Showing posts with label VIDEO SERMONS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VIDEO SERMONS. Show all posts
Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bible Message: Why Was This Child Born Blind?


John 9:1-23
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”


One of the reasons I believe the Bible and love the Bible is because it deals with the hardest issues in life. It doesn’t sweep painful things under the rug—or complex things or confusing things or provoking things or shocking things or controversial things. In fact, Jesus sometimes went out of his way to create controversy with the Pharisees so that more truth about himself and about unbelief would come out, so that we could be warned by examples of hardness and wooed by images of his glory.

One of the hardest things in life is the suffering of children, and the suffering of those who love them—especially when that early suffering turns into a lifetime of living with profound loss. Few things in my ministry have given me a deeper sense of satisfaction than seeing God raise up at Bethlehem a heart and mind and vision and a ministry for people with disabilities, especially children. I thank God for the coordinator of our Disability Ministry, Brenda Fischer. And I thank God for the parents who have put their minds and hearts together to trumpet a vision for such a ministry.

The Supremacy of God in Disability

You can go to our website (www.hopeingod.org) and read the vision statement that Bob Horning and John Knight put together—dads who know what they are talking about close up. Here is the core of what they have to say:

Our vision is that Bethlehem would display the supremacy of God in disability and suffering. We want our lives to reflect an unshakable joy in the Lord that allows us to embrace a life of suffering in disability for His purpose and glory. We want to shout that life with a disability and with Jesus is infinitely better than a healthy body without Him. We say, with Paul, that “this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) We want this to be true as individuals and in the church as a body.
Is disability hard? As fathers of children with rare disabling conditions, we can attest to the struggles men in particular face when their child has a disability. Disability is expensive—financially, emotionally, and relationally. It seems neither slight nor momentary. The male myth of self-determination, control, and independence is exploded in the face of needing to turn to medical professionals, social workers and educators on issues we never dreamed of facing. To this we say, thank you, God, for not allowing us to live the lie that there is anything good or worthwhile apart from you. Thank you for showing us how much we need you! The struggles our wives endure is perhaps even deeper.

The Bible: Not Silent on Disability

The issue may be autism or Down syndrome or FASD or spina bifida or blindness or any number of rare and unpronounceable conditions—each has its own peculiar sorrows, its own peculiar way of turning decades into what you never dreamed or planned they would be. Married life isn’t what you thought it would be. Everything is irrevocably changed, and life will never be the same again. And you were not asked.

What would I do as a pastor if I had to face these things—these children, these parents—with a Bible that said nothing about it? What if all I could do is think up ideas on my own about suffering and disability? What if all I had was human opinions? I thank God that this is not our condition. The Bible is permeated with suffering and sorrow. This is one of the things that make it so believable. It is filled with things that God has said and done to shed light on these sufferings and sorrows.

Light Shining in Darkness

We will see that it is not incidental to the story when Jesus says, precisely in this context (verse 5), “I am the light of the world.” We are not left in the dark about the meaning of darkness. God’s light has come into the world, and it is shining on disabilities and on everything else. God has not left us to alone to despair of any meaning, or to create our own meaning.

So ask God to open your eyes, and let’s walk with Jesus, in the light, through this text of God’s word in John 9:1–4.

The Hard-Knock Life of Disability

Verse 1: “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.” He is a man now. But he was born blind. And it did not go easily for him. We will meet his parents later in verse 18. But they were not able to care for him any longer. So he was a beggar. We know that because of verse 8: “The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, ‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’” So he was blind and he was desperately poor. Life had been very hard.

Verse 1 says Jesus saw him as he passed by. And the disciples saw that he saw him. Verse 2 says, “And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’” That question is crucial. But notice, the story did not begin with the disciples’ question, or with the disciples seeing the blind man. The story begins with Jesus seeing the man: “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.” The disciples are engaged because Jesus is engaged.

Attentive, Merciful, Moving Toward Disability

And I would just plead in passing—children, young people, and adults—see people with disabilities. And I don’t mean see them like the priest and the Levite on the Jericho Road, passing by on the other side. This is our natural reflex—see and avoid. But we are not natural people. We are followers of Jesus. We have the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts. We have been seen and touched in all our brokenness by an attentive, merciful Savior.

If you want to be one of the most remarkable kinds of human beings on the planet—a Jesus kind—see people with disabilities. See them. And move toward them. God will show you what to say.

Redeeming Awkward Moments

When the disciples saw Jesus’ attention to the blind man, they asked for an explanation of his blindness. Verse 2: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” That was probably not the most compassionate thing to say at the moment. And you will blow it too someday. Yes, you will. But Jesus is merciful (just like our parents of children with disabilities have been merciful when we have said ill-informed and insensitive things), and he redeems awkward moments and callous words.

