The Second Discourse: A New Kind of H2O

March 29, 2009  |  Joe Boot

The entire life and ministry of Jesus communicates that living water ministered by the Holy Spirit alone can bring satisfaction to human beings. By offering the woman at the well living water, Jesus creates a new desire that only He can fulfill. He reveals a need in the human heart that can be met only in Himself.

The First Discourse: The New Birth

March 15, 2009  |  Joe Boot

After Jesus had deeply offended the Pharisees by cleansing the temple, Nicodemus came to him, asking a genuine question: "Rabbi, we know that you are from God..." Although Jesus appears to change the subject, he is actually answering the assumption underlying Nicodemus' concern: the faulty Jewish view that he would be a military Messiah. King Jesus would bring liberation and change to His people by individual regeneration from the power of sin, not by political liberation from Roman rule. Jesus is answering the central question of all true seekers: how is Christ's kingship manifested?

The First Sign: The Beginning of Miracles

March 8, 2009  |  Joe Boot
In the book of John, Jesus' teaching focuses on new creation or new birth. The book contains seven 'signs' or miracles which are meant to help us understand what our redemption in Christ means for the new creation. The signs that Jesus performed never compel belief, but rather illustrate spiritual realities for believers: for those granted spiritual sight, the signs or miracles of Jesus serve to confirm and establish their faith.

Beauty for Ashes (Lent)

March 1, 2009  |  Joe Boot

Lent is an opportunity for repentance, contrition, self-examination, and reflection. Its purpose is not simply to grieve the suffering of Christ, but also to weep for ourselves and our sin.

The Relevance of Creation: Genesis and the Missing Piece of the Puzzle

February 22, 2009  |  Calvin Smith

Genesis is one of the most attacked books of the Bible. Everyone is faced with the three big questions of life: 1) Where did I come from? 2) What is my purpose in life? 3) What will happen when I die? The answer they provide for the first question will form the foundation for answering the next two. The Bible has a meta-narrative, or overarching story, which gives context and meaning to each event that is recorded and answers the three big life questions. The meta-narrative anticipates a Restoration at the end of time.

The Family and the Kingdom - Giving

February 15, 2009  |  Joe Boot
Tithing is part of the Christian view of life and reality that is concerned above all with faith, justice, and mercy. Because we believe that the earth is the Lord's and all it contains, ALL we have belongs to God, and He requires that a small portion of that be given back to Him to extend His righteousness, His justice, and His kingdom.

The Family and the Kingdom - Ethics

February 8, 2009  |  Joe Boot

The question of ethics is inevitable; no one can escape it since we are communal creatures. By definition, ethics concerns how I live with others. All of us were created for and are born into a family and a society. Cultivating holiness in community is the real challenge. Two extremes we as Christians need to avoid in our approach to God's law are anti-nomianism and legalism.

The Family and the Kingdom - Marriage

February 1, 2009  |  Scott Masson

Marriage is used throughout Scripture as a picture of the relationship between God and His people, Christ and the Church, and even a picture of the relationships within the Trinity. In marriage, there is a deep unity possible between a man and a woman which is so radical and profound that what results is described as a new creation. This deep unity requires self-abandonment and submission.