For God so loved the world

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN # 8

John 3:16-21

For God So Loved the World

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. John the Evangelist now makes the universal application of the words of Jesus found in the first 15 verses.
  7. First, with “God so loved the world” we note the word “loved” is from the Greek word agape and is a kind of love we are not able to fully appreciate or comprehend.
  8. “World” is cosmos in the Greek, and refers to all the peoples of the earth, not only the descendants of Abraham. The Gospel is to go to Gentiles as well.
  9. God loves His physical creation, yet even that perfect garden experienced corruption. And it too, has a built-in shelf-life. One day it will cease to exist.
  10. The “love” is intended to prevent perishing and give eternal life to those made in His image, those He has chosen..
  11. The “world” in the process of perishing may be saved.
  12. The saving is based upon one thing, and one thing only, the One sent, the Son of God.
  13. Judgment is also a central theme. The Light has come into the world yet the object of God’s love preferred darkness because their deeds were evil.
  14. It is the hating of the Light that brings judgment. Because of the doing of evil deeds, a fear of the Light develops. The Light is Jesus, and thus He will be hated.
  15. John the Evangelist knew of this intimately; all of the called apostles were martyred. He had already seen severed persecution. He himself alone is left.
  16. Only those who have been born anew will want to come to the Light.

 

Jesus said, “You must be born again.”

JOHN’S GOSPEL MEDITATION # 7

  1. John 3:1–15

    You Must Be Born Again

    1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
    2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
    3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
    4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
    5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
    6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
    7. A Pharisee, Nicodemus, a member of the grand counsel of Israel, the Sanhedrin, and we find him mentioned three times in this Gospel. We see that he becomes a follower of Jesus.
    8. He talked with Jesus at night, and we are not sure why.
    9. He respected Jesus, called him ”rabbi” meaning teacher. And Jesus had not earned that status, so perhaps out of respect or something far more, Nicodemus honors Jesus.
    10. Jesus did signs, miracles, in Jerusalem for all to see. This came to the attention of the Sanhedrin, so maybe Nicodemus was sent by this group to find out about Jesus.
    11. It seems Jesus, declining to provide anything about who he is, moves abruptly to what Nicodemus really needed to hear. “You must be born again.”
    12. Of course, Nicodemus could not possibly understand what Jesus meant, and of course, Jesus knew that.
    13. Nicodemus would have thought he already was in the kingdom of God, and Jesus assures him he was not.
    14. The esteemed elder statesman must be born of “water and the Spirit” in order to enter the kingdom of God. And to a Jew like Nicodemus nothing was more important.
    15. “Water and Spirit”–likely a metaphor for radical conversion, which is something Nicodemus could not accomplish on his own.
    16. The how of this new birth is likened to the blowing of the wind; something mysterious and beyond the ability of a human being to accomplish or even comprehend. It is wholly a work of the Spirit of God.
    17. Jesus concludes the conversation by saying that He would be “lifted up” like the serpent Moses lifted up. (Numbers. 21:4–9)

     

Jesus Cleanses the Temple & Jesus Knows What is in Man

JOHN’S GOSPEL MEDITATION # 6

John 2:13–25

Jesus Cleanses the Temple &Jesus Knows What is in Man

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. The temple in Jerusalem, still in the process of being rebuilt, and this begun by Herod the Great, was used for many purposes. It was the center of trade, a money exchange, a bank, a depository of the nation’s wealth, and lots of gold plating. Besides, sellers of animals for ritual sacrifices made for a zoo like environment. The hides of which were sold.
  8. Here Jesus, being upset and angry, zealous actually, causes extreme consternation for the temple authorities.
  9. These authorities challenge Jesus. They ask for a sign, or miracle, from Him. If such could be produced, then maybe Jesus is a prophet sent from God and His actions would have to be accepted. Jesus’ reply is mysterious: If the temple is destroyed, He would raise it up.
  10. Jesus is looking ahead to His crucifixion, and that He is the temple, the real temple, and He would be raised from the dead. We note the “echad” of the Trinity here. On the one hand Jesus said, “I will raise it up” then on the other, when “he was raised from the dead.” There is no difference here.
  11. At the Passover Feast, many began to believe in Jesus due to the signs or miracles Jesus did.
  12. Jesus, despite His growing popularity, would not “entrust” Himself to His fan base because He knew what is at the core of human beings. He did not know every person’s wickedness, but He knew human beings. He knew and knows that we are corrupt and polluted in our inner being.

