I AM Studies

Transcript

1 7 STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF JOHN

2 INTRODUCTION I Am... A Study in what Jesus Actually claims about Himself. There are so many ideas in our culture about who Jesus is or was: a good moral teacher, a revolu9onary, a spiritual being, a prophet, God in the flesh, and many more. Well, what did Jesus actually claim about himself? What do we have recorded about what Jesus thought and taught about who he was and what he was doing? This is a crucially important ques9on, because if Jesus really claimed to be God, and really is God... that changes everything. If God took on flesh and walked on the earth 2,000 years ago, died on a cross, and rose again to glory... than we should pay aGen9on to what he The Reason for God writes this about the search for God: says. It would change the way we search for God. Tim Keller in " When a Russian cosmonaut returned from space and reported that he had not found God, C.S. Lewis responded that this was like Hamlet going into the aNc of his castle looking for Shakespeare. If there is a God, he wouldn't be another object in the universe that could be put in the lab and analyzed with empirical methods. He would relate to us the way a playwright relates to the characters in his play. We (characters) might be able to know quite a lot about the playwright, but only to the degree the author chooses to put informa9on about himself in the play... If the God of the Bible exists, he is not a man in the aNc, but the Playwright. That means we won’t be able to find him like we would a passive object with the powers of empirical inves9ga9on. Rather, we must find the clues to his reality that he has wriGen into the universe, including into us. That is why, if God exists, we would expect to find that he appeals to our ra9onal facul9es. If we were made "in his image" as ra9onal, personal beings, there should be some resonance between his mind and ours. It also means that reason alone won’t be enough. The Playwright can only be known through personal revela9on. That is why we have to take a look at what the Bible says about God and the human condi9on. In the Chris9an view, however, the ul9mate evidence for the existence of God is Jesus Christ himself. If there is a God, we characters in his play have to hope that he put some informa9on about himself in the himself play. But Chris9ans believe he did more than give us informa9on. He wrote into the play as the main character in history, when Jesus was born in a manger and rose from the dead. He is the one with whom we have to 1 do. " Well, this is what we hope to do in the following 7 studies. We are going to journey together to have a look at the Playwright Himself and what he claimed about who he was and what he was doing, is doing, and will do in the world. So, enter into the story, see yourself in the characters and allow yourself to be challenged by the word of God to encounter this Jesus, the Great I Am. " " 1 Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skep8cism , Reprint ed. (New York: Riverhead Trade, 2009), 122-­‐123. 2

3 " I AM... THE BREAD OF LIFE" | John 6:22-51 This is a glorious passage. One that helps us see and experience who Jesus is and what he has come to provide for his people. To really appreciate the passage and be in a posi9on to teach it well I suggest a few things. First, read Exodus 12-­‐16. This is the story of the Passover on through the crossing of the Red Sea and the feeding of Israel by God with bread from Heaven (see the connec9on). This will really help as you see in John 6:4 that it was Passover when these events take place. Jesus is not doing this by accident, but is inten9onally telling part of the story by ac9ng at this 9me. The second thing I recommend is working through all of chapter 6. You will need to give a liGle context for the study because the teaching of Jesus ("I am the Bread of Life") comes following the miracle of Jesus (the Feeding of the Five Thousand). When Jesus finishes feeding the 5,000 they try to make him king by force and he avoids it. Why? Because the crowds do not understand his mission and have other mo9ves for making him king. They aGempt to violently force him into accomplishing their mission rather than submiNng to his mission-­‐ one that ironically is for their best interest and salva9on as he goes to the cross for rebels and sinners like these. Jesus' teaching is not about just being a good person as many in our culture would try to say, but really all centers around who He is and what He has come to do. And that is that he is divine (sent from heaven 29, come down from heaven 33, they will be taught by God 45) and that he has come to give eternal life to any and all who would come to him, believe in him and look to him for salva9on and sa9sfac9on just as one looks to bread for sa9sfac9on and life. He also teaches about the connec9on between the Father's work and his own work. They work in harmony together because they are one in essence in the Godhead though dis9nct in personhood. The Father draws those who would come to the Son and they both protect them so that none would be lost that come to the Son for salva9on. This mystery is profound for those that are drawn come willingly. It is profound and should cause within the believer deep gra9tude for the grace of the gospel and dependance upon God for apart from Him and His grace we are nothing. What is the Big Idea? Jesus follows this sec9on up with teaching more specifically that those who Only Jesus brings life and come to Him must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. It seems that there is a veiled reference to the Lord's supper, but this is not the primary meaning of the text. In the satisfies. He is what we need. He original language the eat is in a tense that means that you would eat of it once, not is sent from heaven- the Son of con9nually. This helps reinforce that Jesus is meaning for us to interpret this spiritually. God- to give us life through his That the eternal life that he offers is costly-­‐ it costs him his life on the cross-­‐ and to death and satisfy us. believe in Jesus, to look upon him, one must look upon the cross and feast there on Fallen Condition: what it accomplishes for us. I chose not to include this in the study because it is a bit complicated and could cause confusion for your first study but it can be added in easily We search everywhere for if your group asks about it or if you feel it necessary/ have enough 9me. The study satisfaction and life. We also itself will make reference to the work of Jesus on the cross but feel free to add in this misunderstand Jesus and seek sec9on if you want. him for our own purposes and not admitting our need for life The final sec9on of John 6 is the most important for you as the leader. The crowds leave and many stop following because of this hard teaching of Jesus. That may and coming humbly to him alone be the case for you this year. If you are faithful to proclaim Jesus, some will leave for that. because he will call them to give up on finding sa9sfac9on in their lives and the world Christ Solution: and find it in Him. But, this passage has such encouragement. If God is at work, even Jesus himself is our life and our the hardest of sinners (including you and me!) will come to Jesus. But, as people leave, satisfaction. We need him. He you will be discouraged and may even be tempted yourself to leave. Which is when you need to remind yourself of what Peter says here: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You provides this "bread of life" have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and come to know that you are through his death. the Holy One of God." Feast on Jesus and his extravagant love for you first and Gospel Centered application: foremost before invi9ng other beggars to come partake of the bread of life. Go to Jesus. Believe in Jesus. 3

