Glory and Grace
The Gospel of John
March 8, 2020
March 8, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Theme: Transformed View of God’s Work Passage: John 5:1–18 We need our view of God’s power transformed … (vv. 1–7) …from religious superstition …from our ability to make things happen …to Jesus Christ as the center of God’s work (8–9) Warning: We can miss the work God is doing by 1. Succumbing to outside pressure (10–15) 2. Trusting in traditional, idiosyncratic religious practice (16–18) Main Idea: Those transformed by glory and grace demonstrate that God’s work centers on Jesus Christ by trusting and submitting to him. Application Questions: • In what ways can we as Christians be susceptible to religious superstition? How have you wrestled with these in your own life? • Do you struggle with a trust in yourself to make things happen, even spiritually? How so? • From this scene, how does one allow Jesus to be the center of God’s work in their own life? • Why do you and I still struggle with succumbing to outside pressure in contrast to following the commands that Jesus calls us to? • How do we still miss the work of God by trusting in traditional religious practices? What can we as individual believers and the church as a whole do to recognize and confront these tendencies?
March 1, 2020
March 1, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Theme: Transforming Faith Passage: John 4:43–54 Contrasting Faiths seen in this story: 1. Faulty Faith: a. A welcoming faith based on the works Jesus can do, not on who he truly is (45). b. A desperate faith based on what Jesus can do for me in my present need or crisis (46–49). 2. Saving Faith-based simply on the word from the Word (50–53): a. Believing the Word b. Following the instructions by the Word c. Experiencing Life from the Word d. Further believing that bears fruit of belief in the Word Main Idea: Those being transformed believe Jesus simply for who he is and follow what he commands with the result that they experience the life that he offers. Application Questions: • In what ways does a faulty faith that welcomes Jesus for what he can do manifest itself in our church-going culture today? • How have you had at times a faulty faith that seeks Jesus for how he can meet a present need? What did this look like in what you did for God or how you responded to God? • What are we to make of the two experiences of “believing” by the royal official (v. 50 and 53)? How might these affect our view of faith or help us define better what faith is in the life of a believer?
February 23, 2020
February 23, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Theme: Transformed Water, Worship, and Mission Passage: John 4:1–42 Notice what his encounter with a Samaritan woman teaches us about Jesus: 1. Jesus provides water that eternally satisfies (7–14). 2. Jesus sees and knows our predicament (15–18). 3. Jesus represents the place in which true worship occurs (19–26). 4. Jesus calls his followers to see the mission field God has prepared for them (27–38). 5. Jesus truly is the Savior of the world (39–42). Sermonic Theme: Those transformed by glory and grace focus their worship on God’s work through his Son by carrying out his mission of pointing any and all people to Jesus. Application Questions: • What stood out to you about Jesus from this story? How can you apply what you see of Jesus into your own life? • What does Jesus’s statement about worship in vv. 19–24 teach us worship isn’t and is? How might this affect your own worship or involvement in corporate worship? • Like the disciples (vv. 27–34), how are you blind at times to what is spiritually going on? In what ways does this passage convict you about your involvement in God’s mission? • From this passage, what encourages you to carry out the mission of pointing people to Jesus?
February 16, 2020
February 16, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Passage: John 3:22–36 Theme: Increasing and Decreasing From the example and teaching of John concerning his relationship to Jesus, we must understand the following: 1. A transformed witness recognizes all ministry culminates in Jesus (22–29). a. We receive our commission from him. b. We are sent to point to him. c. Our joy is found in him. 2. A transformed witness increasingly emphasizes Christ over self (30¬). Reasons why (31–35): a. He is above all. b. He has directly seen and heard from the Father. c. He speaks the very words of God. d. He possesses authority over everything. Sermonic Theme: Rather than adding God to our lives, God’s transforming work through glory and grace places us into the eternal life of his Son Jesus. Do you truly want the life Jesus has offered you (36)? Application Questions: • In what ways do we make ministry and following Jesus about ourselves? How have you personally struggled with this? • John’s response in vv. 27–30 demonstrates incredible humility. Are we able to cultivate humility in our lives? What are some practical steps we can take in order to do so? • What do we learn about the Trinity and how they function in this unfolding plan of God from this passage of scripture (vv. 32–35)? How does this impact your life? • What truths can we take away about life from v. 36? How should this impact the way that we live (from this verse and the passage in its entirety)?
