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Believe

Believing is a major theme in the Gospel of John, he uses some form of the word “believe” 99 times in his Gospel. Near the end of the book, John gives the purpose behind writing this Gospel: “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31). The Gospel of John is punctuated with stories of people who faced different obstacles to faith.

From this Series

The Religious

June 22, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 1 of 5

When you receive an immunization, they inject you with a little bit of the disease; usually a dead, impotent version of the disease, so that your body develops antibodies. In this way, if you are ever exposed to the real disease, you will be resistant to it. Religion is the best immunization against the Gospel. One night, Nicodemus came to meet with Jesus. Nicodemus was one of the most religious men of his day. Jesus told him that despite all of his good works, his education and his religious ritual, Nicodemus was still dead in his sins and needed to be “born again.”

The Thirsty

June 29, 2014 by Paul McGuinness Message 2 of 5

There are few things that will destroy your faith and dull your spiritual appetite quicker than captivity to sexual lusts. In John 4, Jesus was sitting by a well and he encountered a woman who was held captive to her sexual desires. Jesus asked her for water and moved into a discussion about the true, living water. Just as this woman had come daily to get physical water to satisfy her physical thirst, she has continually gone to the well of romance to satisfy the thirst of her soul. For years, she has covered her shame and her hurt with more sex, like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. She had closed herself off from God, from others and from herself. At the heart of sexual sin is idolatry. Our craving for sex is often driven by the vacuum left by the absence of God.

The Hard-Hearted

July 6, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 3 of 5

When Jesus healed a man born blind, the Pharisees refused to believe what they were seeing. Even after hearing testimony from the man, his neighbors and his parents, the Pharisees still would not believe that Jesus had performed this miracle. Their pride and their fear of losing influence caused them to harden their hearts against the obvious truth.

The Failure

July 13, 2014 by Jason Castelli Message 4 of 5

In Jesus’ moment of greatest need, Peter turned his back on him. Peter denied Him… not once, but three times. Peter assumes that it’s over for him and he goes back to his old way of life: he shakes out the nets, gets his boat out of storage and goes back into the fishing business. Peter assumed that his performance was the basis for his acceptance before God. Jesus shows up on the shore and declares to Peter that it wasn’t his performance that gave him forgiveness; Jesus love and acceptance are given as gifts, based on his own finished work on the cross.

The Crowd Pleaser

July 20, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 5 of 5

Passivity is a general problem in human nature, especially in our culture. Sometimes people are passive just because they don’t place a great deal of importance on something. Other times, we are passive because it takes less courage to not make a decision than to have to make one either way. Pilate was unwilling to make a clear and firm decision about Jesus. Pilate questioned him and found him innocent. Eventually, Pilate just gives in to the loudest voices and allows Jesus to be crucified. He was a man who was held captive by popular opinion.