Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons by Year 2020 Sermons . I am the Way the Truth and the Life

. I am the Way the Truth and the Life

I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND LIFE

John 14:1-6 (ESV) 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Introduction:


On July 7, 2007, Hillary Clinton and her faith were the subject of a New York Times article that ran under the headline “Faith Intertwines with Political Life for Clinton”.  The article was intended to present Mrs. Clinton as someone who has always been sincerely and in her own way, deeply religious.  Mrs. Clinton claims to be a Christian and the Democratic Party was unashamedly saying that they wish to reach out to “evangelical” voters in the next Presidential election.

 

In the midst of this article there was a very interesting statement and one that is very telling.  It said this.

 

“In a brief quiz about her theological views, Mrs. Clinton said she believed in the resurrection of Jesus, though she described herself as less sure of the doctrine that being a Christian is the only way to salvation.”[1]

 

Did you get that?  She believes that Jesus was raised from the dead, but she is not sure that He is the only way to be saved.

Cal Thomas, a conservative American syndicated columnist and author, on July 10th wrote about this article and he said this.

 

“This is a politician speaking, not a person who believes in the central tenets of Christianity. The same book that tells of the Resurrection, also quotes Jesus as saying, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6). One might ask, which the New York reporter did not, that if there are other ways to God than through Jesus, why did He bother to come to earth, allow Himself to be crucified and suffer rejection? He might have stayed in Heaven and told people about a spiritual GPS system that would get them there another way.”[2]

 

He is right, isn’t he? Thomas rightly states that if there are other ways to God besides Jesus, His life and death and resurrection have no real meaning.  They were not necessary.

But it is not just politicians who refuse to take a stand on the exclusivity of Christ as Saviour.  There are some incredibly famous preachers who do the same thing.

I am going to add two You Tube clips for you that are worth watching. The one I will quote now, the other you can listen to and draw your own conclusions. On June 20, 2005 Joel Osteen appeared on the Larry King Live show to do an interview.  Listen to the following quotes taken from the transcript of that program.

KING: (Because) we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't.

OSTEEN: Yeah, I don't know. There's probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you're a believer in God, you're going to have some good works. I think it's a cop-out to say I'm a Christian but I don't ever do anything ...
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

 

Later in the interview, a caller asks for clarification:

CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you sidestepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.

OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that...

KING: So, then a Jew is not going to heaven?

OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...

KING: But you believe your way.

OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.

KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?
OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let god be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know.

KING: So you make no judgment on anyone?

OSTEEN: No. But I...

KING: What about atheists?

OSTEEN: You know what, I'm going to let someone -- I'm going to let god be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just -- again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it's a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I'm not going to go around telling everybody else if they don't want to believe that that's going to be their choice. God's got to look at your own heart. God's got to look at your heart, and only god knows that.[3]

 

Can you believe that a Spiritual leader can in a 7 minute interview 10 times claim “I don’t know.” Well Joel Osteen if you do not even understand the core tenant of our faith, then get out of the ministry. It is amazing and sad when a conservative syndicated columnist can do a better job of presenting the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ than many men who claim to be in the ministry.  And it is amazing and sad when someone can claim to be a believer in Christ and in His resurrection and in the same breath say that they are not sure that He is the only way to Heaven and to God, when HE CLEARLY STATED THAT HE IS. By the way, if you listen to Osteen’s interview with Oprah, he says for him Jesus is the only way, but there are many ways to Jesus. Jesus will reveal Himself to one person as Christ and to another person as somebody else.

 

Listen to Acts 4:12 (ESV) 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” It looks like Joel Osteen’s Bible does not have this verse and sadly 4 million who listen daily to His hear him proclaim nonsense like this. He has no theological qualifications, and see his ministry purely as giving people hope and helping them to have their best life now, but he does nothing to prepare them for life eternal.

 

The verses that we come to this morning really represent a dividing place, between those who only have a form of religion and those who are truly Christians.  These verses represent a testing ground as to whether you are truly in the faith, whether you truly believe that Jesus is the Christ.  They are not vague.  They are not confusing.  They do not leave you any wiggle room.  They are straightforward, and they call for either your faith or your rejection.  There is no middle ground. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

If you take these verses for what they say then they destroy the entire liberal, social gospel approaches to Jesus.  If you take these verses for what they say, then you destroy all the “wideness in the mercy of God” views of Jesus.  They leave us with a truly clear, and therefore, urgent call to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ if you wish to be saved.