In this case, what does Jesus do? He answers their question but not in the categories that they are using. They want an explanation for this man’s blindness. And he gives it to them. But they ask for the explanation in the categories of cause. What is it in the past that caused the blindness? But Jesus says that won’t work, and he gives them an explanation in the category of purpose. Not what’s the cause of the blindness, but what’s the purpose of the blindness? Let me try to unpack this.

Not Cause, But Purpose

They say in verse 2, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” In other words, what is the cause of this blindness? The man’s sin? Or the parents’ sin? Is this blindness a punishment for the parents’ sin or a punishment for his own sin—some kind of inherited sinfulness already in the womb?

Jesus says, in effect, specific sins in the past don’t always correlate with specific suffering in the present. The decisive explanation for this blindness is not found by looking for its cause but by looking for its purpose. Verse 3: Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Suffering Not Owing to Specific Sin

Ponder a moment the words, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents.” That is very significant. The point Jesus is making is not that suffering didn’t come into the world because of sin. It did. That’s plain from Genesis 3 and Romans 8:18–25. If there never had been sin, there never would have been suffering. All suffering is owing to sin. And part of the meaning of the physical horrors of suffering is to reveal the moral horrors of sin.

But that is not what Jesus is saying here. Nor is he not denying it. What he is saying here is: Specific suffering is often—I would say most of the time—not owing to specific sin. The disciples didn’t understand this distinction, it seems—that the existence of sin in the world is the cause of suffering in the world, but specific sins in the world are usually not the cause of specific sufferings in the world.

Explanation in the Purposes of God

But that is what Jesus is saying here in verse 3: “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents.” In other words, this blindness—this specific suffering—is not owing to the specific sins of the parents or the man. Don’t look there for the explanation.

Then he tells them where to look. Look for an explanation of this blindness in the purposes of God. Verse 3: “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” The explanation of the blindness lies not in the past causes but the future purposes.

Countering an Objection

Let me address an objection at this point. There are some pastors and teachers who dislike intensely the idea that God might will that a child be born blind so that some purpose of God might be achieved. One of the ways they try to escape the teaching of this text is to say that Jesus is pointing to the result of the blindness, not the purpose of the blindness. When Jesus says in verse 3, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him,” he means, the result of the blindness is that God was able to use the blindness to show his work, not that he planned the blindness in order to show his work.

But there are at least three reasons why that won’t work.

  1. One is that the disciples are asking for an explanation of the blindness, and Jesus’ answer is given as an explanation of the blindness. But if you say God had no purpose, no plan, no design in the blindness but simply finds the blindness later and uses it, that is not an explanation of the blindness. It doesn’t answer the disciples’ question. They want to know: Why is he blind? And Jesus really does give an answer. This is why he’s blind—there is purpose in it. There is a divine design. There’s a plan. God means for his work to be displayed in him.
  2. Here’s another reason that suggestion doesn’t work. God knows all things. He knows exactly what is happening in the moment of conception. When there is a defective chromosome or some genetic irregularity in the sperm that is about to fertilize an egg, God can simply say no. He commands the winds. He commands the waves. He commands the sperm and the genetic makeup of the egg. If God foresees and permits a conception that he knows will produce blindness, he has reasons for this permission. And those reasons are his purposes. His designs. His plans. God never has met a child from whom he had no plan. There are no accidents in God’s mind or hands.
  3. And third, any attempt to deny God’s sovereign, wise, purposeful control over conception and birth has a head-on collision with Exodus 4:11 and Psalm 139:13. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’” “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

Purpose: Displaying the Works of God

The meaning of Jesus in John 9:3 is not obscure. He is saying to the disciples: Turn away from your fixation on causality as the decisive explanation of suffering. And turn away from any surrender to futility, or absurdity, or chaos, or meaninglessness. And turn to the purposes and plans of God. There is no child and no suffering outside God’s purposes.

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents.” This blindness came about “in order that that the works of God might be displayed in this man.

This is not the whole explanation of suffering in the Bible. There are dozens of other relevant passages and important points to make. But this passage and this point are massively important. Let me draw out one or two things, and then we will pick it up the next time to see what happens and to ask: Why did he use spit, and why mud, and why the washing in the pool called “Sent,” and why the reference to working while it is day, and why 41 verses of controversy? All that’s coming. But for today let’s not miss how Jesus talks about our suffering.

