In this negative and jaded world we live in, it sometimes feels like Mission: Impossible to try to spread the Good News of God’s love and guidance for the human beings He created. It seems many people have already written off the possibility of God and have an image of Him, and His followers, that isn’t really accurate. In August and September, Pastor G is going to walk us through eight key passages in the Gospel of John that show us that sharing the Good News of Jesus with our village is actually Mission: Possible.
In this message, from week two, Pastor Greg starts at the very beginning of John’s Gospel and ties it to the creation story from Genesis 1. He shows us Scriptural evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity and gives a lot of attention to Jesus as “the Word of God made flesh.” Pastor G always challenges us to rediscover our passion for Personal Evangelism.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spread the Good News of the Gospel to the residents of Waikoloa Village and to invite them to be a part of our church.
79% of active churchgoers NEVER invite ANYONE to church.
98% of Christians NEVER invite a SINGLE actual unchurched person to church.
98% of Christians NEVER personally lead EVEN ONE person to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.. ~ Genesis 1:1-3
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~ Genesis 1:26-27
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. ~ John 1:1-3
Logos (GREEK) ~ Word or Reason (ENGLISH)
The SPOKEN Word. Understood as the active reason that both infuses the universe and puts the universe into motion.
“The Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated.” ~ Philo of Alexandria
… Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. ~ John 8:58
“I and the Father are one.” ~ John 10:30
… He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? ~ John 14:9
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~ John 1:4-5
Katalambanó (GREEK) ~ Capture or Overcome (ENGLISH)
It means to seize hold of tightly, to arrest, to catch, to capture, to overthrow. To take ownership of it.
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. ~ John 1:6-9
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:10-13
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17
… “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” ~ Romans 10:8-10, 14-15
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Genesis 1:1-3
1) With what you have been taught about the Big Bang Theory, is it possible to marry that science theory and this faith statement together successfully without either one contradicting the other? Why or why not?
2) There is something known as “The Gap Theory” that many theologians subscribe to. It says perhaps there is a “Gap” of millions or hundreds of millions or even billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. If that’s the case, can that also alleviate many of the objections between science and faith? Why or why not?
3) Pastor Greg said, knowing what we know from the New Testament, it is clear that all three persons of the Trinity are represented in this passage. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
READ: Genesis 1:26-27
1) Pastor Greg shared that this is evidence of the Trinity as well, when God refers to Himself with plural pronouns. Some people dismiss it as “the plural of majesty” used by ancient and modern monarchs, but Pastor Greg dismisses that explanation. He says this is a very rare way of speaking for God. In the rest of this passage He speaks of Himself singularly. There seems to be a direct intent to show plurality in this passage. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
2) What do you think it means that we are made in the image of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Even though the Bible refers to all three persons of the Trinity with masculine pronouns this passage says both males and females were created in His image? What does that mean for us and what does that tell us about God?
READ: John 1:1-3
1) Pastor Greg shared the philosophical history of the Logos. Had you heard this before? Why do you think John chose a Greek philosophy term to identify Jesus to his audience? Do you think John’s linking of the Logos and Jesus as one in the same is accurate? Why or why not?
2) John makes his claim very clear that Jesus is not a created being. He is eternal and was present with God always because He is God. Most of Jesus’ “I Am” statements are found in the various writings of John. Why do you think it was so important to John to emphasize this so strongly?
READ: John 1:4-5
1) Pastor Greg shared a little about John’s dichotomy of darkness versus light. Do you think John makes a good case with this analogy of good versus evil and knowledge of God versus ignorance of God? Why or why not?
2) Why do you think John assigned light to good and dark to evil? Why not the other way around? Would the analogy still hold up in the symbols were reversed? Why or why not?
READ: John 1:10-14
1) Pastor Greg mentioned that not every human being is considered “a child of God” in the way John is referring to the term here. He said only those who receive Jesus can become children of God. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
2) Pastor Greg mentioned that he would go into greater depth next week in regard to Jesus’ command for us to be “born again” but this week what do you think John has in mind when he says we need to be born of God? What does being born of blood and born of the flesh and born of the will of man mean?
3) How would you explain “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” to a non-believing friend? Explain the terms glory, grace and truth in this context.
READ: Romans 10:8-17
1) What does Paul mean when he says we must “confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord?” How does someone do that? Paul also says we have to believe in our hearts that Jesus was raised from the dead. He says we need these two actions, done by our mouth and our heart, to be saved. How would you explain what he means to a friend who is not yet a Christian?
2) Pastor Greg spent a good bit of time, in his message this week, expounding on Paul’s progression of being sent so that we can preach so that people can hear so that people can believe so that people can call on Jesus and that way they can be saved. In this context, are “calling on Jesus” and “confessing with our mouth Jesus as Lord” the same thing?
3) Pastor Greg really drove home the need for all of us to be engaged in this kind of personal evangelism here in our village, otherwise, thousands of people are never going to be saved. Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
4) Do you find the concept of personal evangelism frightening? If so, why? Would you be willing to share your fears with Pastor Greg and allow him to give you some training and encouragement that might remove those fears?
5) Pastor Greg strongly emphasized the power of using our social media accounts to share invitations to church. Have you consistently shared his invitations on your social media accounts? How often? If not, why not? Can you make a commitment to share those posts, along with a line or two or a personal invitation from you as well? If not, why not? Do you need training on how to do that? Will you ask Pastor Greg to train you?