And we're gonna go straight into our bible reading now. So if you'd like to take your bible, and turn to John and chapter 1. We're gonna be reading the first 18 verses of the first chapter. So John, chapter 1, starting at verse 1.
In the beginning was the words, and the word was with god, and the word was god. He was with God in the beginning. Through him, all things were made. Without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him, all might believe. He himself was not the light. He came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of god. Children born not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son who came from a father full of grace and truth. John testified concerning him. He cried out saying, This is the 1 I spoke about when I said, he who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. Out of his fullness, we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
For the law was given through Moses, Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No 1 has ever seen God, but the 1 and only son who is himself god and is in the closest relationship with the father has made him known, Pete. Well, my name's Pete Woodcock. I'm 1 of the pastors of the church. And if you're new here, welcome to you.
We started a series in John last week, and we're carrying on. And we're sort of thinking about are we in the dark about God? And that's what we looked at last week, and that's what we're sort of continuing on. Let me pray. For the help us now, please.
We're gonna look at this ancient book, but, as we'll see, full of absolute life and light. Please help us help us to not just pay attention, but to really receive this, as it is, the very living word of God, that we maybe change people. And so help us, we pray in his name. Oh, ma'am. We're changing things around a little, so I'm going to preach, then there's going to be a song and then question time.
So if you've got some questions, think that up. You have time to on tables to chat through questions as well. We have a question time, then we're gonna sing some more more songs. But do this. Do me a favor here.
I'm gonna think about back to your history lessons at school. Now that's a long time for some of us. It really is history. But think about the date in history that you know. The 1 single big date above all other dates in history that you know.
Yeah? You got that date in your head? I'm gonna ask you to shout it out. Nice and clear. Say it nice and clear.
What is the date Sorry, if you're if you're English here particularly. If you're if you're French, don't do it. It's Well, it's to do with you, but anyway, I'm gonna say 1 2 3 and then you shout out the date really loud. Are you up for that? Well, do it then.
1 2 3. Is 10 66. Now some of you may have another date, 16 66, or 19 66, But they're all 66, but it's 10 66. Isn't that amazing? That right across the age group, we know that date.
And some of us will even know what happened on that date. There was a French bloke. Who ruined the country, as far as I can see. No. No.
There was a French quote called William of Normandy. He actually was known, and I'm not joking. And this is his official type well, as far as I went to Normandy and went to to his his his village, and he's known as William the bastard. It honestly, that is his title, William The bastard, which I think is terrific, isn't it? Because if he was riding along, you could say, William, the bastard.
Yeah. But that's what he was. William of Normandy or William the bastard, decided that he had a claim on Angolland, bastard. And And in 10 66, he defeated the Anglo Saxon army, sorry, under King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. You know that.
He was later known as William the conqueror, because he conquered England, and he had a great effect on England. He changed many of the cultures of the Anglo Saxon sort of things and brought in his own traditions, in his new laws. And so we can honestly say that those laws and those traditions have an effect on us even now. In the 20 first century. In fact, some of those laws and languages we still use.
So why don't we call cow meat, cow? We call it beef, because of him. So he's had an effect on us, or why do we call pig meat pork and not pig meat, because of him. He's come over and he's had an effect. But having said that, You can hardly say that William seems relevant to me in the 20 in in in 20 21.
Yeah? And history is always like that. It's sort of remote. It's sort of unreal in many ways. It has an effect on the country, and therefore has an effect on the way I live today.
But it's distant, and and is irrelevant in some ways. So in 2021, we're nearly a thousand years away from William. And yet, you know, there are things like beef and pork that we still use. Now, we're talking about fairly recent history when we compare it to the ancient history of the bible here. And of the time of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus was an ancient Jew in history. And and the bible's describing to us when we read about him, a very different place to our own, if we're honest. A different culture, different time. And in many ways, it feels like a different world. So what has an ancient due got to do with me in the here and now.
How can reading this old ancient book, The Bible, helped me to live in England in the 20 first century. Now obviously, he's a figure of history. And has some effect on me. Everybody says that his teachings are marvelous and wonderful and therefore can have an effect on me, and I can learn certain things from this historical character. But the reality is that Jesus does seem so so, sort of, remote.
We're 20 centuries away from him. Now that is what a lot of people feel when it comes to Jesus Christ. They may not express it in those terms, But largely, largely, he's irrelevant. If you go to the museum in battle, the museum about the Battle of Hastings. It's just fantastic.