Ultimate Meaning Only in God

There is one main truth in the words of verse 3: The blindness is “that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

That truth is that suffering can only have ultimate meaning in relation to God.

Jesus says that the purpose of the blindness is to put the work of God on display. This means that for our suffering to have ultimate meaning, God must be supremely valuable to us. More valuable than health and life. Many things in the Bible make no sense until God becomes your supreme value.

For God’s Glory—Both in Healing and Non-Healing

For Jesus, blindness from birth is sufficiently explained by saying: God intends to display some of his glory through this blindness. In this case, it happens to be healing—the glory of God’s power to heal. But there is nothing that says it has to be healing. When Paul cried out three times for his thorn in the flesh to be healed, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I will put my power on display, not by healing you, but by sustaining you.

In other words, healing displays the works of God in John 9, and sustaining grace displays the works of God in 2 Corinthians 12. What is common in the two cases is the supreme value of the glory of God. The blindness is for the glory of God. The thorn in the flesh is for the glory of God. The healing is for his glory, and the non-healing is for his glory.

Suffering can only have ultimate meaning in relation to God.

From Healing to the Ministry of Dying

One last observation. Verse 4: “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” This means two things: One is that the works of God referred to in verse 3—“that the works of God might be displayed”—these works of God will be done through the hands of Jesus. Jesus is going to heal this man’s blindness. The works of God are the works of Jesus.

And second, he must do this quickly, because night is coming, and his work will be over. Jesus will turn from a ministry of healing to a ministry of dying. He will turn from the day-work of relieving suffering, and do the night-work of suffering himself. He will finally submit totally to the plan of his Father that the Son be swallowed up by the sin and suffering of the world.

Eyes to See

And if you join the disciples in asking: Why? Who sinned that this man must suffer like this? The answer would certainly be: Not him. We did. That is the cause of his suffering. But it’s not the decisive explanation. The decisive explanation is: He is suffering that the works of God might be displayed in him. The works of wrath-bearing, and curse-removing, and guilt-lifting, and righteousness-providing, and death-defeating, and life-giving, and in the end suffering-removing—totally removing.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). And over every sorrow and ever disability and every loss embraced in faith for the glory of God will be written in blood: “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18).

May God give you eyes to see that the display of his works in his Son’s suffering and your suffering and your child’s suffering are all expressions of his love.


By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bible Message: If You Abide In My Word, You Are Truly My Disciples



John 8:31

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.


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If you are a true believer in Jesus today, or if you are an unbeliever, or if you are phony believer, thinking you believe when you don't, these words of Jesus are meant for you. In fact, there is so much here for you in verse 31 that I never got to verse 32. And what I have decided to do is make verse 32 the text for Easter next weekend. "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

I encourage you to bring unbelieving family and friends. Everyone wants freedom. What is it? How do you get it? And how does it relate to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? That's next week.

5 Questions Raised by Verse 31

But today we focus on verse 31: "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.'" And I have five questions that this verse raises—all are crucial for your life:

  1. What does it mean to "truly be Jesus's disciples"? ("You are truly my disciples.")
  2. What is Jesus referring to by the phrase "my word"? ("If you abide in my word…")
  3. What does it mean to be "in" that word? ("If you abide in my word…")
  4. What does it mean to "abide" there? ("If you abide in my word…")
  5. What's the relationship between abiding in his word and truly being his disciple? ("If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.")

1. What does it mean to "truly be Jesus's disciples"?

Verse 31: "Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.'" What this phrase "truly my disciples" implies is that there are disciples who are not truly disciples. The word "truly" means "really"—"really my disciples." In other words, there are real and unreal disciples. There are authentic and inauthentic disciples. There is discipleship that is merely outward, and discipleship that goes down to the root.

The world is not just divided into two groups: disciples of Jesus and non-disciples. It is divided into three groups: non-disciples, unreal disciples, and real disciples—people who make no pretense of following Jesus, people that say they follow him and have a surface connection with him, and people who truly follow him.

Not All Belief Is Real

Why did Jesus bring up this distinction? It's disturbing. It makes us squirm and ask ourselves the question which one we are. He brought it up because verse 30 says, "As he was saying these things, many believed in him." There had been a large response to what he was teaching. And whenever there is a large response to anything you may guess that some are being carried along by the crowd. If your friends are going, it's easy for you to go, even if you wouldn't go on your own. You are along for the ride.

So Jesus doesn't assume that all this belief is real. What he does is give a test that we can use to see if we are real. And in giving us this test Jesus helps us be real. It is not just a test of reality. It is a pathway to reality.

