Riches of financial giving, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

Topical Bible study material on financial stewardship

Introduction
The riches of giving cannot be over-emphasized. Giving touches and blesses all the components of human lives and existence. It blesses all the spiritual, physical, material, social and mental components of our lives.

Social blessings of giving
Giving establishes reputation in the believer’s life. In Malachi 3:11, God points out clearly that if Israel would tithe and give offering, the surrounding unbelieving nations would be impressed with Israel. Both God and man would find delight in Israel’s obedience. Thus, our giving efforts determine whether we are to be counted or not in the society that we belong.

Physical and mental blessings of giving
Giving shows trust in God. It shows that our good health and sound mind is not dependent on us: the good food you eat; our disciplined lifestyle; our regular exercises; our body nor good national health insurance scheme. John’s prayer for Gaius is an example to this (3 John 2).

Psychologically and mentally, giving creates an atmosphere of expectancy. Abraham believed that offering Isaac was not the end and assured his servants that they would return (Genesis 22:5). He did not lose sight of God’s ability to provide him a son again. Jesus taught that bountiful returns are found in our offerings (Luke 6:38). Paul wrote about similar issue that whoever sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully (2 Cor 9:6)

Some spiritual blessings of financial giving

Giving assesses our level of spirituality
Our spirituality is assessed partly by our financial commitments especially to the local church (Luke 16:10-12). For your reputation check-up, ask yourself, how will the local church testify about me after I am no more with them especially when it comes to financial giving? In this instance, financial giving serves as an indicator of an intimate and continual bond of relationship with God. Our giving spirit also shows that our faith rests on God and not in the substances we have.

Giving shows our trust in God
What we do with our money or income shows that we trust in God. The rich man in Jesus’ story in Luke 12:13-21 died before he could begin to use what he had stored in his big barns. The interesting attitude in this man’s life is that he excluded God in his planning neither did he attribute the source of his produce to God. It is important to point out that the items he produced were not evil per say, however, God who is the source of his life and his strength to produce the items was not recognized nor acknowledged as he planned to spend the resources.

The rich man in the story did not think beyond earthbound goals to use what he had been given for God’s Kingdom. Instead, he planned to spend all on himself. Not giving or offering to anyone whosoever. Faith, service and obedience are the way to become rich toward God (Luke 12:18-20). The man’s heart was not in God but in his items and thought the items could sustain him. This is an example of a deceptive mindset.

God honours a Giving Faith
The fact remains that financial giving evidences faith in God. God honours faith that is seen in giving. Positive examples of this abound in the scripture. Those who walked with God in faith demonstrate what it is to offer something to God. These were even before offering was introduced as part of the law. Some examples can be seen in the lives of Abel, Noah, Abraham and Jacob. The first record of offering brought to the Lord is in Genesis 4:3-7. Cain brought offerings of the produce of the ground, while Abel brought first thing of the flock. By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Each one’s offering pointed out his faith. Noah was a just man who walked with God (Genesis 6:9). He built an altar and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Then the Lord smelt a sweet savour (Genesis 8:20-21). Abraham acknowledged his allegiance and trust in God and offered tithe unto Melchizedek, King of Salem, the priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18-20). Jacob vowed to the Lord saying, of all that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto you (Genesis 28:22).

Giving shows lives and wills that are fully surrendered to God
Financial giving is a way of saying that as Christians, we have trusted God not only in word but have also made surrender of our lives and wills. Giving then demonstrates to God that our lives are in God’s hands, unlike the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. It is also a way of living a humble life by acknowledging our insufficiency and thereby trusting in God’s sufficiency.

Giving affirms our consciousness of God’s presence
Giving is a way of saying to God that God is present with us even in the darkest hour of the world and all spheres of life. It shows that the one who sustains us in the midst of international and national economic hardship is not our secured employment, our rich family background, our reliable bank account nor our wise financial planning but God (Deuteronomy 8: 18).

Conclusion
Determine each day, week, month and year to offer valuable part of your income to God as thanks offering. For where your treasure is, there your heart would be.

Our financial giving proves our faith in God. It is a great indication that all that we have comes from God and also our future depends on God. Underlying this is the biblical truth that giving creates atmosphere of expectancy. This can be seen as an expectant faith. How much we give to God with our substance shows how well we expect God to bless us in future. To this, we will agree with William Carrey that: “Expect great things from God and you will attempt great things for God.”