It's very enjoyable. I loved it when I went there. You can spend a whole day going around and looking where the battle was. And you'll be reminded of stories and events, and you can learn lots of stuff. But I didn't come out of that museum saying, gonna give my life to willing the conqueror.
I think I think I'm making my lord. I didn't come out That that, I just came out knowing that his name was William The Basters, and I like that. Local businesses, of course, make money out of him. You know, there's William the Cafe or William the Coffee or whatever. And as Anne and myself were sitting in 1 of these cafes, This is no no no joke.
A big concrete machine went around, and it was obviously a local concreting firm, and he was called William The Concretor. Oh, it's terrific. So they have they have an effect in 1 sense. But with all our technology, all our complex society, all of the difficulties of what gender we are today and all of that stuff that's going on in our minds. How can William the conqueror really touch?
How can Jesus We like his stories. You can go to the museums. You have Easter and Christmas. It's all very nice. You can go to some of those old buildings.
And they're like, historic museums, and you see bishops that are dressed up in all kinds of weird clothes, and it's sort of quite nice for a pageant at Christmas, or easter, but it's just irrelevant. It's just old stories. But we'll we'll have 690 kids in. Going through the Christmas story. And they love it.
They love hearing the story of Jesus. But as soon as we say, even though they come to our building, as soon as we say, he is lord, he is relevant today, the teacher's right on the notes saying you should say Christians believe that, not everyone. It's really interesting, isn't it? He's a man of history, lovely stories, but largely irrelevant. And then there are those who believe in what is pluralism, or relative and relativism.
And and that is that really all views are right. They're relative to the age. And our job perhaps is to take the right bits from all of the different belief systems and mush them up together and find the truth and all of that sort of stuff. And so again, that puts Jesus, you know, down in the picking order because there are so many ideas and philosophies and religions. So it's all right to have Jesus on the quote app that you might have on your phone that gives you a quote for the day from Shakespeare and Buddha and perhaps even William the conqueror.
I don't know what I don't know what he said other than I don't know what he said. You should eat beef. I don't know I don't know how he spoke. But I guess like that. And you say you've got quotes of the day, and you can put Jesus there, and that's about it.
So we've got all of the migration and fast communication, and we're learning that lots of people believe lots of things, and so you put Jesus in that pecking order. And really, it doesn't mean much. He's really sort of irrelevant. He's just a man of history with some very good ideas and they might be helpful for the quote or 2. Now tonight, I want us to look at the claims about Jesus in this book of John.
It's a it's a phenomenal book. In these particular verses that we just read, it's the first 18 verses. It's like the prologue, the introduction to the whole book. And I have to say that any just sort of cursory quick reading of these verses has to challenge the 2 views I've just put forward. That Jesus is largely irrelevant today, just a man of distant history, and relativism and pluralism.
Jesus is just part of the great pantheon. Of ideas. This passage is all about God's word. It is about God speaking. God revealing himself so that we don't have to guess who he is.
We don't have to make up who he is. We don't have to go on a journey and try and discover who he is. He's revealed himself. And last week, we saw that he is the word of God that was right back in the beginning. Look at verse 1.
It's extraordinary. Verse 1. In the beginning, was the word, and the word was with god, and the word was god. There is a word, and there is god, and they are god. This word of God was God.
God has always communicated right from the beginning. It's interesting that where it says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God, a better translation actually is The word was toward God. There's a towardness. There's God and there's the word and the word was God. So you sort of get the idea of the Christian idea of the Trinity, 3 persons.
Spirit isn't here yet, but there is the the father and the son. And they're toward each other. Like, when I talk, if I'm talking to Rory, I don't go hi, Rory. It's a bit weird, isn't it, when people do that? You know, when people sort of talk over you, they talk to your face So the word there's always been communication always.
God is a communicating God. So being god's word, it's a powerful word. It's so powerful. It creates the word. Look at verse 3, through him, all things were made.
Without him, nothing was made that has been made. Everything is made through the word. And then God's word is the source of life and light. Look at verse 4. In him was life And that life was the light of all mankind, all people, everyone.
So what you can say about God, you can say about the word. Now, look at verse 14. Look at verse 14. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son, who came from the father full of grace and truth.
