Was Christ divine? Is Jesus sufficient for our salvation? Does the Gospel have the power to change lives today? These are some of the questions we will answer as we dive into our new book study in the gospel of John. Of all the Gospels that convey the life of Christ, John uniquely communicates the sufficiency of Christ, the supremacy of the Gospel, and why our deepest desires can be satisfied in Him. Join us as we seek to know our Savior more and discover why Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life, and the only way to the Father.

The Gospel

By: Ian Opiniano

As we began our study in the gospel of John, we immediately saw the apostle’s defense for the sufficiency of Jesus as the Christ, and the supremacy of the Gospel compared to other worldviews. In his opening discourse, John paints a beautiful picture of the Gospel, retelling the holiness of God, man’s love for darkness, and the salvific work that Christ came to do. He also gives three attributes to Christ that ultimately declare who He is and the foundations for our relationship with Him. The first is that Christ is the “Logos”; the eternal divine Word of God, who is God, and who makes a way for us to the Father. The second is the “Life”; that which allows for a reconciled relationship with the Father. Finally, John presents Christ as the “Light”; the revelation of truth and the way out of the darkness of sin. These three attributes will be echoed throughout the rest of John’s gospel and are the bedrock of our understanding of Christ’s identity as “the way, the truth, and the life.”

The Incarnation

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we dove deeper into the opening passage of the apostle’s book to examine what The Incarnation of Jesus Christ entails. We saw how in John’s grammar alone the divinity of Christ was being proclaimed so that both Gentiles and Jews would believe in Him. The divinity of Christ was specifically examined as we looked at His pre-existence; before our universe began, Christ was already existing in eternity. We also saw how Jesus co-existed with God as the second person of the Trinity in perfect love and unity. This is to say that Christ was not in opposition to God or that He was another deity separate from God. Finally, we looked at the self-existence of Christ in that in Him is the source of life; no one gives or sustains life in Jesus, He is where life comes from. Therefore, eternal life is only made available through Him. Understanding the character and nature of Christ gives us confidence in the Savior that we follow and ultimately validates our faith. For all of Christianity holds together on the claims of Christ’s divinity.

The Baptizer

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the first witness to the divinity and messiahship of Jesus—John the Baptist. We saw how the Baptizer played an important role in the narrative of the Gospel as the herald of the Savior, calling God’s people to repent. We also saw John’s humility in accepting that he was merely a voice crying in the wilderness and that he was not Jesus. This comes as an important reminder for us when we share the Gospel, that we are not the Savior. We also saw how John testified to the full identity of Christ as he called people to behold Jesus. In the same way, when we share the Gospel, we are to reveal the glory of Christ as the Son of God. Finally, we saw how John the Baptist got his disciples to follow Jesus, just as we are called to make disciples of Christ and not man. John’s testimony plays a crucial part in the validity of Christ’s claims as the Messiah and demonstrates the kind of witness we are to have to unbelievers. Ultimately, like John the Baptist, our goal in our testimonies is to have Christ increase and ourselves decrease for the glory of God.

The Call

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in the book of John, we looked at the call of the original disciples once again. We sought to understand the process in which an individual is called to be a disciple of Christ. We saw how discipleship is unilateral, in that it is the Rabbi—in this case, Jesus, who chooses which disciples get the privilege of following Him. As we learned, this choice is not based on merit because as fallen sinners, we have no merit of our own. But as we saw from the example of the original disciples, the call is unconditional; despite our unworthiness, Christ still calls us to follow Him. This is because at the root of discipleship is a desire for a relationship; God desires us to have a relationship with Him. It is with this truth that we are to remember who it is that sustains and pursues us in our walk with God. It is God who preserves us and makes us His own, and who ultimately paves the way for us to be His disciples.

The Wedding and the Wine

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the first sign that Jesus performs in His earthly ministry: turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana. This first sign was meant to demonstrate the divinity of Christ, turning the jars of water into jars of wine. Jesus’ miracle displays His ability to create something out of nothing, an act that only God could accomplish. We also saw how this sign was to honor God’s design for marriage. By acting to save the celebrations of the wedding, Jesus was preserving the image of what marriage was meant to represent—the covenant between Christ and His future bride the Church. Finally, we saw how this first miracle was a sign that points to the destination of Christ on the cross. Similar to how the wine would allow for the wedding celebrations to be complete, by shedding His blood on the cross, Christ completes the requirements for a covenantal relationship to take place between Him and His Church. Ultimately, the sign of the wedding and the wine points to the beginning of Christ’s work to prepare and preserve a place for His bride—the Church.

The Zeal of The Lord

By: Ian Opiniano

What kind of worship does the Lord’s zeal burn against? As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at Christ’s motivations for driving out the vendors and animals from the temple. We understood that His zeal was directed towards the kinds of worship being demonstrated at the temple. We saw how God detests insidious worship, the kind of worship that seeks  glory and profit for man rather than God. This was demonstrated by the unscrupulous ways that the vendors along with the temple conducted business. We also saw how God is against insincere forms of worship; God had grown weary of animal sacrifices (Isaiah 1) because the people had continued to live in sin. Finally, we saw how God hates irreverent worship; the people had turned the Temple of God into a market of man. God seeks true worshipers, those who worship in spirit and in truth. Let us then as believers are watchful of the kind of worship we bring to our Holy God.