4 I AM... THE BREAD OF LIFE" | John 6:22-51 " Describe a 9me you have been really hungry. How did it feel? " Have you ever felt that way spiritually? Why or why not? Read John 6:22-34 When the crowds cannot find Jesus, what do they do? The crowds then demand a sign, like that of Moses 5.) 1.) when manna came from heaven to feed the na9on of Why? " Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. What What does Jesus say in response to their ques9on 2.) does this reveal about the crowd? about when he got to this side of the sea? " " What kind of food does Jesus say they need? Where 3.) 6.) What is Jesus' response to the crowd's request for a can they get this? sign? " " 7.) The crowd asks for this bread, but puNng Jesus' 4.) What does God require of them according to Jesus? responses together-­‐ what is it that the crowd really " needs? Read John 6:35-40 What does Jesus mean "I am the bread of Life?" " 8.) " Who gets this bread of life? And what do they get? 10.) Jesus' disciples ate and drank amer this day, so what 9.) does he mean that you will never hunger or thirst? " Read John 6:41-51 11.) taught by God." This passage in the OT talks about What does the response of the crowd indicate that they understand about what Jesus is claiming? redemp9on, restored rela9onship with God. Who is teaching the crowd about how to be right with God? " 12.) What then is Jesus claiming? What does Jesus quo9ng this further indicate about who he is? " 13.) " Jesus answers there grumbles by quo9ng Isaiah 14.) The bread that Jesus gives will be his flesh? What 54:13 from the Old Testament (the Jewish Scriptures they does that mean? would have been familiar with) saying that "they will be " Apply: Why must the living bread (Jesus) die in order to give " 1.) life to those who would believe in him? How would your life look different if you were 4.) " sa9sfied spiritually? " Many in the crowd misunderstood Jesus, were 2.) offended by him, and rejected his teaching about being 5.) Where should we look to fill our soul hunger and the bread of life that came down from heaven. What is thirst? " your response to this teaching? What does that look like on a daily basis? 6.) 3.) Jesus says that only those who the Father draws can " come, and any who come can gain eternal life. What " effect should this have on our life of faith? 4

5 I AM... THE BREAD OF LIFE" | John 6:22-51 " Those who come to Jesus, believe in Him, and look 10.)A: ANSWERS to Him for sa9sfac9on and life. They get eternal life, the They search for him. Let the group discuss why they 1.)A: promise of resurrec9on and the bread of life, meaning think the crowds were looking for him. There are some Jesus himself to sa9sfy their souls. Its not a simple "get hints in the text in what Jesus says in vs. 26 about them out of jail free card" but an offer for rela9onship and looking for him only because he provided them with in9mate fellowship with the God of the Universe. food. " " They are offended and know that he is claiming to 11.) A: He dismisses the ques9on and cuts right to the 2.)A: be divine -­‐ "coming down from Heaven" because they reason they are searching for him and tells them not to know his parents and where he is from. This means that work for the food that perishes, but for the food that contrary to popular no9ons today they very well endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to understand that he is claiming to be divine. you. " " 12.)A: He is the way to eternal life. The food they need is that which leads to eternal 3.)A: " life, and the Son of Man will give it to them. Jesus. He is God. 13.)A: " " Believing in the one he sent. 4.)A: Eternal Life is gained only by Jesus' death on the 14.)A: " cross to pay for our sins. They don't understand who Jesus is, and they are 5.)A: blind to the signs that he is revealing. It is ironic that the Apply sign they request is bread from heaven, given that he fed Let the group discuss. Guide them into seeing that 1.)A: them all (5,000 men only not to men9on the women and our sin requires it because as Romans 6:23 says "the the children-­‐ with 5 loaves and 2 fish). wages of sin is death" " Let the group discuss. Encourage all answers and 2.)A: 6.)A: He corrects them, that Moses didn't provide the allow people to be totally honest without feeling the bread, but His Father in heaven. And the true bread of need to correct their response right away. heaven is he who comes down from heaven and gives life 3.)A: It should cause deep dependance on God-­‐ we are to the world. helpless without him. Deep gra9tude, we would not " know God without his gracious interven9on. And deep 7.)A :1. To get the food that gives eternal life. commitment to Him who shows such deep commitment 2. To believe in the one sent from Heaven. to us. The bread or food is the one sent from heaven-­‐ so Let the group discuss. 4.)A: to get it is to believe in Him who is sent from Heaven. 5.)A: Jesus " Let the group discuss. Offer some guidance on 6.)A: 8.)A: Everything that Jesus has been talking about-­‐ the reading the scriptures and prayer. Be sure to men9on bread that gives eternal life, the Son of Man, the one that this is not a way to earn the bread of life-­‐ but to greater than moses, the one sent from heaven, the feast on the bread that has already been given. Messiah: He is the one. " 9.)A: Jesus offers eternal life that never ends and true las9ng sa9sfac9on for the hunger and thirst of your soul. " 5

6 I AM... THE the Light of the world" | John 8:12-30 " In this passage, Jesus’ conflict con9nues with the crowds. He again uses a fes9val as a launching point to talk about his true iden9ty What is the Big Idea? and his mission. This is one reason that it is very beneficial for Chris9ans Jesus is the only light and savior in to read and be familiar with the Old Testament. The New Testament a dark and broken world. He is God constantly picks up themes, allusions and direct applica9ons from the and his death and resurrection Old Testament and the chris9an’s experience of the word of God and prove that he is who he has said he the gospel of Jesus Christ is greatly enhanced by deep medita9on and is. study of the Old Testament. Fallen Condition: " We love darkness and are dead in This fes9val is the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles and was celebrated our sins. in Jerusalem over a seven day period. During the fes9val giant lamps Christ Solution: were lit in the temple square (where Jesus teaches about being the light Jesus, the light of the world, of the world). In the ancient world there was no light at night besides through his life, death and the moon or lamps, torches and candles. These bright lamps would resurrection will show that he is have made a brilliant contrast with the complete darkness around God and by believing in him we can be them. Jesus’ audience would have a very visible illustra9on of his saved. Gospel Centered application: teaching right at hand. But the truer light is Jesus himself and the Believe in Jesus and be saved. Let the contrast between Him and our darkness (sin) is far greater. So it is all light of the world guide you in a the more amazing that he comes to save and to allow us to share in his world of darkness. light. " Many of the students in your study probably have a posi9ve view of Jesus. Our culture celebrates Jesus as a good moral teacher. It will be important throughout these studies that you not shy away from what Jesus teaches about who he is. People in our culture (and your students that are products of this culture) like Jesus as this great moral teacher only because they misunderstand who Jesus is and who he claimed to be. He claimed in no uncertain terms to be God in the flesh, the Son of God, and here the light of the world. This requires not merely respect or affirma9on of him as you ignore him-­‐ it requires total devo9on and worship. And he is worthy of this worship. Make certain that you allow the word of God to present and confront your students with the reality of Jesus and trust that God in his grace will use your study and the preaching of the gospel to draw sinners to himself. " Passages to read: [Isaiah 42:5-­‐9] [Isaiah 49:6] [Isaiah 60:19-­‐20] [Exodus 13:17-­‐22] [Mark 1:9-­‐11] [1 John 1:5] [1 Tim. 6:13-­‐16] [Romans 3:9-­‐20] [Romans 6:23] 6