Questions

  1. With reference to Malachi 3:11, how is giving connected to our reputation and social blessings?
  2. State and explain any three spiritual blessings of financial giving.
  3. To Jesus, “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” How far is this true in your life?

You are Blessed, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

You are Blessed and not Cursed (Gal 3:13)
In a context where men and women are evil conscious and in a world where evil appears to reign because men and women by their strengths are unable to obey God’s law, there is the tendency to have the mindset that one is under curse. In the context of Africa where people out of jealousy, allegedly pay huge sum of money to the shrines to inflict curses upon their perceived human enemies, a reminiscence of Balak hiring the Balaam to curse God’s children (Numbers 22, 23), fear seems to grip people into the belief that they are under curse.
However, by faith in Jesus’ death on the cross, humanity is no more under curse. Paul points out that Jesus’ death on the cross takes upon himself our curses that we will be blessed (Gal 3:13).

Recognizing the value of children in the Church and in the society, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Reflections on Luke 18:15-17

Introduction
There are over 435 different references in the Bible about children. This message limits ourselves specifically to Luke 18:15-17: But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” This particular story is recorded in all the first three gospels – Mathew, Mark and Luke.
During Jesus’ days, it was customary for a mother to bring her children to a rabbi for a blessing, and that is why these mothers gathered around Jesus. The disciples however thought that the children were unworthy of the Master’s time, and that they were less important than whatever Jesus was doing.
Beloved, what was Jesus trying to communicate to the world by these words? Lets examine some lessons from this passage:

1. Jesus raised the status of children by warmly welcoming them
a. In those days, women and children were seen as second class citizens. They did not matter and it was a man’s world. But Jesus welcomed them, because little children have the kind of faith and trust needed to enter God’s kingdom. Today, it’s the same thing we see in our world, even in the church. About 95% of churches in Ghana do not attach much importance to children ministries. So children are confined to some unappealing room with little or no resources whilst their parents treat themselves to good music with state of the art instruments in a well decorated auditorium. Studies have shown that 85% of people who come to Christ are people under the age of 18.
The church must therefore realize that the greatest mission field in the world is children. Fathers and mothers, teachers and pastors, are encouraged try to catch the children young for Christ, supply them best workers, the best curriculum and the best resources and thus sow a seed that will yield 30, 60 and 100 fold results.

2. Another lesson from the passage is TRUST
Children are apt to trust those who are in authority over them. It does not take a lot to convince children. Mummy says she will buy me chocolate and so it is. Children do not require complicated explanation. Thus, learn to approach God with a greater child-like trust that He will supply all your needs (emotional, social, physical, financial, vocational, spiritual, etc.) according to His riches in glory, Phil. 4:19. Simply believe His Word for what it is.

3. Responsibility of parents towards their children
According to Psalm 127, children are a gift from the Lord. Jesus’ words in Luke 18:15-17 and the way He welcomed them confirmed this. As gifts from God to you, what does God expects parents to do for children. God expects parents to take good care of children because they will be accountable for how the cared for them:
a. Spiritually. God expects parents to show the way to Christ and to be
examples in all godliness. Let your children see Christ in you, and in your daily life. Intentionally present the gospel to them, pray for them, study the Bible with them, and model Christ to them.
b. Physically. God expects parents to provide for the basic needs of life – food, shelter and clothing. Food – not just food but food that contains all the essential nutrients needed for growth , shelter – not just a room to sleep in but a peaceful home and environment to live in and clothing – not just something to cover nakedness but something that will give identity and build our self esteem.
c. Mentally. God expects parents to invest in lives of children by giving them quality education as a stepping stone to fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives. The best legacy you can leave your children in today’s world is not huge buildings or fat bank account but quality education.
d. Socially. God expects you to teach us how to relate to people around us and to fit into the society as relational beings. In that way, you have to be an example in your relationships to us. As married couples, let your children see the beauty of your relationship, let your children see how well you relate to your neighbours. If you go about beating your husband or wife, fighting next door neighbours, customers, etc. your children will learn from you.
These days, parents are too busy to have time for us as children. Make time to listen to our needs, to know our friends, to visit our schools, to understand our challenges, to correct our wrongs and help us to make the right choices for a better future. If you neglect your duties towards us now in the name of making money, be rest assured that you cannot pay for the cost of a wayward child in the next few years.