February 2, 2020
February 2, 2020 • Pastor Josh Kee
“Glory and Grace” Sermon Series // “The Conditions of God’s Kingdom” Passage: John 3:1-21 3:1-12 // The glory and grace of God confront unbelief • vv. 1-2 – Nicodemus confronts Jesus • v. 4 – “How can a man be born when he is old?...” • v. 9 – “How can these things be?” • v. 11 – “…but you do not receive our testimony.” 3:3-8 // The glory and grace of God transform • vv. 3-4 – “you must be born again” = “from above” • vv.5-7 – “you must be born of water and spirit” = cleansed and made alive by God • v. 8 – the transformative work of God in the lives of people is mysterious, yet undeniable • the condition for entering God’s kingdom is one we cannot meet apart from divine grace 3:14-15 // The glory and grace of God are manifest through shame and suffering • only Jesus can fulfill this as the unique Son of God • Jesus condescends to take our shame (Philippians 2:1-10) • Jesus will be glorified through his suffering (Isaiah 53; Colossians 2; Hebrews 12:2) • He must be lifted up on the cross (Numbers 21:4-9) 3:16-18 // The glory and grace of God save and give life • Jesus did not come to condemn – the world was condemned already because of lawlessness • The Law brought condemnation • God’s love for the world is proved by the giving of Jesus 3:19-20 // The glory and grace of God expose darkness • Light exposes dark; purity exposes wickedness – this is an act of divine grace • Our response to the Light proves the state of our heart 3:21 // The glory and grace of God bring freedom • Only those who live in the light are truly free • This is the evidence of the grace of God at work Main Point: God’s love is proved, not by how we feel about it, but by the giving of his unique Son to become, and overcome, our curse. Only those who look to Christ in simple, desperate faith experience the transformative, life-giving work of grace. Discussion Questions: 1. How is God’s grace displayed in Jesus’ confrontation with Nicodemus? 2. Do you have any questions that keep you from receiving Jesus? Where is there unbelief? 3. Are you hoping in anything other than the gracious work of God to bring about transformation in your life? Where do you need God’s grace to work? 4. How do the shame and suffering of Jesus transform our understand of glory? 5. Do you believe that God delights to give you life in Christ? Do you ever feel as if God give begrudgingly or reluctantly? If so, why do you thing that is? 6. Are there any areas of your life that you are trying to keep hidden? What might need exposed? 7. Why is it true freedom to live in the light rather than hiding in darkness? Where have you experienced this in your life?
January 26, 2020
January 26, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Passage: John 2:12–25 Theme: Jesus Is in the House From the confrontations that take place in this text, notice what results for Jesus: 1. Jesus responds passionately to those who make the house/work of God about financial profit. 2. Jesus retains the authority to do what he did because he is the true temple of God. 3. Jesus receives the shame of sinners because he is the true Passover lamb. Responses that Jesus’s actions generate: • Complete rejection • Realization of the truth that leads to belief and transformation • Superficial belief that misses the Truth Sermonic Theme: Those being transformed by the glory and grace of Jesus take seriously their commitment to the true temple of God. Application Questions: 1. What stands out to you about Jesus from this story? 2. How may we be susceptible today to turning the house of God into a place for personal profit? 3. What two things do the disciples “remember” in this account (vv. 17 and 22)? What does this indicate about scripture? About belief? How may this apply to you? 4. What do vv. 23–25 indicate about belief in that many “believed” but Jesus didn’t “believe” them? How are you assured that your belief is believed by Jesus?
