Message Series Archive: “The Word” (Complete Series, 33 Messages)

By knowing the written word of God, we come to know the Living Word of God — Jesus Christ. A sermon series from the Gospel of John. Our study guides […]

By knowing the written word of God, we come to know the Living Word of God — Jesus Christ. A sermon series from the Gospel of John.

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The Word Part 33 - John 21:1-25

Message preached on September 30th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Series conclusion. John writes the epilogue of his Gospel, and records Jesus giving his disciples the charge of going out to become fishers of men. Jesus also lovingly restores Peter, who was crushed by his own failure in denying Jesus after he was captured. Jesus also predicts that John would not be killed in the same manner as the other disciples.

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The Word Part 32 - John 20:1-31

Message preached on September 23rd, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

The resurrection of Jesus. Did this really happen? It’s the event that stands at the center of everything for those who believe. It is also central to Jesus’ message. He said he had the authority to lay his life down for us, and the authority to take it back up again. A man can die for other men, but only God can return to life. The grave is no longer an end, but a beginning. Jesus brings life from death, first for himself, and then for every one of his followers.

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The Word Part 31 - John 19:16-42

Message preached on September 16th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Why was it necessary for Jesus to be crucified? Not why was it necessary for Jesus to DIE, any Christian can answer that, but why was it necessary for Jesus to be CRUCIFIED? Jesus himself said it was, when he encountered the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, recorded in Luke chapter 24. The crucifixion of Jesus demonstrates just how much God loves us, and in stark contrast, how much God hates sin. We examine John’s description of the events that took place that day, thousands of years ago, on a small hill outside of town in a land far away.

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The Word Part 30 - John 18:28 ~ 19:16

Message preached on September 9th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Jesus was the Truth of God made into flesh, living among us. This week we find out how the Jewish leaders and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate handled the Truth of God. The tension and manipulation between Pilate and the Jewish leaders is worthy of a Hollywood script, and while Jesus was seemingly caught in the middle, he was actually the one in control. Everything needed to happen exactly as it did, in order for Jesus to fulfill his mission. We see how Pilate and the Jewish leaders handled the Truth of God, but we also have the truth of God with us today in his Word. How then will WE handle the truth of God?

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The Word Part 29 - John 18:13-27

Message preached on September 2nd, 2012 by Ryan Brasington.

Watch and pray, storing up the Word of God so that you will be prepared for the day your faith is on trial. Wait on the Lord’s deliverance, not seeking momentary comforts that will ultimately betray you, and know that he restores you when you fail. While Jesus was put on trial before the Jewish leaders, Peter hung around outside, warming himself at the fire and denying that he knew Jesus. We should avoid doing the same at all costs, but know that if we do fall, there is forgiveness and restoration for us if we turn back to him.

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The Word Part 28 - John 18:1-12

Message preached on August 26th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

The soldiers who arrested Jesus didn’t know who he was or what he’d done. They were just doing their jobs. The ones who had Jesus arrested weren’t concerned with his mission, they wanted their nation back and any Messiah who wasn’t going to make that his mission was someone to be eliminated. Jesus, however, was set on his mission. He wasn’t here to free a nation or be a part of any political scene; he was here to save his people. What’s our first priority? Winning an election, or winning the world?

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The Word Part 27 - John 17:1-26

Message preached on August 19th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Jesus was gathered with his disciples for one final time. When Jesus left that room, he would be arrested, tried, and put to death. Yet in this prayer John records, Jesus wasn’t praying for himself at all. His concern was solely on his disciples. He asks the Father to protect them, to make them holy, and to bring them to where Jesus would be going, so they could see him glorified. The question to us is will we live for his mission and represent God to this world, as he did?

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The Word Part 26 - John 16:25-33

Message preached on August 12th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Most people would say that death terminates life, but Christians should see it as the exact opposite. God brings life out of death. We’re never fully alive until we’re freed from this shadowland we live in. The death of Jesus would free the disciples to finally begin living for the kingdom. The resurrection reality of Jesus brings liberating joy and overwhelming peace.

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The Word Part 25 - John 16:4-15

Message preached on August 5th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Orthodox Christians confess that God is three persons in one. Even though we can’t fully explain that, we hold it to be true because God’s Word says it is. Yet if you ask the average believer to tell you about God, they would talk about God the Father and Jesus, God the Son. Jesus, however, says that God’s primary interaction with our lives in this world will be through God the Holy Spirit, whom God sends to live inside his people. What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives? How should we respond?