The word of God has actually come into the world in the form and the shape and the substance of flesh of a person, of a man. The word has become a human, and as a human has dwelt, has lived has tabernacled is the word amongst us. And John says, we saw him. We saw him. If you lived at that time, in where I lived, you would have seen him too.
We saw this man who is the very word of God, and therefore God, he is the eternal creative, powerful word of God. And yet, he became a creature. First 14 is staggering. Christmas is a staggering thing. It's unbelievably staggering.
It's not just a little story. It's a staggering act of that happened in history. It's changed all of history. God came into the world. Look at it again, verse 14.
The word, who was at the beginning, who created everything, who is the life and light of everything, The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth. That which is completely other God, that which is eternal, God became flesh and blood. He didn't just appear in the form of flesh. He became flesh.
You could pinch him. You could touch him. You could feel him. You could smell him. You could speak to him and hear him and know him.
He bled He got hungry. He slept. John says, we have seen his glory. See, God isn't just a thought. God isn't just a theory, a theology of philosophy, A concept, an idea, got in just a force or a power, or even someone unfathomable.
Or someone who keeps himself to himself. God has spoken. He's spoken what's on his mind. He's revealed who he is. He has come in human history in flesh and blood, and he said, here I am.
Jesus the conqueror. Has come. John writes in another book that he wrote in the bible, It's called 1 John in our bible. It's 1 John 1. Listen to him.
He's talking about Jesus, of this 1, rather. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes. Which we have looked at and our hands have touched. This we proclaim concerning the word of life. This isn't what he says.
The life appeared. We've seen it, and we testify to it. And we proclaim to you eternal life which was from the father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the father and his son Jesus Christ.
We write this to make our joy complete. There's real joy in this. You want joy in your life. You want complete joy Then I want to tell you, says John, that we saw the very life and light and touched him and knew him, and he was there. The word became flesh.
Someone wrote this. Have a listen to this, about about the incarnation that's God becoming a man. In the incarnation, deity, that's that's God, In the incarnation, deity funneled itself into humanity, the finest of wines into an ordinary Earth and vessel. This Lord traveled through Judea and Samaria and Galilei as a common unglazed urban bottle. Corked, until some special occasion when his glory was manifest.
And the fragrant bouquet of his deity filled the air with its aromatic presence. I love that. And for a fleeting but festive moment, the world's parched lips tasted the kingdom of God and his glorious savior. It's just a lovely image. God, bottled if you like.
I know there's all kinds of issues with that, but you see the sort of the imagery of it. God, bottled in flash. And with the with the perfume and the wine of life. In verse 17, this wonderful god man is named. Who is he?
Well, he's none other than that first century historical due. Now stop and think of the significance of that for a little bit. Jesus, a Jew from the first century, is the unique son of God, the eternal creative word of God. There is nothing created that this first century Jew had not made, including you. Nothing.
It's even more amazing when you realize that the man writing this book, John, is in fact a Jew. And the Jewish community was fanatical about there being 1 god who was creator of the universe. To say to a Jew that God had become a man was blasphemy indeed. And yet, John, and all the other disciples, and a whole bunch of others that saw jesus said, that's exactly what happened. Now you've got to get this in history.
For a Greek to say that a man was God wasn't really that special. You know, we all have the divine being in us. For a Roman to say, well, every emperor was God. It wasn't special. But to say for a Jew to say, I met a man who was God was nothing other than unbearable blasphemy.
And yet all these Jews were prepared to die for saying that statement, or in John's case, to be exiled. Imprisoned on a little island called Patmos. See, John doesn't say that Jesus was God like the Greeks or the Romans, It's not like there's many gods and everybody's God. You know everybody says it's a divine bit in us. John says Jesus was the unique creator God.
Verse 14, we have seen his glory, the glory of the only the only son. Last week, I told you about my brother, Paul, 2 little Woodcocks, Peter and Paul, and each of us could introduce you to our family. We could each equally do that. I could introduce you to the family, and he could introduce you to the family. That neither of us are unique.
In fact, you could be introduced to the family by my brother or by me and not know. My brother or me. But that's not so with God. Jesus is the only 1 that can introduce you to the father. He's the only 1 He's he's not 1 of God's words, he is God's word.
He's not 1 of God's sons. He is God's son. The son. Jesus isn't just a prophet that spoke in the first century, and what we need to now is a new prophet for the 20 first century. This passage is claiming that Jesus is utterly, completely unique.
