Grace to You

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Well this is really your time tonight and we have Jesse over here, and Curt over there to kind of give you a little bit of guidance. As I said this morning, the idea is not to stump me, that would be pretty easy. The idea is maybe help you a little bit to understand some things, to bring the Word of God to bear upon them. It's not limited to Bible interpretation, how do I interpret a certain verse here and there. I brought my MacArthur Study Bible so I have all the answers here. In case...somebody said to me this morning, you know, there's a statement in John 17 such and such and such and such, what do you think that means? I said I don't know, but I'll go home and read my notes in the Study Bible and I'll tell you tonight. I don't remember everything I wrote in there, you understand that. And going over it and over it and over it as often as I do, I still need to be refreshed. So it's a good companion for me to have along.

I spent this afternoon, just as a footnote while somebody comes up to ask a question because that would be a good way to start....I spent the afternoon reading through the latest volume of commentary material, and this is the second volume in the gospel of John, I finished it a few months ago, it was an agonizing process to get it down because I preached the gospel of John I think the first year I was here.

And so basically when I write a commentary, I write it off of the original sermons that I preached, they're typed up, they come to me quadrupled spaced and I use that as the basis and then I fill in between all the lines and add and change things. It was a very painful exercise because...now that was the second volume, I had already done the first volume, but in both cases it was done so long ago and in the first year I was here, I really thought I was deep. But when I looked at what I preached back then, from this vantage point, I wondered why these even allowed me to continue to preach here.

So I had to do a lot of extra work. I think the two volumes come out to about 800 pages on John and I found probably about a hundred pages worth in what I preached in 96 messages on the gospel of John many years ago. But for me, it is a profound catharsis to pour all that truth back through me and to go into the book and search it out and develop it and write and rewrite and edit and add and delete and enrich and do all of those kinds of things. What an immense privilege.

So even though I'm not preaching it to you, I'm full up to my ears with the truth of the gospel of John. And what a marvelous, marvelous epistle it is. I think, and I always felt like this would be the worst of all the commentaries because it was coming off of material I preached at the beginning of my ministry and it wasn't as well informed, and I thought it would end up being the worst. But I think at this point it may be my favorite two volumes in the whole series because of the astounding wonder of Jesus Christ who is the theme of these two.

So I was studying the gospel of John and it was as fresh to me as if I never had preached it. And even though I preached it many years ago, I've preached the contents of it again and again through the years. And yet every time I go back to it, it's a special joy. So I'm like you, in a sense, some people might give me more credit for a good memory than I deserve and I need sometimes to read my own commentaries to find out what I believe about things. And I have my Study Bible handy. So we'll see whether I need it or not.

Now maybe that's enough people for the time being, so that people don't wind up standing there for a very long time. Why don't we begin over here, just give me your name so I know who I'm talking to, then you can ask your question....

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Grace to You

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John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry... gty.org

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