For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes – Romans 1:16
Last month, the study topic for the fellowship was The Book of John. We read and studied this gospel throughout the month and came together during TGIF to share our thoughts and lessons learnt. It was the longest TGIF yet and it was very interesting. I shared 8 key lessons from this gospel and here are my notes.
Lesson 1: The Word and Life (John 1:1-5)
Here we see that Jesus has been since the very beginning of the world. He is God and wasn’t created or made by anyone. His role in creation can be seen here as the Word. Vs. 3 speaks to how everything was made by God speaking a word, making a proclamation and calling things that be not as though they were. Relating this to our lives; we need to always start with the word in whatever situation we find ourselves (in the beginning was the word) and you get the word from God i.e. through revelation knowledge. You need to settle it in your mind and know that everything is made/formed through the Word of God.
Jesus is Life – in him all natural and spiritual life is. He was the source of life in creation to plants, animals and all created things and now he is the source of the spiritual life we receive when we get born again (Eph 2:1, Jhn 6:33, John 11:25, 1 Jhn 5:20, Col 3:14, 1 Jhn 5:11)
Jesus is Light – Light enables us to see clearly and prevent the dangers that would result from being in darkness. Jesus is the light/guide/instructor of mankind (Isa 9:2, Jhn 8:12, Jhn 12:35, 9:5, 12:35,46) He provides us with wisdom and guidance to navigate the world. Let’s not mistake this with the work of the Holy Spirit remembering that the Holy Spirit takes what is of Jesus and reveals it to us. (Jhn 16:14)
Lesson 2: Who Are You? (John 1:23)
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (KJV)
When John was asked who he was and why he was doing what he was doing (Jhn 1:19 – 28), he boldly replied as to who he was (Isaiah 40:13) according to the prophecy of Isaiah. We all have a purpose on this earth, it is the reason we exist and until we can identify and walk in that purpose we are simply wasting time. Once we identify what our purpose is then we would receive light to walk in it. We should be able to say like John, “I am He..” when asked about our purpose.
Lesson 3: Come and see (John 1:39,46)
He saith unto them, Come and see.
In these 2 verses people had asked about Jesus and if he was real or what he could do and the fitting answer was come and see. Many of us struggle when we come upon evangelism because we wonder what do I say; here the simple answer is come and see. We are called to be light and glory bearers, to show forth the glory of God in our lives. People should see your live and want to know your God. Propaganda once said that “trying to prove God is like defending a lion; he doesn’t need your help, just unlock the cage!” ( 1 Cor 2:1-5)
Come first and then see! There is a lot in these 2 actions; coming and seeing. You have to come to the father and then you would see. You can see (receive revelation knowledge) without coming to God in prayer first. In seeing you receive light about whatever query you have or difficult situation you are in (John 4:29)
Lesson 4: Born Again (John 3:1-7)
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV)
There are many ways to enter into a religion but to be a true and genuine Christian, one must be born again. No one is a Christian if they are not bon again. Being born again involves 2 crucial steps – baptism with water and the Holy Spirit; without these 2 one can’t they are a Christian in the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Water Baptism is an identification with Christ, with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Rom 6:3-7) and places us in the finished work of Christ (Gal 3:27-28). It is a commandment of God and should be done in obedience (Matthew 28:19). Even Jesus who was God himself, had to be baptised and then filled with the Holy Spirit. Before someone can be baptised, they must come into the knowledge of their human nature as sinners, repent and renounce their sins. (Acts 2:38) Baptism should only be done when one is conscious and repentant of sins and makes the decision to live for Christ. Throughout the bible, baptism was by immersion and the word baptize means to submerge completely in water; thus we can infer that the correct mode of baptism is by submerging in water. Baptism of infants and/or by sprinkling is not biblical as we see no example in the Bible.
Holy Spirit baptism is the infilling and indwelling of the holy spirit in a believer. It is done by Jesus and is begins the purging of the old nature (Matthew 3:1) John 3:6 clearly signifies what happens at baptism; we put off the fleshy nature and our nature is changed from within (2 Cor 5:17), we become a new man, born of the spirit able to walk in the newness of life and ways of God. All men are by nature sinful (gal 5:19-20) and no one can be renewed except by the spirit of God. The new birth makes one holy (1 Cor 5;47-49)