The Road To Resurrection: A Fountain of Faith

The Road To Resurrection: A Fountain of Faith

John 7:14-24, 37-39

How does Jesus challenge the crowd as He starts His journey to the cross? His words to those watching witnesses can still affect how WE are challenged 2000 years later…

How Can Faith Flow?

Weigh the Word ~ John 7:14-18

  • 14/15 people LISTENED to Jesus, and wondered
  • 16/17 Jesus’ teaching is from God
  • 18 how to tell? Ask “who benefits”?

Search the Word ~ John 7:19-24

  • 19/20 Israel considered themselves “godly”, but were ready to kill Jesus when He went against what they THOUGHT the Law said (cf. 5:18)
  • 21/23 consider the actual content of Scripture
  • 24 Ask “Is This ALL of the Word”?

Believe the Word ~ John 7:37-39

  • 37 Jesus still extends this invitation TODAY
  • 38 cf. Ezekiel 47/Rev. 22: Living Water
  • 39 HOW TO KNOW YOU’RE SAVED: the Spirit makes us yield fruit that helps others

Consider the kid’s song: “River of Life” – makes the lame to walk (us) and the blind to see (us) opens prison doors, sets the captives free (us) We’ve been set free… to set others free!

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The Road To Resurrection: Tabernacles and Time Tables

The Road To Resurrection: Tabernacles and Time Tables

John 7:1-13

You’ve heard of the old saying, “You learn something new every day”? But what if you’re not paying attention? Can you be lost in everyday life, and unaware of what’s actually going on? The Bible certainly shows that’s true…

What Lenten Lessons Can We Learn?

Track The Right Time ~ John 7:1-9

  • 1 “this” – feeding 5000, “I am bread of life”; Jesus had called for radical commitment to Him – accept Him to live forever, or reject Him
  • 2/5 His half-brothers don’t believe He’s Messiah; they just want Him gone. At this point, they’ve rejected Him
  • 6 Jesus knows He’s got a kairos moment coming; not so for the brothers
  • 7 Jesus’ own brothers are part of the world system (at this point; at least 2 of Jesus’ brothers become His followers after His death)
  • 8/9 “right time”=completed intended moment; how do you know when a baby will be born? When it arrives! Jesus was waiting for His just-in-time moment to show Himself as Messiah

Recognize The Right Role ~ John 7:10-13

  • 10 Jesus observes the Feast, but doesn’t make a show of it
  • 11 Why watch for Jesus? They’re more interested in being entertained than being challenged. Is it so different today? How do people react when challenged to accept Christ on HIS terms?
  • 12 the world doesn’t know what to make of Jesus; they like some of His teachings, but to surrender their lives to Him is often too much
  • 13 fear of displeasing the powerful; do we struggle with this?

It’s tough to tell the truth about God to those who aren’t interested, or even worse, are opposed to it — ESPECIALLY those who already think they know what God is all about. In this narrative, Jesus models for us reliance upon God’s timing: we prepare ourselves for our mission, so when God says NOW, we’re ready.

Aha Moments: God’s Guest List

Aha Moments: God’s Guest List

Matthew 8:5-13

Not everyone is comfortable in new or different environments. Some people just can’t picture themselves doing a different thing, so they always do what they’ve always done. But what if the Jesus that’s being rejected is just some bad misunderstanding of who He really is? How can we encourage others to truly interact with Jesus?

Go Beyond Invitation

Support the Seeker’s Search ~ Matthew 8:5-9

  • 5 non-Jewish military man seeks out a rabbi; this is WEIRD
  • 6 notice nothing is asked; the centurion just states the facts
  • 7 Jesus: heal=I will serve/cure/restore (not a super definite word)
  • 8 centurion: heal=cure! (more certain)
  • 9 modern vernacular: SAY THE WORD

Foster the Seeker’s Faith ~ Matthew 8:10-13

  • 10 centurion faith isn’t in God whom he can’t see, but Jesus right in front of him
  • 11 reminder: the Kingdom is larger than redeemed Israelites
  • 12 “subjects of the kingdom” → the natural nation of Israel; we have to remember that there is a difference between the chosen people of God Israel and the political state of Israel
  • 13 The command we ignore here? GO!

If we believe that Jesus is doing is work, then we’re to trustingly GO. Ask yourself: where are you supposed to be GOING?

Aha Moments: Spotted Fruit

Aha Moments: Spotted Fruit

Matthew 7:13-20

We’re all trying to grow as people; how can we tell if something is good for growth? On what should we focus to grow well?