The Wedding at Cana

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 5

The Wedding at Cana

John 2:1-12

  1. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  2. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  3. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  4. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  5. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  6. At Cana, 8.3 miles north of Nazareth, lived a family who knew, maybe even related to Mary and her family, including Jesus who at this point had gathered four disciples, if not more. These are all invited to a wedding.
  7. The location seems to be a synagogue because of the six large jars present, which were used for purification rites, since the Temple in Jerusalem was not close by.
  8. A situation developed when the supply of wine gave out. This wine was alcoholic, but of some low proof.
  9. Mary informed son Jesus of the problem and His reaction, “Woman” was one of “polite distance.” Jesus, most agree, thinks that it is not quite time to reveal Himself as the One sent by God to deliver His people. But the time had come.
  10. Jesus, perhaps on the quiet, asks servants to fill up the six jars that held the purification water. When this was accomplished, he wanted more water drawn from the same source, not from the jars themselves, and bring it to the wedding master, perhaps the father of the bride or groom.
  11. The water had turned into good wine, which would not have been necessary as the wedding guests were in a position not to know the difference.
  12. John tells us this is the first “sign” that Jesus did, which is intended to let it be know who this son of Mary really is. “Manifest his glory” means revealing Jesus’ deity.
  13. This incredible sign/miracle is a much larger event than most of us imagine as it moves directly contrary to laws of physics.

 

The Account of how Jesus called His first disciples

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 4

Jesus Calls the First Disciples John 1:35–42

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael John 1:43–51

  1. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  2. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  3. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  4. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  5. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  6. Immediately following His baptism, Jesus begins to call/invite disciples to follow Him.
  7. The first one is Andrew, Peter’s brother, along with another un-named disciple, who is likely John himself.
  8. Andrew then finds his brother Peter and announces that they had found the Messiah (Christ in the Greek).
  9. Peter receives a nickname after meeting Jesus, Cephas. Simon is the birth name, Cephas, also Aramaic, means rock. Peter, a Greek name, means the same.
  10. A day later, Jesus wastes no time, He finds Philip and said to him, “follow me.” Philip, a Greek name, finds Nathanael, which is Aramaic, and means given by or to God, and announces, proclaims, “we” have found the Messiah. Philip tells Nathanael (only in John is the name Nathanael found, in the Synoptics the name is Bartholomew, which is likely the birth name), that the Messiah Moses and the prophets spoke of is “Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.” (It is probable that the virgin birth of Jesus was as yet unknown.)
  11. Nathanael doubted anything good could come from Nazareth, and Jesus, perhaps by a word of knowledge, acknowledges that here is a man not eager to please.
  12. Jesus now references a fig tree, which is a symbol of Israel (see Jeremiah 8:13 and Joel 1:7), and one sitting underneath it refers to a student of the Hebrew Bible.
  13. Nathanael is told he would see heaven open as did Jacob/Israel. (see Genesis 28:10-13).

 

 

 

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

     May 12, 2019

             MILLER AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH

 

The Gloria Patri

 

Morning Hymn # 300 All Glory, Laud and Honor

 

Call to Worship:

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai echad

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

 

Leader: Jesus never changes; He is always the same.

People: WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS,

CHRIST DIED FOR US.

Leader: His love for us never changes or fades.

People: THOUGH WE SHOULD BE FAITHLESS,

HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFULL.

Leader: Let us praise and worship the Lord our God.

 

Morning Prayer—Prayers of the Church–Silent Prayer

 

Collect of the Day:

ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL GOD, YOUR SON OUR SAVIOR IS WITH YOU IN ETERNAL GLORY. GIVE US FAITH TO SEE THAT, TRUE TO HIS PROMISE, HE IS AMONG US STILL AND WILL BE WITH US TO THE END OF TIME; WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, NOW AND FOREVER. AMEN.

 

We Confess our Faith—The Apostles’ Creed

 

Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:10–13; Mark 8:18–22; John 1:35–42; 43–51; 6:1–7; 12:20–26; 14:8–11; 21:1–3; 1 Cor. 12:43–11.

Memory Verse: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.1 Corinthians 12:7

Reflection: The Body of Christ has many parts.

 

Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs

 

Offertory Theme: Not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing.

Receiving of Offerings

The Doxology

 

Announcements: Birthdays, Sunday evening Gathering 6pm; Bible Study Tuesday 7pm; Sunday breakfast 8:45am & class 9:30am; Choir practice 9:15am. TV Programs: The Bible Study, Fridays 8pm, & Why We Are Christians, Friday, 7:30pm; The Imam and the Pastor, Sundays 12 noon & Mondays 2:30pm. All on channel 26 or 99.

