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Saturday, March 14, 2015

I AM THEY WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO MAN COMES UNTO THE FATHER BUT BY ME

INTRODUCTION:
Virtually every day there is a new revelation concerning those in positions of leadership in the United States of America, who seem unable or unwilling to tell the truth. We are told of IRS targeting, secret service scandals, including security failures affecting the President of the United States, and wasteful spending of taxpayer money by government. Other reports include the total failure to protect the U.S. ambassador to Libya in Benghazi, and the many apparent untruths reported about Benghazi. There have been numerous misrepresentations regarding the Affordable Health Care Act. Does it appear that “truth has fallen in the streets?” Many in position of leadership are ungodly and support the killing of tiny persons in their mother's womb. Many also support sodomy and other debauchery in the name of same-sex marriages. There are others who make wrongheaded and misguided attempts "to redistribute wealth" and have made policies that promote economic principles which have a negative affect on businesses all over the United States of America. Inability or unwillingness to speak the truth is dangerous! A growing number of people in the United States are looking for the way to get this nation back on track, acting in accordance with the biblical doctrines on which God founded this nation. There is only One Way that will work.
            The only way to rescue this nation from “the wrath to come” is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is The Way. Scripture tells us that “there is a way that seemeth right to a man but the end thereof leads to destruction”. We are seeing that repeatedly over the past few years in this nation, our nation's leaders are committing and repeating the ungodly errors of the past where every person was doing “that which seems right in his or her own eyes”. The answer to the multiplicity of problems facing the United States of America, and indeed, seemingly all of Western civilization, is not a change of political parties, political policies, or the political process. The only answer is found in God's Word. The only answer is Christ alone. The only answer is Jesus. He is The Way!
            Not only are people searching for truth, and searching for the way to get our nation going in the right direction, but now, through misguided and wrongheaded policies, strategies, and actions, we have not only failed to defeat the enemy called "radical Islam" but that enemy is gaining ground every day. This should come as no surprise, as it is consistent with Scripture. Scripture tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, spiritual wickedness in high places, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” In the Bible, the real enemy is disclosed: the devil. Every day the Islamic State tragically and gruesomely takes the life of more and more people in the Middle East. They are "threatening" to expand their ungodly terror to Europe and to the United States. God's Holy Word in the Gospel of John tells us that:      "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men." The Word is Jesus. Jesus is Life itself! Jesus gives Life!
            Jesus is life. Jesus is the light of the world. He gives life to whom he will, and to whom he gives life he also gives light. One of the major problems facing this nation today is that we who are Christians have abdicated our responsibility to be “salt and to be light”, to stand fast in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to tell people of Jesus who is mighty to save. We have failed to convince people that abortion is wrong, or to convince people that homosexuality, whether married or unmarried is wrong. The simple truth is that our leaders “do err not knowing the Scripture”. The Lord Jesus said that “in the beginning God made them male and female”. Same sex marriage is not marriage, whether it is declared to be so by ungodly judges, or ungodly politicians. The name that God's Word gives to it is sin. We have to call sin, sin. If the trumpet sound an uncertain sound, how can the people know? Except God's people “who are called by His name humble themselves (ourselves) and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their (our) wicked ways, He will not hear our prayer, and forgive our sin, and cleanse our land”.(2 Chronicles 20:14) Sexual promiscuity of all kinds is rampant in the United States today. Virtually every advertisement, every commercial, and every marketing scheme attempts to promote their product by the promotion of blatant sexual promiscuity. Even if it is not explicit it is implicit. So, what is the answer to all of these sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Jesus said "Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."(Matthew 11:28-30) Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and there is no other answer; no other way; no other truth; and, life is not found in anyone or anything else!
            What follows is a brief exposition of these 3 great statements: The Way; The Truth; and, The Life. Here is found the solution, not only for the United States of America, but for the entire world also. Here is the solution to the problem of the Islamic State (notice the name: Islamic State. Not Buddhist State, Christian State, Hindu State, Jewish State, etc.) The Islamic State! We must resolve to take our stance in Christ alone! