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.

The Heart of Humility

By: Ian Opiniano

As we came back to our study in the gospel of John, we were reminded of what it means to truly have a heart of humility from the example of John the Baptist. Though his disciples grew jealous over the growing influence of Christ, John remained faithful to his call as the herald of the Savior. From his example we were reminded that all that we have is from God; everything we have is a demonstration of His grace and a responsibility to steward. We were also reminded that our identity comes from God; all that we are comes from God and He alone decides our identity. Finally, we were reminded that a true heart of humility rejoices in the glory of Christ, desiring that all praise would go to Him alone. With these truths in mind, we can joyfully share the sentiment of the Baptizer and say “God you must increase, and I must decrease!”

The Living Water

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the story of Jesus offering a Samaritan woman the living waters of God. We learned that by invoking the term of “living water” Jesus was fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy that foretold a time where the waters of God would quench the spiritual thirst of the world. This was demonstrated by Christ’s interaction with the Samaritan woman. From her story we were reminded of how Christ pursues the weary in soul; Jesus went out of His way to meet with this Samaritan woman at the well. We also saw how Jesus poured out mercy on the Samaritan woman; though having known her sins He was ready to offer her the waters of life that lead to eternal life. Finally, we were also reminded how Jesus promises recovery from the ravages of sin, and is the only One who is able to fulfill that promise. Jesus offers the waters of life for anyone who thirst and are willing to ask.

The Savior’s Method

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the Savior’s method of sharing the good news to the lost. We saw the necessity of complying to the Holy Spirit’s leading, asking for guidance to individuals whose hearts are ready to receive the Gospel. We also saw how Jesus was able to connect with the sinner, conveying the Gospel truths to the Samaritan woman’s context. Similarly, when we share the Gospel, we should listen and understand the context of the unbeliever so that we can better understand the need that is drawing them to Christ. Like Jesus, we are also to convey grace and truth; recalling the goodness of the Gospel, but at the same time not shying away from calling sinners to repentance. Finally, we must always centre the conversation on Christ; the purpose of evangelism is not to promote a church or a benefit of grace but the Savior Himself. By practicing these steps we can ensure that our evangelism is in line with the Savior’s method.

The Heart for the Harvest

By: Ian Opiniano

As we saw the conclusion to the story of the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus, we saw the mission that the Savior was giving to His disciples to go and bring in the harvest of the Kingdom of God. In this sermon, we learned where our hearts should be when it comes to sharing the Gospel and leading sinners to Christ. We learned that similar to Jesus, we are to find satisfaction in the harvest; a joy in the will and work of God for salvation. Finding satisfaction in the harvest ultimately brings delight and glory to the Father. There must also be a sense of urgency for the harvest, for as Christ says the “fields are white for the harvest” and ready to be brought in.  Finally, we must remember that the work of God is a privilege given to us from Christ and a responsibility that we have as ambassadors proclaiming the message of reconciliation. The harvest is here, and as faithful co-laborers with Christ, we must reach the lost with the Gospel!

The Nature of Unbelief

By: Ian Opiniano

Why do people reject the Gospel despite it containing the greatest truth and the only hope to man’s salvation? As we continued our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the nature of unbelief and our reason to share the Gospel despite knowing that some will reject the good news. We were reminded that unbelief is developed in our sinful nature; our hearts have been hardened by sin and as a result, we are unable to exercise faith in the God of the Bible. This reality is only overcome by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit to replace our hearts of stone, with a heart of flesh. We were also reminded that unbelief is the discipline of God to a sinful people; God gives up sinners over to the lust of their hearts and ignorant minds. This is what is known as the “passive wrath” of God and should motivate us to have compassion over unbelievers who are experiencing this wrath. We also discussed the deceptive reality of unbelief in that it can deceive us into thinking that we are right with God when in reality we have yet to be reconciled to Him. To this end, we must remember that unbelief is defeated in Christ; only in Jesus is the gift of faith offered to those whom God would call to Himself. For these reasons, we must not be discouraged at the thought of people rejecting the Gospel but should be stirred to compassion all the more knowing the plight of the unbeliever.

