Wednesday, 29 May 2013

John 3 - Born Again dated 26.5.2013


Nicodemus was a man of intellectual power, intellectual courage and intellectual curiosity (Jn 3:2). He talked to the Supreme Intelligence the world has ever seen, that is, Jesus of Nazareth and yet do not understand what has been foretold in Ezekiel 36:25-27 even though “You are the teacher in Israel”.

As a member of the Jewish ruling council, meeting with Jesus would be a very unpopular thing to do but Nicodemus feels he still has things to learn.

The 3 areas of Christian experience, Christian truth and Christian ministry are all indispensable and absolutely central to the Bible and therefore central to Christians. 

1 Christian Experience (3:7): 

Firstly, the New Birth experience is a must and indispensable (Jn 3:3,5,7). A person cannot be a Christian, cannot enter heaven, cannot know God now, cannot serve Christ unless born again. The New Birth is not reformation but regeneration. It is not improving things. It is completely a new work of God. It is a new life that God gives. It is eternal life (Jn 3:15, 16). If anyone is in Christ, a New Creation. (2 Cor 5:17)

What is eternal life (Jn 17:3)? According to John’s Gospel and the conversation with Nicodemus – it is something that does not happen after death but something that starts here and now. It is an experience of God, it is knowing God and knowing Jesus Christ, it is a relationship with God, it is an experience of life. The fundamental gift of God to us is LIFE – spiritual life.

Secondly, the New Birth is a powerful work of the Spirit of God (Jn 3:8). It is like the wind blowing through our life, it is God breathing into our life. This new experience of the Holy Spirit is actually a miracle – no one can do it, no one can plan it, no church can bring it to pass, it is God’s work.

Thirdly, the New Birth is a person’s entry point into God’s family (Jn 3:5). 

The significance of the New Birth in the conversation with religious Nicodemus is that salvation is a supernatural work of God involving a radical change of nature. Nobody else can change human nature except God. Only God can save. Religion cannot save. Although many religions are sincere, religion cannot give this new life. This is the essence of John 3.

2 Christian Truth (3:14)

Jesus as Teacher (3:3, 5, 11-13)

Jesus brings truth into the world in an entirely new way, as one from God, with truth first hand from God. No limit to his divine inspiration and therefore he speaks the very words of God. Christ’s teaching is the most important teaching in the world.

Most non-Christians are frightened of the Gospel: light, illumination has come into the world but men loved loved darkness instead of light, loved ignorance instead of knowledge because their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). Men want to hide, the light leaves them with no excuses. It uncovers their defences, it imperils their proud self-satisfaction.

God’s truth is indeed remarkable.

The church is not meant to take up weapons to fight for its faith. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world but the truth of God that captures stubborn minds and brings them into obedience to Jesus Christ. That’s the power of the truth with signs and wonders that will accompany.

Jesus as Saviour (3:17)

The New Testament church taught that Jesus is coming back to this world as a Judge. The Apostles’ Creed: He will come again to judge both the living and the dead. All will stand before Jesus Christ. It is not an option. God has ordained it.

Our conscience should be rightly alarmed and fearful about that. 

However, the Judge who is going to come at the end of time had already come to prepare us for that 2nd Coming, knowing that we were not ready to stand before him, knowing that we were unfit to stand before him. He came to save us from the Judgment Day (Jn 3:17,18). That means if we put our trust in Jesus Christ, there is no fear of the Judgment Day, we will not be condemned. It is finished.

But … whoever does not believe stands condemned, not on the last Day, but already. We are already condemned in anticipation of that Day if we do not trust Jesus Christ, and we are already freed from condemnation, if we put our trust in Jesus Christ.
That’s the wonderful news of the Gospel!

How is that possible? Jesus must be lifted up by God on the Cross (Jn 3:14,15). That is what made it possible for God to forgive us.

3 Christian Ministry (3:30): 

John the Baptist represents Judaism, the final prophet of the Old Covenant, he’s the great final word from Israel. He is glad to give way to the Groom now that Israel is superseded, that Judaism is fulfilled and that the final answers come in Jesus (Jn 3:27). 

The essence of real Christianity and Christian ministry is marked by the end of self-centredness, end of egotism, end of self-importance and the beginning of laying down our life for him who laid down his life for us.

Motto for life and ministry: He must become greater, I must become less.

