He must increase, but I must decrease
The best way to misread or misinterpret the Bible is to evaluate scripture against the backdrop of your personal values, or modern culture. One of the passages that is most misread is John 2, where Jesus turns the water into wine.
Much has been made about this miracle over the years, but little has been spoken about the message that the Apostle John was trying to convey by including this event in his Gospel.
Many look to tbis passage to prove that the Lord is permissive of drinking. Those who oppose the drinking of alcohol counter by saying that the wine must have been non-alcoholic, a sort of designer grape juice.
However, these arguments are completely irrelevant to the message John is trying to convey. John’s purpose in writing his Gospel is to demonstrate the humanity and divinity of Christ, to show Jesus as the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God.
John’s inclusion of this miracle was two-fold. First, he demonstrated the divinity of Jesus by recording the power He had in turning the water into wine. Second, he shows the love and humanity of Christ by showing His concern over the wedding, even though it had little to do with his overall mission.
The water into wine miracle is amazing, because it shows me that the all powerful creator of the universe cares about how my day is going, and is engaged in the details of my life, regardless of how inconsequential they may seem.
What does this passage show you?
This week’s message is the first in “The Real Jesus Christ” series to focus on application. We are instructed by scripture to follow Jesus. What does that mean, and what does that look like? Listen to Pastor Leland Acker’s message via Soundcloud.
Throughout the book of Romans, Paul has comforted the Roman believers by redirecting them back to the Gospel. It is through a renewed commitment and understanding of the Gospel that we see everything in perspective and have our hope and joy restored.
In Romans 12, Paul begins to discuss how we should respond to the Gospel, and how we should live in light of the Gospel.
-A note from Pastor Leland Acker
Amidst all the Christian media, movies, music, stage shows and trendy churches, we must ask ourselves, “Is the Gospel enough?” Such is the premise for “Church People,” a Christian comedy released in 2021 by MyPillow’s Mike Lindell.
Church People follows a youth director’s struggle as he watches the megachurch where he has spent his ministry fall into the rut of using gimmicks and theatrical antics to draw crowds, while the meaning of the Gospel gets lost altogether. The film not only addresses the importance of the Gospel, but personal sin and struggle, the shallowness of some forms of Christianity, church politics, reconciliation and redemption.
My main concern with this film would be that it would inadvertently create a parody of church life and Christianity, and thus miss the target of refocusing the audience on the Gospel. My concern has been alleviated after watching the film, and I whole-heartedly endorse this film, not only for family entertainment, but for ministerial use as well.
The movie features a cast of quirky characters, mostof whom are caricatures of folks you might have met in church life. However, the film skillfully uses those characters as object lessons to get us to the intended message, which makes the film successful. From the greeter who seems to have a divine insight into people’s lives, the newly converted member of the youth group who can’t be involved enough, the pastor’s daughter turned missionary, the disenchanted youth director, and the rock-star wannabe worship leader all play a role in helping this film not only get its message across, but also deliver some amazing laughs along the way.
At the end of the day, we are all reminded that, yes, the Gospel is enough. Not only so, but the Gospel is the very essence of who we are in Christ, and what God has done for us. Furthermore, the movie does what so few do, correctly define what the Gospel is. For that, I happily recommend this movie to anyone.