Andrew Fountain - A New Life


Full sermon notes - A New Life

  • Last night given tickets to a play by some neighbours who could not go
    • It was called “The Golden Dragon”



Image source: Robin Cameron

  • It was about a Vietnamese Restaurant
    • 15 people’s lives intertwined
  • Every one of them was touched by evil
    • Most of them had relationships falling apart
    • There was evil and depravity
    • There was corruption and drunkenness
    • There was growing old and decaying
    • There was betrayal and treachery
    • There was physical pain and suffering
      • Starting with toothache and ending in death
  • All of them had one thing in common, their lives were connected by the Golden Dragon (who actually was red)
    • At one point this serpent-like creature writhed malevolently across the stage
    • I don’t know if it was intentional, but here was the Biblical symbol of the father of evil

A reviewer wrote:

  • “Schimmelpfennig writes characters with a brutal honesty in situations that force them to display their true colours.”

Is this world that bad?

  • On a physical level, yes
  • Decay and death is inevitable
  • Everyone is getting older
  • Tragedy when someone you love loses their minds to dementia
  • Ultimately its a losing battle to death
  • My mother was telling me on the phone yesterday about how she has fewer and fewer close friends now she’s 80
    • She is still very bright and alert, but one of her best friends has been acting like her mind is going
    • This is so tragic when you’ve loved someone all your life


  • On a global level, things don’t look good
  • Species are becoming extinct
  • Whatever you think about the environment and climate change
    • The question is not if things are getting worse, but how fast
  • Political
  • Violence and cruelty
  • At one time it looked like the world was moving towards democracy
    • Corruption
    • all governments tend to attract the least suitable to rule
  • We like to thing there is now less world violence and cruelty
    • but is there?



Image source: e_monk

  • Personal hopelessness
    • addiction
    • habits
    • patterns of behaviour
    • lack of purpose
    • damage from wounds of the past

Motivational Speaker

Motivational Speaker

Image source: Friedhelm Wachs

  • What is the solution?
    • Motivational speakers?
    • self-help self-discipline
    • 7 habits
    • believe in yourself
    • believe in a cause
    • make the world a better place
    • self actualization?
    • If you could just find that one special person

Ritual Suspensions

Ritual Suspensions

Image source: imcookoo2

  • Religious solutions
    • Extreme rituals to get into another reality
    • lose yourself in rituals
    • make yourself better by doing good
    • leave everything behind and live in isolation

John 4

  1. Now he came to a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
  2. Jacob’s well was there, so Jesus, since he was tired from the journey, sat right down beside the well. It was about noon.
  3. A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.”
  4. (For his disciples had gone off into the town to buy supplies. )
  5. So the Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you — a Jew — ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)
  6. Jesus answered her, “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
  7. “Sir,” the woman said to him, “you have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do you get this living water?
  8. Surely you’re not greater than our ancestor Jacob, are you? For he gave us this well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock.”
  9. Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again.
  10. But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.”
  11. The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
  12. He said to her, “Go call your husband and come back here.”
  13. The woman replied, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “Right you are when you said, ‘I have no husband,’
  14. for you have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband. This you said truthfully!”
  15. The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.
  16. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you people say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
  17. Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
  18. You people worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews.
  19. But a time is coming — and now is here — when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.
  20. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
  21. The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ); “whenever he comes, he will tell us everything.”
  22. Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”
  23. Now at that very moment his disciples came back. They were shocked because he was speaking with a woman. However, no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you speaking with her?”
  24. Then the woman left her water jar, went off into the town and said to the people,
  25. “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, can he?”
  26. So they left the town and began coming to him.
  27. Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the report of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I ever did.”
  28. So when the Samaritans came to him, they began asking him to stay with them. He stayed there two days,
  29. and because of his word many more believed.
  30. They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one really is the Savior of the world.”

Version: based on NET Bible

  • What indications are there that all was not right in her world?
    • 5 husbands
    • Living with the sixth man
    • It seems she was shunned by the other women?
  • In the previous chapter there is very different person (in every way)
    • But he is living in fear
    • Trying to obey the law to please God
  • Why does Jesus say such a confusing thing to her: he would give her living water
    • So she would ask
    • Because it was altogether outside her existence. Something from outside was needed
  • Jesus did the same thing to Nicodemus: he confused him
    • This time is was about being born “from above”
    • But the same idea is there: something totally new had to come in from outside

New Creation

New Creation

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  • Jesus’ solution is the most Radical
    • A new creation
    • Become a new person
    • Born of God

What Jesus offers

  • A new body
  • New inner power
  • Real inner change
  • a new community
  • ultimate security
  • The strongest love imaginable
  • peace
  • access to the supernatural, even now
  • Paul says his outward man is perishing, but inward is being renewed day by day

How do I get it?

  • Woman of Samaria: ask and I will give you
  • Nicodemus: he who believes in me
  • Jesus says “come to me”
  • He who believes in me will have life

Updated on 2012-01-16 by Andrew Fountain