7 I AM... THE the Light of the world" | John 8:12-30 " What is the closest experience you have to complete darkness? How did you feel? Describe best experience you have had with light? What made the light wonderful/ beau9ful? Where was it? What provided the light? Read John 8:12-20 Why do the Pharisees ques9on what Jesus says? 1.) ote N Read Is. 42:5-9, Is. 49:6, Is. 60:19-20, Exodus 13:17-22 " what light means in each of these passages says about 2.) What is Jesus’ response? And what does it mean? light. " " Jewish law required two or more witnesses to 3.) 5.) Summarize from this passages what light means in corroborate evidence. How can Jesus have authority to the OT scriptures that this audience would have known tes9fy about himself? well? " " How does the Father bear witness to the Son? 4.) 6.) What does Jesus mean when he says “I am the Light " of the world?" What is the promise for those who follow him? 7.) Read John 8:21-30 What is sin? 8.) What does Jesus claim will happen to those who 10.) What does it mean when Jesus says “die in your 11.) reject him and do not believe in Jesus’ true iden9ty? " sins"? The crowd responds in indigna9on and says “Who are 9.) " 12.) What does Jesus claim will be the final test and you?” Why are they offended? What is he claiming? witness that he is who he says he is? " " Apply: It is very popular to see Jesus as a great moral teacher 1.) life, and the freedom everyone seeks. In other words, he and a guide-­‐ a moral light to guide your path. Do you is not merely the bearer of these things, he posses these things in himself, and to embrace him, to believe in him, think that is what he is teaching here? Is that how this and to follow him means that we acquire these things be audience heard him? " being ‘in him.’” Do you agree or disagree with this quote? Jesus claims that the final witness to his life will be his 2.) Why or why not? What difference does this make in your life? death and resurrec9on. Is that a sufficient witness? " Whoever follows Jesus will not walk in darkness but 5.) If Jesus really is God, what difference would that make 3.) in your life? will have the light of life. Have you ever experienced this " and what does it look like in your life? 6.) What does it mean to believe in and follow Jesus? " 4.) What benefits does that bring? What poten9al Gary Burge says in his commentary on this passage drawbacks? Do you believe He is worth following? “‘Jesus’ thus cannot be an op9onal experience, an " addendum to some religious system. He is the light, the 7

8 I AM... THE the Light of the world" | John 8:12-30 " " ANSWERS When he is limed up. (referring to his death on a 12.)A: 1.)A: Because he says it about himself. He is declaring a cross-­‐ being limed up and his resurrec9on). truth about his own iden9ty and is claiming the authority to determine that on his own. Apply: " " He has two responses. First he claims to judge 2.)A: 1.)A: Let them discuss. Make sure that you point out that differently than they do, meaning he has an authority the original audience is outraged at his claim and that that is above the law-­‐ his tes9mony about himself is there is sharp division between those who believe and worth more than a mere man’s tes9mony about himself those who do not. He is claiming that, but so much more-­‐ because Jesus is from His Father above. His second he is the only light because he is the only light that has response is that he is not witnessing to his iden9ty alone-­‐ come from the Father. He is the sufficient light because but the Father is witnessing to it as well. he alone can save. And he is making these radical claims. " " Only if he gave the law. Meaning he is God. 3.)A: 2.)A: Let them discuss. Yes-­‐ if he rose from the dead-­‐ he " is God. If not-­‐ he is not and should not be followed 4.)A: His Bap9sm. His works. His miracles and ac9ons are because he said crazy things like “I Am the light of the things that only God does. (Read Mark 1:9-­‐11 for an world." account of Jesus’ bap9sm) " Let them discuss. 3.) A: 5.)A: God's saving work. And the Lord’s presence-­‐ He " himself will be the light for his people. (As an aside there 4.)A: Let them discuss. are a few other NT passages that you can use to confirm " that this is what Jesus meant: 1 John 1:5, 1 Tim. 6:13-­‐16) 5.)A: Let them discuss. " " He is God. He is the savior of the world and will 6.)A: Let them discuss. Make sure you clearly explain 6.)A: bring God’s plan of redemp9on to a climax and usher in how to repent and trust in Jesus for salva9on, that it is his presence and his promises. not a working up of anything but a leaning upon him for " salva9on. An acknowledgement of your sin, a turning 7.)A: They will have the light of life, that is, eternal life. from it and a trus9ng in his life, death and resurrec9on " for salva9on. The poten9al drawbacks are that conflict They will die in their sins. 8.)A: and division comes, and the benefits are eternal life and " fellowship with God. These far outweigh the poten9al They realize that he is claiming authority to judge 9.)A: threats upon you and He shows himself to be faithful to and condemn. Authority that belongs only to God. Their those who follow him. The supreme example of his ques9on shows the audacity of his claim. devo9on to us he lays down his life for our sins. " " An offense against a holy God. This includes any 10.)A: ac9ve rebellion against God or his commands and passive indifference towards him. (Romans 3:9-­‐20) " 11.)A: Eternal judgment and separa9on from God. (Romans 6:23) 8

9 "I AM... “ | John 8:12-30 This is the I AM passage that 9es the rest together. To be prepared for this study you need to read Exodus Chapter 3 to understand what it means that Jesus takes the name “I AM.” By doing so, he claims to be God. Many modern scholars reject that Jesus ever claimed to be God and that it was a late edi9on by the church. This passage strongly refutes that claim. Jesus uses the name that God gives to Moses when Moses is supposed to tell the people who sent him. Jesus takes that on and the crowd fully understands what he is saying, because they pick up stones to kill him for blasphemy (claiming divine aGributes). It is important that the lesson not just focus on this theological truth, but challenges you and your students to be in the crowd and be confronted with this claim in your own life. Jesus claims that the truth about who he is will set you free from your bondage to sin. So, it is crucial that you help your students confront their false views of Jesus and see the truth of who he claims to be and trust that the Holy Spirit will use this to transform lives. This is also a great study to give weight to the previous two as Jesus claimed “I am ...” implicitly implying what he is explicitly claiming in this passage. It is also one to refer back to in the next 4 studies as he con9nues to use the “I am...” statements to reveal his iden9ty. " " Passages to read: [Exodus Chapter 3] [Levi9cus 24:16] " " What is the Big Idea? Jesus is the “I AM.” He takes on God’s self-identification proclaiming in the most clear way possible to declare that he is God in the flesh. And knowing this truth will set you free to live as you were meant to live- for the glory of God. Fallen Condition: We think we are free in our sin, controlling our own lives and able to save ourselves. We are not in desperate need for rescue from our bondage to sin. Christ Solution: Jesus, the great I AM, is God in the flesh. Knowing Him sets us free from our bondage to sin and allows us to live a full and abundant life- a life lived to the glory of God. Gospel Centered application: 1. Repent of False views of Jesus. 2. See the truth that Jesus is God. 3. Embrace this truth and be set free from your bondage to sin. 4. Live a life of true freedom- where you are able to do the things you ought to do. 9

