The service will also include believer’s baptism, where upon profession of faith, Nithin John and Lisa Pennington will be baptised.
Some people just like to suffer alone, Thomas being a case in point as he sought to come to terms with the huge disappointment of life minus Jesus. When he belatedly returned to his fellow disciples in the upper room they excitedly proclaimed – “We have seen the Lord!” “Yeah, right” thought a sceptical Thomas, refusing to believe, until a week later when Jesus appeared once again and convinced “Doubting Thomas” that he was alive, eliciting from him one of the great confessions of faith – “My Lord and my God!” as seeing resulted in believing.
But we must not look enviously at Thomas and the other disciples, because it is not necessary to “see” Jesus in order to believe in him. Their faith can be our faith too, which is why John concludes his Gospel as he does, making precisely this point- “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20 v 30 & 31.)
John does not record all of Jesus’ miracles in his Gospel account, but he does specifically select 7:-
Changing the water into wine at a wedding (John 2 v 1 – 11); healing the officials son (John 4 v 46 – 54); healing the cripple by the pool (John 5 v 1 – 15); feeding the 5000 (John 6 v 1 – 14); walking on the water (John 6 v 16 – 21); healing the blind man (John 9 v 1 – 7) and raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11 v 38 – 44.)
But the thing about such miracles is that, although they all point to the deity of Jesus Christ ,to which also could be added the miracle of the resurrection (Romans 1 v 4), people are not saved by believing in miracles (John 11 v 47) they are saved by believing in Jesus. “Believe” being one of John’s favourite words that is used in his Gospel on almost 100 occasions, with many personal confessions of belief being recorded. Here are the main ones:-
John the Baptist (John 1 v 34); Nathaniel (John 1 v 49); Simon Peter (John 6 v 69); the former blind man (John 9 v 38); and Martha (John 11 v 27.)
Challenge – Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
The result of believing is that we have “life in his name,” with “life” being another of John’s favourite words (John 10 v 10 & 14 v 6) which he uses some 36 times. Those who believe experience eternal life, which is not endless time, but a taste of the quality of life in heaven while here on earth. While those who do not believe are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2 v 1) and do not enjoy such life (John 3 v 36.)
Theme: “The miraculous message!”
Reading: John 20 v 24 – 31
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes