This winter, beginning Sunday, January 2, I will be preaching from the gospel of John. The purpose of John's gospel is, in his own words, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (20:31). The purpose of John's Gospel is, indeed, the purpose of the Bible and the mission of the Church: to proclaim Jesus in such a way that people may believe in Him as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament and as the unique Son of God incarnate so that by believing they may have life in his name.
The life that is spoken of here is not simply quantitative life (i.e., eternal life in heaven with God after one dies). For "eternal life" in John's gospel refers also to qualitative life, to the abundant life Jesus came to give to his followers: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (10:10). Thus, through faith in the Name of Jesus - and Jesus' name refers to all He is in his very being and all he has done for us and all that He is for us as our Savior - we can experience the richness and abundance of life God designed us for.
In this preaching series we will focus on the "I Am" statements of Jesus found in John's gospel. We will consider how sin has defaced and destroyed God's design for us, but how Jesus the Great "I AM" (Chapter 6), the "Bread of Life" (Chapter 6), the "Light of the World" (Chapter 8), the "Good Shepherd" (Chapter 10), the "Resurrection and the Life" (Chapter 11), the "Way, the truth and the Life" (Chapter 14), and the "True Vine" (Chapter 15), restores in us the abundant life God intends us to have.
I look forward to proclaiming the life-giving sufficiency of Jesus Christ to you all, sunday after sunday, this winter.