10 | John 8:12-30 "I AM... “ When have you felt most free? What made you feel so free? Describe the circumstances surrounding the situa9on? This scene comes right on the heels of the passage we studied last week. What happened in last week’s study? Read John 8:31-48 The crowd says that they are children of Abraham, What is the truth that will set you free? 1.) 4.) what does that mean? " " " 5.) They also claim to have never been enslaved, what do Jesus says “everyone who prac9ces sin is a slave to 2.) they mean by this? sin.” What does that mean? " " " What kind of freedom is Jesus talking about? 3.) " " Read John 8:39-47 The crowd appeals to their heritage as being children 6.) Why does Jesus say they don’t understand the truth, 8.) which will set them free? of Abraham and thus children of God. How does Jesus " challenge this? What does it mean to be “of God?" 9.) 7.) " The claim to not be born of sexual immorality, what is What is the implica9on of this? meant by this? 10.) " " 39-47 Read John 8: 11.) Why does the intensity of the conflict increase? " Taken all together, what is Jesus claiming? " 13.) 12.) The crowd seeks to stone Jesus amer he says “Before Abraham was, I Am.” Why? " Apply: do what he likes; the true, where a man is free to do 1.) What is the truth that Jesus is calling the crowd to 2 what he ought.” embrace? What about that truth claim challenges you? " In light of what Jesus says in this passage about freedom, 2.) discuss this quote. What does it look like to embrace this truth? " How can you live a life of freedom from the bondage How do you abide in Jesus’ word? What does that 3.) 5.) look like in your life. to sin? " " 6.) How can Jesus set you free from sin? 4.) ” Liberty is not license. There are James Has9ngs says: " two kinds of freedom: the false, where a man is free to 2 Has9ngs, James, ed. The Great Texts of the Bible: II Corinthians and Gala8ans. New York; Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons; T&T Clark, 1913. 10

11 | John 8:12-30 "I AM... “ this is leveled against Jesus seems to suggest that Mary ANSWERS was indeed pregnant before they were married and that 1.)A: They are Jewish. They are of the people of Israel, was publicly known. The crowds take the natural who trace their lineage, both physically and spiritually explana9on that he was born illegi9mately (either by back to Abraham, who received the promise of God to another man or by Joseph before they were married), become the people of God. but the supernatural explana9on of the virgin birth is " corroborated by this evidence and should be trusted if 2.)A: This is a liGle difficult and you might need to tease Jesus in fact rises from the dead. The charges are also out a liGle more informa9on. It’s an ironic statement, leveled because Jesus consistently claims God as his because the children of Abraham throughout their Father. history are omen enslaved. Throughout the Old " Testament they are enslaved to different groups 8.)A: Because they are not "of God.” (Egyp9ans, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.) and they are " currently under Roman rule. They are not enslaved, but 9.)A: To hear the words of God. (vs. 47). To abide in the they are certainly not a free poli9cal en9ty. So, for them word of Jesus (vs. 31). to say that they are not enslaved means they must " understand the freedom that Jesus speaks of as Spiritual 10.)A: Jesus is God, and to be of God you must hear and and not physical. He is not talking about an uprising respond to his word-­‐ which is the truth about who He is. against the Romans and freedom poli9cally from them if " you follow him, but a spiritual freedom. 11.)A: Because of the claims that Jesus makes and the " charges he levels on them. He says their father is the A spiritual freedom. This is seen from the context 3.)A: devil, and that his Father is God. and the last ques9on and answer. This is a helpful spot to " point out the importance of context in understanding the 12.)A: Because they think he has blasphemed. He has point of a story and the importance of trying to get at taken the name of God for himself. Read Exodus 3 and how the original audience heard the message. Lev. 24:16. " Defini9on of Blaspheme from Merriam Webster: 4.)A: Jesus’ iden9ty. This answer will come later as the noun blas•phe•my \ˈblas-­‐fə-­‐mē\ passage unfolds. Don’t give away the answer quite yet : 1 a the act of insul9ng or showing contempt or but let everyone discuss and see how they process the lack of reverence for God passage. b : the act of claiming the aGributes of deity " 2: irreverence toward something considered sacred Sin has a controlling affect on our lives. We think 5.)A: or inviolable that we have mastery over it, we can stop any9me we " want. We have the power to just quit sinning if we want He is eternal, preexistent before Abraham and 13.)A: to, but in reality we don’t. As those born under sin, we ul9mately He is God. have a sinful nature that is bent on rebellion against God. We have willingly submiGed ourselves to a master-­‐ sin. Apply: This looks different for each person and can be subtle, He is God. Let them discuss. 1.)A: but is nonetheless true. Let them discuss. Be sure to clearly present the 2.)A: " gospel and how a person can respond and be saved. 6.)A: He says that children of God love him and follow Scripture and prayer. Let them discuss. 3.) A: him because he is from God. 4.)A: Let them discuss. " Let them discuss. 5.)A: They are claiming to be legi9mate children of God. 7.)A: Because Jesus is the perfect God-­‐Man, he is the 6.)A: They are also probably implying that he is illegi9mate. A charge hinted at in Mark Chapter 6:3 by Jesus being perfect mediator for our us. He is fully God so he can iden9fied with his mother and brothers and not his forgive and cleanse us, and he is fully man so he can father, Joseph. These charges are because of his represent us and be our perfect subs9tute. By trus9ng in miraculous birth to a virgin. The charge is that Mary was him we can be born of God and set free from sin and pregnant before she was married to Joseph. The fact that now be free to glorify God. 11

12 10:1-21 "I AM... the good shepherd“ | John All of the truth claims that Jesus makes about Fullness of God in helpless babe! This giN of love and righteousness, himself are glorious, but this is one of the most Scorned by the ones He came to save. comfor9ng for the believer. Jesus is declaring that he will Till on that cross as Jesus died, care for his own, that he guides and leads his people, and The wrath of God was sa8sfied; that ul9mately he will do what is necessary to bring them For ev'ry sin on Him was laid— home forever: die for them. This study focuses upon this Here in the death of Christ I live. reality. Jesus is the only possible savior because only he " has died a sacrificial and subs9tu9onary death on their There in the ground His body lay, behalf. Light of the world by darkness slain; The hope for this study is to draw out what false Then burs8ng forth in glorious day, saviors you and your students are looking to to guide you Up from the grave He rose again! home to God. These “strangers” can be anything from And as He stands in victory, friends to alcohol, but they are the places we run to Sin's curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine— when life gets hard for guidance, for comfort, and for Bought with the precious blood of Christ. wisdom. But only the good shepherd is worthy of our " devo9on. He is far superior because none of these other No guilt in life, no fear in death— “strangers,” as the text will put it, have died for you. The This is the pow'r of Christ in me; good shepherd is good because he laid down his life for From life's first cry to final breath, the sheep. He is compassionate and loving. And he is Jesus commands my des8ny. powerful. Not only does he lay down his life, but he has No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man, the authority to pick it back up again. He is our only Can ever pluck me from His hand; refuge because he alone can save us. Till He returns or calls me home— This study also includes a 2 minute video clip Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand. from Youtube. It is a video that shows the reality that Jesus is trying to point to in this passage. Those he was Passages to read: speaking to would have had a familiarity with sheep and [2 Tim. 1:8-­‐9] [1 Cor. 1:9] [Rom. 8:28-­‐30] [Eph. how they respond to shepherds. Most of you and your 1:17-­‐18] [Gal. 1:15] [1 Peter 1:22-­‐25] [Hebrews students will not have this same common knowledge. So, 4:6-­‐16] this video will help to illustrate Jesus’ point. The video can be found here: -­‐ or hGp://youtu.be/e45dVgWgV64 you can search for “Do sheep only obey their master’s What is the Big Idea? voice? ” on Youtube. Jesus alone saves. He is the only one who lays down his life This passage is summed up very well by the for us and is therefore the only one who can solve our problem 3 modern Hymn “In Christ alone” : of sin. " Fallen Condition: In Christ alone my hope is found; We are deceived by false saviors all the time. Things that we He is my light, my strength, my song; think will lead us home to God and make us right before him. This cornerstone, this solid ground, Jesus alone can do this. Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, Christ Solution: When fears are s8lled, when strivings cease! Jesus is our perfect and only guide home to God because he is My comforter, my all in all— the only one who lays down his life for the sheep. Here in the love of Christ I stand. Gospel Centered application: " 1. Repent of the false saviors, “the strangers” that we follow. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, 2. Tr ust in Jesus alone for our right standing before God. 3 3. Listen to Jesus' voice through his word for guidance and "In Christ Alone" Words and Music by Keith GeGy & Stuart Towns end care. Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music 12