There is no 1, not 1 single person like him. He is the final word of God, because he is the word of God, and there is no other. And that uniqueness of Jesus takes him out of time and space and place and makes him universal. That's why John uses the word all. Look at verse 12, yet to all who receive him.
Verse 7, he came as a witness to testify concerning that light, that's John the Baptist, so that that through him all people might believe. Jesus is not just for 1 group of people, but for all people, for rich for poor, for Greek, for Jew, for young, or old, for male, or female, for first century, for 20 first century. Is Jesus relevant? Yes. Who for?
All people, for me. Yes. You, because of who he is. Isn't he just like William the conqueror? No.
He is the unique word of God Come in the flesh, come in this world for you to receive him. And that makes me move on to these words that John uses, life and light. Just look at them. Life, first of all, in him was life, and that life was the light of men. John constantly speaks of life in connection with Jesus, life in connection with Jesus.
So is irrelevant to you? Well, do you want to live? I'll apply that in a minute, but this is so important In fact, the whole book of John is about giving you life. If you go right to the end of John, and it's worth just doing that, go to John chapter 20 in verse 30, John, at the end of his book, he's really clever. At the end of his book, he tells us why he wrote the book.
So right at the end of the book, he tells us, in John chapter 20 verse 30 and 31, says Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in book, but these are written and here we go, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, that's God's King. Christ means God's king. It's not his surname. He's he's the king of God. But Jesus is Christ's king.
The son of God, and listen, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John uses that word life, 35 times in the book. Life, life, life, life, life. He's rubbing in. Look at verse 3 of chapter 1 again.
Through him, all things were made without him nothing was made that has that has been made. He has power over all physical life. He gave life to everything in the universe. Including you. It's it's extraordinary, isn't it?
So right from the start of the book, John is claiming that Jesus is the 1 over physical life. So are you physically alive? What is Jesus relevant to you? It's an amazing statement. And he says, I've written this book to give you evidence of this life.
If if you if if you want to know whether this claim is true, read the book, he says. Will you read the book? If you want to know whether the claim that Jesus is the life give read the book. Well, let me just take you through the book. You can take the the Bible and whiz through if you want to.
Because when you read the book, in chapter 2, Jesus creates water from wine. Now, I can do that. I can create water from wine. I can create beer from wine. I've done it many times.
I can create water from Ryan, but not instantly. I can't do it instantly. He instantly takes water and makes something mature out of it. That's the story in John chapter 2. In John chapter 4, we're told of a royal official who comes to Jesus leaving his son close to death.
He's just about to die. And Jesus says to the official, and he's long way off, you may go, your son will live. And the man went back and found his son alive, cured of the disease. Or you can go to John chapter 5, and we're told that there was a man there for 38 years, his entire life. He was 38 years old.
His entire life was a lifeless cripple. Jesus goes and touches him, and he's the life giver and heals the man. Or you can go to John chapter 6, and Jesus creates bread and fish to give lifeless people in the wilderness, food. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of them. And then he says I am the bread of life.
In John chapter 11, There's the story of lazarus, 1 of his mates who is dead in the grave 4 days He's beginning to smell. His body is rotting. Jesus comes along and says, open up the tomb, and they they actually say it's 1 of the best lines in the bible. If you got an old AV, behold he stinketh. And he's he stinks.
He's rotting. And and Jesus says open up and come out lazarus lazarus come out. He comes alive and Jesus says I am the resurrection and the life. In John chapter 19, skipping quite a lot, there he is. Executed, showing that he's flesh and blood, nails through his hands, nails through his feet, dying on a cross.
He dies. To make sure he's dead, a Roman spear is shoved through his side, and water and blood comes out. He was a human. He's dead. But in John chapter 20, he rose to life.
He's the life. He came alive. He came through the grave. This book is giving you evidence that this man This man of history is altogether relevant for you. Today because his life.
Now, John says, I witness and I testify to these truths. Witness and testify are very strong words. They come from the law court. They're saying, before man and before God, I witness and testify. These are very serious events.
I've not made these stories up. I witness and testify. Remember, he's writing at the time where people would have known these stories were made up or untrue if they were. But he's saying these are true stories. Will you believe them?
See, what 1 of the things that sort of bugs me a bit is when people say, oh, look, I can see what John is claiming. It it is amazing. He's claiming Jesus is the life of the universe. But, you know, I I don't believe that. And you have to ask, sorry, what is your reason for not believing that?
