AGCC Sun. a.m. 11/15/98
TEXT: John 14:6-27
INTRO: It is said that a
declining nation embraces the principle of tolerance to such a degree that it
will reflect the statement by Pilate when he said, "What
is truth?" The kind of misguided concept that preaches tolerance of
everything leaves people without direction in their life, and they usually feel
lost because they are lost!
In great contrast to the modern idea of "all roads lead to God" Jesus
makes a clarion call to real truth, that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life!
It is unfortunate that even Christians today who know this verse don't
necessarily demonstrate it in their real lives. This statement by Jesus was
never meant to be a memory verse, it was meant to be a moral
A friend of mine met up with a keen Christian
woman whose life was a mess. Her marriage was on the rocks, she had had a
breakdown, her social life was in ruins and yet when she came to ask for his
help she was wearing a sweatshirt which had the slogan on it, "Christ is the
answer." He took one look at it and said to her, "Jean, I think you should scrap
the idea that Christ is the answer. He never said that. He said, 'I am the
way.' I think that with him you must seek the answer to your
problem." -- George Carey, Archbishop of
Canterbury, in I Believe. Christianity Today, Vol. 39, no. 9.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us
that Christ is not only the right road to God, but the only way to God, and the
final source of truth, and the only source of life! This is not just a doctrine
to believe, it should be a fact of our lives!
I. WAY TO FATHER 14:6-11
A. Revelation 14:6-10
1. Jesus had just told His disciples where He was going and that He would come back for them later, and they of course asked how to find the WAY to go to get there.
a. Jesus already told them they know the way, but they claim they don't.
b. So He spells it out to them, "HE IS THE WAY…"
2. They kept thinking in terms of directions in travel, and He was speaking about discipleship in total!
3. Jesus declares to them that they need not worry about getting lost, HE
IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and the LIFE!
What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson. Leadership, Vol. 12,
4. The disciples did not understand what Jesus meant because they were thinking in terms of "facts" while He was speaking in terms of "faith".
a. The way to heaven is not just in knowledge of facts, it is in knowing Christ!
b. The information age we have entered stresses great importance on
gathering facts, but what we really need is TRUTH!
ILLUS: In our journalism, the trivial
displaces the momentous because we tend to measure the importance of events by
how recently they happened. We have become so obsessed with facts that we have
lost all touch with truth. -- Ted Koppel in a speech to the International Radio and Television
Society, quoted in Harper's (Jan. 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no.
5. Jesus' statement of being the only WAY, TRUTH, and THE LIFE runs strongly against the grain of much of the world's thinking, it is quite exclusive!
a. It is so dramatic that it must either be accepted or rejected at face value!
b. If true, to ignore it is to put in peril your soul!
6. This is revelation, but is there reality to back up the claim?
B. Reality 14:11
1. While struggling with this revelation they ask Jesus to see the Father, to have revelation become real to them.
a. Jesus tells them that they have seen the Father when they have seen Him, God the Father and God the Son are equal, though different in personality.
b. God is not a great mystery when we have seen Christ, He is the perfect representation of God in bodily form.
2. Jesus also invites them to accept this revelation based on reality, just look at all the miracles He has done…if they can't believe His words, then examine the actual miracles they had witnessed and believe from them! (read 14:11)
a. Not only is Jesus the WAY, He is the TRUTH also.
b. This is demonstrated by the miracles He performed which gave clear and
convincing proof of His words.
Western culture has made a fundamental change
in its religious base. We have exchanged that One who said, "I am the Truth"
(John 14:6) for the incredibly expensive doctrine of Freud and the words of all
his varied disciples. Our new religion says with Pontius Pilate, "What is
truth?" and teaches that our status is one of "original victim" rather than
"original Sin." -- Carol
Tharp in a letter to the Chicago Tribune Magazine (Apr. 17, 1994). Christianity
Today, Vol. 38, no. 7.
3. Christ is the only hope for us to know God…this is what's real!
II. WAY TO FAITH 14:12-14
A. Requirement 14:12
1. Notice Jesus' statement in this next section, "I tell you the TRUTH…."
a. Having established Himself as the WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE Jesus now continues to explain the requirements to be united with Him and to do the same works He has done - FAITH.
b. One cannot have a relationship with Christ without faith, and with
faith there will be obedience to do the same works Christ has done.
The Bible recognizes no faith that does not
lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from
faith. The two are at opposite sides of the same coin.
-- A.W. Tozer. Leadership, Vol. 12, no.
2. Jesus states here that those who have faith in Him will even do greater things than He has done, how can we do greater things than Jesus?
a. Not in single events, but since Jesus did these miracles while in human flesh and thus limited to space and time over only a few years period of time, what He is saying is that in the scope of the passing centuries, His followers together will do greater things than what He did in those few years he was here in bodily form.
b. This means that His Holy Spirit will energize His people to continue
the mighty works of God even after He has returned to His Father…and He will
explain in just a few verses how this can be true, through the giving of
"ANOTHER COUNSELOR", the Holy Spirit.
