Summary: Why do Christians have a problem with Jesus being the only access to God? He is the way, the truth and the life.
Do These Things Bother You?
Let me share with you some things that bother me today: telemarketers who call at 8:58 PM or any other time; kids without respect for anything or anyone; motorized scooters; rap music; a lack of commitment that permeates our society; certain cap-less heads in the bright sunlight; weak coffee; and Christians who believe that there are other means of access to God other than Jesus. If we believe that Jesus is really the Son of God, then why is the notion that He is the ONLY acceptable WAY to God so reprehensible to so many?
Let’s take a look this morning at what Jesus meant by His statement, I am the way, the truth and the life.
Jesus is the only WAY by:
A. The DOCTRINE He taught—John 6:41-58
a. Jews thought Jesus was teaching cannibalism
b. The plain meaning of the passage is, that by his bloody death-his body and his blood offered in sacrifice for sin-he would procure pardon and life for man;
c. That they who partook of that, or had an interest in that, should obtain eternal life.
d. He uses the figure of eating and drinking because that was the subject of discourse; because the Jews prided themselves much on the fact that their fathers had eaten manna; and because, as he had said that he was the bread of life, it was natural and easy, especially in the language which he used, to carry out the figure, and say that bread must be eaten in order to be of any avail in supporting and saving men. To eat and to drink, among the Jews, was also expressive of sharing in or partaking of the privileges of friendship.
e. It is Jesus’ teachings that truly gives life to the soul.
f. This Bread or Doctrine of Christ is of no good unless it is taken and eaten.
g. Jesus’ doctrine lead to life and action. So long as there is a radical difference between truth and falsehood, and so long as truth sustains relations to life, it will make a difference whether men believe true or false doctrine. Doctrines are the roots of life. Great lives do not grow out of false beliefs. Doctrine is immensely important, but not all-important. The root does not exist for itself; it is a means to the tree and the fruit as an end. A Christian acts in the life as naturally as the root pushes its stalk up into the air and the sun. Cut the stalk, fell the tree, and the root dies at length. A faith without works is soon dead. If our doctrines do not flower and produce fruit in Christian living, they die. Many a man’s creed is a field full of stumps. There was life there once, but because the natural expression of that life was prevented, it perished. We have not overestimated the importance of believing the truth, but we have underestimated the importance of living the truth.
B. The EXAMPLE He lived—1 Peter 2:21-23
a. This is what we have been called to because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps:
b. In Birmingham, Alabama, many years ago, lived a Presbyterian pastor, James Bryan. Throughout the city he was known as “Brother Bryan.” There were many preachers stronger in pulpit oratory, but none preached better sermons than he did with his life. Like Jesus, he went about doing good. It was a common thing for him to come home on a cold day without his overcoat. He had given it to some poor man who had none. One spring day he was driving a horse and buggy through the countryside. He saw a farmer standing dejectedly in the field. It was time for his spring plowing, but his only horse lay dead. Brother Bryan unhitched his horse and gave it to the man. Then he walked home. It was fitting that when his biography was written it was called A Sermon in Shoes. Of all the commentaries on the Scriptures, good examples are still the best.
c. Christ also suffered--Here, of course, is the personification of divine love. Here is our pattern. We cannot expect to fare better than His example.
d. Peter reminds his readers that this was done for them. That we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. He implies that Christ’s death was more than an example. By sharing his cross they will share his triumphant life.
C. The SACRIFICE He made—Hebrews 9:11-14
a. Old Covenant sacrifices did not cleanse one’s mind from the guilt of his or her sin.
b. Only Jesus’ sacrifice can clean your conscience.
D. The SPIRIT He gave—John 16:13-14
Jesus is the only TRUTH which:
A. Opposes all FALSE religions—Galatians 1:8-9