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Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Content |

I Am The Vine

The Vine2

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“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5

Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus uses several “I AM” statements to describe the characteristics of His deity. These statements help us to understand who He truly is. Perhaps none of these metaphors reveals more to us about the close relationship we have with our Lord and His work in us than that of the “True Vine”.

As the True Vine, Christ sustains us and provides for our needs. Everything we have comes from Him. As we abide in Christ and live in obedience to Him and His word, we produce fruit for God’s glory! Through continued communion with Christ, believers bear fruit and bring glory to God.

Christ’s metaphor of Himself being the True Vine is a beautiful representation of His work in us. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself without the vine, a believer cannot bear fruit without Jesus!

-Josh Wiley

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Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Content |

I Am The Door

The Door
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In John 10 there is a parable which shows the relationship between Jesus Christ and those who are His – that of the Door. In the first few verses, we see Christ enter by the door. Later He says that He is the Door. It is important to look through the entire passage so that we don’t blur the meanings of these two.

Christ’s entered through the door

“He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:2-3

In the time of Christ, shepherds would enter cities and leave their sheep in a sheep gate. When they had finished their business, they would come back and call their sheep out, returning to the pastures.

Jesus entered Judaism by birth, but there were many sheep in the fold who were not His. He called out to the people, and those who knew His Father recognized His voice and came to Christ.

Christ is the door

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
John 10:9

As the Good Shepherd, Christ takes His sheep out to where they can find pasture. In the wilderness there were small structures that shepherds could use for their sheep at night. These structures would be walled, but without a door. The shepherd would sit in the doorway and become the door. Now, to enter the fold of God, one must go through the Jesus Christ, the Door.

Enter by the door

God was far off from those He loved. There seemed to be no hope to make a connection with such a holy God. Yet as the Son of God calls out to those who have trusted by faith and they recognize Him as the Messiah, we see that God has provided a way of entry! What about the gentiles? Is there any hope for them? Thankfully Christ speaks of those who are His that are not of Israel. The Door opens to all those who believe, and speaks of a secure place in which we find our blessing: “in Christ”. Jesus Christ is the entry point to being a part of God’s family. You cannot truly be in the fold of God without first entering by the Door, Jesus Christ.

-David Nicholson

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Posted on Apr 8, 2014 in Content |

I AM The Bread of Life

Bread of Life

In John 6,we read of Jesus feeding several thousand people with only a few loaves of bread and two fish. But to those people, this incredible miracle was not enough. After being fed, they came to Jesus demanding, “You must show us a miraculous sign if You want us to believe in You!”

And thus the debate began: Manna vs. Jesus.

The people began by harking back to Moses’s day, when God provided “bread from heaven”. Sure, Jesus provided food for them on this one occasion. But remember Moses? He fed them for almost 40 years. Furthermore, Moses fed an entire nation, but Jesus’s miracle was only for a few thousand people. And beyond all of that, Moses brought the bread down from heaven, while Jesus had to borrow a child’s lunch for His miracle. Yes, Jesus did something impressive. But compared to the manna, Jesus’s miracle certainly wasn’t that spectacular.

Jesus answered, changing the discussion entirely.

“It was my Father who sent the manna down from heaven. And now He is offering you the true bread from heaven.”

Jesus proclaimed that He was this true bread from heaven, the very Bread of Life.

“I assure you, anyone who believes in Me has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.”

Yes, God did something amazing through manna in the wilderness. But what He was now doing through His Son was more impressive. Far greater than even the manna.

So, in the battle of the breads, which is more impressive?

  • Manna met a temporary need. Jesus, the Bread of Life, meets an eternal need.
  • Manna sustained life. The Bread of Life gives eternal life.
  • Manna was only for Israel, one nation. The Bread of Life is for the entire world.
  • Manna was only for the years in the wilderness. The Bread of Life is from the beginning to the end of time.
  • Manna delayed death. The Bread of Life conquered death.
  • In the manna, God sent a gift. In Jesus, the Bread of life, God sent the giver of every gift.

When set side by side, there is no question. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is greater than the manna.

Many people walked away from the Bread of Life that day. They rejected Jesus and went back to laboring and spending money for bread that could not satisfy. People are still doing that today. Even though Jesus gave His life for the salvation of the world, the world still rejects Him. But God does not want “anyone to perish, but that everyone come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus is the Bread of Life. Far greater than manna or any other bread, He alone gives eternal life.

-Nathanael Pena

 

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