January 19, 2020
January 19, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Passage: John 2:1–11 Theme: Transforming Water into Wine From this sign that Jesus performed at a wedding in Cana, I want us to be challenged to 1. See what Jesus sees (vv. 1–5) . a. The problems of ordinary people b. The primacy of God’s will c. Their predicament requiring his grace 2. See what Jesus transforms (6–11) a. Vessels for purification into vessels for celebration (6–8): The work of Jesus purifies us so that we can celebrate. b. An ordinary wedding into a foretaste of the ultimate wedding feast (9–11): The work of Jesus demonstrates that he is the true master of ceremonies and bridegroom. Sermonic Theme: Jesus transforms the problems and difficulties of ordinary life into celebratory displays of his glory. Takeaways for us: • Don’t be too proud to bring your needs to Jesus. • Trust that he knows best. • Allow him to do what he decides to do. • Whatever the outcome, continue to point back to the eternal hope you have in him. Application Questions: 1. Which of the three things that Jesus sees in vv. 1–5 do you struggle to see in your day-to-day life? How has this text challenged you in that area? What step can you take to address that in your life? 2. How can we corporately as a church and individually as believers see better a) the problems of ordinary people; b) the primacy of God’s will; and c) the predicament of others requiring an act of grace? 3. How do we as Christians today turn the work of Jesus that brings celebration back around into something that is focused on our works and efforts? 4. What areas of your life presently need the transforming work of Jesus to bring about celebration again (take those to God in prayer)? 5. What has this miracle sign revealed to you about Jesus for which you can praise him?
January 12, 2020
January 12, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Theme: Witness and Disciple Passage: John 1:19–51 Sermonic Point: We display the glory and grace of God as a witness and follower of Jesus. 1. Witness (1:19–34) • Identity of the witness: I am not the point. I am simply an instrument to point to Jesus. • Content of the witness: Look to Jesus who can truly save. Look at the work God is doing through Jesus. 2. Follower (1:35–51) • What followers realize: Jesus is God’s means of salvation Jesus is Messiah Jesus is the climax of scripture Jesus is God’s unique Son Jesus is King Jesus is the one who shows us God. • How followers respond: Hear and follow Desire to be with Jesus Find others to lead to Jesus Imitate Jesus’s own work Application Questions: • Apart from a biblical context, how do we understand and define the terms witness and follower? List both positive and negative connotations. • From verses 19–34, what did you learn about John’s witness that you can apply to your own witness to Jesus? • In vv. 35–51, what realizations do the various disciples come to concerning the identity of Jesus? Which of these particularly sticks out to you? • Of the various witnesses and followers of Jesus seen here, in which one do you see yourself most clearly? Why? • Which of the responses by the followers of Jesus in this text do you struggle with the most? How has this text challenged you in addressing this area so that you display the glory and grace of Jesus?
January 5, 2020
January 5, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
Theme: Transformation Passage: John 1:1–18 Main Idea: The person and work of Jesus transforms reality. 1. Incarnation: In Jesus, God became man (1:1–8; 14a). 2. Revelation: In Jesus, God completed his message for us (1:14b–18). 3. Illumination: In Jesus, God shines his light on and through his true children (9–13). Takeaway: God sent Jesus to transform us so that we reveal his grace and glory. Do you? Do we? Application Discussion and Questions: • What does transformation mean? List and discuss the different things that undergo transformation in John 1:1–18. • What puzzles you about the incarnation? Why did God choose to incarnate himself (list some of the things that Jesus accomplished through his work on earth)? • In Jesus, what does God reveal about himself? How did God’s revelation change with Jesus? How does this impact what you do today? • What does it mean to you that you are truly God’s child? How should this impact the choices that you make? • How can you as an individual and we as a church display God’s glory through grace, just as he chose to reveal himself as grace and truth in Jesus?