October 29 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of October 29, 2017

Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from 1 John 5:1-12, “Authentic Jesus.” This Tuesday, October 31st is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation when Martin Luther led the movement that addressed the corruption in the Catholic Church.  Luther confronted the church leaders because their interpretation of the Bible was inaccurate, inappropriate, and heretical. John the Apostle, like Martin Luther, also battled flawed teaching that misled people with untrue doctrines. It is important to reinforce in our hearts, minds and souls who we have dedicated our lives too.  We live in a world that constantly paints an incomplete picture of Jesus as a great man, teacher, or social activist but not God’s Son.  So, Who is Jesus?

1) Jesus is the Christ. (vv.1-4) 1 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Notice it says Jesus is the Christ.  Although Jesus Christ is recognized as a proper name for Jesus, the word “Christ” is also a Greek word that has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning “Anointed One.” During the Apostle John’s era some Roman Caesars considered themselves as divinely “anointed and appointed” as lord and savior.  Christianity was in direct conflict with the leaders of Rome because Jesus proclaimed He is the Christ, the Anointed, Lord and Savior. Even today there are religions where leaders claim to be deity, God, Jesus or a reincarnated Jesus. Thousands upon thousands were and continue to be misled by charismatic gurus. How could so many thousands of people be misled and follow a lie? It’s because they did not know the truth. They did not know the Jesus of the Bible.  Thus, there is the importance of understanding Jesus as the Christ, who was anointed and appointed by God. The benefit of recognizing Jesus as the Christ is summed up in verse 4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.”  When you have faith that Jesus is the Christ, you are born of God.  You have overcome the world and won the battle for your spiritual life.  Your faith in Jesus the Christ gives you the resource to keep you from being misled by false spirits, teachings, and teachers.  Faith in Jesus the Christ is the victory that overcomes and secures your spiritual well-being.   

2) Jesus is the Son of God. (vv.5-10)  5 “Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Expanding further upon who Jesus is, John instructs that the one who overcomes the world not only has faith that Jesus is the Christ but is also the Son of God. In the following verses John uses three elements to make the argument that Jesus is without a doubt the Son of God.  6-8 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with water only, but with the water and the blood.  It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify; the Spirit and the water and the blood and the three are in agreement.”  Notice how many times John mentions water (4x), blood (3x) and Spirit (3x) in these verses. In this context water, blood and the Spirit are pointing to the fact that Jesus is God’s Son. Water referred to the water baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, the blood was the cross, and the Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The false Gnostic teachers understood and accepted God was in Jesus at the water baptism but did not accept that God was in Jesus on the Cross. This doctrine goes against all teachings of Jesus in the Bible.  If Jesus was not the Son of God, He could not live a sinless life and be resurrected. (1 Corinthians 15:17) Denying that Jesus is God’s Son is accusing God of being a liar because He calls Jesus His Son.  9“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.” Knowing that Jesus is Christ and the Son of God are huge reasons to place your faith in Him.

3) Jesus is Eternal life. (vv.11-12) 11 “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” Eternal life is often mistaken to be something in the future that we will live in heaven.  We don’t consider this timeless life as the person Jesus but over and over again in the Bible you will find everlasting life is in Him at the same time He is everlasting life.  This truth is pivotal in our grasp of living in Jesus Christ.  There is a danger in thinking that eternal life is something we will obtain in the future and not something we have today.  Thinking that eternal life is something we can acquire leads to the idea eternal life is a reward for living a “good” Christian life now.  This concept is utterly wrong. Throughout God’s Word it is inferred that living forever began when Jesus entered your life.  The moment you were saved, and born again eternal life was yours to live.  Eternal life is not gotten but is gifted. “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 

God is real, and the Bible is real.  Because of these truths, Jesus also is real and authentic. Who is Jesus?  He is the Christ, the Son of God, and He is eternal life.

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Thank you Hetty Huen, for sharing a Children’s Message: In this season, we see carved holiday pumpkins. How do we make one ourselves? The first thing we need to do is choose a pumpkin, then clean it out, give it a happy face and put a light inside. When we see a pumpkin, we can think about how God chooses us (all are unique), and when we receive Jesus into our hearts, He cleans out all our sin as when we clean out the inside of the pumpkin.  We have a new, happy face, and can shine the light and love of God to others.

GROW SANLO Update:

Please continue to pray for our church’s desire to seek God’s will for our long-term future ministry. Exciting movement is developing behind the scenes with a possible buyer of SanLo and an existing church nearby to purchase. However, because it is in the very preliminary stages of prayer and research, without formal documentation, neither church group can be publically divulged. Also, no actual steps of commitment from SanLo will happen until all our people have been made aware and are in agreement to move forward with the next steps. As this process is continuing, one indicator of our people’s desire can be measured through the GROW SANLO Capital Campaign. With a financial goal of $1.5 million by October 2018, an intermediate goal of $500,000 has been set for the end of this calendar year. You may have already seen this 5 minute video before, but it is a good reminder of why we are led to go in this direction. Please follow this link to watch it again:  https://vimeo.com/204324916

Calendar Events:

Operation Christmas Child is a “global gift exchange” project operated by Samaritan’s Purse. You can sign up to bring Shoeboxes filled with toys and other items for children in need around the world (through 11/19). See Janet Buso-Morgan.

The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is Nov. 5 – Nov. 12.  Non-perishable food donations will be given to the Alameda County Food Bank.  A friendly congregational competition will be put on by the Sunday School to see what team brings the most food!  Please look for the posted teams at the church.  Questions?  Contact Jeff Kataoka 

10/31      5:30pm           Harvest Festival Outreach – Invite your friends, neighbors and family. A free and fun time for all!

11/4        8:30am           Mission Prayer

11/4        9:30am           Winter Vision Planning meeting (rm.8-9-10)

11/4      10:00am            NCNCC meeting – Rev. Nakano (English sanctuary)

11/4        2:30pm           Memorial Service – Rev.Fukiage at Wintersburg Presbyterian 2000 N. Fairview St. Santa Ana, CA

11/10                            Craft Day setup

11/11                            CRAFT DAY!

11/12  both services       Missions MomentNick and Eric Petkoff (TEAM, Japan)

11/12    12:30pm            Missions Team meeting

11/19  both services       Missions MomentRoy and Nancy Toma (JEMS)

12/1        7:11pm           B.A.M.

12/2        8:30am           Mission Prayer

12/2        9:30am           Winter Vision Planning meeting (rm.8-9-10)

12/2                              Craft Day debrief

12/3      12:30pm            Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program

12/8        5:30pm           Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program

12/9      10:30am            Christmas Program followed with reception


Have a blessed week with the Authentic Jesus,

Stan, for slzjcc