The Final Sign

By: Ian Opiniano

In this continuation of our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the final sign that the apostle John gives as evidence for Jesus’ messiahship and divinity—the resurrection. In this sermon we talk about how the resurrection is central to the Christian faith, and to deny it changes what we believe in as a whole. This is because the resurrection proclaims God’s sovereignty; it is the ultimate display of Christ’s divinity and mastery over death itself. The resurrection also points to Scripture as truth for it fulfills the word of God and assures us that His promises are certain. Without the resurrection, God’s promise for salvation would be incomplete, devoid of power to save us from our sins. These truths are why the resurrection of Jesus must be at the centre of our worldview because without it our faith is in vain. Yet Christ is risen, and is risen indeed! So the promise of God stands: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Sign of Unbelief

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing in our study in the Gospel of John, we came to the conclusion of the second chapter where Jesus recognizes the unbelief of the people.  In this sermon, we looked at how unbelief looks like and how it is the opposite of sincere saving faith. We saw how unbelief is faithless towards the things of God yet chooses to believe the teachings or traditions of the world. We also saw how though unbelief can be deceptive at times, the number one characteristic it bears is that it is fruitless; no real or lasting change occurs in a person with unbelief. Finally, we understood that unbelief lacks any genuine love for the Savior, for at the center of unbelief is a love for self. True belief requires us to entrust ourselves completely to Christ and to love Him with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our might. In this life, we may struggle with doubts and unbelief, but our assurance is in Christ, the author, and perfector of our faith.

The Work of Regeneration Part 1

By: Ian Opiniano

We come to the part of our study in the Gospel of John, where we begin to unpack the discourse between Jesus and the Pharisee named Nicodemus. As we unpacked the first part of this conversation we looked at what it means to be “born again”. We saw how Jesus used this very simple metaphor about being born again to communicate the truth that similar to how we did not participate in our physical birth, we also do not participate in our spiritual rebirth. For a Pharisee like Nicodemus, this news was no doubt shocking as he was used to the works-based religion of the Jewish faith; a system that required a never-ending parade of animal sacrifices and good works to make one clean. Yet the great hope that Jesus expounds on is the truth of regeneration; God working to cleanse and save His elect despite our sinfulness. This work of regeneration is the unilateral work of God to save His people, and because it is God’s work alone, we can be assured that He will bring it to completion.

The Work of Regeneration Part 2

By: Ian Opiniano

As part of our study in the Gospel of John, we dove deeper into the doctrine of regeneration to further understand what it entails. We saw how a distinction is made between regeneration and conversion, the regenerative work of God being the catalyst for our faith. This is where the term “regeneration precedes faith” comes from; the Holy Spirit replacing hearts of stone to hearts of flesh so that man could desire after God. We also saw how God’s act of regeneration is what cultivates faith in us to believe. This is why God is known as “the author and perfecter” of our faith. Finally, we were reminded how regeneration procures our faith; God will accomplish what He intends to do with our regeneration, namely our salvation. The regenerative work of God is our assurance that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it.

The Responsibility of Man

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the responsibility of man in God’s work of salvation. We came to understand that though God must regenerate one’s heart first so that they might choose Him, man still has a responsibility to respond. Just as God holds people responsible for their unbelief, He holds the regenerated man responsible for repentance. Repentance demonstrates a sincere understanding of our position before a holy God and is evidence of the gift of faith that God bestows on the regenerated man. Our assurance even in our human responsibility is that He who began a good work in us is faithful to bring it to completion.

John 3:16

By: Ian Opiniano

In this continuation of our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the most famous verse in Scripture—John 3:16. We examined how this verse is often taken out of context to refute the doctrine of Election and even Limited Atonement. We saw how this verse can be used to promote a false doctrine of Universalism, the idea that all sinners, regardless if they believe in Christ will eventually be saved. This is why we looked at the extent of this verse and learned that though Christ’s atonement for sin was sufficient for all, by God’s design only the Elect would benefit from it. Finally, we looked at the intent of this verse and how the apostle John was getting to the hope of salvation; that God, loving a sinful people sent His Son to die so that we would be redeemed. God’s plan for salvation is one that is definite, not based on the merit of man but driven by the love of God.

The Judgment

By: Ian Opiniano

In this sermon we continued our study in John chapter 3, examining the apostle’s commentary on the truth that Jesus had spoken about with Nicodemus. We saw how John was making a case for the necessity of the Savior. He elaborates on the guilty verdict against man, that apart from Christ we have already been condemned because of our sin. This means that the sentence that humanity faces is an eternal ruin; the punishment of hell where the worms do not die and the fires do not cease. Yet, John’s commentary is not without hope for he points to our only legal defense—belief in the only Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is at the heart of John’s Gospel, and why he urges his readers to believe, for without Christ we have been found wanting and in need of a Savior.