Why Believe?

Neither Do I Condemn You - John 7:53-8:11


Date:  06/29/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Neither Do I Condemn You
Scripture:  John 7:53-8:11

Description:  Though most agree this famous story doesn’t belong in John’s Gospel, it stands as a vivid and beautiful illustration of the Bible’s consistent and clear message: sin is a universal problem (and not just someone else’s problem), but it is no match for the liberating power of Jesus’s grace.

Power and Purpose - John 6:1-15


Date:  05/18/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Power and Purpose
Scripture:  John 6:1-15

Description:  Like Matthew, Mark and Luke, John gives us the story of the feeding of the 5,000, where Jesus turns a glorified snack into a full meal for a massive crowd of hungry people. It’s a story meant to demonstrate that Jesus has power that isn’t limited by rigid laws of nature, that in him we catch a glimpse of a new world breaking into the somber limitations of this old one. But John also means this story to provide a sign of Jesus’s purpose. He will use his power not necessarily to give us what we want but to give us what we need above all else.

How Can You Believe? - John 5:30-47


Date:  05/11/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  How Can You Believe?
Scripture:  John 5:30-47

Description:  In this dialogue with those who opposed him, having just claimed to be equal with God, Jesus points to the evidence that supports his claim. But his main focus is explaining why those who’ve seen the evidence still don’t believe in him. If we believe based on what we want, and if we want the respect and praise of other people, we’ll never believe in Jesus. But if we want the approval of God more than the approval of other people, Jesus becomes beautiful to us.

Death Is Not the End - John 5:16-29


Date:  05/04/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Death Is Not The End
Scripture:  John 5:16-29

Description:  The words of Jesus in this passage are the words that got him killed. When we hear his words as they sounded to his first audience, it’s not difficult to understand why. He is making claims that are ridiculous at best and dangerous at worst, if they’re not true, that is. If they’re true, if he does have the power of God over life and death and judgment, then we must honor the Son.

Our Living, Life-Giving Shepherd - John 10:10-18


Date:  04/20/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Our Living, Life-Giving Shepherd
Scripture:  John 10:10-18

Description:  In place of a life defined by sin, suffering and death, Jesus offers us a life that is abundant and eternal. This passage is meant to show us why we can trust him to deliver on his promise. Jesus cares for his people with a love that drove him to death and a power that death could not conquer.

What Jesus Offers - John 4:1-18


Date:  03/23/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  What Jesus Offers
Scripture:  John 4:1-18

Description:  This passage tells the story of Jesus’s meeting with a lonely Samaritan woman, an outcast even among an outcast people, whose life seems to have been a series of failed relationships with men. John tells the story to illustrate what Jesus came to offer those who trust in him. He offers acceptance even for those rejected by everyone else. And he offers satisfaction that is unmatched and unending.

He Must Increase - John 3:22-36


Date:  03/16/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  He Must Increase
Scripture:  John 3:22-36

Description:  This story centers on John the Baptist near the end of his life, just as his ministry was fading away and eclipsed by the rising popularity of Jesus. In his response to the situation we get one of this Gospel’s clearest examples of what it looks like to have genuine faith in Jesus. There’s transforming, liberating power in John’s statement of faith: “He must increase; I must decrease.”

Born Again - John 2:23-3:15


Date:  03/02/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Born Again
Scripture:  John 2:23-3:15

Description:  Jesus insists that only those who are born again can enter the kingdom he came to establish. But what does it mean to be born again? And where can you get this experience? The answers come out in Jesus’s conversation with a religious leader named Nicodemus. They’re unexpected, but they’re life-giving.

Jesus and Knowing God - John 2:13-22


Date:  02/23/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Jesus And Knowing God
Scripture:  John 2:13-22

Description:  This passage tells the story of Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem temple of all those selling animals and changing money. The fury of Jesus can be shocking given what we normally expect from him. But the anger he showed in driving shopkeepers from the temple flowed from the same love that drove him to earth. His all-consuming passion was for knowing God, and he came to make knowing God possible for us.

The Wedding - John 2:1-12


Date:  02/16/14
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  The Wedding
Scripture:  John 2:1-12

Description:  This story captures the first of Jesus’s “signs”, actions that symbolize what he came to do for us. It isn’t as eye-catching as some of his later miracles. There’s no healing of the sick, no calming of a storm, no resurrection of the dead. But when Jesus turned water into wine, he offered a perfect taste of what his coming means for his people: he will turn guilt and shame to unimaginable joy.