Why would why would you believe you when you were were you there? Were were you actually there? Well, no. Of course, that wasn't yours. 2000 years away.
Well, sorry, why should I believe you then? What evidence have you got that this isn't true? Because the man who was there says it is true. And many, many testified to this, and they used strong testimony witness words. Okay.
Let's imagine I'm a magistrate, a judge in a court. There was a horrific accident up at the up at the college roundabout. Yeah? And we're looking for witnesses to see what happened. Was the driver absolutely drunk.
Was the driver speeding around that around that college roundabout. And the judge is sitting there, and he says, bring in witness number 1, and witness 1 comes in. And I say to witness number 1, well look, just before we get into your testimony and your your witness. Were you actually there? Were you actually at the event?
I witnessed someone says, yeah, absolutely. I was right there. I saw exactly what happened. The car was hold it hold it. Dismised.
The red carpet, I don't want to hear. But I was dismissed. And then Okay. Bringing in witness number 2, I say. A witness number 2 comes in and put your hand on the bible and and I say, oh, before we sort of get anywhere before you're, you know, were you there?
And he says, no, I was actually in Australia. I was no but I've heard, and I've thought it through and then the magistrate, the judge says, well, just hear your witness in this oh, yes, I believe that 1. Were you there? Because John was, John says we saw. John says I saw these events.
John says I can testify on my life I saw the events. He's the life. But John says he's not only the physical life. He's the spiritual life. You go through John's gospel.
I haven't got time to do it. But in chapter 3, you've got a religious man and Jesus says you need to be born again. You go in chapter 4 and you have a woman at the well that's and outcast because of her sin, and Jesus says I'm the water of life. In John chapter 10, he says, I've come that they may have life and life to the full abundant life. In John chapter 3, he says for God so It says for God so loved the world that he gave his 1 and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Eternal life. And that word means life with God, that you're back to where you were created to be, your home You're with God. You're in the father's kingdom. You've been born again spiritual life, not just physical life. Is Jesus relevant today?
Deeply so, write in the depths of your being. And not only that. He's light of the world. John says. He's not only the bringer of life.
He's the bringer of light. And light is essential for life. Light symbolizes knowledge. Light says that you're being guided. It stands for purity in the bible.
You see all of these things. And Jesus is the light and the life. The claims of Jesus then are universal in their relevance. He's not first and foremost, a first century Jew assigned to history. He is first and foremost the word of God, the light of the world that's come into history.
In order to enlighten you and give you life. He was a Jew, yes. And so that is the place you must go and look if you want to understand him. If you wanna know what he's about, that's why we read the bible in Cornerstone. Because he didn't come as a 20 first century Englishman.
And so that's why we need to get back to these first century documents and understand them. But when God spoke, he spoke eternally. He didn't just come for first century people. He came for people of all time. He is now the very word of God, now the life and light for you.
History is the place where you can hear and read, but god is present now. Is this ancient Jew relevant to you? Oh, yes. Yes, he is. The claims of Jesus put to death that he's just an irrelevant person in history with nice stories, and it puts to death relativism.
And pluralism, that he's just 1 of a whole load of ideas. I understand it's very attractive to believe in It means you don't have to think. It's just very nice because you can say things like, oh, well, I'm happy if you like Jesus, but I like William The Conquer. I'm happy if you like Jesus. Well, I'll I'll I'm happy for you, but I'm back to my box set, and I'll start looking at my phone again.
It's a lovely comfortable position to be in because you just have to wash your brain down the toilet to be it. It doesn't make any sense. Someone said, the claims of Jesus are a loud Raspberry blown in the face of relativism. He's not just 1 of many. He's outstandingly different.
By the way, the little thing I love. If relativism, pluralism are right, that means all religions are right. Yeah? Okay. So get this little line in your head.
See if you can get it. This is the 1 I always remember. If all religions are right, then Jesus is right. And if Jesus is right, all other religions are wrong. Right?
Got it? If all religions are right, well, if everything's right, then Jesus has to be right, because it's part of that, isn't it? If all religions are right, then Jesus is right. But if Jesus is right, he claims to be the 1 and only son and all everybody else is wrong. Well, if Jesus is right, then everyone else is wrong, right.
