What did Jesus Mean When He said, ‘I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6)?

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“I am the way and the truth and the life” is one of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus. On the last night before His betrayal and death, Jesus was preparing His disciples for the days ahead. For over three years, these men had been following Jesus and learning from His teaching and example. They had placed their hopes in Him as the Messiah, the promised deliverer, yet they still didn’t understand how He was going to accomplish that deliverance. After the Last Supper, Jesus began speaking about His departure, which led to questions from His disciples.

In John 13:33, Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.” This prompted Peter to ask where He was going (verse 36). Peter and the others did not understand that Jesus was speaking of His death and ascension to heaven. Jesus’ response was, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter was still misunderstanding and declared that he would follow Jesus anywhere and even lay down His life if necessary. As Jesus patiently continued to teach His disciples, He began speaking more plainly about heaven, describing the place He was going to prepare for them (John 14:2–3). Then Jesus said, “You know the way to the place where I am going” (verse 4). Speaking for the others, Thomas said they did not know where He was going, so how could they know how to follow Him there? It was in answer to this question that Jesus uttered one of the seven famous “I am” statements.

I am – In the Greek language, “I am” is a very intense way of referring to oneself. It would be comparable to saying, “I myself, and only I, am.” Several other times in the Gospels we find Jesus using these words. In Matthew 22:32 Jesus quotes Exodus 3:6, where God uses the same intensive form to say, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Truly, truly I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” The Jews clearly understood Jesus to be calling Himself God because they took up stones to stone Him for committing blasphemy in equating Himself with God. In Matthew 28:20, as Jesus gave the Great Commission, He gave it emphasis by saying, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” When the soldiers came seeking Jesus in the garden the night before His crucifixion, He told them, “I am he,” and His words were so powerful that the soldiers fell to the ground (John 18:4–6). These words reflect the very name of God in Hebrew, Yahweh, which means “to be” or “the self-existing one.” It is the name of power and authority, and Jesus claimed it as His own.

The way – Jesus used the definite article to distinguish Himself as “the only way.” A way is a path or route, and the disciples had expressed their confusion about where He was going and how they could follow. As He had told them from the beginning, Jesus was again telling them (and us) “follow me.” There is no other path to heaven, no other way to the Father. Peter reiterated this same truth years later to the rulers in Jerusalem, saying about Jesus, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The exclusive nature of the only path to salvation is expressed in the words “I am the way.”

The truth – Again Jesus used the definite article to emphasize Himself as “the only truth.” Psalm 119:142 says, “Your law is the truth.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminded His listeners of several points of the Law, then said, “But I say unto you . . .” (Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44), thereby equating Himself with the Law of God as the authoritative standard of righteousness. In fact, Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17). Jesus, as the incarnate Word of God (John 1:1) is the source of all truth.

The life – Jesus had just been telling His disciples about His impending death, and now He was claiming to be the source of all life. In John 10:17–18, Jesus declared that He was going to lay down His life for His sheep, and then take it back again. He spoke of His authority over life and death as being granted to Him by the Father. In John 14:19, He gave the promise that “because I live, you also will live.” The deliverance He was about to provide was not a political or social deliverance (which most of the Jews were seeking), but a true deliverance from a life of bondage to sin and death to a life of freedom in eternity.

In these words, Jesus was declaring Himself the great “I Am,” the only path to heaven, the only true measure of righteousness, and the source of both physical and spiritual life. He was staking His claim as the very God of Creation, the Lord who blessed Abraham, and the Holy One who inhabits eternity. He did this so the disciples would be able to face the dark days ahead and carry on the mission of declaring the gospel to the world. Of course, we know from Scripture that they still didn’t understand, and it took several visits from their risen Lord to shake them out of their disbelief. Once they understood the truth of His words, they became changed people, and the world has never been the same.

So how do we follow Him today? The same way the disciples did long ago. They heard the words of Jesus and believed them. They took His words and obeyed them. They confessed their sins to Jesus as their Lord and God. They believed that He died to take the punishment of their sins and rose from the dead to give them new life. They followed His example and command to tell others the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment. When we follow Him in “the way,” we can be assured of following Him all the way to heaven.