13 10:1-21 "I AM... the good shepherd“ | John Describe your childhood home. What does it sound like, smell like, feel like? " When life gets hard, where do you turn for guidance? " Read John 10:1-6 What do you know about sheep? " 1.) What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate? 3.) " 2.) " Jesus points out that a shepherd can lead out his flock " by his voice, but a stranger they will not follow. Watch the Youtube video. What do you no9ce about how the sheep respond? Read John 10:7-21 Is there any other way for people to be saved and Jesus says “I am the door of the sheep,” what does he 9.) 4.) mean? make it “home” to God? " " 5.) Jesus, then claims to be the ‘good shepherd,’ what 10.) What does it mean that Jesus has authority to lay down his life and authority to take it up again? does he claim makes him the ‘good shepherd'? What 6.) makes a shepherd that ‘lays down his life’ good? " 11.) Why do people accuse him of having a demon? " How does Jesus ‘lay down his life’ for his sheep? 7.) " 12.) What is pointed to as evidence that he does not Jesus also claims to know his own as the Father knows have a demon? 8.) " him and he knows the Father. What does that mean? " " Apply: sheep is to come home, to the home of the shepherd. If 1.) This text says that the sheep follow the voice of the we are the sheep of our good shepherd Jesus, what does shepherd, and that Jesus will call his own. What does that mean? it mean to come home? " " 6.) Read Psalm 23. What difference does it make it your How can we follow the voice of Jesus today? 2.) life that Jesus is Good Shepherd if you are a your Chris9an? What are the “voices of strangers,” the things you turn 3.) to for guidance and comfort, in your life that you turn to " when life gets hard? " Where should we turn and why? 4.) " Jesus is referring in this passage to a sheep pen. These 5.) were typically aGached to the home of the shepherd, so to come in through the door of the sheep pen for the 13

14 10:1-21 "I AM... the good shepherd“ | John foreign to Jesus’ claims about himself misunderstands ANSWERS the new testament. Let them discuss. Be sure to men9on that they are 1.)A: " very helpless creatures without a shepherd. They need to Because he is claiming things that only God or 11.)A: be guided and cared for by a skilled shepherd. crazy people claim. " " 2.)A: Let the discuss. His miracles. Healing a blind man in this case. The 12.)A: " rubber meets the road only if Jesus can back up this Let them discuss. 3.)A: audacious claims. Ul9mately it comes down to: Can he " really lay down his life and take it back up again? 4.)A: He is the only way to be saved, to be right before " God. He is the gate to get into the 'pasture' of God’s 13.)A: He is eternal, preexistent before Abraham and Kingdom. ul9mately He is God. " 5.)A: He has come to give the abundant life and he is the Apply: only one that lays down his life for the sheep. 1.)A: That Jesus works by the Holy Spirit to draw men " and women to himself. God will work so that people will 6.)A: If sheep are being aGacked, they have no means of respond and follow, just like those sheep followed that defense, other than a shepherd that will risk his own life shepherd. The theological term for this is effectual for the sake of saving his sheep. calling. See 2 Tim. 1:8-­‐9; 1 Cor. 1:9; Rom. 8:28-­‐30; Eph. " 1:17-­‐18; Gal. 1:15). Jesus does this by dying on the cross in their place, 7.)A: " bearing the punishment that their sins deserve and Through his word. Check out 1st Peter 1:22-­‐25 and 2.)A: crushing their greatest enemies (sin and satan) by Hebrews 4:6-­‐16. The Hebrews passage in par9cular removing the wrath of God and their bondage to sin. points to hearing God’s voice and then points to the " Scriptures and Jesus. Jesus deeply knows his own, for he and the Father 8.)A: " are one. They are one, meaning that Jesus and his Let them discuss. 3.) A: followers (those who repent of their sin and trust in him " and him alone) are one, through the Holy Spirit uni9ng To Jesus, because he is the good shepherd, and he 4.)A: those who believe in Jesus to Him so that God dwells in has laid down his own. you. " " 5.)A: To come home is to come to Jesus and be 9.)A: No. If he is both the door to the sheepfold, and the reconciled to God. To have fellowship with God the good shepherd, there is no other way to get in. Those Father through Jesus the Son by the Holy Spirit. And to who try to enter over the fence are thieves and robbers. have fellowship with the fellow “sheep” of the shepherd. You can only go through the door-­‐ meaning you can only We experience this now by faith, but will one day go through Jesus. experience this physically in the new heavens and new " earth when Jesus returns and makes all things new. 10.)A: He is God. He has authority over life and death, " and the circumstances that surround his life and death. Let them discuss. 6.)A: All those involved are under his sovereign rule. It also " means that he will die and then he will rise from the dead. He is claiming this here, so to think that the resurrec9on is something added to chris9anity and 14

