Monday, January 12, 2004

John Week #1

This weeks lesson introduces us to the Gospel of John. It gives us the facts by answering the What, Where, Who, Why, When, and how. (Not in that order.)

What: The Gospels are a written account of the life of Jesus on this earth. That is what Luke says:

Luk 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luk 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

The author believes the other accounts were oral. The Holy Spirit inspired the Gospel author's to write in order to save the integrity of the account throughout the generations.

When: The gospels were written many years after Jesus ascension to heaven. It seems that the author's realized that Christ was not returning in their lifetime. So they wrote for future generations.

Where: They wrote where they lived in ancient Israel.

Who and How: The Author's were Christian's. Two of the Gospel writers were former apostles - they wrote what they saw and experience for themselves. Two others were converted through Paul - they wrote what they heard.

Why: Luke says in Luke 1:4 that
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

In other words, what you here is not a "cunningly devised fable."
John for his part says:

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John takes it a step further than Luke. He wants us to believe that Jesus is: the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God (who Hmself is God), and the Lamb of God who taketh away the Sin of the world. John wants us to have faith. Paul says that:

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

When we read the word of God and believe it we find life, eternal life. This type of believing is called Faith. Which in the book of Hebrews is defined as:

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It is Faith in this man called Jesus that takes away our Sin. It is faith in this man called Jesus that gives us eternal life. It is Faith that allows the Comforter (Holy Spirit) that Jesus promised, to work in us this salvation. When we have a part with the Holy Spirit, when we have a relationship with this powerful, yet not seen Being, we do not be to be there to see Jesus and touch Him. The Holy Spirit brings power to the Word Of God. When we become the Holy Spirit's friend, we become Jesus' friend. Now, it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us that enables us to live eternally. However, the promise does not end there. We will live eternally with our Christ, the Lamb that took away our Sin. Let's read in John:

Joh 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

That same Jesus that died for us is preparing a place for us where He is. He will return to take us back with Him. And, we will live eternally with Him.

And as John wrote in Revelation:
Rev 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

We will live there with no more sin and its consequences, namely: Tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain. This is the good news John wanted us to know and believe.

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