Today we are going to look deeper into Peter’s denials. When we read the Bible, we are either learning something about God or something about human nature or both. In examining how Peter reacted under pressure, we get to understand what human nature does under pressure. If we understand this well, we can look for these patterns when they arise in us so that we can be on the alert and act differently when we are tested like Peter.
After meditating over 5 Sundays on Jesus’ high priestly prayer, it is time for us to enter into his journey to the cross. This is a journey that starts with his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. The story is a familiar one. But every Gospel has a different emphasis and a different set of details. But we do know this that the night before he was arrested, Jesus went to an often frequented spot to pray. John tells us it was across the Kidron valley. Mark and Mathew tell us, the place was called the Garden of Gethsemane. This was ..
Earlier in Jesus’ prayer He talked about how disciples are those people who believe, accept and live out or keep God’s word. As they do that they are going to face opposition in the form of sowing disunity in their midst. Of course Jesus prays for protection from disunity for us in the power of His father’s name. In the next part of his prayer, he presents three more characteristics of being a disciple. Being joyful, being holy and being hated by the world. Today we are going to dive into all three and we are going to start with joy.
Last Sunday we started with the opening of Jesus’ High priestly prayer in which he prayers for his glorification. Now within the first 5 verses of Jesus’ opening there were…
This Sunday we are going to return to the Gospel of John and pick up where we left off. We will get into the 17th chapter of John which encapsulates…
Over the last few years the Mennonite church has established a tradition of going first in the Lenten Worship series. And one of the things that happen when you are positioned in a certain place in sequence is that the Lectionary scripture for that place is usually similar. At the start of Lent we are usually talking about the start of Jesus’ earthly ministry, particularly his temptations in the wilderness. The fact that one of the very first things that Jesus had to deal with at the start of his ministry were certain temptations is something that we need to ponder in our own spiritual preparation this Lenten season.
Today we are going to talk about Article 18 which addresses another dimension of discipleship, Christian Spirituality. If you look up the definition of Spirituality you will get something like this “the quality of being concerned with religion or the human spirit”. As you can see, this term spirituality is actually an extremely general and broad term that means very little. Christian spirituality on the other hand means something very specific and is spelt out well in Article 18. Article 18 opens with these words, “We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit”. Spirit is the capital S Spirit which means the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is saying, we believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Holy Spirit”. Now, to summarize Article 18’s take on “life in the Spirit”, in one sentence, I would say, “to know life in the Spirit of God is to have an extraordinary relationship with the Savior of the world”. While we have focused the meaning of the word “spirituality” considerably by this point, we are still speaking in broad terms here. To get us even more focused, I will address just two aspects of a disciple’s relationship with their Savior that Article 18 brings to our attention.
We will be in and out of the Gospel of John through the rest of this year as we go through the seasons of Thanksgiving and Advent. But today I…
when verse 12 says, the Holy Spirit will continue the revelation of who God is to us, we have to understand it carefully because this verse can be greatly misused. So when we are getting a new revelation of who God is from the Holy Spirit, it does not mean that we get a revelation that can be in any way be different or contradict what is already revealed in Scripture. You see Scripture already tells us everything the world knows about the Father and the Son. So because Jesus Christ has explained this extremely tight coupling within the Trinity, and focus on glorification of the other, if we get any revelation from the Holy Spirit, to test that it is actually from the Holy Spirit, it should pass the Son test.
Now if you are hesitant about sharing the Gospel because you can look at this situation and say, that is why I don’t share, because people don’t believe or change. Or perhaps you are thinking that they will get offended or even that they might think of me as “that kind of person”. Well the Good News is that if it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of who Jesus is, and of God’s goodness and judgment day then that makes it better because it takes the pressure of you to convince anybody. Your job it not to change anybody’s mind. You job is to share what you have. The treasure box of the Gospel that was given to you. You can also share how the Holy Spirit unlocked the box given to you and what he did in your life. But isin’t it a beautiful thing that the job of transforming people’s heart is going to be done by the Holy Spirit himself!