15 "I AM... the RESURRECTION and the life“ | John 11:1-53 Jesus performs one of his greatest miracles in this passage by raising Lazarus from the dead. It is a remarkable passage and miracle and is only superseded by his own resurrec9on from the dead to which this passage looks. There are a few things to point out to allow the beauty of this passage to shine into the dark places of death and brokenness in our world. First, in the beginning of the passage John says that Jesus finds out about Lazarus’s illness and then it says that so... he loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha “ he stayed two days longer.” What? That is an odd display of love. And in fact the Jews point this out, as Jesus weeps by the tomb displaying his love for Lazarus some of them ques9on his love saying "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” This is important for us because some9mes God allows really difficult things to come into the lives of Chris9ans and it is easy for us to assume that he is being malicious towards us and that he no longer loves us. But, Jesus stayed away longer so that Lazarus would die, because he loved him and his sisters. Why? So that as he tells the disciples “the Son of God may be glorified through it.” God’s love is always working to point us to the glory of Jesus so that we can enjoy Him, treasure Him and worship Him. As John Piper says “God is most glorified in us when we are most sa9sfied in Him.” The second thing to point out in this passage is maybe plainly obvious but must be stressed in our skep9cal secular culture. Jesus raises a man from the dead. The bible is so full of Jesus’ miracles that to separate his teaching from his miracles and come up with some “demythologized” Jesus isn’t possible. John teaches us plainly what the other gospels display clearly through Jesus’ miracles: He is God. He claims it, he displays it and people respond in two ways: reject him or worship him. There is no middle ground of respec9ng a “good moral teacher” while rejec9ng all of his What is the Big Idea? teaching about himself being the one true God of the Jesus has the power over death. His resurrection is the universe. This is very important. basis for the Christian’s resurrection to glory in the Finally, the central point of this passage and this future. And we experience the beginnings of that now study is that death is overcome in Jesus alone. That Jesus through our new birth- from death in sin to life in the himself is the resurrec9on and the life. The power for this comes from him and his own resurrec9on from the dead spirit. to which this points. Immediately following this miracle, Fallen Condition: the religious leaders plot to kill Jesus. His miracles put him Death affects us all and we cannot overcome it. on a path to death, a path he is direc9ng and choosing for Christ Solution: himself. Why? Because he loves us. Because he wants to Jesus overcomes our death by his own death and display his glory to us. And not only in his resurrec9on resurrection., calls us out of death and sin by the Holy from the dead, but in our new birth from death in sin to Spirit into new life with him now and glorified resurrected life in the Spirit and in our final glorifica9on when we will life with God in the future. be raised from the dead to be with God forever. Gospel Centered application: " 1.Be honest with our doubts about the resurrection and Passages to read: [1 Corinthians 15: 1-­‐23] [Romans 8] [John 12:9-­‐11 ] seek help from the Spirit to understand the word rightly " and believe in the physical bodily resurrection of Christ. 2. Trust that God knows what he is doing in our lives and even allows hard things because he loves us and for his glory as he did with Mary and Martha. 3. Live boldly like Lazarus- if Jesus has promised you life- what is there to fear? 15

16 11:1-53 "I AM... the RESURRECTION and the life“ | John Have you ever been to a funeral? What was it like? Read John 11:1-17 1.) What does the text say about Jesus’ rela9onship with 3.) Does it seem odd? Is there a discrepancy between Lazarus, Mary and Martha? what Jesus says about his rela9onship with Lazarus, Mary " and Martha and what he does? " 2.) Describe Jesus’ ac9ons in these verses. 4.) Is Lazarus dead? " Read John 11:18-37 5.) Both Mary and Martha claim that if Jesus had been Jesus says that Lazarus will rise again, Mary says yes, I 8.) there Lazarus wouldn’t have died. How does Jesus know, on the last day. But then Jesus claims “I am the respond to each of them? resurrec9on and the life.” What does he mean? " " What does Jesus mean when he says those who 6.) Why does Jesus weep? 9.) believe in him will never die? " Why do some ques9on Jesus’ tears and his love? 7.) " Read John 11: 38-44 10.) 11.) What details does John point out in this account? What does Jesus say to Lazarus to call him out of Why? death and out of the tomb? Why is this significant? " Read John 11: 45-53 Who comes out of death in this episode, and who 12.) Why do they plot Jesus’ death? 14.) " has death ploGed against them? 13.) What does John tell us about Caiaphas’ proposed solu9on? Apply: 5.) 1.) Jesus declares his love for Lazarus and Mary and On what does Jesus base his claim that he is the resurrec9on? Martha. How does he display this love? " " 6.) What are the things in your life that cause you to 2.) Jesus says that he is the resurrec9on and the life and ques9on God’s love? that anyone who believes in him will never die. This as " we have said is based on his own resurrec9on from the Where should we look for a sure founda9on of God’s 7.) dead. He then asks Mary the most important ques9on love for us? that we must ask ourselves: Do you believe this? " 3.) Read 1 Corinthians 15: 1-­‐23. Paul says that if Christ In John 12:9-­‐11 there is a plot to kill Lazarus because 8.) has not been raised from the dead physically, Chris9ans too many people are believing in Jesus because he has be are to be pi9ed above all others, why? raised from the dead. If you were Lazarus how would you " respond to such threats? How should Chris9ans, those Jesus calls Lazarus out of death and the tomb into life. who have this same promise and have been transferred 4.) from death to life by faith in Jesus respond to similar How can he do that in our life spiritually? danger in the world? " 16

17 10:1-53 "I AM... the RESURRECTION and the life“ | John Lazarus, come out. It is significant that Jesus does 10.)A: ANSWERS not appeal to any authority to raise the dead. It is similar It seems that he is close friends with them, it says 1.)A: to the way Jesus casts out demons in the gospels. He is that he loves them and Lazarus is called “he whom you not saying “in the name of God” or any other such thing. love." He simply speaks and it happens, further indica9ng that " he is God and has authority over death and life. 2.)A: He finds out that Lazarus is ill so he stays longer un9l " he dies and then risks his life to go to him. 11.)A: He again men9ons that he has been dead 4 days " and that he would by this point smell. He does so to 3.)A: There seems to be some disconnect or some point out again that Jesus really physically raises Lazarus explana9on that is not plain yet. He says he loves them from the dead, there is no way around it in the text. and the text says “so” or because of that he stays longer " so that the man will die. And then he says he is glad that He is too popular. He will gain too many followers 12.)A: he has died so that the disciples may believe. And the and they are afraid this will cause the Romans to crack text talks about how dangerous it is for Jesus to go to this down on them because they cannot control their region, but he s9ll goes, but late. It seems that the people. danger could have been an excuse to not go at all, but he " risks his life to see a dead man, rather than risking his life 13.)A: This is exactly what Jesus will do. He will die in the to heal a dying man (something he has done countless place of all of his people so that they may live. Not in the 9mes already). sense that Caiaphas means but in a far truer sense. That " they will not die in their sins but live eternally with God. 4.)A: The text belabors the point that he is dead. He has " been in the tomb 4 days meaning he cannot simply have 14.)A: Lazarus and Jesus. It seems that as Jesus calls been sick and appeared dead and a mistake made. Lazarus out of the tomb, he makes a way for himself to Lazarus is dead dead. go into the tomb, switching places with Lazarus. " He tells Martha that her brother will rise again, and 5.)A: Apply: He weeps with Mary. He gives truth and shows On his own resurrec9on from the dead. 1.)A: compassionate love. " " 2.)A: Let them discuss. Allow people to express their He loves Lazarus, Mary and Martha and is moved to 6.)A: doubts. weep because of his death and the sorrow of those " around him. Let them discuss. 3.) A: " " 7.)A: Because they know he has performed miracles. 4.)A: By the Spirt and his word. As he tells Martha-­‐ They are widely known and they know what Mary and whoever believes in him will not die. Martha have verbalized: if Jesus had been there, Lazarus " wouldn’t have died. By raising Lazarus from the dead, showing his glory, 5.)A: " so that they would believe in him and worship him. 8.)A: He is God. He has the power over death and life, " and he himself will overcome death. He explains it 6.)A: Let them discuss. further by saying-­‐ anyone who believes in him will not " die. 7.)A: Jesus and Him displaying his glory through his own " death and resurrec9on for us. Point them to Romans 8 They will gain eternal life. That though they die, 9.)A: for follow up reading. they will be resurrected and live forever with him on a " glorified earth. 8.) A: Let them discuss. " 17

