Sermon Manuscript: John 11

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Sunday we completed the final week of our series “Who is Jesus?” We’ve been looking at texts from the first half of  John’s gospel. It’s called the Book of Signs because John has carefully selected vignettes from the ministry of Christ which highlight the essence and nature of his Messiahship. This Sunday we examined Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life in John 11. A copy of the manuscript I preached from is available below for your own study.

John 11

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Sermon Manuscript: John 6:27-40

who-is-jesus_silde

Sunday we completed week 5 of our series “Who is Jesus?” We’ve been looking at texts from the first half of  John’s gospel. It’s called the Book of Signs because John has carefully selected vignettes from the ministry of Christ which highlight the essence and nature of his Messiahship. This Sunday we examined Jesus as the Bread of Life in John 6. A copy of the manuscript I preached from is available below for your own study.

John 6:27-40

Sermon Manuscript: John 4:43-54

who-is-jesus_silde

On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The fourth part of the series was from John 4:43-54, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 4:43-54

Sermon Manuscript: John 2:1-11

who-is-jesus_silde

On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The third part of the series was from John 2:1-11, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 2:1-11

Sermon Manuscript: John 1:29-34

who-is-jesus_silde

On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The second part of the series was from John 1:29-34, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 1:29-34

Recommended Resources- Gospel of John

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Our church is in the middle of a 4 week sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here are my recommendations for studying the book for yourself:

Bible Dictionary:

Holman Illustrated Bible DictionaryThe Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary is my go-to Bible dictionary (I have 4-5). John goes out of his way to explain many cultural/geographical details to the uninitiated reader. It is, however, helpful to have a handy reference for terms, cultural practices, and geography.

Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, and Archie England. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tenn.: Holman Bible Publishers, ©2003.

Commentaries:

Devotional/Easy Read Commentaries

413HZF4lHKL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Hughes commentaries read like condensed sermons which makes them wonderful for devotional reading. Filled with explanation, illustration, and application I thoroughly enjoy reading these commentaries.

Hughes, R Kent. John: That You May Believe. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1999.

 

 

41qv2noa5HL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve found Dr. Towns commentary to be the one I remember most when I think through the gospel of John. That may be because it was the first commentary I ever owned for John’s gospel, but I also believe it’s because Dr. Town’s structure and writing is straightforward.

Towns, Elmer L. The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. Chattanooga, TN.: AMG Publishers, 2002.

Academic Commentaries

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If I could only purchase one commentary on the Gospel of John this would be the one. Dr. Carson packs more information into this volume than I thought could be possible, and at the same time, it’s surprisingly accessible.

Carson, D A. The Gospel According to John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1991.

 

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Carson 2.0. That’s how I think of this volume. Dr. Köstenberger studied under Carson and this volume represents an update to the predecessor. As a pastor, preaching is only part of what I do (even though I enjoy it the most) and, therefore, I can’t spend 35 hours pouring through 25 commentaries. In terms of academic commentaries for preaching, I love the Pillar series (above) and these Baker commentaries. If I only read these I would feel sufficiently capable to enter the pulpit.

Köstenberger, Andreas J. John. Baker Exegetical Commentary On the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2004.

 

Spiritual Life As Connection to a Person

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This past Sunday our church studied John 15:1-8. Below is a segment of the sermon I preached followed by further application:

Sermon:

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

The essence of spiritual life is a vital connection to a person. Don’t miss that. Spiritual life isn’t spiritual behavior, it’s a vital union with another person. Jesus says, if you want spiritual life you must be vitally connected, or united with him. With his person. That’s what the word “abide” means. It’s a continuing connection. It means, to be with him, to be in him; to find your life in his life. But it’s not just a continuing connection. It’s a vital connection. The metaphor is of the vine and branches. This “I am” statement is more intimate than the the other 7 in John’s gospel.

  • Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” He’s the daily bread we take into ourselves to sustain life.
  • Jesus says, “I am the door.” We pass through him as sheep into God’s flock.
  • Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” The shepherd holds and even sleeps with the sheep.

There’s closeness in all of those. But, “I am the vine, you are the branches” is different. There’s an intimacy here that you should never lose. What happens when a branch is cut off from the vine? It dies. In order for the branch to live, it must be grafted into the vine so that they become one, and the life of the vine transfers into and becomes the life of the branch. What Jesus is saying, is that spiritual life is unity with him. These words of Jesus tell us that the only way we have spiritual life is through an internal, continuing reception of his life into ours.

Further application:

  1. What am I vitally connected to? To what am I looking to for my life, my peace, my security? An old fashioned way of asking this question is, “To what horse have I hitched the wagon of my life?” (Goofy, yes, but a great question) In other words, what’s pulling my life along?
  2. What areas of my life are causing me drastic frustration, turmoil, despondency?
  3. Where is the biggest source of my happiness, delight, hope for the future?
  4. Realize that you can only try to have a vital connection to 4 things:
    • Yourself
    • This world (It’s social and governmental structures, it’s products etc)
    • Other people
    • God
  5. Can the things I’m vitally connected to fail me? How? In what ways?
  6. What will I do if they fail?

Hopefully you are old enough, and mature enough to express dissatisfaction with your life. If you’re successful, dissatisfaction is more of a “low growl”. If you’re life is failing it’s a “loud roar.” Regardless, examine your dissatisfaction. It will lead you to the answers to these questions.