Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Whom do you say that I am? 9.1.2015


Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

As Jesus continued His ministry in which He came to do His Father's will in bringing forgiveness to fallen sinners, one day He had the conversation that is placed above in which He asked two questions. The first one was a general question which could be like "What is being said about me?" What do you hear others saying about me?" After hearing their responses, He then asked a direct question of His disciples, asking them "Whom YOU say that I am?" Peter, the first to respond in many cases gave a statement of faith when he said, "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God!"

We have just finished a short sermon series in the book of Daniel in which we were reminded of how God superintends all human events, His presence goes before and with those whom He has called to Himself, and His kingdom is one over which He reigns forever. From the beginning of the scripture we are able to see the thread of redemption that is being brought forth through time according to the purposes and timetable of God Himself. When it is the right time, He will break into time by being born in the flesh, The Incarnate Lamb of God, the Messiah. But many missed Him when He came, even though He showed them plainly and told them plainly of His Person and of His Work.

In the Gospel of John the basic questions of life are revealed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the Word. All people have a worldview in which convictions as to one's origin, one's basis of morality and one's destination after death are held. How one views creation, the fall and redemption determine how one lives their life in preparation for death. John's Gospel addresses our beginning with the following words:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


We will be spending some time in John's Gospel in our Sunday morning worship services as we worship Him in spirit and in truth, as we have fellowship with Them and with one another, and as we hear the Word of Christ shared among us. You are invited to begin to read through the Gospel of John on a regular basis so that when the message is brought forth from this wonderful Gospel, you will be familiar with the readings. It is not our intent to go through the Gospel verse by verse, but to take certain sections of this Gospel which largely highlight the I AM statements of Jesus.

It is our hope and prayer that through spending time in this Gospel that we will be drawn closer by Christ, that we will be strengthened in faith in Him and that we will become better equipped to "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15.

May the following prayer that was given to Apostle Paul be our prayer as we have fellowship in Him and with Him.

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Pastor Orval
Posted on 01 Sep 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The Water of Life 8.23.2015
Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and from His Son, The Water of Life be with you today and always!

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, Isaiah recorded that which the people of God believed and expressed as they looked to the zenith of history: The suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Because sin needed to be atoned for and because God's towards sin had to be appeased, He would punish His own Son instead of us and all who would acknowledge their guilt and receive that forgiveness that was won through the cross would with joy draw water out the the wells of salvation.

KJV Isaiah 12:1 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

 

Today we begin a new series of sermons from the Gospel of John, the last of the four gospels in the New Testament and one that was written after Matthew, Mark and Luke. There is disagreement on the date of the writing of the fourth gospel, but it is sufficient to know that it was written later than the other three. The prologue/outline of this Gospel is in 1:1-18 and the purpose of John's Gospel is given in the following verses near the end of this Gospel. Chapters 1-12 describe the bulk of the ministry of Jesus and chapters 13-21 contain his passion, his death, his resurrection and and the short period after his resurrection. The Gospel turns to slow motion as one gets to chapter 13 of this Gospel and runs in that mode the through chapter 19.

This gospel begins with eternity and explains God's origin as well as ours.

KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

And the last verse of the prologue bring out the heart of the Gospel, in that Jesus came to declare the heart of the Father towards sinners.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

The purpose of this declaration is given here. Oh, may the Holy Spirit reveal unto us what it means to live in Christ, to worship God in spirit and in truth, to have life in His Name!!!!!


John 20: 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

In the ages preceding the birth of Christ the Messiah, there was much confusion and doubt as to when He was going to come, what the nature of His mission would be, what the nature of His reign would be and so on. When He came, many missed who He was due to ignorance, prejudice or blindness to name a few, which resulted (according to God's predetermined plan) in His suffering, death and resurrection for the sins of all of us. In our day today, the following conversation which took place during Jesus' ministry is happening today. Let us listen in on it...

 

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.


As Jesus continued His ministry in which He came to do His Father's will in bringing forgiveness to fallen sinners, one day He had the conversation that is placed above in which He asked two questions. The first one was a general question which could be like "What is being said about me?" "What do you hear others saying about me?" After hearing their responses, He then asked a direct question of His disciples, asking them "Whom YOU say that I am?" Peter, who was the first to respond in many cases, gave a statement of faith when he said, "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God!"

