I. If we don't base our lives upon the reality of Truth, we will be lost in dark unreality and regret living a lie
A. What is truth? That which best explains all the facts and accurately expresses reality across time and culture.
Laws of Logic: identity (A is A); contradiction (A cannot be both A and not A); excluded middle (A must be either A or not A).
B. Where do you get your beliefs:
1. Concepts (often uncollated and inconsistent) that you've collected or adopted along your life's path
2. Conclusions that you've reached as a result of research and reasoning from verifiable and supportable facts (evidence)
3. Convictions you hold as a result of determining the things you don't know couldn't overthrow the certainty of your conclusions
C. What Proof do you have/require for your beliefs?
Scientific proof: Observable and Repeatable in a Controlled environment.
Legal/Historical proof: Based upon eyewitness accounts, depositions, hard evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt (logically consistent).
D. Points to ponder:
Do we have to experience something in order for it to be true? If we experience something does that make it true? Where did we come from and where are we going? Are birth and death universal experiences? Does where we came from when we were born and where we're headed when we die change if we were born 1000 B.C. in Asia or A.D. 2000 in Africa? If the information about where we came from, why we're here, and where we're headed transcends time and culture, is it infinite? How can a finite man know infinite truth? Observation and extrapolation have their limitations. Revelation/Reason/Reality converge on Truth
II. Jesus gives Life and Abundant Life
”I have come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly” Jn 10:10;20:31
A (Word=Eternal God) 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
B (Word=Creator) 3 All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.
C (Word gives Life/Light) 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness didn't overcome it.
D (John Witness) 6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all mightbelieve through him. 8 He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light.
E (Light Enters) 9 The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn't recognize him.
F (Own Reject) 11 He came to his own, and those who were his own didn't receive him.
G (Receive) 12 But as many as received him,
*H (God's Children) to them he gave the right to become God's children
g' (Believe) to those who believe in his name:
f' (Own Born) 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God.
e' (Glory Seen) 14 The Word became flesh, anddwelt among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
d' (Jn Witness) 15 John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me hassurpassed me, for he was before me.
c' (Son gives Grace) 16 From his fullness/abundance we all received grace upon grace.
b' (Son gives Truth) 17 For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (cf 14:6)
a' (Son Exegetes) 18 No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
Jn 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
III. To become a Child of God we must Believe in Jesus as God's Provision for our sin
(Rm 3:23; 5:8; 2Cor 5:21; Jn 3:16; 1Pt 3:18)
23 (John) said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said." 29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 33...he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God."
36 (John) looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" 37 disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness...14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
2Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1Pt 3:18 Christ suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit
IV. To experience the Abundant Life we must Follow Jesus as He's Revealed (in the Scriptures)
43 to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." 45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 51 He said to him, "Most certainly, I tell you, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angelsof God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Jn 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Mt 10:24 “f anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Acts 20:32 I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What does it mean to follow Jesus? What are the consequences of following or not following? How do you know if you're following?
2. If someone can reject the Light, is becoming a child of God automatic? Why would some reject it? Jn 3:15-21 How does one accept it?
3. If the default is being dumb & deceived in the dark, how can someone know and experience the light? Do all believers have a great rlshp with God?
4. If someone rejects Jesus but tries to live as a “good person” how do they pay the penalty for their sins? Acts 4:12 Eph 2:8-10
5. If we're not walking in the light are we stumbling in the dark(Jn 8:12 12:35)? How will you live your life this week in light of the Truth?