Welcome to the Delighting in the Lord study on the gospel of John. Last Thursday, we gathered together at Calvary Chapel Chester Springs in Exton, PA as a group of women saying "yes" to God and all He wants to teach each of us this year. Together, we opened the gospel of John and were introduced to this year's study, "Simply Believe" a simple, inductive style study on John. It's a new format called "Simply R.E.A.D" following the inductive format of reading, observing/interpreting, and applying God's Word to our lives. You can watch the intro session by clicking on the "Current Study" link on this website. Just a side note, the video picks up at the end of announcements just before the study format is introduced and a sample lesson presented. Sorry about that. We had some technical difficulties on the first day. If you go to the "current study" link, you will also find the printable study pages. These are here for those joining us online, from afar and anyone needing to print the pages. Anyone is welcome! If you live close by, join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:30 or 7:00-9:00PM. We have a children's ministry program for the AM session. If you live far away, join us online. Local directions can be found under the "Contact" link on this website.
We invite you to meet us here at the start of the week and one of the teachers (Stacy, Brenda or Hedy) will be giving you an intro to the week's chapter. Some of you will have already jumped into the chapter for that week while others may just be beginning. Our hope is that the intro will give you a glimpse of what is to come, a snapshot of Jesus' teaching and topics He touches on. We also hope it will open the door as you step into the pages of Scripture and see all God has for you as you walk with Him. We hope you will join us. As John said in John 1, "Come and See!"
Hedy will be sharing the lesson with us this week. May you soak in God's Truths as Hedy opens John 1 to us.
John 1: Who is Jesus
The Roman Procurator of Judea during the time of Christ delivered perhaps one of the most somber questions of all time, at least it has always struck me so. The following exchange took place the morning after Jesus was arrested and brought before the high priest: Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” John 18:37-38
Truth. What is truth? Truth was standing before him, but Pilate didn’t recognize truth; he was hardened and blinded by a life ruled by deception and corruption as a government official for Rome. We see evidence of the humanistic worldview daily that says truth is relative, not absolute, that it depends on circumstances or opinions. Webster’s defines truth as; reality, actual existence, an established fact. Jesus tells us that He is the truth, the way, and the life. His very character is truth. As we draw nearer to Him through the Word and prayer, we become more astute at recognizing the deceptions that abound in the world.
A sea captain named Hendrik returned to his homeland from America in the 1940‘s just as the Red Army of the USSR victoriously conquered his land. He subsequently spent the last years of his life in a communist prison, more like a dungeon, that was strategically placed near the shores of the sea he loved. He heard the crashing waves, but no longer saw them. He endured relentless interrogations and beatings. Why? Because he spoke truth to a fellow citizen. Truth regarding the $7.00 weekly income (quite high at the time) of Americans he had met while in New York harbor. This was an offense in the newly conquered land because everyone was to proclaim that communism, with its foundation as atheism, was the more virtuous and superior way of life. After months of the beatings and interrogations, in full blown sarcasm (which I may have inherited as he was my grandfather) he claimed the facts were incorrect - No, no, Americans actually can earn $28.00 weekly! Take that you brutes! The Americans have a far superior lifestyle. All that abuse over an economic statement. Were his captors seeking truth? Certainly not.
As followers of Christ, we must seek THE truth, then stand firmly on the eternal truths of His Word. I’ve learned that I can surprise myself by the thoughts, actions and attitudes I’ve possessed. Remaining quiet when an opportunity to share truth arises is denial. Inaction becomes action. Can you relate? Do you, like me, so often fail? That’s where grace comes in. Amazing grace! And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14Grace and truth - a perfect blend enveloped in Christ’s love.
I have great excitement for this study as we delve into studying the divine nature of God and how He relates to the world and answer the most important question, “Who is Jesus?” We will surely impact the darkness in the world with His light as we reach the lost, the broken, the deceived with truth. So, ladies, put on your armor, prepare your weapon (the sword of the Spirit), andlet’s lunge into this study with great expectations.
In His grace, truth and love,