.
– heard but not seen.
– a mirror to the light of Jesus.
– content to be the voice if people would think of Jesus.
vs. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. The word “believe” is used 100 times in the Gospel of John.
It is the Gospel of Believing!
John is writing so that those that didn’t know and didn’t believe, would,
and that those that did believe would more fully believe and experience the fullness of life that Jesus provides.
What is the biggest hinderance in your life to the life of Jesus being manifested? or visible?