It’s fitting that Florida pastors Pedro Garcia and Bob Coy are presenting the truths of Jesus together. Years ago, Garcia found the most important Truth under Coy’s preaching. “I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior years ago under Bob’s teaching,” he remembers. “And after being mentored by him and getting to know him personally, I get to teach with him. It’s a tremendous blessing.”
The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove also has a special significance for Garcia. It is the place where he heard another truth shortly after he became a Christian: the call to ministry.
The Reality of Jesus Through 1 John
The Scripture focus for the seminar will be 1 John. “Lots of people these days haven’t come in contact with reality of who Jesus is. In 1 John, the confusion is cleared. When we are confronted with real Jesus and real faith, the byproduct is real life,” said Coy.
“We wanted to be able to finish a book in the Bible and not leave the people who come to the seminar stuck in the weeds of chapters and concepts. We want people to come to the seminar and have a life-changing experience and leave with enough principles for application. I want them to see the fruit their time at the Cove,” explained Coy.
“1 John is not ambiguous. You’re either in light or dark. You love or you hate. You are or are not a believer. 1 John is a very clear declaration of truths,” Coy continued.
Coy wants to see the Body of Christ have such a depth of our understanding of who Jesus is that people are influenced by this reality.
“Half truths will keep you half bound. Jesus said, ‘If you know the truth the truth will set you free.’ So, by knowing and living the truth, you are living a free, abundant life. Otherwise, you are living a less-than-free, confusing life, and that kind of life will not change the world.”
Another concern he has is for Jesus to be properly introduced through America’s pulpits. “A few years ago, pastors in my position were concerned about how outsiders felt and decided to yield a little to make our ministries and messages much more accepting,” he explained. “On one hand, it can be good. On the other hand, if we swing too far and stay there, reality of who Jesus is never gets introduced.”
The Importance of Authenticity
“In everyday life we want things that are real – we don’t want knock-offs. So, if we are craving authenticity in temporal things, think about how much more we need authenticity in eternal things,” explained Garcia. “You can recover from buying a fake earring, but not from having a fake faith.”
Garcia plans to address this principle further in the exploration of 1 John during this seminar. “We’re going to look at what the world needs to see. The world has seen enough phony religion – people that claim to be one thing and out of the pulpits of their lives, preach another thing. We want to explore what it means to have an authentic faith in an authentic Jesus.”
He concludes that many Christians are not growing in their faith and living as they should because they have a clouded view of the authentic Jesus. “We cannot stay the same when we see him as an all-encompassing Jesus that wants all of our lives. Many times we reduce Him to whatever is convenient for us. If people believed the truth about Jesus, the words they say, the actions they take and the way they live would be different. Jesus doesn’t want to be a portion of our lives. He wants to be our lives.”
Join the webcast here on November 2 at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Bob Coy is senior pastor of the 19,500-member Calvary Chapel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He launched the Christian radio station Reach FM and is heard nationally on The Active Word.
Pedro Garcia is senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Kendall in Miami, Florida, one of the fastest-growing churches in Florida. His media ministry, CrossThoughts, reaches audiences around the world.