Monday, 20 May 2013

What consumes my life? by Ho King Swee dated 19.5.2013

What Consumes My Life? By Ho King Swee dated 19.5.13
This sermon is based on John chapter 2. The alternate title to this sermon is also “Am I jealous for my Lord God?”
There are two main themes to John chapter 2:
 a) Jesus turned water to wine. John 2:1-11
 b) Jesus cleansed the temple John 2:12-25
The Gospel of John is different from the Synoptic Gospel as it revealed in more details who Jesus is. By the time this Gospel was written around 98AD, many people including Gentiles have believed in Jesus and there were a lot of false teaching too.
Two folds purpose of the Gospel of John: 
These two purposes are found in John 20:30. 
1. You may believe that Jesus is Christ Son of God.
 2. That believing you may have life in his name.
Do we do whatever Jesus had told us to do?
 John 2:5 Jesus’ mother told the servants to follow whatever Jesus told them to do. Similarly we have to do whatever Jesus told us to do.

Deuteronomy 16:16 the Jews were instructed to appeared before God three times a year:
a) Feast of Unleavened Bread
b) Feast of Pentecost
 c) Feast of Tabernacle

Luke 2:40-42 it was written in Luke that Jesus’ parent to Jerusalem every year during the Feast of Passover. The Jews from all near by nations obeyed God and they went to Jerusalem yearly to worship God. Act 2:5 during Pentecost people heard their own languages spoken while they gathered in Jerusalem. People from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Egypt, etc heard their languages spoken.

Jesus cleansed the temple John 2:12-25
Isaiah 56:7 people went to the temple to pray. God said He made the temple as a house of prayer for all people. Their sacrifices will be acceptable to God. This was the sacrificial system that enabled the people to meet with God.
John 2:17 also said the temple was for "Zeal for thy house will consume me." That means people must have zeal for God so that this zeal consumed them. Similarly in Psalm 69:9 and Psalm 119:139 these two verses spoke about the zeal that consumed the people.
The questions for us are:
Where is the temple now?
 Where is God’s dwelling place now?
1 Corinthians 3:16 said “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?”
Are we also the house of prayer? Revelation 5:8 the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, holding harp, bowls full of incense and these were prayers of Saints. Revelation 8.2,3,4 spoken about offers for prayers by the Saints.
The questions to us are :
What consumes me?
What am I jealous for?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

John 1: Incarnation Incognito dated 5.5.13



Genesis language: motifs, words are clue to Divinity – “In the beginning God …”, “In the beginning was the Word, …”


Language of Law Courts compared with Mathematics and Logic: A witness gives testimony under oath before men of first-hand knowledge of an event in history or a fact to be established. God in his wisdom, has chosen the language and the method by which the proof of the Gospel is established before men in every century: listening to and reading the accounts of witnesses, the people who are actually there on the spot. 

Incarnation (John 1:1-18)

Divinity Revealed

This Word who was with God in the beginning, who was God, who made all things, and without whom was not anything made that has been made … this Word of eternity entered human history, pitched his tent amongst us, was witnessed, touched, heard and known - Jesus of Nazareth, the person of history, is the God of eternity. No other religion can claim this.


For when the Word became flesh, the writer John said: we have seen his glory: his splendor, his magnificence. And it was full of grace and truth. The glory of God is seen in his goodness that is revealed particularly in his Name (Exodus 33:19; 34:6-7). The goodness of God’s Name, Yahweh’s name, declares him to be who he is, overflowing with grace and truth.

Full of Grace & Truth 

These two key words occur repeatedly through the Scriptures about God and summarized the twin explanation of his name, his character and the meaning of who he is. The key words are translated “faith” and “love”, or “truth” and “grace”, or “mercy”.

God is abounding in faithfulness: reliability, steadfastness, trustworthiness. Different to the Greek, Canaanite or Asian gods – who were very changeable, unreliable, temperamental, moody – always have to keep on the right side of them. Problem is never know which is the right side. 

Grace is being given something we don’t deserve. Our eyewitnesses of history telling us Divinity has entered the world, full of grace – to give us something we do not deserve, we could never earn, we cannot achieve for ourselves – reconciliation, friendship with our Creator. Unlike the other gods of the ancient world, God is loving and merciful, gracious, generous and kind. Giving is the nature of the love of God. However, God has unparalleled righteousness. But his mercy is even greater. He doesn’t ignore corruption and evil. He doesn’t permanently overlook sin and wickedness, but he pardons sinfulness and forgives people by demanding and then providing the due punishment for their evil. 