To Create Faith—As Well as Sustain It

So what becomes clear here again, as we have seen several times before (for example, John 2:23–25; 6:26) is what John meant when he wrote in John 20:31, "These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." He meant that this Gospel was written not just to awaken faith in non-disciples, but also to wakeup people who think they are disciples but aren't, and to help those who are real disciples confirm their reality and be stronger in their faith. John's Gospel is written to sustain faith as well as create it.

You are in one of those three categories. And therefore all of you are included here. Let Jesus diagnose for you which you are, and then move toward reality.

Being a True Disciple

What then is a true disciple? Or what does Jesus mean by saying in verse 31, "you are truly my disciples"? Let's be really clear here: For Jesus "true disciple" is the same as "true Christian" or "true believer." Jesus is not saying that "true disciple" is a second stage in the Christian life. First believer, and then later you attain the level of disciple.

There have been ministries who talk that way. First, you're an unbeliever, then you are a believer, then you grow into a disciple, and then you are a disciplemaker. That is not the way Jesus thought. And one piece of evidence for saying this is to notice the words he uses here in verse 31: "Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." He did not say to these professing believers, "If you abide in my word, you will become truly my disciples." In other words, he did not teach that being a true disciple was a later stage after simple belief. No. He said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." Now that you have believed, here is how you can know what you now are. You can know if your belief is real: You are now my true disciples if you go on abiding in my word.

So there is no thought here about "true discipleship" being a second stage of Christian maturity. True disciple means true believer or true Christian or true follower. It means, for example, truly forgiven for your sins. Look at verse 24: "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." So he says, if you do believe in me, you won't die in your sins.

Rescued from Wrath

Why not? What happens to them? They are forgiven, taken away. Back in John 1:29 Jesus is called "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" How does he do that? He tells us in John 10:15, "I lay down my life for the sheep." So Jesus takes our place, and receives God's punishment of death which we deserved, which means that the wrath of God is totally removed from us. And instead of getting wrath from God, we get life and adoption from God because of the death of Jesus.

Listen to this amazing word about God's wrath in John 3:36: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." But if you have believed—truly believed, God's wrath does not remain on you. Never again will you taste it. Ever!

Saved from Sin

So a true disciple in John 8:31 ("truly my disciples") is a true Christian, a true believer. His sins are truly forgiven; the wrath of God never again rests on him. He has true eternal life. He is one of Jesus' sheep, and no one can pluck him out of his hand (John 10:29). He is no longer a slave but a son of God (verse 35; 1 John 3:1). He is the heir of ten thousand blessings that come to the children of the creator of the universe.

That's what it means to be a true disciple. To be saved from sin. Rescued from the wrath of God. And already in the enjoyment of eternal life.

2. What is Jesus referring to by the phrase "my word"?

Our second question from John 8:31 is: What is Jesus referring to by the phrase, "my word"? "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples."

The word is singular, "my word," not "my words." This means that Jesus is thinking of the sum of all that he has taught. We could leave it at that: Jesus means "abide in the sum of all that Jesus taught." But my guess is that Jesus wants us to ponder what the sum of that word is. And surely the answer to that is: He is the sum of his word. All his words in one way or another draw our attention to him.

Words like: "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). "I am not of this world" (John 8:23). "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). "I am in the Father" (John 10:38). "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). When you take all his words together, they have one great focus—Jesus himself. "These are written—all these words are written—so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20:31). They all point to him.

All Jesus' Words Point to Him

Which is why when you get to chapter 15, Jesus can say, not only "abide in my word," but "abide in me." "If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch" (John 15:6).

So the answer to our second question would be: The phrase "my word" here in John 8:31 ("if you abide in my word") refers to the sum of Jesus' teaching which is summed up in himself and all that he is for us as the crucified and risen Son of God.

Knowing Jesus Through His Word



One practical implication of this is that, if you want to know Jesus, you know him through his word. One of the most important convictions you can ever form is the conviction that Jesus, as a real, living, precious person, is known today chiefly through his word. And the only reason I say "chiefly," and not "only," is that in the fellowship of obedience and suffering from day to day, our personal knowledge of Jesus of goes deeper and deeper, but always through his word. But if you want to see the face of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6) most clearly, most surely, you must look at him through his word.

For me, 1 Samuel 3:21 has been tremendously helpful. It says, "The Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord." Himself by the word. And the same is true for Jesus—he reveals himself to us today "by the word of the Lord."