Get that, it's a relativism just doesn't work. So where does this lead us? Now I'm gonna finish. If Jesus is this being, which he is, and the witnesses say he is, Is he relevant to you? Oh, yes.
He's so relevant. There is not a single area of your life that he isn't relevant to. You're wondering what sex you are. You should go to him. He's the word of God on that matter.
Don't believe yourself. Listen to the word of life. He made you. Yeah? You're wondering what you should do in life.
Go to the Lord of life. The Word of God. The word of God has everything to do with every detail of your life. Everything who you should marry, what you should do. He's the word of life.
He's not irrelevant to any single part of your life. Nothing. How you should act? Should you earn this? Should you do this?
Your morality. The right and wrong. He's absolutely lord of life. He is the life. If you want light on a matter, you're unsure, go to the light.
Ask him. Look at him. Listen to him. Follow him. He has light on everything.
He's the light of life. He's is he relevant to you? Yes. From what you eat, from what you drink, from how you live, from how you treat your parents, from how you are kind to people, to how you forgive people, how you love people, what you hate, He's so utterly relevant because he is the lord of life, and he's come into this world. To bring you into life of God, that you may be blessed, that you may have abundance that you may be rich with the very creative word of God in you, so you don't have to mope around.
You don't have to say, oh, I don't know. I don't know. Go to the words, and no. Know the riches and the blessings of the creative God in your life. Stop being your own creator.
That's pathetic. Is he relevant? Absolutely. Is he like William the conqueror? Come on.
Beef, pork. Is that it? Nice Christmas stories. No. No.
No. The claim is so massive that you either hate him or love him. But you don't tolerate this. You don't say it doesn't matter. It matters.
It matters. You can't just sit here and say, I quite like that. No. He's lord of life. Will you receive him?
Have you received him? Will you glory in him? We're gonna sing a song, and then we're gonna go over to some question times, and then we'll sing some more songs. Let's find out if there's any questions, comments, disagreements, arguments, whatever. We're open to all.
Yes. Yeah. So the question is, okay, the hugeness of of god becoming man. And this is a question from a from a Christian that we sort of we we sort of begin to understand the hugeness that God would become a man in in in Jesus Christ, and we've got to keep sort of remembering that. But how does that affect us in in day in day to day life?
Well, because he is the authority on on all of life, And therefore, we want to read his word. So it's a good idea to to keep reading his word. And so what Jesus did was to give his word to a set of people called the apostles. So if you know the story, he gave his word to the apostles. So that when he had died and risen again and ascended to glory, that there was a word from the Holy Spirit, from him in scripturated, written down in scripture for us to hear his word.
And so we have the apostles word. And that's the foundation of the church and the foundation of our life. So we wanna know, for instance, you you wanna know, you know, how how how do I live today? So we look into his word. Now, it's it's not a magic word.
It it it's not we we have to read it, we have to think. God has given us a mind, and we talk in a church and and as a group of people, and we say, what is what what is God saying about this Where do I find the word of God on an issue in my life? So, you know, I have a stroppy boss who is asking me to do things that are wrong. You know, what what is my action to that? How do I you know, or I just have a moody stroppy boss that isn't asking me to do wrong and what how do I how do I react?
Well, the Word of God will help you. And and therefore, if we're reading this, constantly, we're beginning to imbibe the very word that God will set us alive on. We'll know how to react to an ugly, you know, a boss who's just cruel or a boss that is getting me to do illegal things. We'll know what we should be doing. And then you've got Christian friends around you, the church that will give you advice and help you and make sure that you are in line with God's words.
So I think that's 1 way of doing it. I think the other thing is that Christ has come to absolutely bless us, and he's he's proved that. You know, he's died for us. He's absolutely died for it. He loves us.
He so loves us, so that sentence God so loved. You could not be more loved. You are so loved, that he gave his 1 and only son. That whoever believes in him, shall ever everlasting life. You are unbelievably loved.
So here you are in the world, You know, maybe your parents don't love you, you feel unloved, you don't love yourself, you feel ugly within, you're confused within, You're you're you're a complicated person that you find hard to work out. There's all kinds of mental issues in you. There are physical issues with you. There are outside circumstances that are causing issues. I know your life, you see.
And and and what what am I? What what am I? I'm loved. How do I know I'm loved? God became a man and died on a cross for me.
