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Summary: (PowerPoint slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Looking at Jesus first miracle, and the significance of the good wine.

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Journeying with John, It’s a Trip (JWJ-11)

The Good Wine

John 2:1-11

This morning my heart is burdened with a rather unusual subject - and it flows directly out of a rather intriguing passage in Scripture. Our text is the account of Jesus’ first sign in Cana of Galilee - at the wedding where He turned the water into wine. While there are many different legitimate areas we can go as we look at this passage, this morning I would like to speak with you about what I believe is one of the most important concepts for the Church in our day to understand. My title is “The Good Wine.” Please open your Bible with me to the Gospel of John and the second chapter.

While you are turning there allow me, if you will, to point out an important biblical and spiritual principle that I think is worth reminding us of. It is ‘The Law of First Mention.’ When God does something in the Scriptures for the first time, or reveals something for the first time, or says something for the first time - we do well to look at it very carefully! Why? Because He is laying a foundation that the rest of that line of though or season of activity or development of an idea. It is foundational - and God is setting in place some revelation that holds a key to understanding the rest. That is what is known as ‘The Law of First Mention.”

Well our passage is one of those Scriptures - it is has some ‘first mention’ in it - and it holds some keys that if we miss we may misunderstand many other things in this flow of truth. We do well to listen carefully as we study this passage together.

John 2:1-11 - Read - Pray (I prefer to cut this passage off at verse 11 and not 12, I think it better fits the sense of the passage.

Water - The Religious Spirit - A form of religion but denying the power thereof.

Poor Wine - Saved - but Just

Good Wine - Kingdom Christianity -

1. The Religious Spirit

Intoxicated with Religion

Legalism is an over-strict adherence to the law. In theology it is salvation by works; the attempt to achieve righteousness by religious acts as opposed to salvation by grace through faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" Eph. 2:8,9

Legalism is characterized by zeal which can be mistaken for commitment, piety and true holiness. Paul was burdened for his Jewish brethren whom he said, "Have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Rom 10:2-4

Eccl. 7:16 says, "Do not be overly righteous"

A religious spirit (mindset) seeks to substitute religious activity for the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God in the believer’s life.

Performance oriented with self and others

Relies on religious activity rather than the Holy Spirit

High on truth and low on grace

Rooted in religious competition and pride


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