18 "I AM... the Way the truth and the life“ | John 14:1-14 Jesus declares again in this passage that he is God and that he is the only way of salva9on. And the ques9on the reader is lem with is the one that the disciples ar9culate: How can we know God? C.S. Lewis wrestled with this very same . He says: Surprised by Joy ques9on and writes extensively about it in his story of conversion " “There was, I explained, no possibility of being in a personal rela9on with Him [God]. For I thought He projected us as a drama9st projects his characters, and I could no more “meet” Him, than Hamlet could meet Shakespeare.” " “...if Shakespeare and Hamlet could ever meet, it must be Shakespeare’s doing. Hamlet could ini9ate nothing.” " “Shakespeare could, in principle, make himself appear as Author within the play, and write a dialogue between Hamlet and himself. The “Shakespeare” within the play would of course be at once Shakespeare and one of 4 Shakespeare’s creatures. It would bear some analogy to Incarna9on.” " " The focus of this study is to look at this key ques9on: How can we know God? And the answer is Jesus. Just present Jesus to your students, beau9ful, wonderful, powerful, merciful, loving, kind, strong, triumphant, and glorious Jesus and trust God to work powerfully to draw them to himself. " Be sure to bring along the introduc9on to the “I AM” bible study series as you will read a quote from Tim Keller for discussion. " Passages to read: [ 1 John 5:9-­‐12] [MaGhew 5-­‐7] [John 16:6-­‐11] What is the Big Idea? Jesus is the only way to God, because Jesus is God. He is God’s revelation of himself, so to know Jesus is to know God. To not know Jesus is to not know God. Fallen Condition: We don’t know the way. We cannot find the way to God on our own, but we need him to reveal himself to us. Christ Solution: God came to earth in the person of His son Jesus, who was 100% God and 100% Man, so that he could live for us and die for us, revealing God to us. Gospel Centered application: 1. Look to Jesus so that you can know God personally. 2. Look to Him as the way to God. 3. Hope for the place that Jesus will prepare for you. 4. Walk in Holiness, love, mercy, and boldness like Jesus does because you believe in Him. 4 C S. Lewis, The Inspira8onal Wri8ngs of C.s. Lewis (New York: Inspira9onal Press, 1987), 122-­‐24. 18

19 "I AM... the Way the truth and the life“ | John 14:1-14 Have you ever been to a funeral? What was it like? Read John 14:1-14 1.) Thomas declares that they don’t know where Jesus is What does Jesus exhort his followers to in this 8.) going, what does that mean about what Jesus is trying to passage? communicate? " What kind of works does Jesus do that he would call " 9.) his followers to walk in? 2.) Where is Jesus talking about going, that he will bring " them to? What clues are in the text about this? Why would Chris9ans do greater works because 10.) " 3.) Jesus declares that he is the way, the truth and the Christ is leaving? " life. What does this mean? Jesus instructs us to prayer and ask God for anything " 11.) What are the implica9ons of this claim? in His name so that He may be glorified. Why would God 4.) " act on our behalf in the name of Jesus? ) Philip says show us the Father. What is he asking? 5. " " 12.) What does it mean when Jesus says "anything you ask in my name, I will do”? How do you see it from the 6.) How does Jesus respond to him? text? " If what Jesus claims is true, what does it mean? 7.) " Apply: 1.) C.S. Lewis in the story of his conversion, Surprised by Read the Tim Keller Quote from the introduc9on to 2.) Joy, says the following: the “I AM” study series. Discuss how Keller interacts with Lewis’ ideas. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? “There was, I explained, no possibility of being in a personal rela9on with Him [God]. For I thought He projected us as a drama9st projects his characters, 3.) How can someone know God? and I could no more “meet” Him, than Hamlet could " meet Shakespeare.” 4.) But, God is Holy, what about our sin? " " “...if Shakespeare and Hamlet could ever meet, it Read 1 John 5: 9-­‐12. What makes a tes9mony worthy? 5.) must be Shakespeare’s doing. Hamlet could ini9ate What makes the tes9mony of Jesus in the gospel of John nothing.” as we have been studying worthy or not worthy? " " “Shakespeare could, in principle, make himself 6.) Jesus means for this passage to be an encouragement appear as Author within the play, and write a to his followers (see vs. 1) What do you find encouraging dialogue between Hamlet and himself. The here? How can you develop greater hope for the place “Shakespeare” within the play would of course be at once Shakespeare and one of Shakespeare’s that Jesus is preparing for you if you are a Chris9an? creatures. It would bear some analogy to " 5 Incarna9on.” 7.) How can we cul9vate doing the works that Jesus did " and calls us into? Discuss the implica9ons of what Lewis is saying. " " 5 C S. Lewis, The Inspira8onal Wri8ngs of C.s. Lewis (New York: Inspira9onal Press, 1987), 122-­‐24. 19

20 14:1-14 "I AM... the Way the truth and the life“ | John for things that would accord with the glory of God, and ANSWERS we should pray for them boldly in the name of Jesus, and It means that he is clearly not just talking about 1.)A: we should trust God with the results, not demanding some future town that they are traveling to but them. something else. " " " Glory. The New Heavens and the New Earth. Eternal 2.)A: Life.; In my Father’s house (referring to God the Father). Apply: A place that I am going and from where I will return. 1.)A: Let them discuss. " " 3.)A: It means that he is the embodiment of truth and 2.)A: Let them discuss. life and that he is the only way to God. He is not simply a " way, but the way. He follows this up by saying that No Only through Jesus. 3.) A: one comes to the Father except through him. " " 4.)A: Jesus is the way and he makes it possible by dying 4.)A: Jesus is the only way to know God. There are not for us on the cross, bearing the punishment for our sin many paths to the same God, but only one true path that and rising from the dead for our forgiveness. leads there and many false paths that do not. " " 5.)A: Let them discuss. 5.)A: He wants to know God. He is asking for Jesus to " show him God. Let them discuss. 6.)A: " " 6.)A: He says that He and the Father are one, that the 7.)A: Let them discuss. Father dwells in Him, and that to see and know Jesus is " to see and know the Father. " " Jesus is God. 7.)A: " Believe in Him and follow him in the works that he 8.)A: does. " 9.)A: Holiness, acts of love and mercy. Review the Sermon on the Mount: MaGhew 5-­‐7 " 10.)A: Because he will send the Holy Spirit to live inside believers. John 16:6-­‐11. More on this in the next study. " 11.)A: Because Jesus is God. And because Jesus is man. He is a perfect mediator between us and God. " 12.)A: He is thinking specifically of things that glorify the Father, through the Son, as he says. So, ul9mately God knows best how to answer our prayers in such a way that will bring him maximum glory Remember last weeks study-­‐ I am sure Mary and Martha prayed for Lazarus’ healing-­‐ but I am sure they didn’t think that meant he would die and then Jesus would raise him from the dead, but it brought maximum glory to God. So, we should pray 20