He bled The life giver died and rose again. He's given me hope. There's a new future. There's a new life. And I was trying to show this this morning and the difference between Adele, and I've read more about Adele this afternoon, after my sermon.
It's her life is crap. It's absolute disaster, as far as I can see. I I was trying to think about how I write to her. To get her to listen to my sermon. Not not because I I don't want to hit her.
I want her to come to Christ. But at the moment, she is listening to the world's advice which is from LA, Hollywood. Don't listen to Hollywood. It it will kill you. You won't be eternally in a nice little cartoon with lovely blonde hair and a skinny body that she's gone for.
You know, you won't be able to that's unreal. Yeah? And if only she would come to Christ, and then I was talking about Melvin Tinker. You must read his obituary. There's an obituary because he was an anglica There's a victory in the times, it's the Saturday times.
It's fantastic his life. He loved God. He knew who he was. He was a son of a miner. He hadn't read a book until he was 13, but he wrote 20 books.
Because he came to Christ. Yeah? He was a son of a miner, and, you know, he wasn't anything special. But he had a large church in hull. Yeah?
He loved Christ. He was prepared to stand up to archbishops. What I liked about Melvin was he would. Yeah? And and he eventually left the Church of England, so that puts him up in my eyes.
But but he knew, but what I'm saying is he knew Christ in his life, and it changed his life to how he spoke to people, to what he lived for. So that's my answer. Any other question? Yeah. Because he was there.
Well, then look into it and read to see whether he's done that. If that's your issue, which is a good issue, then read up and have a look. Don't just say Don't just say, I won't believe him. Say, hold it. I'm not sure if he's right.
I'm going to invest gate to see whether these eyewitnesses are right. Yeah. Don't say I won't believe him because I don't believe that sort of stuff. It's nonsense. Were you there?
He was? He's claiming to be. He's claiming this. On his life, he's claiming this. Yeah?
So look at those testimonies, see whether they're worthwhile. I mean, someone said, if you want to become a Christian write a book against Christianity, and you'll become a Christian. Because historically, that's what's happened. So a bloke called Frank, whatever his name was, who moved the stone, Abri, you might know his name. Morrison Morrison.
Morrison, who moved Stone. He wrote a book to prove the resurrection wasn't right. He found out the evidence for the resurrection. He was a barrister. The evidence for the resurrection was so massive.
He wrote a book called who moved stone. The the the the Lee Strouble bloke wrote a book to disprove Christianity. He came to faith. The Bloker wrote Ben Her, if you that's a film. I don't know whether a film club would ever show that, because it's about 5 hours long, it's phenomenal.
The Bloker wrote Ben Her, was writing a novel to have a go at Christianity. He he became a Christian. So investigate. Don't just say, this is what annoys me. This this is relativism and pluralism at its most stupid.
It's where it because it feels comfortable. It says, oh, I wasn't I wasn't there, and I'm not sure if I believe it. I'll do nothing. You are you are foolish because the claim is so massive It's so massive that you are mad not to investigate. He is your life, He is your eternal life.
He will damn you or save you. So a hundred years from now, you'll know how relevant he is. That's the claim. And if that's true, if that even if that's the claim, It's worth me saying, I'm going to prove him wrong, prove him wrong, fine. And Christians were always open to that.
You prove this wrong, and it's it's fine. But I think you won't be able to. Yep. Any other question? No?
Yes. I've I've had a couple of friends that have taken to Christianity because they they think it's based in the world, the universe is just absolutely massive. It is vast. You know, there's hundred billion galaxies In our guys, there's a hundred billion stars, you know, tiny different planets, and we are tiny on the state of the state. Yeah.
Why should the why should I even think that the people would even care about I'm just so tiny and insignificant that I'm I'm I'm reliable. 70 years, if that's, you know, 1 What was it affecting this? Absolutely. They're completely and utterly right. You are a nothing.
You're a speck on a speck. You're an absolute little bit of dust, and why on earth would God be interested in you? Absolutely. So if you have a map of the universe, which you couldn't have, then let's say, well, I'll do this. Can you see that dot there?
Can you see that? Well, that would be so much more. That's that's like our universe. Okay? But let's say it's the earth.
So here's the whole universe. And here's the Earth, and it's a totally insignificant. If you have a map that reads it like that, the size, the significance, It's that. God can just press his finger on it and smash it out, can't he? But if you now change the the map thinking and say, how much love has God given a planet?