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The Word Part 24

Message preached on July 29th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

For the past three weeks, this series on the life and teaching of Jesus has been moving through the things Jesus told his disciples during his last night with them. He knew he was about to be arrested and that his suffering would begin, so these were his last words. HUGELY important words! John 15:18 through 16:4 teach that the world WILL hate the followers of Christ because they don’t belong to the world. Jesus doesn’t want us to be surprised by this. Pastor Tom Hendrikse applies this remarkable warning to our lives as 21st century believers. How and why will the world hate us? Should we care? How SHOULD we handle it?

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The Word Part 23

Message preached on July 22nd, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

From John 15 we have Jesus teaching that he is the true vine and we are the branches. Just as branches live because the life of the vine flows through them, so we live and bear fruit because the life of the true vine flows through us. However, the other side of the coin is that God the Father is the vineyard keeper who prunes branches so they can produce an even greater amount of fruit. That pruning is difficult to endure, to say the least. Pastor Tom Hendrikse explores the difficult realities of pruning and shares the story of staff members who are experiencing extraordinary trials.

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The Word Part 22

Message preached on July 15th, 2012 by Carter Brown.

In John chapter 14, Jesus tells his disciples that he will not leave them alone in the world, but he will send them the Holy Spirit. This fantastic reality, divinity living within you, is the topic of this week’s message. Carter Brown, our Director of Student Ministries, explores the often controversial and emotionally charged views of the Holy Spirit. What does having the Holy Spirit given to us really mean? How should it change our lives? What should we do if we feel that it’s NOT changed them?

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The Word Part 21

Message preached on July 8th, 2012 by Sam Kastensmidt.

The end of John chapter 13 and the start of chapter 14 describe some of Jesus’ final hours on the earth. He knew how short his time was, so everything he did or said now must be important. Our passage this week opens with Jesus giving his disciples a new commandment, that they love each other as he loved them. After foretelling Peter’s denial of him, Jesus then told his disciples he was going to prepare a place for them, and they would know the way to where he was going. When the disciples proved ignorant of what he was saying, Jesus told them that HE was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This statement declares Jesus to be the exclusive way to heaven, but it does more than that – it tells us a lot about how we are to live. Sam takes us through the passage and carefully highlights all of these powerful teachings, explaining what they mean.

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The Word Part 20

Message preached on July 1st, 2012 by Matt Lomenick.

From John chapter 13, we see Jesus beginning his final hours with his close friends and disciples before going to the cross. John records that having loved them in this world, Jesus loved them to the end. Spiritual growth occurs in loving community. God’s design for us is that we live in loving community. Pastor Matt Lomenick talks about what that loving community can empower us to do, and what pitfalls can occur if it isn’t present in our lives. This recording contains the update on the Rio House. The video Matt refers to at the beginning of the message is the Project Homelessness video, which can be seen here: http://riovistachurch.com/rio-impact-project-homelessness-video/

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The Word Part 19

Message preached on June 24th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

In John chapter 12, we see Jesus at a feast in the city of Bethany following the resurrection of Lazarus. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, takes a pound of incredibly expensive perfume (probably a family heirloom), breaks the neck of the jar, pours it on the feet of Jesus, then wipes his feet with her hair. Judas objected that the perfume should have been sold and the proceeds put into the treasury to feed the poor, but Jesus rebuked him and said that Mary was doing something entirely appropriate–she was valuing Jesus above even her most valuable possession. The challenge to us is this: What is our $27,000 bottle of perfume? What thing do we value so highly that we put it in front of Jesus? If there is anything like that in your life, today’s message would tell you to take it and pour it at the feet of Jesus.

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The Word Part 18

Message preached on June 10th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Week 18 brings us to John chapter 11 and the story of Lazarus. Last week, in the story of the good shepherd, we read that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, and then takes it back again. He is the one with authority over life and death itself. Now we see that illustrated in the story of three siblings who were close friends of Jesus: Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus. It comes to pass in the story that Lazarus dies and Jesus gathers the family to the place where they’ve laid him in a tomb. Jesus calls forth Lazarus from the tomb…and Lazarus comes out, alive again. There is a day coming when all of the dead, everywhere around the world, will come forth in response to the command of Jesus. Some will come to a sentence of eternal destruction and death, others to a sentence of eternal deliverance and life. The difference between the two is faith in Jesus. The question asked by today’s story is, “do you believe this?”

