June 2, 2020 – “Are You Elijah?”

June 2, 2020 – “Are You Elijah?”

This is Part Five of last week’s Tuesday Night Bible Study and we will be exploring together what the delegation from Jerusalem meant when they asked John if he was Elijah or the Prophet.  Note, not one of the prophets or a prophet, but “the” Prophet, using the definite article to signify a specific Prophet.  And also notice the word Prophet is capitalized.  Do you wonder why?

You can read below the text we have been studying this week.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:19-23)

In this study, we will also discover how to use Scripture to answer questions we might have about Scripture.  After all, the best way to interpret God’s Word is by God’s Word.

I hope this will help you in your walk with our Lord and help you grow closer to Him.

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

 

Friday, May 29, 2020 – “Just Who Are You?”

Friday, May 29, 2020 – “Just Who Are You?”

This is Part Three of this week’s Tuesday Night Bible Study and we will be looking at the accusing question the hostile delegation from Jerusalem confronted John with, namely, “Who are you?”  Our study this week is on the testimony of John the Baptist and is found in John 1:19-23.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah?”  He said, “I am not.”  “Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us?  What do you say about yourself?”  He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:19-23)

But setting their question aside for the moment, John’s answer will compel each of us to become more like Christ.  His humility is contagious.  And his wisdom and unwavering focus on his mission, is convicting.  It’s something quite enviable.

Be blessed by John’s words and ask the Lord what you can learn about your own priorities in life compared with those of John the Baptist.

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

 

Thursday, May 28, 2020 – The Perfect Testimony

Thursday, May 28, 2020 – The Perfect Testimony

This is Part Two of this week’s Tuesday Night Bible Study and we will be looking deeper into the testimony of John the Baptist as recorded in John 1:19-23.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah?”  He said, “I am not.”  “Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us?  What do you say about yourself?”  He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:19-23)

Here we learn more about the makeup of the hostile delegation sent to John from the religious elite in Jerusalem.  But we also will look at the word “testimony” to discover the depths of its meaning and how John the Apostle uses it over 70 times in his writings alone.  Why is that?  You’re soon to find out.

As you study along with us today, consider the elements of your own testimony.  How much of it is about you?  And how much of it reveals Christ?   Something to consider, isn’t it?

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

 

May 25, 2020 – “Who are You?”

May 25, 2020 – “Who are You?”

Today, as we continue our study into the life of Christ, we’ll look into the testimony of John the Baptist regarding Jesus that begins in John 1:19.  In fact, it’s hard to read the question they ask him without having the CSI theme song, the Who classic from 1978, playing in my head.  “Who are you?”

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” (John 1:19)

What we have before us is the testimony of John the Baptist.  And the word “testimony” (marturía) means “a witness, certification, record, that which someone witnesses or states concerning a person or thing.”  It is a declaration by a witness who speaks with the authority of one who knows, like an expert witness.  John is very familiar with this word and uses it over 75 times in his writings.  But there is more.

Just think, John the Baptist is the first witness the Apostle John calls to testify of the Lordship of Christ.  Later he writes:

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.  And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24-25)

But there is more.


Who Is This Guy?

John the Baptist was one remarkable individual.  Consider the following:

    • He was the subject of an Old Testament prophecy found in Isaiah 40.
    • His birth was due to direct supernatural intervention (Luke 1:7,13).
    • He was filled with the Holy Spirit before his birth (Luke 1:15).  I can’t recall the Scriptures saying that of anyone else.
    • He was a man “sent from God” (John 1:6).  What an amazing epitaph for a life well-lived.
    • He was sent to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt. 3:3), and nothing else.  In fact, when he got off point, it cost him his life.
    • He was the last of the Old Testament prophets (Matt. 11:13), on the same par with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah.
    • Jesus said he was the greatest man who ever lived (Matt. 11:11), hands down, bar none.

So let’s take a look at it together, shall we?

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

 

460:  What Does it Mean to “Abide in Christ”?

460: What Does it Mean to “Abide in Christ”?

In John 15 we have the Lord’s blueprint for the “abundant life” (John 10:10) He promised each of us.  And no, that life doesn’t involve expensive cars or vacation homes or buckets of cash or having Your Best Life Now!  The abundant life in Him is defined by being able to bear His fruit, and bearing it in ever-increasing quantities.  Or, like Jesus said, “more fruit”, then “much fruit”, and finally “fruit that will remain”.  Consider the following:

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8)

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16)

Unless the church fully understands the importance of bearing the fruit of Christ, the Vine, this incredible teaching of Jesus will have little meaning or lasting effect on our lives.  Or on the lives of those we try to influence with the Word, our spouse, our friends, our parents, children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.  We must come to a clear understanding that the only purpose for the branch, the only reason you and I were created and chosen in Him (Eph. 1:4), is to bear the fruit of the vine.  And the only one who benefits from the fruit we bear, is the Vinedresser, the Father.  The one key to hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23), is our commitment to being nothing but branches, committed totally to bearing His fruit.

As we said last week, there is no other way.


But, How Do We Bear His Fruit?

The key to bearing His fruit is tied up in the single word, abide.  Last week we defined the word abide (ménō) as to “remain, dwell, live”, but always, in John’s writings, with the idea of a relationship in view.  However, in John 15, the definition of abide (ménō) expands to mean “to be and remain united with Jesus, one with Him in heart, mind, and will, and to remain steadfast, unwavering in that relationship.”  That understanding of abide (ménō) puts this entire passage under a new, incredible light.

So how do we bear His fruit?  Or what part do we play in this divine equation?  Simple, abide.  It’s hard to do in real life, but it’s simple, nonetheless.

Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)

“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.” (John 15:10)

Remember, this is only the beginning.  If you can capture the joy of abiding in Him as a dependent branch, a life of abundant joy (John 10:10) is right around the corner.  So buckle up!

The following is a study on John 15:4-6 on How to Bear His Fruit.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

big_lines

big_lines

            podcast-25-25