We begin this term with a sermon series on the ‘I Am . . .’ statements of Jesus in John’s Gospel. Verity has written accompanying study notes which can be used in our growth groups or by individuals. Our reasons for doing this series are twofold. Firstly, because we want to support the Diocesan Strategy called ‘Learn Christ’ (see the August and October editions of the Diocesan Vision and Strategy newsletters for more about this). The other reason is in response to a prophetic word given to us by Margaret Thompson: “Build! Build! Build! Build on the strong foundations of Jesus Christ”.
Jesus is the foundation of our faith and all that we do at St Nics. But how strong are our foundations in Christ? How well do we know Him and how deeply rooted are we in Him? We can read books about Jesus and learn what learned scholars think about Jesus – and we recommend that. But what did Jesus say about himself? What did Jesus want us to know about him? How did Jesus want us to relate to him?
The apostle John records in his gospel 7 bold statements which Jesus made when speaking publicly. Each of these statements begin with the words ‘I am . . .’. The words ‘I Am’ themselves are very significant – they resonate with the name God reveals to Moses: “God replied ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3 v 13-14). He is the I AM, the eternal, unchanging, self-existent one, infinite and glorious in every way, and above and beyond all created things. He is God.
In each ‘I am’ statement Jesus not only reveals that he is God but also a different facet of his nature and purpose, explaining more about how he wants to relate to us, his followers.
So let’s continue to build together on our strong foundations in Jesus