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Start: The Bible for New Believers

Start: The Bible for New Believers

by Greg Laurie


Learn More | Meet Greg Laurie
JOHN
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The apostle John wrote the fourth Gospel sometime between a.d. 85–90, in order that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:31). Although John’s Gospel is a very personal, eyewitness account of who Jesus is and what He came to do, John does not identify himself by name. Instead, he consistently describes himself by using some form of the phrase, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

John uses very simple language to convey his message, but the truth he presents is as rich and deep as anything in the Bible. While the other three Gospels center on key events in Jesus’ life, John often focuses upon themeaning of those events. Consider the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, which all four Gospels record

(Matt. 14:15–21; Mark 6:31–44; Luke 9:11–17; John 6:1–13). Only John gives us Jesus’ message on the “Bread of Life,” which follows that miracle. Here, as elsewhere, John puts special emphasis on the deity of Jesus; so he reports Jesus’ words, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (6:35).

John does not always order his Gospel in a chronological way, but instead highlights seven miracles that Jesus performed and seven “I am” statements that the Savior made. In following this plan, John gives us a unique perspective; in fact, 90 percent of the material found in his Gospel appears nowhere else. John selected what he did in order to lead his readers to put their faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Savior of the world. For this reason, the word “believe” plays a critical role in the Gospel of John.

LEARN

1:5 • Those who live in darkness just don’t get Christians. It mystifies them how anyone could be so committed to their faith. Even two millennia ago, when Jesus’ light first shined in the darkness, the darkness could not comprehend it. In the original language, the word translated “comprehend” carries the meaning of “understood.” Although you try to relate to unbelievers and don’t want to be considered a fanatic, they plainly see something different about you—something major. Try as you might, unbelievers simply will not understand your faith and commitment to Christ . . . until their spiritual eyes are opened. For more about Sharing Your Faith, see John 9:4.

LIVE

1:12 • Jesus Christ stands at the door of the human heart and knocks. We must open that door and ask Him to come into our lives. “God,” you may say, “I know I am a sinner. You have exposed my spiritual nakedness. I know I can’t become a Christian in my own strength— so I am coming to You on Your terms. I turn from my sin. I believe that Jesus became a man and walked among us. I believe that He died on a Cross for my sin. I put my faith in You. I choose to follow You.” For more about Becoming a Christian, see John 1:40–46

KNOW

Sometimes we speak of God by describing His attributes: omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, sovereignty, truth, righteousness, holiness, and love. While these descriptions can help, if you really want to know what God is like, then look at Jesus—because He is God in human form. Jesus did not merely represent God as a glorified man; He was God Himself among us, the Messiah in human flesh, God with skin on. Jesus, who embodied all of God’s attributes, walked our planet as a man and breathed our air and felt our pain. He was so knowledgeable He could predict future events; so humble He could get on His knees and wash a friend’s dirty feet; so powerful He could calm the wind and waves with just a word; so approachable that children laughingly climbed into His arms. In Jesus, God spelled Himself out in language that every one of us can understand. For more about the Attributes of God, see Acts 7:51

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