 

And this statement came from the mouth of Christ Himself so that any distortion of what He says, any softening what He says, and compromising what He says here, is a denial of Christ.  It is the attempt to make up a Jesus that is different from the view that Jesus had of Himself and the view of what the Father has about His Son. It is nothing less than creating a Jesus of your own liking.

 

We are going to look at the verses under 3 simple headings.

 

  • What Jesus is claiming – stated positively
  • What Jesus is claiming – stated negatively
  • What this means for all of us

 

Point 1. What He is claiming – positively

 

A.     Where He is going.

 

John 14:1-4 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

According to these words, it is plain that Jesus is going to Heaven, He is going back to the Father.  The destination of Jesus is a return to His former place, and a restoration of His former glory, and that place and glory exists in the presence of the Father.

 

ESV John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed."

 

B.      WHERE HIS FOLLOWERS ARE GOING.

 

“I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

The 2nd thing that is clear here, even if it is not immediately clear to His followers, is that if you are truly His disciple, you already know the way to where He is going.  And He is claiming that all His true followers will be gathered to Him one day.  We will be with Him where He is.

 

To know Jesus is to know the way to Heaven.  To know Jesus is to know the way to the Father’s presence.

 

C.      WHAT HE IS.

In conjunction with these two truths, that He is going to be with the Father, and that if you know Him you know the way to where He is going, is another truth.

 

He is everything we need to get there.

  1. He is the Way.
  2. He is the Truth.
  3. He is the Life.

To really get the force of what He means by this statement we need to remember back to the book of Genesis and what man’s condition was before the fall, before there was ever sin.

 

Think about the privileges that Adam and Eve enjoyed before the violated God’s command and ate of the forbidden fruit.

 

  1. They enjoyed fellowship or communion with God.
  2. They knew God and were walking, and were not yet introduced into falsehood and error, but in the truth.
  3. They had spiritual life. They had life.

 

When they sinned, they experienced the awful penalty of sin that God had promised for disobedience.  DEATH. There was this separation, this alienation from God.

 

  1. Their fellowship with God was lost.
  2. They became deceptive themselves and they had given place to error and falsehood.
  3. They began to taste the death that God had warned them of.

 

This is now the condition that all their offspring would be born into.

  • Not having fellowship with God
  • Not knowing God or His truth
  • Not alive spiritually

THE PROMISE THAT CHRIST IS MAKING IS THAT IN HIM WHAT WAS LOST IN THE FALL CAN BE KNOWN AGAIN. This is nothing else but the Gospel. What was lost in the fall is regained in Jesus Christ.

 

-          He is the way to reconciliation with God (fellowship)

To speak of a way is to speak of a path from one point to another.  Christ is the pathway from the ruin of man in sin to reconciliation with God. In Christ we go from darkness to light, from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God, from blindness to sight.

 

-          He is the truth (illumination)

He is especially the truth about the Father.

 

-          He is the life (to know him is to be brought from spiritual death into everlasting life)

So that He is the way to Heaven, He is the way to the Father; He is the way to salvation.

 

And stating it positively, He is saying that He is the complete answer for all the problems brought about by sin.

  • Are you alienated from God?  Jesus is the answer, Jesus is the way.
  • Are you in need of illumination from God?  Jesus is the light.
  • Are you in need of everlasting life?  Jesus is that life.

And in order for Jesus to provide this for us, He had to come to earth, had to live a sinless life, had to give Himself up as a sin sacrifice on our behalf, and had to conquer death and the grave.

 

It is a living Saviour, who accomplished redemption, who prepares the place for us.  It is a living saviour who presents his merits before the Father on our behalf, and it is a living Saviour who saves us and keeps us and will come again for us.

This is what Christ is saying positively.

 

Point 2. What He is claiming – negatively

John 14:6 (ESV) 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

He said that no one comes to the Father if not by Him. Joel Osteen does not know this verse. People say that they want to know God, but they would prefer another way to God than Jesus. Bad news:

 

Jesus said that there is not any other way.