 

Second Hymn: # 299 In the Name of the Lord

 

The Sermon: The Gospel of John #4, John 1:35-51

Jesus Calls the First Disciples &

Jesus Calls Philip & Nathanael

 

Receiving Jesus in the Bread and the Cup

 

The Confessional:

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

 

The Jesus Prayer: (sung twice, it is the oldest prayer found

outside of the Bible)

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

The Promise of acceptance and forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

Individual, silent prayers of confession-The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Confirmation:

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

 

The Assurance:

“Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:30

 

Everyone is invited to Receive the Bread and the Cup

 

Benediction Hymn # 444 I Love to Tell the Story

 

The Benediction: The Aaronic Benediction, Numbers 6:24-26

MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU;

MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU;

MAY THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTENANCE UPON YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE. SHALOM. AMEN.

 

Everyone is invited to continue worship

with the Agape Meal in Spangler Hall.

Monthly Budget                                                         $3500

Giving for April                                                          $1587

 

Church Website: www.milleravenuechurch.org

See Earthen Vessel’s Online Journal

www.earthenvesseljournal.com

 

Even Song-6pm-Vern Preaching

If I Were Not A Christian, I Would Most Certainly Be An

IF I WERE NOT A CHRISTIAN

I WOULD MOST CERTAINLY BE AN ATHEIST.

AND HERE’S WHY!

 

Part One:

 

There is no need for a creator. The universe just is. Who could argue, convincingly, otherwise.

 

Religion is crazy, thus religionists are crazy: Avoid religion completely.

 

Who made God? The whole God thing is Preposterous!

 

The enormous difference among the world’s religions show the absurdity of it all.

 

Theists, especially Christians, are just afraid of dying. They are looking for false assurance.

 

The religionists: are they good people? But who’s good? Good deeds only! In our minds we are wicked. Our thoughts are weird, immoral, even evil much of the time. Better to admit it than go on with self-deception.

 

Part Two:

 

So why not just be an atheist and forget about it? Tempting, but here’s why that won’t work for me:

 

—One second I was not a Christian, the next I was.

 

—I did not want to be a Christian; I was dead set against it.

 

—Suddenly I had an interest in Jesus and the Bible.

 

—Suddenly I wanted to go to a church.

 

—Suddenly I loved talking to Christians.

 

—People rejected me because of my faith and I didn’t care.

 

—I left a sure thing, being a psychologist, for the unknown.

 

—The “Call” to the hippies in San Francisco, February of 1967.

 

—The casting out of demons. And I did not believe in demons or Satan or any of that, because I was a college grad in psych and I knew better.

 

—The miracles I directly experienced, which included healings, the multiplication of matter, and a whole lot more. Really staggering for a materialist like I was.

 

—The defeats, personal and real, yet here I still am.

 

—Though I was an idiot a lot of the time, God never let go of me.

 

Part Three:

 

I tried to be an atheist. It seemed logical to me, but it was empty. It didn’t work.

 

Would I be a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, plus the strong lure of the occult with its promise of power and knowledge, no, nothing there either just more religion. And weird religion at that. Then there are those who are not religious, just spiritual. Look out. Trouble ahead, just religion of a different type.

 

I am not advocating a particular church or branch of Christianity. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except through Him. No church can save you. Not even if you join, get baptized, and jump through any number of hoops.

 

Find a group of believers in Jesus, there are plenty of Gospel preaching, Bible teaching churches around. Find one. Don’t give up.

 

Avoid a group that says it has the only right teaching or are more special than others. I admit, it can be a minefield out there.

 

Here are some questions to ask of a pastor, minister, elder, deacon, etc.

 

  1. Do you believe in the Trinity? (Biblical Christianity is Trinitarian, and believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)
  2. What do you believe about the Bible? (Is it the Word of God?)
  3. How is a person saved? (Is it through Jesus alone?)
  4. Do you hold to the Apostle’s Creed? (Goes to the 2nd century)
  5. Are you the only right Christians? (If yes, head for the door.)
  6. Are you evangelical, do you care about reaching out to others who do not know Jesus as Savior? (If it is all about feel good stuff with the big band, head for the door.)

 

These are starter questions. In time you will discover if a church is good for you.

 

Last point: It is no simple or easy road, the following of Jesus. Personally, I have been through hell, and back, yes back; I was never left alone. My Lord was always with me and will be with you no matter what happens.

 

Kent Philpott

December 2018

 

A Startling Comparison of Islam and Mormonism

A Startling Comparison of Islam and Mormonism

 Both Islam and Mormonism were started by a prophet who said he had the last word from God. This was the last word and there would be nothing else. This was finally it. Mohammed said this and so did Joseph Smith.

