The Book of John Series (John 3:1-9) – October 28, 2012

The following service is part of The Book of John series from October 28, 2012.

The following are the answers to the text questions that came in during the sermon:

1.  “When u say born again do u mean acually beliving in Jesus instead of just having religion?” 11:20 AM

Born again is actually having a new life in Jesus Christ.  The way to get there is by believing that Jesus is the only way to have that life.  Religion will not get us there, unless our religion is turning our attention to the only one that can get us there.  This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again”.  He was basically telling him that he needed a life, not a religion.

 

2.  “Pastor jason i do not fully understand the part about the message when u said we can believe in god but he doesnt have to believe in us back what if you have done every bad things in your life and you try to re new your self by going to god and you believe in him with all yourr heart and since you have done bad things will he not believe in you?” 11:22 AM

Listen to the message from 10/21/12 at www.gracewired.net.  This will give you a little more information about the statement “it is possible to believe in Jesus, but Jesus not believe in you”.  It does not have anything to do with bad (or good) things that we have done in the past or in the present.  We have all done bad things (Romans 3:23) and will never measure up to God’s high standards.  The reason that Jesus did not give himself over to them in John 2:24 was because they believed the wrong thing.  They believed that Jesus could do amazing things, that he was sent from God, that he could get them what they wanted, and many other things, but apparently they did not believe that he was the only way that they could have true life.  In John 2:24-25, the passage indicates that it was something that “was in man” that caused him to not entrust himself to them.  Their connection with God was merely superficial and misinformed.  That was the problem.  If you have sincerely believed that Jesus is the only way that you can truly live, then your heart is in the right place.

 

3.  “Do we have two natures? Warring against each other?” 11:26 AM

This question can be complicated because of what different people mean by the word “nature”.  As Christians, we are a new creation.  We have a new nature.  Even though we are a new creation, however, until we are in Heaven, we are in the process of becoming what we are.  Read Colossians 3.  Also in Romans 7, we find Paul expressing the two natures at work within him.  We can read Paul’s struggle…

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Paul expressed what every Christian feels in a practical sense.  The reason we need God’s grace is that we will all fall short…and continue to fall short…even after we have salvation.  This is because we are in a process of progressive sanctification and will not realize ultimate sanctification until we are in Heaven.  Until then, we will have the sin nature waging war against us.

 

4.  “How does the sperit give life if he is a ghost?” 11:28 AM

I’m not sure what this question really means.  The question comes from the mention of John 6:63 in the sermon, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”  The Spirit and God are one.  God is the creator of life and He is the One who gives live through His Spirit.  The point here is that there is much more to life than the physical world that we see.  Instead of looking at all of the religious things in which we can get wrapped up, we must look much deeper to the reality that God operates on a completely different arena.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us of the truth about our own depravity and God’s glory, then we can receive true life by faith in Jesus.

 

5.  “When you started at Grace your sermons were only 20-25 minutes….now they are 40 minutes…I am curious about the change.” 11:38 AM

The change has not been an intentional change to make the sermons longer.  I want to remain true to the text and sometimes it takes longer than 25 minutes to really honor what God has intended through the text.  Changing from a topic-driven approach for the sermons to a walk-through-the-Bible approach can lead to longer sermons as well.  There are some who feel that worship services should be no longer than an hour.  I am more of the mindset that our gatherings are not just to check it off of our list or to try to appease God or even to try to satisfy our guilt, rather it is to discover more of God so that we can respond to Him in true worship.  If every time that I went on a date with my wife, I told her that She only had one hour, she would begin to feel that I was just needing to check the date off of my check-list instead of truly trying to discover more about her and showing real interest in knowing her.  Before you panic, I have no intentions of making our services two hours long.  Also, I always try to plan for a 25-minute sermon, but if the text demands more, then I am willing to take a little more time.  (a conversation is created at that point in planning the service elements)  I also understand that there is a ripple effect for the service going longer than expected.  The Children’s building has volunteers and their teaching plans need to be respected.  In addition to this, people in the congregation make plans for their day based off of the expectations that have been created from the timetable of previous weeks.  In addition to all of this, there are certainly skills in communication that I hope to continuously be improving so that I can succinctly and effectively communicate through Scripture the incredible truth that is contained in it.  Please know that we are trying to develop a consistent Sunday experience so that you know what to expect and feel comfortable inviting your friends.  Even though the sermons have been a little longer than last year, I hope that they have been meaningful for you.

I just read the quote below by John Piper about his feelings about the responsibility to teach God’s Word. He is one of the guys that I always read as a reference to any Scripture that I study. He has had such an influence on my wife and myself that we actually named our third child “Piper” partly because of him. He said the following… “If you are used to a twenty-minute, immediately practical, relaxed talk, the understanding of preaching that I just described doesn’t lead there. I won’t preach twenty minutes but twice that long; I do not aim to be immediately practical but eternally helpful; and the condition of my soul is not relaxed but standing vigilantly on the precipice of eternity speaking to people any of whom this week could go over the edge.” Wow, who can say it like that? To read the entire context of his comment, go to http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/god-so-loved-the-world-part-2. You can also check out his book called “Desiring God”.

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~ by Jason Miley on November 9, 2012.

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