4. Another lesson from the passage is children is Obedience
a. In Luke 18:17, Jesus expects children to come to Him. As children we need to be obedient to God’s call to come to Him. Sometimes, some of us give our parents hell of time before we come to church. Some of us even refuse to go to Sunday school. I think we must rather be thankful to God for the opportunity we have to come to church. Some of our parents never had such an opportunity in their childhood.
b. Obedience to our parents and teachers
As children who are growing up, one day we will become parents, teachers, etc. and will expect our children to obey our words, we therefore must start now by obeying parents and leaders.
We need to study hard for the future. Some of us would want to be bankers, teachers, doctors, engineers, lecturers, fashion designers, and many more. But you know what? This calls for HARD WORK.
Study hard, obey your parents and pray to God and you will get there.

Conclusion
We need to understand the value of children in all aspects of life. It is time to call upon the leadership of the Church and parents that holistic upbringing of children should form essential part of their calling as Christians. Children are tomorrow’s leaders. They are the future of the church, the future of the Family and the future of this Country.

Dynamics of Prayer and Deliverance, By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu,

Reflections based on Pentecostal and Charismatic Pastoral and ministerial experience

Introduction
Prayer and Deliverance ministry has been an area that has gained much attention in the contemporary ministry of the church in Africa. Two great powers are engaged in life-and-death struggle over human lives and their successes. Peter points out that your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). John, however, points out that the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).

Deliverance has to do with the aspect of salvation that involves freedom from the bondage of the enemy: devil, demonic spirits, covenants, curses and diseases and infirmities (Luke 10: 1, 8, 9, 17-20). Here, it is worth pointing out that every believer can have authority over the devil and demons. In the context of the Church, it can be said that although not all prayer warriors are part of the deliverance team of the church, yet every prayer warrior must be prepared to cast out demons, and thus be part of the deliverance ministry.

In view of the above understanding, this article looks at (a.) some general matters of concern about the deliverance ministry which include: who our enemies are – Satan and his demons, (b.) Qualities of deliverance team member and (c.) the processes of carrying out the deliverance ministry which may be discussed under three main areas as pre-prayer and deliverance meeting with the client, the actual prayer and deliverance session and the post-deliverance session.

A. General matters of concern about the prayer and deliverance ministry

1. Describing Satan and demons
Satan is said to be the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). He was the prince of nations (Matthew 4:8, 9). He is the author of all our miseries and sorrows, of our diseases and pains, of death itself. He is the king and ruler of all demon spirits. His chief desire and design is to destroy human life and, therefore, to bring sorrow to the heart of God and God’s children. We can better understand who Satan is by the names given to him in the Bible. In the Bible, Satan is known as the Devil, the Accuser, the Adversary, the Dragon, the father of lies, the Tempter, the Prince of the Devils, the prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world and the corrupter of minds. Satan is not present everywhere.
Demons belong to Satan who is the ruler of the demons. Jesus speaks of them as “…the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Thus demons are fallen angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode (Jude 6). Whereas some are imprisoned, some are free. Although demons do not have physical bodies, they have the following characteristics: demons talk (Mark 3:10); demons know their future (Matt. 8:29); demons resist surrender, they may call for reinforcements (Matt. 12); they recognize and obey those who have power over them.

2. Qualities of deliverance team member or a person exercising authority
i. Must be above reproach
ii. Must be full of faith and recognize his authority in Christ (Hebrews 11:6)
iii. Put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:13-18)
iv. Use the word of command (Luke 4:32)
v. Have the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 10:27)
vi. Be flexible in Method
vii. Know when to use prayer and fasting
viii. Seek the Lord’s guidance

