Friday, July 13, 2018

Chose the True Path to Heaven

 Notes by Laurie Moulton as teacher Linda taught the lesson 

This week’s Sunday School focus was on John 14:6— Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So, what does this mean? 

When Jesus says, “I am the way”, it means that the blood that was shed for us on the cross, is the way to salvation. We must be bathed in his blood—cover ourselves with it daily and live according to the Word.  Jesus is the only way to God and eternal Life.

When he says, “I am the life”, he is referring to our faith and daily practices. We are to live our lives in, through, and with Jesus, in his New Covenant, as we journey closer to him.

Now, let’s look at the part where he states, “I am the truth.” In no other philosophical belief or faith path can one find a way to salvation.

Many other beliefs, like Buddhism, Voodoo, Santeria, Hinduism, and Paganism, pray to several different gods, otherwise known as pantheons. Pan, meaning many, and Theo, meaning belief. They have gods and goddesses for everything: creation, destruction, earth, air, fire, water, crops, love, and even poetry and art.

The followers of these beliefs pray to these gods and goddesses for help in these areas by way of magic—a dangerous practice of invoking dark forces to get what you want. These beliefs also profess reincarnation, where the soul of a person is constantly re-born into an earthly being after death, and depending on how well you lived your life, will depend the type of life you will live next.

There is no eternal salvation with these beliefs; just walking the earth forever in a different form. Other belief systems like Islam and Muslim, pray to a prophet and not a god or goddess. They believe when they pass, that they will stand in judgment first, according to how they have lived their lives (no matter whether they have sought forgiveness or not), and will then be dispersed among 7 different realms, not of this earth.

There is no salvation in these paths either.

Still, the paths of other faiths closely mimic Christianity, like Mormonism. In the Mormon church, followers believe Christ, but they do not believe in salvation or that through crucifixion, we shall have eternal life with God. They practice baptism through death for the soul of the reposed versus baptism during life to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior throughout your life.

Jesus warns us of these counterfeit beliefs through his statement, “I am the Truth.” For it is only through Christ that we can know salvation in both life and death.  In no other practice can this peace be found. That is because Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life.

1John 5:20, states: We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Here we learn further, that Jesus is the truth.

1 John 5:6-7 states: This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
Here, we are reminded of the truth of Jesus’ earthly presence. How Jesus was sent by God for our salvation. The Holy Spirit came upon a faithful, virgin peasant girl, Mary, and God planted the seed, Jesus, in her womb. The baby, having the blood and flesh of God (as blood is passed on by the father, and their is scientific evidence of this), and being surrounded by water in his mother’s womb.  

Jesus, was also baptized in water, in the River Jordan, and ultimately, shed both blood and water when he was crucified.

God comprises the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Spirit. Because God is truth, so therefore, is Son and Spirit also.

John 11:25-26, Jesus states, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus is teaching us that he is the life. Through our own life of faith in him, we shall have eternal salvation.

1 John: 11-12, states, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Here, we are again shown, that our only way to eternal life is through Jesus.
1 John 1:1-2, states,” That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

We learn in John 1, that in the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus was and is the Word; therefore, we have had life through him since the beginning. Jesus is the life.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16, states, ”See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”
Here, God shows us , early on, that He gives us life, and by keeping His commandments, we shall have life eternal through and with Him.

John 14:19 states,” Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”

Jesus is proclaiming our eternal life through his own life.

John 10:28, states, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Through the life of Jesus, we shall have eternal salvation. No one can remove us from that.

So, we have explored, digested, and learned what Jesus meant by stating that he is the Truth and the Life, but what about the way?

Ezekiel 18:30-31, states, “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?"

God is showing us how our own ways can lead to life and death. If we come to Jesus and seek forgiveness for our wrong doings (repentance), we shall not die, but have eternal life.

Proverbs 3:6, states, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

The way in which we live our lives, will determine the path of our journey in life. By submitting to God, all paths will lead to Him.

Zachariah 3:7-8, states, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here. Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.”

God is stating again, that our ways will determine our outcome. The Branch, we know, is Jesus. Jesus states this himself in John 15:5—I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Therefore, Jesus is the Way.

Lastly, Proverbs 3:1-12, states,” My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

If we, in all our ways, submit to God, then we shall be rewarded with God’s love, mercy, grace, and abundance of blessings. Jesus will make our paths straight, for no one reaches the Father except through him. 

Jesus is the Way.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus is the only means of eternal salvation and life. Nowhere else will you find it, but through him.

1 comment:

Floyd Chaplin said...

Wow. This is a great apologetic outline!