The Trial of Unbelief

By: Ian Opiniano

What’s the difference between shallow faith and sincere faith? In this continuation of our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the conclusion of chapter 4 and the story of the official who asked Jesus to heal his son. We saw how in our trials there is often the test in unbelief where God reveals whether or not our faith is sincere. We saw from this story that the way one passes this test is by having trust in the unbelief; despite our circumstances, trusting in the faithfulness of God. Only then can we see the triumph in unbelief; God in His faithfulness accomplishing more than what we ask for or think. God tests the heart of man to see who would remain faithful despite not receiving what they asked for. It is in the test that our faith is refined and brought to sincerity.

The Religion of Unbelief

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the differences between religions that are based in unbelief versus what Christ offers in a relationship with Him. We saw how religions of unbelief only offer excuses as to why we cannot be saved, meanwhile God simply executes His will for our salvation. We also saw how religions of unbelief are often motivated by condemnation, shame and guilt being virtues by which followers are kept subdued. This is compared to the compassion that Jesus shows, a love that does not hold our sin against us, but truly cares for our needs. Finally we see how religions of unbelief are often legalistic, legalism being the way in which they pursue and maintain their salvation. Yet Jesus offers true liberty, freedom from sin and the work of having to earn your salvation. In this life there is only two places we can place our faith, systems founded in unbelief or Jesus the author and perfector of our faith.

The Son of God Part 1

By: Ian Opiniano

One of the great distinctives of the Christian faith is the reality Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. In this sermon we looked at what this truth entails and why it is important to our Christian faith. We saw how Jesus being the Son of God made Him equal in Nature with God. We were also reminded that Jesus is equal to God in work denoting His impeccability; Jesus is unable to sin or commit evil because what He does is simply a reflection of the Father. Finally we saw how Jesus is equal to God in love, having the same infinite and eternal love as the Father. This truth is why Christ’s nature as the Son of God is vital to our Christian faith, because the same love shared between the Father and the Son is what we as believers are invited to abide in. This infinite love of the Father for the Son is our assurance that God will never leave or forsake those who are in Christ Jesus.

The Son of God Part 2

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our look into Christ’s identity as the Son of God, we unpacked some more claims that Jesus made about His equality with the Father. First we looked at Jesus’ claims about being equal to God in power. This is demonstrated in His ability to raise the dead and create life from nothing. We also saw how Christ’s judgment is equal with God and is in fact the means by which the Father judges the world; the standard by which God judges humanity is through His Son. Finally we saw how Jesus is equal to God in honour denoting that He is equally deserving of worship. An individual’s fate is ultimately determined by what one does with the identity of Jesus as the Son of God.

What Happens When We Die?

By: Ian Opiniano

As we get back to our study in the Gospel of John, we looked to answer the age-old question: “What happens when we die?” Though many answers to this question have been proposed throughout history, we looked to Jesus’ answer as our basis for objective truth on this matter. We saw how Jesus talks about a coming judgement for all who has ever lived, one that results in punishment in the lake of fire if one’s name is not written in the book of life. We also saw how Jesus Himself promises that there is eternal life for those who believe in Him; a life that is given to us in this life and in the next. Finally, we were reminded that our ultimate treasure in the next life is Jesus Himself. Christ is the ultimate fulfilment and answer to what happens to us when we die; because He lives and has conquered the grave, we too can be sure that we will as well.

Expert Witnesses Part 1

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the “expert witnesses” that Christ presented to the religious authorities who questioned His authority. We saw how the first witness to testify on Christ’s behalf was John the Baptist. From John’s example we saw what it takes to be a witness for Christ; we must find favour with all, be an example to all and remember to preach the truth to all. Similar to John, God uses our testimony to reach unbelievers and give an example of the power of Christ to change lives.

Expert Witnesses Part 2

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continue to cross examine the “expert witnesses’ that Christ introduces in the Gospel of John, we look at the testimony of the Father. We see how the Father’s testimony affirms the identity of Jesus as the Son of God. By this testimony we also see how Jesus explicitly calls out the religious leaders of his day by saying they did not truly believe in God. From this we see the signs of a true believer of God; one who believes in the Son of God, who comes to Him in faith, and one who loves Him. The testimony of the Father not only declares who Jesus is, but also distinguishes those who truly believe in Him and those who don’t.

Expert Witnesses Part 3

By: Ian Opiniano

As we come to the end of chapter 5 of the Gospel of John, we looked at the final witness to Christ’s divinity–the Word of God. We saw how the Bible testifies to the legitimacy of Christ’s claim as the Son of God going all the way back to the writings of Moses. We also saw how Christ calls out our tendency to prefer the things of the world over the things of God. Whether it’s satisfaction, or truth, or even praise, we have the tendency to seek these things in the world. Yet the only source of real satisfaction and truth can only be found in the only Son of God–Jesus Christ.