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He Must Take Away Our Toys!

Doddi_í_leikfangalandi_II_(1947244587)(Charles Naylor, “Providences and Circumstances“)

Life is often an enigma. It brings to us many things that we cannot understand. How blessed it is at such times, to realize that there is One wiser than we, who has our lives in His care and who sees all and understands all! God is our Father, and we are the children of His love. He has our welfare at heart. He is interested in all that concerns us. He watches over all our lives, and nothing that comes to us can come without His wise appointment. Whatever comes, He knows full well its effect upon us, and His loving hand is ever ready to protect and help His children.

He could, if He chose, lead us in a pleasant and easy path through life–but He knows that a pleasant and easy path would not develop that strong and hardy Christian character which is so essential for us. Neither would it give Him an opportunity to reveal the riches of His grace, or His tender care.

He sometimes places a mountain of difficulty before us, that we may climb to higher altitudes–and that in the climbing, we may develop spiritual strength. Every difficulty that we conquer by God’s grace, raises us higher in the Christian life. This is the purpose of these difficulties.

He sometimes sends sorrow to soften us and make us hungry for His comfort. We may become too satisfied with earthly things. We may draw too much of our joy from them. He delights to have us draw our joy and our comfort from Him; therefore He must take away our toys which have been occupying our time–that our souls may yearn for the comfort and blessedness which only He can give. He knows that nothing softens us like sorrow. So He gives us a cup of sorrow to drink to the dregs–and oh, what tenderness and blessedness come into our lives when we submissively drink of that cup, no matter how bitter it may be to our taste!

All these happenings may seem dark and mysterious to us; they may seem to be the very things that are the worst for us–but they are not. They are but the manifestations of His kindly wisdom and His fatherly tenderness. Sometimes behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face. We often see only the frown of the providence, and that frown looks very threatening; but if we will look away from that frowning providence to the smiling face of God, we shall see that which will uplift us and strengthen us and enable us to bear whatever stroke of providence may come.

He knows that we must taste the bitter, before we can appreciate the sweet.
He knows that we must feel life’s sorrows, before we can value its joys.

Suffering more than anything else, develops us in the Christian graces. It is for this purpose that He sometimes leads us along difficult paths. Though His providences are often dark and mysterious–His love will never fail us.

But throughout our lives, if we are His, then we know that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. When difficulties arise through which we can see no way, and He makes a way of which we had never thought–it is then that our hearts are made to wonder at His wisdom and are melted with gratitude.

His ways are not our ways. They are higher and better than our ways. If we were wise enough, we would always choose for ourselves, that which He chooses for us. But alas! How often when we choose for ourselves, we choose that which is least wise and most hurtful!

O soul, trust Him. He knows the way that you take. He knows just what is needful for you. So bear with patience, and endure with meekness, and do not question His wisdom or love. This will make the hard places easier, and the tiresome places less tiresome.

Salvation Is Of God

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“God has surely promised His grace to the humbled:  that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled til he realises that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another–God alone. As long as he is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation, he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself, and so is not humbled before God; but plans out for himself (or at least hopes and longs for) a position, an occasion, a work, which shall bring him final salvation. But he who is out of doubt that his destiny depends entirely on the will of God despairs entirely of himself, chooses nothing for himself, but waits for God to work in him; and such a man is very near to grace for his salvation.”   –Martin Luther “Bondage of the Will” p. 100

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/salvation-is-of-god/

Where Are YOU Going When You Die?

800px-Bran_castel_secret_passageI have had this discussion with many people when I am concerned with their eternal soul.

I have come across myriads of false-converts, claiming they are saved, secure in their decision to ‘make Jesus Lord‘.

I have spoken at length with these dear souls and try as I may, I cannot convince them of their eternal danger. They have made a decision and they have been convinced that they are safe without worry of anything in the afterlife.