  1. Both received, as they reported, a revelation from an angel, Gabriel for Mohammed and Moroni for Joseph Smith. (A number of religions and sects have begun with a visitation by an “angel.”)
  2. The purpose behind both visitations was to restore Christianity and true religion. Everything that had been revealed by God before then was wrong or temporary and was now to be put aside.
  3. Both of these encounters with angels resulted in a book, the Koran for Mohammed and the Book of Mormon for Joseph Smith.
  4. Opposition began and both prophets were martyred. Upon their martyrdom, the groups split along family lines, some following one side of the feud, some following another.
  5. Both groups developed a system of prophets or other leaders who proclaimed the authoritative word of God on an ongoing basis.
  6. Then there was rapid growth, both groups employing some rather radical methods of evangelism, some quite militant about it.
  7. Both religious groups are rich and powerful.
  8. Both groups are quite defensive when they perceive that their belief systems are being attacked.
  9. Both groups rely on miracles to substantiate their “truth.”

 

John the Baptist & The Lamb of God

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 3

The Testimony of John the Baptist &

“Behold the Lamb of God”

John 1:19-34

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. John the Baptist suddenly appears and states he is the “voice” crying in the wilderness proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah of Israel, uttering the words of Isaiah 40:3-5.
  8. He is not the Messiah himself, nor the Elijah of Malachi 4:5, and not the prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15, rather he is a forerunner proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah.
  9. John was baptizing those who were looking for the arrival of the “voice” John was announcing. This coming one was of far greater stature than John himself.
  10. When John saw Jesus coming toward him while he was baptizing in the River Jordan near a town named Bethany (not the Bethany of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha) he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
  11. This coming one would be a sacrificial offering intending to put away all that was not intended to be, that is sin. Here is the Messiah, the suffering servant of Israel, that which is described in Isaiah 53.
  12. John then announces that he saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus, as he had been informed he would see and thus making it clear who the servant of God was.
  13. John is the first great evangelist, pointing everyone to the One who baptizes with, or better in, the Holy Spirit.
  14. John’s work is now complete and every Christian follows the example of John, proclaiming Jesus as the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

GOSPEL MEDITATION

Mark 10:32-34

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

(also read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53)

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. For the third time in Mark’s gospel Jesus tells (maybe warns is a better term) His disciples what will happen to Him. It is not long now before the actual events will take place.
  8. Jesus is aware of this for any number of reasons: one, His dying as a sacrifice had been noted by any number of O.T. prophets; two, His enemies could not allow Him to go on much longer; three, His arch enemy, Satan, had long been working in the background; four, Jesus reasoned the signs of the times properly.
  9. The “chief priests” and “scribes” likely reference to the Council of Israel, the Sanhedrin, who had the power to see to it the Romans would execute Him.
  10. Jesus spelled out exactly what would happen to Him, just as it was stated by King David 1,000 years earlier and by the prophet Isaiah some 770 years earlier: Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are replete with the events.
  11. The Gentiles was a wider grouping than merely the Romans at the time. Romans 3:23 expresses it more exactly: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The all is absolutely inclusive, both Jews and Gentiles.
  12. We cannot fully grasp why the Son of God should be abandoned (Psalm 22:1) by God the Father, but to say that the Son must receive the righteous judgment for our sin. He literally suffered and died in our place.

 

The Road to Emmaus-A Post Resurrection Encounter

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Road to Emmaus

Luke 24:13–35

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. 8. On Easter Sunday, two followers of Jesus, one named Cleopas, were walking to Emmaus, a small village of Judea seven miles from Jerusalem.
  8. The two were sad because of the execution of their teacher Jesus. Perhaps they were fearful that there might be an attempt to search out and kill Jesus’ followers.
  9. As they went, Jesus joined them but they did not recognize who the newcomer was. Jesus asks a question and a conversation begins with Jesus pretending not to know what big event had taken place in Jerusalem. He now receives a most interesting account of their now dead master.
  10. Jesus now, still unidentified, upbraids the two and launches into a very succinct account of the mission of the Messiah.
  11. From the Scriptures then Jesus unveiled for His sad followers those things concerning Himself.
  12. It appeared to Cleopas and his friend that the stranger was going further down the road but they wanted more so they invited Jesus to stay with them that night. Apparently they lived in Emmaus.
  13. During the evening meal, Jesus took a piece of bread, blessed and broke it in such a way that they now realized who their guest was. Their eyes “were opened” and suddenly they grasped that the guest was Jesus Himself.
  14. The two disciples headed quickly back to Jerusalem to report to the church what had taken place. They testified to the rising of Jesus from the dead.
  15. Jesus was known to them “in the breaking of the bread.” True then and now.