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The Word Part 17

Message preached on June 3rd, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

John chapter ten opens with Jesus continuing the contentious discourse with a group of Pharisees that began at the end of the previous chapter. Once again, Jesus describes himself in the imagery and language of the Old Testament. He declares that he is the good shepherd and, by implication, they are thieves and robbers who have come to destroy the sheep he is protecting. He says he is the door of the sheep, meaning that he is the only way into the sheepfold and also the barrier protecting the sheep from the death and destruction outside. Tragically but not surprisingly, many of those hearing him refused to listen, dismissing Jesus as both demon-possessed and insane. The message of this passage is that his sheep know his voice and follow him! The same message that provoked the Pharisees will comfort the sheep. We are one flock, we have one shepherd, and we know his voice. The good shepherd voluntarily lays down his life for his sheep.

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The Word Part 16

Message preached on May 27th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

We come this week to John chapter 9, where we find the story of Jesus healing a man who had been blind since birth. The disciples, upon seeing this man, asked Jesus a question that reveals much about how we react when we see suffering: “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” The answer Jesus gave them, saying neither the man nor his parents had sinned but that this blindness was given that God’s glory might be shown, makes a profound connection between suffering and glory. In this case, even between our suffering and God’s glory. Jesus, Light of the world, brings sight to this man, first physically and then spiritually. The man being healed on the Sabbath provoked the Jewish leaders yet again, and started an argument over who Jesus was and whether he’d been sent by God. Light makes it possible for us to see, but sometimes also lets those who think they see realize that they’re really blind.

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The Word Part 15

Message preached on May 20th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Jesus had been at the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths), which featured both a water element and a light element. He had already declared that anyone who believes in him would become a source from which rivers of living water would flow, and today he tells the crowd that he is the light of the world. The Jews no longer needed to revere the symbols; they could worship the one who the symbols were pointing towards. It should come as no surprise that they reacted badly to the statements Jesus made. They sought to dismiss Jesus by calling his parentage into question, implying that Jesus was the product of a sexually immoral relationship involving his mother Mary. With divine insight fueling pointed questions and bold statements, Jesus taught both them and us what it would mean to have God as our father.

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The Word Part 14

Message preached on April 29th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

This week we read a story where the scribes and the Pharisees brought before Jesus a woman who, it says, “was caught in the act of adultery.” They insisted Jesus tell them what should be done with her, not because they didn’t know what the Law of Moses said should be done, but rather as a trap. Would Jesus discredit himself by not following the Scriptures, or would he violate Roman rule and laws? Neither, as it turns out. In the end, this woman wasn’t the only one whose guilt would be laid bare before Jesus. There is a remarkable story of forgiveness and grace here, as well as a potent warning against the self-righteousness judging of others.

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The Word Part 13

Message preached on April 22nd, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

John chapter seven could be characterized as the place where true faith and self-interest collide. We see two examples of people who were interested in Jesus for their own reasons. His brothers (half-brothers, the other sons of Mary by her husband Joseph) were interested in Jesus because they saw him as an asset to be used. “The Jews” (presumably the religious leaders) were also interested in Jesus because they perceived him to be a rival and wanted to eliminate Him. So true faith, we would say, empties itself of self-interest and exaltation, replacing it with God-interest and exaltation. This is reinforced later when Jesus says we will know whether or not His teaching is from God when our will is to do God’s will.

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The Word Part 12

Message preached on April 15th, 2012 by Carter Brown.

The sixth chapter of John’s Gospel covers a lot of familiar ground. Two of the most famous miracles performed by Jesus are found here: The feeding of 5,000 with only a few loaves and fishes, and Jesus walking on the water. One of the iconic “I am” statements is found here also, “I am the Bread of Life.” So there is a lot about this chapter you will find familiar, if you have spent much time in church or Sunday school. If you look beyond just what the stories say, however, and examine what they mean, you will find that Jesus is addressing a couple of very uncomfortable topics. He’s speaking to both those in His day and (through John’s record) all of us today about the contentment to remain as we are, and about our focus on ourselves and others.

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The Word Part 11

Message preached on April 8th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Following His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus encountered two disciples fleeing what must have seemed to them to be the collapse of this new faith. The scriptures tell us that Jesus prevented them from recognizing Him so He might ask them what they were discussing. When they revealed their despair over what had happened to Jesus, He chastised them, and then showed them how Moses and all the prophets had declared that these things had to happen to the Messiah. In Genesis chapter 22, we have one of the most poignant and clear examples of such a declaration, the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. We’ll study this example of resurrection faith as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord!