21 "I AM... the TRUE VINE“ | John 15:1-17 In this passage Jesus declares that he is the vine and Chris9ans are the branches, meaning that spiritual life and growth comes only from faith in Jesus. There is no other way. This passage is right in the middle of what is known as the “Upper Room Discourse” between Jesus and his disciples in John 14-­‐17. To teach this sec9on you will need to read all of John 14-­‐17 and try to note in par9cular the work of the Holy Spirit as Jesus describes Him in this sec9on. This is essen9al to understanding what it means to abide in Jesus. We do this only because we are united with Jesus, one with him, as God the Holy Spirit dwells inside those who trust in Jesus. This truth is simply remarkable. The living God lives in us! Meditate on this truth and trust in the the Holy Spirit to provide the power to teach this glorious truths. The other major theme of this study is that in being united to Jesus we bear fruit. This fruit is iden9fied as loving God, loving one another, and obeying Jesus’ commands. This does not mean salva9on is by works. Salva9on is of free grace by faith alone in Christ alone. However these are the necessary fruit to prove you are truly connected to the vine, Jesus. Jesus says this when he says that branches that do not produce fruit are gathered and burned. There is no ordinary circumstance in which true faith does not work in love towards God and neighbor (obeying Jesus’ commands). I say ordinary because clearly the thief on the cross provides an example of one who made a dying profession of faith and was saved, however, it is the only example in scripture we have of that, meaning it is not the ordinary way of things. We must not shy away from this, thinking it will dilute the gospel. It will not. Boldly proclaim that we are saved “not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy ... The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works” (Titus 3:5,8). Paul instructs Titus to insist that works have no place in causing our salva9on, but not that they have no place at all. They exist as the necessary fruit and evidence of true faith. So, let us encourage one another to love God, to love one another, and obey the commands of Jesus. " Passages to read: [John 14-­‐17] [Romans 8:8-­‐11] [Colossians 3:16-­‐17] What is the Big Idea? The only way to grow as a Christian is to abide in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we do that we will grow in the fruit of the Spirit and in loving one another. Fallen Condition: We go to Christ for Salvation, but often try to grow and fight sin on our own.. Christ Solution: When we trust in Jesus, we are united to Him by the Holy Spirit and have his life and power working in us so that we bear fruit. Gospel Centered application: 1. Abide in Jesus. 2. Love one another like Jesus has loved you. 3. Obey Jesus’ commandments. 4. Trust God for the fruit of the Spirit in your life. 21

22 15:1-17 "I AM... the TRUE VINE“ | John " Read John Jesus says to his disciples “already you are clean 7.) 1.) Jesus says that this is impossible for us on our own: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” How then can we because of the word I have spoken to you.” What does he do this? mean by this? " " " " 2.) 8.) On what basis does Jesus call the disciples his friends? What kind of branches does Jesus talk about? " " " " 9.) What kind of love does Jesus show? What happens to the branches? 3.) " " " " Why does Jesus choose (or save) Chris9ans 4.) What does this mean? 10.) according to this passage? " " " ) What does Jesus point to in this passage that would 5. " What does this passage reveal about the rela9onship indicate that someone is abiding in Jesus? Where do you 11.) see it in the text? between Jesus and the Father? " " Jesus says that He is the true Vine and that his 6.) " 12.) What does the passage teach us about Jesus? followers are the branches. What does this mean? " " Apply: 1.) " What does it mean to abide in Jesus? What does it look like prac9cally? " " How can you grow in loving one another like Christ 2.) loved us? 3.) Read Titus 2:11-­‐14. What is the rela9onship between salva9on and good works? And how does that relate to what Jesus says in our passage? " 4.) How does Jesus’ exhorta9on to prayer at the end of this passage relate to bearing fruit? " 5.) How does the idea of abiding in Jesus change the idea of obeying his commands? " How does all of this impact sharing the good news of 6.) Jesus with other people? 22

23 15:1-17 "I AM... the TRUE VINE“ | John substance. However, this passage emphasizes that they ANSWERS are dis9nct persons in a rela9onship of love and joy and 1.)A: It means that they have believed in Jesus and are service. And it points out that our rela9onship with Jesus forgiven of their sins. They are already clean. should be like this and our rela9onships with one " another. Those that abide in the vine and bear fruit and 2.)A: " those that do not . How he loves us. And his perfect obedience to all 12.)A: " of God’s commandments. 3.)A: The branches that bear fruit are pruned so that " they bear more fruit and the branches that do not bear fruit are gathered up, and burned. Apply: " To be united with Him by the Power of the Spirit 1.)A: 4.)A: It means that there is no middle ground possible. dwelling inside of you by trus9ng in Jesus by Faith. (Read You are either a Chris9an who bears fruit, or not a Romans 8:8-­‐11-­‐ If you have Jesus you have the Spirit). Chris9an. Now, it does not say perfect fruit, this is clear Prac9cally it looks like faith in Jesus every day and from the need for the branches that bear fruit to be devo9on to the word and prayer. Read Colossians pruned and to grow, but it is clear that there is real and 3:16-­‐17-­‐ let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. genuine evidence of true faith. " " 2.)A: Let them discuss. 5.)A: Love for God. Joy. Loving other Chris9ans (one " another addressed to Chris9ans) like Christ loved them. Salva9on is free. Its by grace alone through faith in 3.) A: Obeying God’s commandments as Jesus did. Praying-­‐ Jesus alone. And it creates a people who are zealous for asking the Father for help in doing these things. good works. Our good works are the fruit of salva9on but " not the cause. Just like fruit comes from the vine, but Branches grow from vines. If branches are to grow, 6.)A: fruit does not cause the branch to exist-­‐ the vine does. the only way they can grow is to be connected to the You can also check out Titus 3:4-­‐8 which repeats the vine. There is no such thing as a stand alone branch. same thing with different words. Branches must be connected to the vine for life and " growth. Meaning that if we are to live and grow Jesus tells us this is impossible without God, so we 4.)A: spiritually we must be connected by faith to Jesus. must cul9vate dependence upon God for this to happen " through prayer. 7.)A: By our Union with Christ Jesus through the power " of the Holy Spirit. Read John 14:15-­‐17. It makes it about a loving rela9onship just like Jesus 5.)A: " and his Father and not just following empty rules. And it His friends are described both as those who do 8.)A: empowers us to actually obey the Law of God because what he commands and those who he lays his life down the power comes from being united to Jesus himself who for. perfectly obeyed the Law! He talks about us sharing the " love and joy he has for the Father and obeying his 9.)A: He shows the greatest kind of love, by laying down commands, meaning they are designed for our good. his life for his followers. " " 6.)A: You are invi9ng people to join the greatest So that they would bear much fruit and glorify 10.)A: fellowship ever-­‐ the love and joy that the Father, Son and God. Holy Spirit share with one another! And you are invi9ng " them into the church-­‐ an earthly family of sacrificial love 11.)A: It is a rela9onship of Joy and Love and Service. for one another. Many of the passages we have looked at in this study emphasize the oneness of the Father and Son, that Jesus is fully divine and that they are one in essence and 23

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