For Good and Godly Growth:

Choose Carefully ~ Matthew 7:13-14

  • 13 “two ways” language is common in Jewish lit.; Jesus challenges us to consider WHY we choose the harder path
  • 14 seek LIFE (cf. Deut. 30:19-20a – choose life)

19This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live… 20and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

Defend Against Fraud ~ Matthew 7:15-20

  • 15/16 look at the LIFE of the teacher, not just the teaching itself
  • 17/18 we act OUT OF who we are, good or bad
  • 19/20 we can view this as a death of our old self

John 15– Jesus is the vine; if we want to bear good fruit, we must stay connected to Him

Aha Moments: The Ongoing Offering

Aha Moments: The Ongoing Offering

Matthew 6:7-15

Contrast Catholic understanding of Communion as an ongoing offering with our use of the Lord’s Prayer as a repeated model

What Does The Lord’s Prayer Show Us?

Ongoing Offering On Our End ~ Matthew 6:7-8

  • 7 “keep on babbling”=vain repetition; NOT an injunction against repeating prayer, but repeating patterns for sound alone sake; we do NOT practice “magic”, and we do not need a specifically said formula or phrase for prayers to reach God (cf. Luke 18:9-14)
  • 8 NOTICE: Prayer is NOT to “inform” God of your needs. We’re not telling God anything He doesn’t know. We’re OFFERING UP our desires as an ongoing reminder TO US that we need God

Pattern Over Procedure ~ Matthew 6:9-10

  • 9 our MODEL prayer, not Liturgical
  • 10 First Act: Admit God is Holy. Second Act: Submit to HIS will. Both of these are all about GOD, not us. Put God First!

Offering As Exchange ~ Matthew 6:11-13

  • 11 “daily” gives translators fits: it’s a uniquely Bible word that doesn’t really appear in ancient literature. Think of daily bread as “Just-In-Time inventory”; we depend upon God for our daily supply
  • 12 we give up OWING as we give up BEING OWED; want to be set free? Stop holding onto what binds you
  • 13 “temptation”=God doesn’t tempt: He allows us to experience testing situations (cf. James 1:13-15)

Matthew 6:14-15 – all about equity: AS (dependent upon) we forgive, we are forgiven. If we do not let go of our RIGHT TO JUSTICE, we have no right to ask for mercy from God. I’d rather have God’s infinite mercy rather than my limited sense of justice!

Aha Moments: The Partnership of Faith

Aha Moments: The Partnership of Faith

Hebrews 11:1-7, 39-40

One farmer said to another: “Friend, I heard that you asked the Lord for that good garden. Is that correct?” “Yes, sir, it is,” proudly replied the man whose flourishing garden was his delight; “only I never pray for a good garden unless I have a hoe in my hand. I say, `Lord, you send the sunshine and the rain, and I’ll keep down these weeds.’ “

How Can We Partner With God?

We Build Our Base Through Faith ~ Hebrews 11:1-5

  • 1 “being sure”=related to foundation; faith is foundational
  • 3 faith here is a verb: we are to use our faith to help us understand the universe
  • 4 Abel used faith as his reason for sacrifice, and it was credited to him as righteousness (like Abraham)
  • 5 “was taken”=translated/transposed/changed; God brought him home; ask: how could you use your faith in a way that would please God?

We Receive Our Rewards Through Faith ~ Hebrews 11:6-7,39-40

  • 6 “rewards”=lit. BECOMES A REWARDER: as we seek God, He rewards us with HIMSELF
  • 7 “in holy fear”= moved to minister because of reverence;
  • 7b “condemned” Noah judged the world not worth his time compared with saving his family through obedience to God
  • 39 people of faith might receive individual blessings, but these saints had not received their salvation BEFORE they acted in faith; they stepped out in faith FIRST
  • 40 better for us: Jesus! OT saints trusted God to save them through faith; NT saints (us) trust God the same way: but we have a NAME TO USE

CLOSE: Acts 4:12: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Aha Moments: The Complete Covering

Aha Moments: The Complete Covering

Hebrews 10:13-25

Much of Hebrews deals with the Jewish sacrificial system; much of that system deals with blood and sacrifice. Why should we care about it now?

Because we STILL try, in our own power, to live lives according to a scale: if we do more good than bad, we’re “good” people (in most moral systems). But does God weigh our goodness against our badness?

How Is Our Covering Complete?

Salvation is Settled ~ Hebrews 10:13-18

  • 13/14 Our salvation is COMPLETE; God has done what was intended
  • 15/16 the intent is God IN us (not just knowing ABOUT God)
  • 17/18 God doesn’t forget/un-know about our sin; rather, God doesn’t grasp/dwell on our sin – He dwells IN US

Presence is Present ~ Hebrews 10:19-25

  • 19/20 we’re intended to be in God’s presence
  • 21/22 we encourage each other to draw closer to God: no more smoke screen!
  • 23 we HOLD, we HOPE, we PROFESS
  • 24 we THINK
  • 25 it’s pretty tough for us to encourage each other if we’re not around each other: Congregationalism for the WIN!

God doesn’t weigh our goodness against our badness; He weighs ALL of our deeds against ALL of His righteousness. Therefore, we’re completely LOST without Him!

Thanks be to God for the promise in Isaiah 26:12: “LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” Our lives are lived IN RESPONSE to God’s Completed work!


Pastor Ed Backell

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