There's only gonna be 1. That God would actually give himself to that, that the creator of these billions of universes would come to there. It's staggering love. And and so the question I have to ask is, is look at who Jesus is, Did he live, did he speak these words, did he make these claims, did he die and rise again? That's all historic stuff The great thing about Christianity, you can prove it or disprove it, historically.
We could go back and say, was there such a person as William the conqueror? And we can say, yes, there was. Yeah? We know about him. We know where he's born.
We know his other names. We know about William. Yeah? We know that he changed our culture, and now we call pig, pork. Yeah.
He had a massive effect on our lives. In that sense. And so we know about him. Can you can you go back? And is Jesus of fiction?
No. Is he a person of history? Absolutely. Did he say these things? Well, these are all these witnesses are saying he did.
Did he die on a cross? Well, he would die under a Roman centurion. They know how to kill people and execute people, did he rise from the dead? Well, all the evidence, the massive evidence, masses are masses of evidence, say he rose from the dead. So I need to listen to this man, who says that God so loved the world, that he gave his own son.
God so loved this speck on a speck, that he gave his own son. Yeah. And so that's the sort of talking I would want to do. This is magnificent stuff, unbelievable stuff I mean, but it's true, but it's just so phenomenal. Yeah.
It's mind blowing. It's mind blowing. Because God should send you to hell right now for the way you live your life. How amazing that you a speck are even questioning him. How amazing that you a speck are not on your face, on the floor, pleading with mercy.
From this great and wonderful, rich and glorious life giving, light giving God. It's extraordinary that you would use your mouth made by God and the breath that God has put into your life to start saying, you don't think he exists. It's as stupid as 2 ants, on my hand, having a discussion saying, I don't think there's a human. God, I could go. What did you say?
But god in his power came down. He could have smashed us, but god in his power came down, became an ant, spoke in a language that we could hear. You put your fingers in your ears to a God like that. Thus, I'm not saying you say it quite like that. But that's what you should say.
Yeah? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Think about how much did you have to think about it?
Not much to be quite honest with you. Because some people, you know, grapple with that stuff, I didn't. I just assumed it was the word of God and right. So when I was converted, I knew Jesus. I didn't know much about him, you know, other than stories I'd heard at school and stuff.
But I believe that Jesus was my savior and that this was the word of God. So I didn't have a problem that personally, that this was the word of God. I have not never really had that as a doubt. Others do, but I didn't. I just assumed it was.
I didn't understand it, You know, I remember 1 of the first books I tried to read was Revelation. And I think I thought I understood it, But I'm I would hate to hit because I started speaking on the Bible, immediately I was converted, and I was talking ignorantly. And I'm pretty sure those first talks were really all over the place, because I didn't really know anything. But anything that hit me, I just had to tell anyone. So we gathered a group of people and we read revelation, and I was saying, oh, look at that.
That's Jesus. And that it was basic that was basically the sermon. But I didn't have a problem that this is the word of God. And I really don't. And actually, the more I read it, it's so amazing.
I mean, look, take the verse this morning. The verse this morning was from Providence. It's 3000 years old, that verse, and it applies to Adel. It's extraordinary. You'd long for Adel to read that.
It's extraordinary, isn't it? I mean, all I do is read it, listen to the world, oh, thank you, Lord. There's an illustration, because it's just so relevant. I don't have to do all kinds of mystical weird religious jumps to suddenly make it relevant. As you read this book, it is extraordinarily relevant.
It tells me things I don't like really does. You know? It tells me things I don't really want to hear sometimes. But I know they're true, you know. Jesus says, you know, before you start criticizing anyone, have a look in your own eye.
You see the speck in someone's? I see specks in everybody's eyes even through your glasses, mate. I can see that speck in your eye. Yeah? But the trouble is I've got a flipping 2 by 4 in me.
Oh, no. I'm smashing around. I wonder why microphones move sometimes. I'm sitting here speaking, seeing the speck, and I think, where is that Mike? Because I've got a flipping great pole coming out my own.
That's what Jesus says. And suddenly, I've been, oh, gosh, I'm convicted. Yeah? So that's that's that's the word of God. It hits you.
It's not if it's God's word, It's mental it's it's a god's word. We're not always gonna agree with it because we're not god. But it is the best thing to hear. Yeah. Anyway, I must finish and we must sing.