The Bible is replete with evidence that man does not save himself (Romans 9, Romans 10, Hebrews 7…etc.), it is through faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, and that faith a gift from God.

BUT…how many “Christians” believe that they had something to contribute to their own salvation? Man has nothing to contribute to salvation but their sin and rebellion as evidence against them.

It is only through the grace and mercy of God, we are saved and not consumed by His wrath.

These very same people, when asked how they were saved, will invariably say, “I did…I said…I made…

Do you see it? It’s all about ‘I’, me…self. The whole foundation of modern Christianity today is to craft a sales pitch that is better than the church down the street, and hopefully the pastor can whip the congregation into enough of an emotional frenzy that they will make that decision in their church and not the other’s.

It’s got nothing to do with sin, repentance, God’s wrath or the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and why He had to die in our place.

That would make potential members and/or givers uncomfortable and scare them away.

You see, church today has ceased to be a beacon in a dark world, shining the truth of the Gospel into the gutters and manure piles, and has instead become a store, with well-polished and highly educated pastors and leaders, selling their wares and goods to those who are seeking something more to finish off their already rich lives. Those who can’t afford the “interest rates” leave eventually, bitter and resentful.   It’s just like an auto lot. You go there to see if you can afford a new car. You sit down with the salesman who’s only interest is to make a commission off of you. You talk over options, payments, interest and you reveal your credit and financial history, hoping you are good enough to drive away in a new car. Those who have something to contribute go away happy, those who have poor credit or not enough for a down payment, go away unhappy and disillusioned.

Sound familiar? Church has become a country club that only allows those who can give something to remain. Those who are poorly educated, financially destitute, or just plain ugly are unwelcome, ignored, and eventually pushed out.

Leonard Ravenhill said it well, “The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

How true.

Now, why are you a Christian? Why did you make that decision? To get something? To have a richer more fulfilled life? To add to your CV?

You see, the motives of most people are selfish, and a church that wants your money and the pews filled will naturally play to those selfish motives.

1024px-Car_dealership_in_Rockville_Maryland_JeepWhat if someone went to a car lot and the car salesman brow beat the person and scolded them for their selfishness and told them that they cannot afford such a luxury and they need to turn from their wickedness and start living right?

How many sales do you think they would make with that approach? This is my point. Because the church has found through the years, that honey attracts more flies than vinegar, that if they changed their approach, they could get more people through their doors, which always translates to more money. It’s the funnel principle. The more you funnel in, the more will stay. It’s common sense and makes good business sense. BUT…this is not how Jesus taught. Is it? He spoke of planting seeds. He spoke of fishing (with a net, not a hook). When you read about Jesus or any of the apostles preaching the Gospel, they did not relate to people or their problems. They did not table a sassy sales pitch. They used the Law (the Ten Commandments) and drive the person in fear and trembling to the cross.

If I were to guess, I would say at least 90% of church-goers are false-converts. Are you? Look back to your conversion. What happened? Were you drawn to repentance, remorse and fear through the Holy Spirit? Were you convinced in your very soul that you were on the very edge of destruction? Remember Christ’s words in Luke 12? Fear Him who has the power to cast both body and soul into hell. Is this what was told you? Were you told that you had a certain damnation hovering over you like a dark cloud (Romans 5, 1 Cor. 11…)?

Were you convinced that you are not good but wicked? Were you told that you can 2013-09-20-heart2by no means save yourself?

If the mainstream church decided to preach biblical repentance again, three things would happen:

  1. The church would have to endure a multitude of lawsuits over emotional damages
  2. If that didn’t work, then there would be a mass exodus and as a result, the church
  3. Would have to close its doors.

Where will you spend eternity? Will you flash your resume around on Judgment Day, bragging about all your accomplishments? Or will you humbly present yourself to the King of Kings knowing that only through the finished work of Jesus Christ Himself, you will be accepted into glory?

Does the idea of you being rotten and sinful except through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ offend you? Then you are in trouble. If self hasn’t been put to death, then it still reigns supreme over your life.