We have just finished a short sermon series in the book of Daniel in which we were reminded of how God superintends all human events, His presence goes before and with those whom He has called to Himself, and His kingdom is one over which He reigns forever. From the beginning of the scripture we are able to see the thread of redemption that is being brought forth through time according to the purposes and timetable of God Himself. When it is the right time, He will break into time by being born in the flesh, The Incarnate Lamb of God, the Messiah. But many missed Him when He came, even though He showed them plainly and taught them plainly of His Person and of His Work. It is through that which God has done in and through His Son Jesus Christ that we have eternal life and it is important that we continually are taught and retaught of who Jesus Christ is. It is important that we remain in His teachings concerning the nature of His reign here in His body, the entire makeup of all believers who are in Him. Therefore as a congregation we hope to be spending some time in John's Gospel during our Sunday morning worship, seeking to find out just what the statement that Peter made means: "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!"

I place here again the purpose of John's Gospel as stated by the Holy Spirit Himself:

John 20: 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

As we begin we must remember that our history forms who we are, what we think and what we think the future will bring. All people have a worldview, ie. a set of beliefs and convictions by which they live life. How one thinks of creation, of the fall of mankind into sin and of redemption have huge implications on how one views and lives life. For example, one who accepts evolution as fact has a far different view of creation than Christians do, as they will in the matter of the fall into sin and of the means/method of redemption. It would be very interesting to delve more into the differences, but now is not the time. But I am quite sure that as we go through this Gospel, we will find ourselves discussing that subject again in relation to the theme of this Gospel: We might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we might have life through His name!!

The reason I wrote that first paragraph is that it is important for us to remember that while the Gospel of Matthew was writtten to reach the Jewish mind, the Gospel of John is written the reach all, whether Jew or Greek. Why is it important to say these things? Because of what was written above, in that what we have been taught, what we have learned and what we have put into practice formulate our world view, whether it be according to human reasoning or whether it be according to the Scriptures. Many of us have been taught and trained from our youth, while others have never had any exposure to the Living God, or Jesus the Christ or the Gospel.

Our text today will give a good case study of one who was steeped in her past teaching, but was encountered the Water of Life, was given grace to hear the Words of Life and as a result became a worshipper of the Living God. She came to believe that Jesus is the Christ and through that faith received eternal life. Let us go to that account, recognizing that the first three chapters contain cumulative information that needs to be taken into account as we to to chapter four and we will consider verses 1-29

KJV John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Jesus took the most direct route from Judea to Galilee, which was through Samaria. While in Samaria, He got hot and thirsty, so he stopped by one of the famous wells which had been there for many years. He put himself in her path.. As he rested, at noon time, a resident of the country of Samaria came to draw water with a clothlike water bag.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

The Source of water asked the woman of Samaria for a drink. Let us understand that for a woman to be getting water in the middle of the day in the heat indicated that something was out of kilter, for women usually came together to get water and even then it would be in the early morning hours when it is cool. Also, it was forbidden for a Jewish man to talk to any other woman other than his wife in public. She must have been astounded that this man was by the well, and she would not have dared to approach him. And to top it off, he was asking her for a drink. A Jew drinking out of a Samaritans bag? Preposterous! She protests.....

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

He broke a taboo by talking to a woman.

He rejected the hostility and separation that existed between Jews and Sams.

Jesus humbles himself in that He is in need of her service towards him.

(The first missionaries were told to go without provision, which meant that they would be in need of service from those whom they were serving)

He elevated the woman's self worth by asking her for help.

 

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

She is engaged in conversation with Him now, for she seems to perceive that he is talking about more than natural water. She wants what He is offering her.....Jesus now reaches into her heart and into her life.......

He has laid out the Gospel, now He is going to bring her to her need of cleansing, to bring her to her need of the Gospel. He probed at her inner life..

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17a The woman answered and said, I have no husband.

She could have gone away from Jesus, she could have lied to Him, but she was truthful. Did she has a sense of grace coming out of Him? He does not wring out the truth of her relationship with her current man, but he kindly finishes it for her.