B. The Prayer and Deliverance Session
3. Preparing those needing deliverance: pre-prayer and deliverance meeting with the
Client
Those seeking deliverance should be invited to attend teaching/counseling sessions to prepare them to receive their deliverance.
i. Study the background history of his problem as well as his family history
ii. Help clients to break off contacts with mediums (Lev. 19:31; Zach. 10:2)
iii. Help clients to remove and destroy charms/ talismans
iv. Have the person ask God for forgiveness
v. Have the person to renounce everything of sin and Satan
vi. Help the person receive the gift of salvation where necessary
4. Conducting the deliverance session: The actual prayer and deliverance session
In conducting the deliverance session the room or the location should be free from crowd especially if they are not Christians. Also, the place should be physically safe.
ii. Start with praise and worship
iii. Help the demonized to make declaration of faith
iv. Use the name of Jesus
v. Speak with authority
vi. Rebuke and command the demonic spirits to leave (Mark 9:25)
vii. Note some manifestations
– the person under the influence of the Holy spirit may fall in a trance state
– May have a an extreme strength
– May make some vocal strength
– May show some active or passive resistance; some of these may be used as an attempt by the devil to discourage you
– May put up some violent actions
– May put up some bad odours
– May put up some characters that look like the character of animals that represents the kind of spirit controlling them. For instance, signs of snake, lion, and scorpion may be put up.
5. Follow up after deliverance: the post deliverance meeting
i. Help the client to understand the believers’ authority
ii. Help the client to affirm his/her deliverance
iii. Encourage the client to live holy life
iv. Additional contact sessions may be needed.

Conclusion
It can be said that as you engage in spiritual warfare, you are continuing in the good works of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that, Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. It is therefore necessary to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to daily fulfill this sacred task. It is worth emphasizing that as a spiritual exercise, prayer and deliverance require continuous practices for the skills to be developed.
By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

You are especially invited to worship with Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

About Amazing Grace Baptist Church – Hamburg

Great Invitation

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Rev. John Kwasi Fosu welcomes you to Amazing Grace Baptist.  A place where where men and women alike are empowered to fulfil their God given destinies of greatness. Be motivated here as you worship with us to receive Spirit inspired messages.

About Amazing Grace Baptist Church – Hamburg

The rich and dynamic ministerial, academic and professional backgrounds of Rev. Fosu challenge people to move from success to significance.

About Rev. John Kwasi Fos

Excelling in Giving, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

Bible study material on 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 & 2 Corinthians 9:6

Introduction
One of the greatest opportunities in the life of the Church and for that matter, in the Christian’s life is the time to give during harvest and fundraising periods. Fundraising periods constitute the time to meet needs and thus worship God. It is against this background that Paul challenged the Corinthians to give in 2 Corinthians 8 using two big examples: that of the Macedonian churches (Philipi, Bereans and Thessolonica) and that of Christ. For the Corinthians had stopped what they started in this act of giving. Paul further outlined the blessings they would receive if they would obey.

The Example of Macedonian Churches
The Macedonians gave during hard times (2 Cor 8:1-5). They gave in times of great difficulty and poverty. In spite of these challenging situations, they gave more than Paul expected. To them giving was a privileged responsibility in that they had first dedicated themselves to God.

The example of Christ
The example of Christ in this grace and ministry of giving is seen in his making of great sacrifice of his own life to us. In fact, no amount of money in this world can equate the dignity and quality of human life. Yet Christ vicariously offered himself for us. As a great sacrifice Jesus’ sacrifice was blameless and thus perfect. He offered himself ones and for all. Not only did Jesus offer himself for us, he also identified himself with us in our humanity by becoming poor so that we will be rich. This then presents the challenge to us to give.

The importance of taking part in annual harvest

1. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to show how much we expect God to expand our territories. Taking part in fundraising has the dimension of natural principle (2 Cor 9:6). It follows the principle of sowing and reaping. The blessing of God through giving is also a spiritual principle. God’s word has it that God loves a cheerful giver.

2. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to show how much you love God. The Macedonians first gave themselves. Intimate relationship with God precedes Christian giving.

3. Harvest service constitutes the opportunity to express your appreciation to God. Count your blessings and name them one by one. Our blessings ranges from spiritual to physical areas. To this David once said ‘what shall I render unto the Lord for the benefits’ (Psalm 116:12-13).

4. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to deliver our local church from its current financial limitations. Let us examine the limitations our local church is encountering in the area of financial difficulties and determine to change the circumstance through our financial giving effort. Here taking part in fundraising is to be considered as meeting needs in the Church
5. Fundraising service constitutes the opportunity to make eternal investment. In Philippians 4:17, Paul explains the ultimate reason for collecting some offerings from the believers by pointing out that it was to advance their eternal investment. And so giving has a dimension of eternal reward.

Questions
1. How does the example of the Macedonians motivate you to give?
2. How does Jesus’ pattern of giving encourage us to give.
3. Taking part in Church harvest shows how much we love God. Explain.
4. Give some hindrances to giving.