Much to think about, isn’t it?

Some Great Reading From GotQuestions

From GotQuestions:

 

We receive a lot of different questions about Good Friday, Easter (Resurrection Sunday), and the surrounding events and corresponding traditions. Rather than focusing on any one particular question, we thought it would be more helpful for us to give you the list of our most frequently asked questions related to Easter. Whether or not you choose to celebrate Easter itself, rejoice with us that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected from the dead, providing for the salvation of all who receive Him by faith.

What is Good Friday / Holy Friday?

What is Holy Saturday?

What is Easter Sunday?

What are the origins of Easter? Should we even be celebrating Easter?

Who was Ishtar, and is there any connection between Ishtar and Easter?

How is the date for Easter determined?

What is the origin of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs?

Why should I believe in Christ’s resurrection?

Why is the resurrection of Christ important?

Was Jesus crucified on a Friday? If so, how did He spend three days in the tomb if He was resurrected on Sunday?

Where was Jesus for the 3 days between His death and resurrection?

Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?

How can you prove Christ’s resurrection?

What are the last seven sayings of Christ and what do they mean?

What is the meaning of Lent?

What is Ash Wednesday?

Should Christians celebrate Passover?

What is Palm Sunday?

What is Passion Week?

What is Holy Monday?

What is Holy Tuesday?

What is Spy Wednesday / Holy Wednesday?

What is Maundy Thursday / Holy Thursday?

What is the origin of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras?

What is Shrove Tuesday?

What is Easter Monday?

What is the Via Dolorosa?

Can the various resurrection accounts from the four Gospels be harmonized?

What is the significance of the triumphal entry?

What is the importance of the empty tomb?

What is Pascha?

What is Tenebrae? What is a Tenebrae service?

What are holy days?

What are Chreasters?

What is an Easter Vigil?

Lots of good reading. Lots of biblical information.

May the Holy Spirit reach into the hearts of those who visit this blog today and this weekend and touch their dead, wicked hearts and revive them to salvation.

For the Lamb.

Billy Graham Is Dead

The world’s best-known evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, has died. He was 99.

From the gangly 16-year-old baseball-loving teen who found Christ at a tent revival, Graham went on to become an international media darling, a preacher to a dozen presidents and the voice of solace in times of national heartbreak. He was America’s pastor.

Many Christians will be mourning this man and celebrating his legacy. But honestly, what sort of legacy did he leave?

Billy Graham was an icon of an ever changing society. He preached what the world wanted to hear. How on earth does one explain his popularity? Jesus was crucified for preaching the Gospel. Graham was celebrated. Something’s wrong.

Graham preached an acceptable, bloodless gospel of easy believism. He told the world that they had the power to invite Him in. The sinful world was empowered and convinced that unless they made Jesus Lord, He would continue to stay outside and wait patiently.

“I’ve got time. I can have a career, family and what-not, then when I’ve done everything I want, I’ll give Jesus a try”.

This is in essence, the message Graham preached to the world. He was the preacher of Presidents. He was the preacher of politicians. He was friends with the Pope.

He believed that we invited Jesus in and because Jesus is a gentleman, He would never push Himself on anyone. He believed in the free will of man, which meant he did not believe in the sovereignty of God.

What can be said about this man? On the surface, he seemed to do a lot of good, and have much fruit. But in who’s name was it accomplished? If Graham was as much of a false convert as the people he preached to, then his motives were selfish and his fruits meant nothing.

Graham was also a high-ranking Mason. Anyone who has done any research in Freemasonry knows that Masons worship Lucifer as their god. They also ascribe to many ways of thinking from Eastern Mysticism to Satanism. Many Masons hide under the disguise of Christianity. That is their biggest weapon. Graham couldn’t have been a Christian if his energies and money were devoted to this horrid cult.

There’s so much one can say about this man. I could go on for pages, but hopefully you can see that this man was a charlatan and an enemy of the cross.

This man is in hell and is being punished for drawing mankind away from Christ’s cross and empowering them to make their own choice, in their own time.