Authentic Witness (Jn 1:19-51)


Jesus takes the great needs of the human race and summarizes them in a sentence like light or bread of life or resurrection and life, and simply says “I am that”. John the Baptist says I can’t tell you who Jesus is unless I tell you who John wasn’t.

Christ is the “I am”. John is the “I am not”.

John the Baptist refers to Isaiah 40:3-5 and says: “That’s all about me.” I am the voice.


 “A voice without a message is meaningless.”  “I’m a voice but the message does not belong to me.” 

Perpetual significance: a danger in the church, in all ages, to exalt man. Cathedral is the place where the cathedra is – Greek for a seat. What is being enthroned, or put on a seat, is the message, not the man. We must never exalt man into a position where their authority is something we must bow to. There is only one authority Christians bow to: the authority of Christ. True ministry is where Christ alone exalted and every man brought down. 


One great theme throughout the Gospel (John 1:10): this Messiah was in the world, the world was made through him – he was the world’s creator – and the world did not “know him”, recognize him. God Incognito (Isaiah 1:2,3). John the Baptist’s testimony: the Jews had been prepared for 2,000 years, they had the Temple and the synagogues, the Pharisees, the priests – all these, and yet when the Son of God came, they did not know him.


John the Baptist came to Israel, and seeing Jesus, said: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Calling upon the people to repent, turn around, away from their sinfulness, to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord, speaking of the forgiveness of sins.

But it was in the Cross, in particular, that we can see his glory. For there he was truthful, faithful, trustworthy – faithful to his Father, faithful to the prophets’ words, faithful to his own teaching, faithful even unto death. As the only Son of the Father, he brings not his own glory, but that of his Father’s. He came to do his Father’s will, to teach his Father’s teaching, to bring glory to his Father. He perfectly represents the Father – the Word was with God, the Word was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us (John 1:14).

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Introduction to Gospel of John by Dr.Thomas Chung dated 28.4.13

Introduction to Gospel of John by Dr.Thomas Chung dated 28.4.13
The Gospel of John opened our eyes to see the suffering of Jesus. There are three areas in his Gospel that changed lives :
a) Instruction in Jesus’s teaching
b) His inspirations to us
c) His impartation to us
High Priestly Prayer of Jesus
The High Priestly prayer of Jesus in John chapter 17 summed up what He wanted to say to His followers. Jesus poured our His heart to us. In the last 2000 years the Gospel of John has been the most precious Book for 1) It feeds the mind 2) feeds the heart and soul and brings peace to us. 3) It opens the door to Jesus’ mind. John’s Gospel is unique it took messages from the three other Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke and deepened them so that we can see things that cannot be seen by our eyes. It is like opening the doors to the mysteries of God. John had special relation with Jesus.
Events in Jesus’ Life Recorded in John’s Gospel 
Some events in Jesus’ life was recorded only in John’s Gospel and not the other Gospels. John wanted us to understand Jesus’ life
1. Turning water into wine in Cana in John chapter 2. Essentially Christianity is the message of transformation like turning water into wine.
2. John Chapter 3 where Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be born again before any one can see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus could not understand because he was thinking humanly. He did not think spiritually. One needed to be born from above, or born anew.
3. John Chapter 4, Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well. Spring of water leaping out giving eternal life. When you become a Christian you are like a fountain flowing with living water.
4. John Chapter 11, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus spoke to Martha about eternal life.
5. John Chapter 13, Jesus washed the feets of His disciples.
6. The woman caught in adultery which was not recorded in the other Gospels. Dr. Chung suggested what Jesus wrote on the sand twice. The first time He wrote “adultery” and the second time He cancelled the word “adultery”. Jesus did not condemn the woman.

Chapters 14, 15, 16 are about the Holy Spirit. Jesus used parabolic saying like 1) “I am the true life” 2) “I am the bread of life” 3) “I am the true vine” 4) “I am the resurrection and life” 5) “I am the good shepherd”. The early church fathers said John saw the light if Jesus as window of eternity. Jesus the person of God, truth of God, way of God and life of God. John was special to Jesus. Before Jesus died on the Cross He entrusted His mother to John. The Gospel of John is also known as Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We study John for a) the spiritual dept b) the unique way Jesus spoke to individual c) John 20:30 that the Gospel written so we may believe.

In chapter 13 the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet spoke about:
1. The divinity of God
2. Loyalty to His brothers
3. His humility.
 Jesus washed His disciples’ feet so we must also wash each other’s feet. In spiritual sense it is the symbol of humility and servant hood.
Galations 6:2 carry each others burdens. Hebrews 10:24-25 meet and to encourage one another.