Why Should We Give?

By: Ian Opiniano

Moving into chapter 6 of our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at one of the grandest miracles that Jesus performs–the feeding of the five thousand. From this we answered the question, “why should we give?” We saw how giving reflects the heart of God, demonstrating the same compassion that God has for those who are in need. We also saw how giving ultimately relies on the power of God to use whatever we give for His glory. Finally, we were reminded that giving comes from an overflow of the many blessings that God has poured out in our lives. Giving requires a proper perspective, a perspective that reflects the perspective of Christ when He sees those in need. As the hands and feet of Christ in this world, the Church must rise to the occasion and give cheerfully!

A Passover Feast

By: Ian Opiniano

In this sermon, we looked again at the miracle of Christ feeding the five thousand. We dove into the historical context of the event and its relation to the Jewish celebration of Passover, and through it saw a glimpse of the nature of Christ. We were reminded of His power to create something out of nothing, His purpose to be the Lamb slain for the salvation of the people, and we also saw His passion for those He ministered to. Christ demonstrates His heart for those He would save and even those who would reject Him. Jesus demonstrates how the heart of God is for both sinner and saint.

Christ in Our Crisis

By: Ian Opiniano

In this continuation of our study in the Gospel of John, we looked at the story of Jesus walking on the water. From this story we learned a lesson on who Jesus is in the midst of the storms in our lives. We were reminded that Jesus sees our circumstance; He is not distant nor uncaring. The story reminds us that Jesus is sovereign over creation and even the consequences of our choices. Finally, we were reminded that even in our crisis, Jesus is sufficient. In this world we will face many difficulties and trials, but the call for the Christian is to have faith in our anchor–Jesus Christ.

Am I a Christian? Part 1

By: Ian Opiniano

Continuing our study in the Gospel of John, we begin to examine the discourse between Jesus and those who claimed to be His disciples. We see how Jesus begins to separate the sheep from the goat by weeding out those who were not truly His disciples. We saw how these false disciples chased after a spectacle; they hoped to see a show rather than the Savior. The false disciples also came to Jesus only to meet a physical need as opposed to a spiritual one. Finally we also saw how these false disciples came coveting the power that Jesus had instead of depending on the power that Jesus had. In a world where many claim to be Christians, it is important to examine our own hearts and ask the question–why have we come to the Savior?

Am I a Christian? Part 2

By: Ian Opiniano

In this sermon we continued our look into the characteristics of false believers as found in the Gospel of John. We saw that false believers often demand a miracle from God, specifically for the purpose of quenching their skepticism. The reality is, God does not owe a miracle to humanity as He has already performed the greatest miracle through the resurrection of Christ from the grave. Secondly, we saw how false believers often depend on  man in a way that their faith hinges on another person rather than Christ. This is often why many become discouraged or disillusioned when preachers fall into scandal or sin. Finally, we saw how false believers often disregard the message of the Gospel; they listen to only what feeds their passion. Those of sincere faith do not depend on miracles or on any man for security, but instead listen to the message of the Gospel that God has provided His Son to truly satisfy the longings of souls.

The Bread of Life Part 1

By: Ian Opiniano

In this sermon we began to examine what Jesus meant by His claims of being the “Bread of Life”. We  saw how Christ’s claims as the bread coming down from heaven asks His listeners to believe in His “pre-existence”. This once again points to Christ’s divinity, and His identity as the second person of the Trinity, God the Son We also saw how Jesus’s claims presents His purpose as to why He came; to personally save those whom the Father is drawing to Himself. Finally, we ultimately see how Christ coming as the Bread of Life, points to God’s faithfulness to provide a way of salvation. For those who come, look and believe in the Son of God, Christ promises eternal life secured by God Himself.

The Bread of Life Part 2

By: Ian Opiniano

As we continued our study in to Jesus’ claims as the Bread of Life, we saw the implications of these claims to us. First it professes our deadness; Christ is symbolically the bread that gives life to dead sinners. Secondly, Jesus’ claims proclaim our deliverance through His broken body and His blood that was shed on the cross for our sins. Ultimately, this claim of Christ as the bread of life pleads our dependence on God for salvation; only by the work and grace of God are sinners saved from death. Jesus is our bread of life, the only source in which the hungry soul can truly be filled and satisfied.