Summary: In this message, part 15 in the series Love Never Dies, Dave looks at the importance to understanding Jesus, God, and the work God is up to in your life and in the world.

“No One Comes but By Me”

Love Never Dies, prt. 15

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers

July 25, 2010

We’re in John chapter 14 today. Contained in John chapter 14 is one of the key verses in all of Christian theology. The way you understand this verse as a Christian (if indeed you are a Christian) will make a gigantic difference in the way you understand Jesus, God, and the work God is up to in your life and in the world. Seriously, it’s that big. When I looked at this chapter I immediately realized that this is where I had to focus for today’s sermon. Some of you have felt a bit confused by some of the things I have said in previous sermons in this series, and what I want to do today is – whether you are in that group or not – I want to clarify some of those things, and focusing intensely on this one particular verse should help me do that. As I clarify this, what I am seeking above all else is to make sure you understand that what I’m saying is not New Age, it is not what is often called a “watering down” of the Christian message, but is in fact solid Biblical interpretation. I cannot overstate how important it is that we look carefully at this verse and that you move with me into study of this verse with an understanding of what is at stake. What is at stake, as I said a moment ago, is precisely your understanding of Jesus, God, and the work God is up to in your life and in the world. I don’t want to go so far as to say EVERYTHING about your faith hinges on this one verse, but a great deal in fact does. I’ve preached every message in this series so far from Peterson’s translation of The Bible called The Message, but for our study today I want to use the New International rendering of this verse because it is the one that is most familiar to you and it will be important to feel comfortable and familiar with the verse. Let’s read it together.

John 14:6 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Let’s read it one more time.

John 14:6 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There it is. One of the linchpins of Christian theology. And well it should be. For it is in this verse that we come to truly understand Jesus as the Logos – and how we interpret this verse determines what we understand about Jesus as the Logos! Remember, back in week two we looked at John 1, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And I talked to you about how the Greek word translated “word” is “Logos,” and the Greeks understood Logos to mean not only “word” but also the system of logic and understanding that gives words their meaning. So when John writes, “In the beginning was the Word,” he’s actually conveying, “In the beginning was the Reason – the prime mover – the one who is first – the one who created all things and in whom all things are held together.” He is mystery – not one who cannot be understood, but one who is infinitely understandable! This is who John says Jesus is, before he ever tells us a thing he did or a thing he said. Why? Because context is everything. So it is context I want to establish with you this morning before I “get to the point,” so to speak. In John 14:6, Jesus is explaining the nature of that saving work that he does, and the way we understand this is critical.

The problem we have in approaching key passages/verses like this one is that we lack a sense not only of mystery, but also an understanding of history. History is valuable because it teaches us what is new and what is old. See in a few moments I’m going to start talking to you in some depth about John 14:6. And if you don’t know your history, you’re going to think that what I’m telling you is new. And if you think it’s new, you will be untrusting of it. You will suspect maybe I’ve gone off the rails, that in some sense I’m not really Christian. Suddenly, your pastor who has always seemed to guide you with reasonable steadiness – in an instant – begins looking like a heretic! So I want to make sure you understand that what I’m about to tell you is deeply Christian. Now it may not be the understanding you have always had of this verse, but again – the point of history is to help us realize that ideas didn’t begin with us, or with our parents . They have foundations. So the worst mistake you can make as I talk to you today about John 14:6 is to assume that these are simply my strange ideas that come from my own head, that have no basis in history, in sound theology, etc. That’s completely not the case.

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