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The Word Part 10

Message preached on April 1st, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

In John chapter 5, Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, provoking a confrontation with Jewish religious leaders. Once He had their attention, He delivered a message declaring who He was (the Son of God, and thus equal to God), and about the resurrection and judgment that was to come. Jesus addressed their anger and disbelief by explaining that if they had believed Moses, they would believe Jesus, because Moses wrote about Him. Did Moses write about Jesus? If so, where? We’ll look at one fascinating, and often passed over, example from Exodus chapter 15.

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The Word Part 9

Message preached on March 25th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Our God heals! Those are comforting words, aren’t they? When we, or a loved one, are sick or injured, we want to know that God will heal us. The fact is, though, God doesn’t always heal how we want Him to, nor does He always heal when we want Him to. What the Scriptures teach is that God doesn’t heal according to our purposes — God heals according to His purposes. Is that still a comforting thought? This week we read about Jesus healing a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. As the story unfolds, we’ll get to see the purpose behind Jesus performing this miracle of healing and we can ask ourselves, do we have faith that His purpose is always good?

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The Word part eight

Message preached on March 11th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

This week, we see the follow-up from the Samaritan woman’s excited plea for the her town to “come and meet this man.” Jesus spent two days with the Samaritans, and many believed in Him. Then Jesus returns to Galilee where He was warmly welcomed, but for all the wrong reasons. John presents a very probing question for us all to consider: Why do YOU seek Jesus?

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The Word part seven

Message preached on March 4th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Our series from the gospel of John exploring the life and teachings of God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ, continues with the story from John chapter four about Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. His message to her then, and to us today, is that we can only find an eternally satisfying life in Him.

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The Word part six

Message preached on February 26th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Our series from the gospel of John exploring the life and teachings of God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ, continues with the story from John chapter three about Nicodemus coming to speak with Jesus under cover of night. Tom Hendrikse takes you inside the mind of Nicodemus and leads us on a fascinating journey through the Old Testament symbols and their meanings–information Jesus said Nicodemus should have already known, and information Jesus wants us to have as well.

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The Word part five

Message preached on February 5th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

From John chapter two, we read the story of Jesus driving the merchants and the money-changers out of the temple. There is a lot to learn from this passage. Jesus is furious about where this commerce is taking place, and the connection between the temple then and the temple now ought to cause each one of us to sit up and take notice. Tom takes us through this passage bite by bite, stopping to taste all the metaphors and images John has put here so that we might learn their meaning.

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The Word part four

Message preached on January 29th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

This week, we hear the story of the first miracle Jesus performed in public, the changing of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. It is a familiar story, but there may be things you miss if you read through it too fast. Tom slows us down and goes through the metaphors and images, savoring each one, to get at what’s really happening in this story. Yes, there is water and there is wine, and yes, there is a wedding feast with a bride and bridegroom. However, the water isn’t only water, the wine isn’t just wine, and there are more than one bride and bridegroom in view.

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The Word part three

Message preached on January 22nd, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Our study from John’s Gospel continues with a message on Jesus beginning to assemble the group of twelve men who would become His apostles. In the beginning, some of these men had been followers of John the Baptist up until the arrival of Jesus, and some of John’s other disciples complained to him about Jesus taking over. John’s response was to remind them that his mission was to point people to Jesus, and seeing people go to Jesus made his joy complete.

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The Word part two

Message preached on January 15th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

Our study from John’s Gospel continues with a message examining the life and ministry of John the Baptist (not the same John as the author of this book, in case you wondered). Jesus said Himself that among those born of women, there was no one greater than John the Baptist. What made him great? Pastor Tom Hendrikse explains that it came from him knowing who he was not, and then knowing clearly what his mission was.

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The Word part one

Message preached on January 8th, 2012 by Tom Hendrikse.

This week we are beginning a new study, taking another step on our journey to Know the Word and Live the Word. This wasn’t just the mantra for 2011, something we would do and be done with it, but it is the unending pursuit of the Christian life! Because it is through this pursuit that we come to know the Living Word that is Jesus Christ. Knowing the Living Word is how we can live a life, by faith, that more and more begins to resemble His. Today we consider that the Word that was with God in the beginning, Who brought order out chaos and light into the darkness at the creation of this world, is the same Word who became a man and lived among us, to bring order and light into our lives!

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