Behold the lamb, whom they have pierced. In this Good Friday talk, Mitch spends a few minutes wrapping up the stories we’d heard from Villagers about how the lamb has changed their life. In it, we hear how the lamb has said “it is finished” to us all, dealing with all our betrayal, taking on all our guilt, and giving us all truth.
In the garden where Jesus and his disciples would have experienced peaceful time together, Judas arranges a meeting, to betray Jesus. But Jesus isn’t surprised, and doesn’t fight against the proceedings. In the face of dozens of soldiers, he says “I am,” and against the fight of Peter he says “put your sword away. Shall I not drink the cup that my Father has given me?” When he seemed the most powerless, and all seemed the most hopeless, the plan and power of God shone the most bright.
What is authentic Christian unity? In this prayer, Jesus’ final words to his Father before he’s betrayed and arrested, he prays that all believers through all the ages would be perfectly one, “even as we are one.” But what does this mean, and why is it so important to Jesus? In this talk, Mitch walks us through how this truth gives Christians true unity, as well as beautifully describing how a community of Christ might display this truth in its love, diversity and unity.
Jesus repeatedly says that his disciples were saved out of the world, and he prays that God would sanctify them in truth. He’s asking that they would be set apart from the culture of the world, and that they would be made holy: living by the culture of heaven, and being made one. In this we can see that God doesn’t save us out of the world without bringing us into something greater: the community of God. In this talk, Philip talks us through the idea of being sanctified in truth, and some of the ways that God sanctifies us and our conversation in this life.
We all long for glory. When we’ve been selfless, or when we’ve done something significant, we hope for that moment of recognition. But at the start of this prayer, Jesus shows us his motivation: “Father, glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify you.” It’s for the glory of God that Jesus has lived, and it’s for the glory of God that Jesus is about to go to the cross. And if we believe in Jesus, we’re living for the glory of the Son. But it isn’t always easy to know whether we’re living and acting for God’s glory or our own. In this talk, our very own Chris Hayter speaks on this, and helps us wade through the confusion of our motivations to live in the light of God’s glory in Jesus.
Jesus again speaks of the Paraclete, the one whom Jesus would send to the world: the Holy Spirit. To the world, the Spirit will convict them of their sin, lack of righteousness, and the judgement of God. To those who believe in Jesus, the Spirit will come dwell in and alongside them, and remind them of all truth, and of the glory of Christ. Doug Green, the Old Testament lecturer at Queensland Theological College, was a guest speaker, who helped walk us through these verses.
It isn’t an easy truth, but Jesus tells his followers that if they follow him, the world will hate them. Whether this is the physical persecution that so many across the world suffer, or the taunts and disrespect that so many Christians live with in Western culture, Jesus’ words ring true. In this talk, Sam walks through the stories of many believers who have suffered rejection and persecution for the name of Christ, and reminds us of the fruit that Jesus bears in his followers, working to soften even the hardest hearts to God.
If you’re in a community group, you can grab the John studies for March here.
If we think about the fruit that we try to bear for Christ, it can often feel sparse, or even rotten. But Christ promises that if we abide in him, he will bear much fruit in us–fruit that will last. If we have faith in Christ, we are growing out of his vine of life. In this talk, Sam walks us through through some of the fruit that Christ promises to bear in us: a prayerful dependence on God, a deep love for one another, and the fruit of disciple-making. A very encouraging night!
Before he departed from his disciples, Jesus promised to give them another advocate, the Holy Spirit. Jesus had been an advocate for his disciples, walking alongside them and speaking truth on their behalf. But Jesus promised that the Spirit would dwell in the disciples, advocating to their hearts, and teaching them all things. In this talk, Mitch draws out what the work of the Holy Spirit is, and what it means for us to have him dwelling in our hearts and advocating for us today.