3. What does it mean to be "in" that word?



Now the third question from verse 31 is: What does it mean to be "in" that word? "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." Here's a picture of what I think it means. The word of Jesus, with himself as the center and focus of it, has a kind of force field, like a magnetic field around it. And when you are "in his word," you are in that force field. You are under the sway of that force coming from his word. So, for example:

  • Part of this force field is the truth of the word. So when you are "in" the word, you are in the persuasion of the truth of the word. You are persuaded that the word is true. And you live in force field of that persuasion. You live in the truth.
  • Another part of this force field is the beauty of the word (I'm referring here to moral and spiritual beauty, not stylistic beauty), and when you are "in" the word you in the attraction of that beauty. You are held by that beauty.
  • Another part of the force field is the supreme value of the word, and when you are "in" the word you are captured by the preciousness of the word, and the Savior. You are drawn to treasure the word.
  • Another part of the force field of the word is the power and grace of the word, so that when you are "in" the word, you made peaceful and hopeful by the word. You trust in the word. Because it can do what it promises; and what is promises is gracious.
  • Another part of this force field is the word as the life-giving, soul-sustaining bread of heaven, so that when you are "in" the word, you are in the nourishment of the word. You are being fed and strengthened by the word.
  • And the force field includes the word as living water so that when you are "in" the word, you are being refreshed by the word.
  • And the force field includes the word as light so that when you are "in" the word, you being illumined and guided by the word. You see everything in the light of the word.

So when Jesus says, "If you abide in my word…," being "in" his word means being in

  • the persuasion of its truth,
  • and the attraction of its beauty,
  • and the treasuring of its value,
  • and the peacefulness of its grace and power,
  • and the nourishment of its bread,
  • and the refreshment of its water,
  • and the brightness of its light.

To be "in" the word of Jesus is a whole new life. This is what it is to be a true disciple. To live "in" the word of the riches of the word of Jesus.

But Jesus does not simply say that true disciples are in his word. He says they "abide" in it. So our fourth question is:

4. What does it mean to abide in his word?

"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." The word "abide" is simply the word "remain." It doesn't carry in it any special spiritual connotations in itself. It means remain in his word. Don't leave it.

This doesn't mean that you can't lay your Bible down and go to your work. No. Abiding in the word of Jesus means remaining in that force field of the word. It means not leaving it.

  • Abide means not ceasing to be persuaded by its truth, and never elevating any other truth above it.
  • Abide means not ceasing to be attracted by its beauty and value, and never seeing anything as more beautiful or more valuable or more attractive than the word and the Lord it reveals.
  • Abide means not ceasing to rest in its grace and power—never turning away as though greater peace could be found anywhere else.
  • Abide means never ceasing to eat and drink from the word as the bread of heaven and living water, as if life could be sustained anywhere else.
  • And abide means never ceasing to walk in the light of the word, as though any other light could show the secrets of life.

This is what it means to be a true disciple. "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." And the fact that Jesus puts the emphasis on abiding—remaining—gives the answer to our last question:

5. How are abiding in his word and truly being his disciple related to each other?

"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." Jesus is saying that the mark of the true disciple is lasting, enduring, persevering, keeping on in the force field of the word. Temporary tastes of the truth and beauty and value and power and grace and bread and water and brightness of the word do not make you a Christian. The mark of Christians is that we taste and we stay.

To whom shall we go? You, O Lord, have the words of life (John 6:68).

The Power of Jesus' Word

So if you are a believer in Jesus, may the Lord use this word to confirm and strengthen and gladden your heart in the word of Jesus.

If you are an unbeliever, may the Lord use this word to give life to your spiritually dead soul and give you faith and joy through Jesus who died so that you might have eternal life through faith.

And if you are a phony believer, I pray that the Lord will use this word, to show you what a true Christian is, and wake you up and give you a true spiritual taste for the truth and beauty and value and grace and power and brightness of Jesus in his word. Amen.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Monday, April 11, 2011

Bible Message : True Cost of Discipleship by Rev. K. Sudhakar Rajaratnam

bible message by Rev.K.Sudhakar Rajaratnam, pastor, trinity lutheran church, visakhapatnamBible Message about true cost of discipleship in Telugu by Rev. K. SudhaKar Rajaratnam, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Visakhapatnam.




Bible message by sudhakar rajaratnam part1





Bible message by sudhakar rajaratnam part2

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bible Message by Rev. K.Sudhakar Rajaratnam, Trinity Lutheran Church

bible message by Rev.K.Sudhakar Rajaratnam, pastor, trinity lutheran church, visakhapatnamBible Message by Rev. K. SudhaKar Rajaratnam, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Visakhapatnam.




Bible message by sudhakar rajaratnam part1





Bible message by sudhakar rajaratnam part2