The Value of Thanksgiving, Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

Sunday School Material on Luke 17:11-17

Introduction
The value of expression of gratitude through thanksgiving cannot be downplayed in human existence. One of the purposes in which God expects us to financially give is to express our gratitude to him. Indeed, through financial giving, we can express our deep gratitude and appreciation to God. The Psalmist enjoins believers to bless the Lord for all his benefits (Psalm 103).

Explaining Luke 17:11-17
Luke 17:11-17 is one of the key passages that brings out the need for thanksgiving. This text suggests that people who had leprosy were required to stay away from other people and to announce their presence if they had to come near. Any leper who thought his leprosy had gone away had to present himself or herself to a priest who had to declare him clean (Lev. 14). This passage tells us that Jesus sent the ten lepers to the priest before they were healed. All responded in faith and thus Jesus healed them on the way.

Jesus healed all the ten lepers, but only one returned to show appreciation to Him. It is possible to receive God’s great gifts with an ungrateful heart or spirit. It is important to point out that only the grateful Christians grow in understanding God’s grace. God is pleased when His servants express their gratitude to Him.

Dynamics of Gratitude from Christian Perspective
1. Gratitude is the appropriate response to a benevolently given gift, or to what someone is, or has done for one. It is a happy emotion, a gladness to have what is given, and to receive it in particular from the giver.

2. Gratitude is the affirmation of certain bond between the giver and the recipient. That is a bond of continual relationship between the giver and the recipient.

3. Gratitude motivates action. However, the truly grateful person does not see such actions as repayment of any debt.

4. It is a way of saying that we have not forgotten God’s numerous blessings upon our lives (Deuteronomy 8:10-19; Psalm 103).
 God forgives our sins and heals our diseases
 Redeems us from death
 Crowns us with love and compassion
 Satisfies our desires and gives righteousness and justice

The list continues. It can be summed up in the major dimensions of life: social blessings, material or physical blessings, spiritual and psychological blessings. One receives all these without deserving any of them. But God gives them to us freely.

5. Thanksgiving recognizes God as the source
Thanks offering is a way of saying that the physical blessings received is linked to a spiritual source who is God (1 Corinthians 4:7).

6. Expression of gratitude has a socio-cultural and ethical dimension
Courtesy demands that. The Akan culture for instance demands that appreciation for offer received is given to the one due as seen in funeral celebrations.

Conclusion and Application
As you reflect through the above passage (Luke 17), God should be the number one being to express your gratitude to. Be it occasional, circumstantial or daily. For it is in God we exist and have our being. Consider key people in your life that you need to show appreciation to. Your parents, pastors, teachers and love ones. Learn to say thank you at all times. Find somebody in your life to thank all the time. Thus, thanks offering has both horizontal and vertical dimensions. That is to God and to humankind.

God always become pleased as His children thank Him for who He is, and for the numerous favours received from Him. The price of ungrateful heart or spirit cannot be paid. Like the 9 lepers who failed to render their appreciation to God, God begins to ask where we are when we fail to thank Him (Luke 17:17b). Wherever grateful hearts flow, generous giving becomes abundant. And God’s people become filled with joy. Gratitude to God thus brings about generous giving that releases joy that is so divine and so glorious!

Questions
1. Why is it that out of the ten Lepers who were healed, only one returned to show appreciation?
2. Why is it sometimes difficult for us to render our appreciation to others?
3. State three importance of showing our gratitude to God.
4. Gratitude is connected to joy. Explain.

Believing in Jesus as “IAM,” Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible study material on John 8:21-30

Introduction
John 8 presents Jesus’ conflicts with the religious leaders of his day. In this chapter, Jesus presents some important contrasts. In John 8:21-30, Jesus brings out the idea of heaven and earth to demonstrate that having faith in Jesus is essential for one’s eternal destination.

Jesus declared himself as being in the world but not of the world
In John 8:21-30, Jesus continues his conversation with the Pharisees by telling them that he will be going away. The Pharisees might have been confused when Jesus said that they will die in their sin. Jesus then told them where he was going that the pharisees will not be able to follow him. The major reason why the Pharisees would be unable to go where Jesus was going is that only the forgiven and redeemed will be able to follow the Lord.