 

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

She knows that He is from God now, but is yet unsure, calling Him a prophet. First he was a man, now a prophet...

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

She seems to recognize that she needs cleansing, and her understanding of the place of cleansing was a place, which for her would be on Mt. Gerizim. As in chapter 2 of this Gospel when Jesus told the Jews "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again," they were steeped in temple worship and did not understand that the physical temple had been instituted according to God's plan until the time when the True Temple came: Jesus the Christ. Why would she not look to her place of cleansing? Is in where the Samaritans worship or where the Jews worship? Which place? What did Jesus say to this?

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

He first said that the place is no longer important, but what is important is that the Father is worshipped. He told her she did not really know what worship was, for the thread of redemption had come up through the Jewish nation and her people, the Samaritans had corrupted that worship. Now Jesus points to His going to the cross as the means of her redemption, or her cleansing..

 

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

He is pointing to the apex of redemptive history, to the time which would come to pass in time when he would be lifted up between heaven and earth in order to cleanse her soul as well as the souls of all mankind. This greatest love offering of all time would take place and through it the world would be reconciled, reconnected back to God and all those who received this atonement would come to know what worship really was. They would come to know the highest form of praise that is possible, for one who was a lost sinner now was found. Mercy received would cause great praise to be offered unto the one who extended mercy: God the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ. The worship would not be only an emotional experience, but it would be grounded in truth in which a true worshipper's heart is opened up completely for the need of forgiveness and cleansing. There could be no joy without acknowledgement of one's complete depravity and sinfulness, with the only means of cleansing being the blood of Jesus the Christ.

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

She is understanding more and more, for she speaks of the Messiah, which is called Christ, saying that he will tell us all things. Then Jesus says: I speak unto thee am he. In the originals, it is "I AM he.

27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?

The disciples come back from their mission, marvelling that their Master was talking to "the" woman, but they did not say anything. They wisely kept silent....

28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,

29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

 

What about the Samaritan woman? She forgot about her water bag, had not even given Jesus a drink, ran into the city and told the men about her experience. Now remember that the word of a woman in those days would be of very little value to a man, but she did not care. She now knew who she was in Christ and could not help herself in bringing the good news to her fellow Samaritans. She invited them to come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did: She proposed them a question, challenging them: Is not this the Christ?

What an amazing transformation for this Samaritan woman, who was despised by the Jews!! She had come to realize of her true worth in Christ, and she became the first woman missionary for Jesus. For Jesus had parked himself in her path, had humbled himself to ask her for a drink, had poured the Water of the Gospel over her and at the right time, had drawn out of her heart the areas in which she had been seeking to satisfy her thirst. She came to see her broken and needy condition for forgiveness, and Jesus showed her that God ordained that He, Jesus, would be the One who change worship from a place to a person. For God seeks true worshippers, those who come to know that saving grace and forgiveness that is through Christ Jesus. That is how we thank and praise Him, in the person and for the atoning work of Christ the Messiah!

Dear friend, this day I pray that we all can see in a more clear way the power of the cross that Christ humbled Himself upon. For there we weep for our sins, but even more so we rejoice in hearing the voice from the cross, "It is finished!" His grace is greater than all our sin!!!!! Today we worship Him in spirit and in truth!!!!

Perhaps you could find the following song on Youtube and listen to its beautiful empowering words of life...May you be blessed by the Water of Life...

One day I came to Him, I was so thirsty.
I asked for water, my throat was so dry.
He gave me water that I had never dreamed of.
But for this water, my Lord had to die.

Refrain
He said, "I thirst" yet he made the river.
He said, "I thirst" yet he made the sea.
"I thirst," said the king of the ages.
In His great thirst He brought water to me.


Now there’s a river that flows as clear as crystal.
It comes from God's throne above!
And like a river, it wells up inside me,
Bringing mercy and life giving love.

Refrain
He said, "I thirst" yet he made the river.
He said, "I thirst" yet he made the sea.
"I thirst," said the king of the ages.
In His great thirst He brought water to me.


Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 23 Aug 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Whom do you say that I am? 9.1.2015
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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