 

There is no other way to be reconciled to God
There is no other way to know the truth until you know Jesus.
There is no other way to be rescued from death.

 

You cannot know God if you do not know Jesus.

 

  • Every other way is a false way.
  • Every other way leads to doom and ruin.
  • Every other way leads to death.
  • Every other way still leaves you unforgiven, in your sin, and under God’s wrath.

 

Jesus said this in ESV Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy 1 that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

 

Jesus is the narrow gate, the narrow way, He is the way and there are few who find it.

 

This is how you will know false prophets. False prophets are not only known by what they DO say, they are known by what they WON’T say. And if any man who claims to be from God and claims to be a pastor or prophet of God and he refuses to say that Jesus is the only way, he is a false prophet. Now, you do not need a theological degree to know that is a lie. It does not matter how big your church is, how many books you sell, how many people support you from around the world, or how much you smile. If you cannot say that Jesus is the only way, you are false.

 

Will we agree with Christ today?  Will we say that there is absolutely no other way to Heaven than Jesus?  Will we say that He is man’s only, solitary, hope for salvation and that IF YOU HAVE HIM YOU HAVE THESE THINGS? You have the way; you have the truth and you have the life.

 

 

Point 3. What this means for us.


A. It means that we each have a clear choice set before us.


Jesus was bold, He was clear, He was not playing games. Do we believe Him, will we believe Him, or won’t we?

 

B. It means that we each have a dividing choice set before us.


Christ came to bring a sword, and this is that sword.  He is the dividing line.  To say it another way, this is really the offense of Christianity.  This is where the world gets angry.  This is why the Joel Osteen’s of the world won’t come out and say what Jesus said, because this is where we meet opposition, this is where you stop selling books, this is where people find your preaching offensive and they depart, this is where you stop making money.  This calls not only for intellectual agreement; it calls for allegiance. This is a clear choice; it is a dividing choice. Where the gospel is believed it divides people.

 

C. It means that we each have a searching choice set before us.


What Christ says here, the very words, tests us as to our relationship to Him.  Do His words offend us, or do we believe them and rejoice in them? Listen, I know so many Christians, who want to be popular all round, and not believe bad about anybody, who actually take offense to the words of Christ and align themselves with men like Joel Osteen, and they dare call themselves Christians. They will tell us that we are too dogmatic. To which I apologise as our intention is not to be dogmatic, but to be bulldog-matic. I will rather be dogmatic than being catmatic and pussyfoot around such bold claims of Christ.

 

Why should this be offensive?

If it is true, then it is the most gracious word we could ever have from God.  God is showing us the way to reconciliation and that is grace.

-Would you be offended if I knew the only road that leads to a certain place that it was vital to you to arrive at safely, and I directed you to that road telling you that it was the only way you could possibly arrive there?  Would that offend you?  Would you appreciate it more if I gave you 5 or 6 choices and told you that all those roads ultimately led to the same place when it was not so?  Or would you appreciate it if I told you it would be judgmental of me to direct you to the one road, even though I know the best road. I would think it better just to leave it up to you to figure it out.

 

And in the case of Jesus, all the other roads to not lead to the final destination. It is a lie from hell.

 

Any honest person should know that if what Christ is saying here is true, far from being something that should offend us it should be the most wonderful thing we have ever heard. Jesus is not a way, a truth, and a life. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.

 

  1. Does your heart long for a real relationship with God?
  2. Does your heart long for the forgiveness of all our sins?
  3. Does your heart long for the gift of perfect righteousness?
  4. Does your heart long for a knowledge of what is true and what is false?
  5. Does your heart long for life everlasting that is full and abundant?

 

We now have the answer for it all.  The answer is a PERSON and He is offering Himself to us.  He offers Himself graciously, not because He needs us but because He knows that we need Him.

 

Do you want Him?

 

John 14:6 (ESV) 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 26 July 2020



[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/07/us/politics/07clinton.html

[2] http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=hillary_on_her_faith&ns=CalThomas&dt=07/10/2007&page=2

 

[3] http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/20/lkl.01.html