Jesus’ declares himself as “IAM” and thus the saviour
Jesus’ listeners, however, did not understand what he meant. For they understood Jesus’ words literary and that did not make any sense to them. Jesus further told them that if they do not believe that he is the “I AM,” they will die in their sinfulness. Here, since the pharisees saw themselves to be holy, they were surprised to hear that from Jesus.

Jesus declared himself as one having special relationship with the Father (John 8:26-30)
Jesus told the Jews that he came from heaven. The Father sent him (verse 26), taught him (verse 28) and remained with him (verse 29). The Father forsook his Son only when Jesus was made sin for us on the cross. In verse 28, Jesus spoke of being “lifted up.” The Jews in Jesus’ day understood the expression lifted up to signify crucifixion. He had mentioned this to Nicodemus in 3:14-16, and he would mention it again in 12:32-34.

Conclusion: Faith in Jesus determines our eternal destination
There are two births: from above, being born again by God’s Spirit, and from this world, being naturally born. And there are two ways to die: the sinner dies in his/her sins, but the believer dies in the Lord (Revelation 14:13). It is faith in Jesus the Messiah makes the difference.

Questions
1. How would you feel if you were told you are going to die in your sin?
2. With reference to Jesus’ statement that “I AM,” how is Jesus unique?
3. How can we allow Jesus to be the “IAM” in our lives?

Jesus as God’s mercy and light, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible study material on John 8:1-20

Memory verse: John 8:12

Introduction
This chapter shows the Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish leaders and then presents a series of important contrasts. Whereas John 8:1-11 demonstrates God’s mercy at work thereby showing Jesus’ ability to forgive sins, Jesus in John 8:12-20 declares himself as the light of the world.

Jesus had power to forgive sins
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus in the court of the women, in the treasury section of the temple (verse 20). Their motive was to test Jesus (verse 6) and force him into a dilemma. If Jesus set the woman free, he violated Moses’ law (Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22). If Jesus allowed the woman to be stoned, he could not claim to be one who forgives sins. Significantly, Jesus died for the sins of this woman and was able to forgive her. The great I AM statement in verse 12 follows this incident.

Jesus’ declaration of his divinity through I AM statements
John 8:12-20 ties in closely with the previous section. In 7:45-52, Nicodemus recommended that the religious leaders first hear Jesus before passing judgment on him. In no other place in the Word does Jesus make so many statements about himself. He asserts his divine identity through these “I AM” statements.
• “I am the light of the world” (8:12)
• “I am not alone” (8:16)
• “I am One who testifies for Myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent Me” (8:18)
• “I am from above” (8:23)
• “I am not of this world” (8:23)
• “I am the One I claim to be – the Messiah” (8:24,28)
• “I AM” (8:58)

Jesus as the light of the world
John 7 and 8 record the dialogues that Jesus had with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. As part of the ritual, huge lamps in the Court of Women in the temple area were lit in commemoration of the pillar of fire that led the Israelites in their wilderness journey. The light from those lamps lit up much of Jerusalem. Here Jesus presented himself as the true light to be followed (8:12.)

In declaring himself to be the light, Jesus was claiming divinity. In claiming to be the light of the world, Jesus defined his unique position as the one true light for all people, not just the Jews (Isaiah 49:6.) As the “Light of the World,” Jesus claimed to be God, for God is light (1 John 1:5). Darkness speaks of death, ignorance and sin. Light speaks of life, knowledge and holiness. The light exposes sin (John 3:20). The lost sinner lives in darkness (Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:17-19, 5:8) and will spend eternity in darkness (Matthew 25:30) if he rejects Jesus as the messiah. The Jews, instead of submitting to Jesus, argued with him in the temple.

Conclusion
Jesus reveals God’s light of love and mercifulness. Someone has said when we look at the sky, there are many stars, but when the sun rises in the morning, the light is such that we can’t see the stars. God’s mercy is like that. By focusing on God’s mercy, sins and faults disappear. One way to understand God’s mercy is to reflect on our own forgiveness and mercy. It is when we recognise that we have received mercy that we are able to show mercy to others. God’ mercy and light upon our lives therefore remind us to walk worthy of our calling.

Question
1. Jesus spoke and acted in John 8:1-20 as he did because he knew who he was. Explain
2. Do you know who you are in Christ? Give reason for your answer.
3. Why didn’t Jesus condemn the woman caught in adultery?
4. Why are we sometimes so critical and judgmental on the sins of others?