B. Rights 14:13-14
1. Walking by faith and going the right way opens the door for privileges in prayer.
a. We can ask in prayer and be assured that our prayers are heard and answered.
b. Of course, this does not mean we can having anything we WANT, it means that anything we ask "IN HIS NAME" we will have. To ask IN HIS NAME means to ask those things that are in agreement with Christ's will and way.
2. It is in this sense that we can ask for "anything" and HE will do it, "anything" that is properly in agreement with Christ's mind and heart.
III. WAY TO FREEDOM 14:15-27
A. Responsibility 14:15-21
1. Now that both a relationship to the Father has been established through Christ, and that He is also the source of all truth, Jesus turns to the future needs of His disciples - the need of power for living as His children.
a. The first thing Jesus makes clear is that we cannot say we love God and then NOT keep His commandments.
b. One cannot call himself/herself a Christian and have the moral compass of a sinner.
2. Jesus says very directly here, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."
a. This is not teaching perfection, but it is teaching momentum.
b. A true Christian is moving more and more away from the world and its values and toward the kingdom of God and its values.
c. To be a citizen of any country demands certain responsibilities.
3. To help make this possible Jesus promises His disciples that He won't leave them without the power to make this happen, even though He will be returning to His father, He will send them "ANOTHER COUNSELOR" - The Holy Spirit.
a. The term "another" here means literally, "another of the same kind to come alongside to help".
b. In this one passage we are introduced rather clearly to the trinity.
4. Jesus was telling them that their call to responsible living will be aided by the Holy Spirit. We cannot live for God obediently without His help!
Years ago the throne of Russia was occupied by
two young boys. The co-czars were very young, yet daily they decided the gravest
questions. The people marveled at their judgment; not knowing that behind the
throne, hidden by a curtain, was the Princess Sophia. She was secretly supplying
the answers. People marveled at the apostles because they did not know that
within the apostles was the Holy Spirit supplying the knowledge, the wisdom, the
power. -- Robert C.
Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company,
5. Jesus would not leave them as orphans, a term that literally meant "comfortless" as it was used in Jesus' day…hence the importance of His promise to give them "another comforter".
a. When the Holy Spirit comes He will help them understand what they are having a hard time understanding now.
b. The Holy Spirit will also join the believer to God through Christ.
c. The Holy Spirit will bring alive our dead spirit.
B. Reward 14:22-27
1. The reward of faith in Christ will result in the promise of the Holy Spirit's coming, and when He comes He will teach them all things they need to know pertaining to salvation.
a. This includes making clear to them the things Christ tried to teach them now but they didn't always grasp.
b. It will be a tremendous benefit to them after the Holy Spirit has come, both their recall and understanding of God's Word would dramatically go up.
2. Understanding God's Word alone would be a tremendous benefit, something
we take too much for granted today.
ILLUS: When the intelligence gathering
ship, the U.S.S. Pueblo, was captured by North Korea, the crew was imprisoned.
The North Koreans would not permit their captives to have Bibles. The men of the
Pueblo put together a Bible from memory. Each recalled what verses he could.
They wrote them on bits and pieces of paper. If your only Bible consisted of the
verses you can remember, how much would you have?
-- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows,
(Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
3. The other reward given here by Christ is that they would have peace!
a. Not peace like the world knows, which is usually external in nature.
b. But peace that only God can give a human being, which is internal.
4. This kind of peace can exist even in the midst of turmoil, earthly peace only exists when everything is tranquil in the situation.
5. The Holy Spirit's presence in the believer gives us a central core of
peace for our whole life!
The human body is a most remarkable machine.
It can maintain a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees no matter what the
weather is outside. Whether a man is at the Arctic Circle or the equator, his
body temperature is about the same. There is an inner mechanism that makes the
difference. The Holy Spirit dwells within the Christian to achieve this kind of
stabilization in terms of spiritual health. Whether we face good times or bad,
whether we are tempted or receiving spiritual nourishment, the Holy Spirit keeps
us stable within. --
Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company,
6. So in all this; Christ is the WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE…and with the promise of His Holy Spirit we can hear Jesus' words, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
a. This is the fruit of those who love Him and obey Him and who know the way, the truth, and the life!
b. You don't have to wander through life lost, have you found the
CONCLUSION: Jesus is the only way to the things that matter most in the universe. Fairness is guaranteed by God for all by having but a single path to Him, and it also makes it easier to find Him when there is only one way. Are you going your own way or God's way? It is dangerous to go the wrong way on a one way street!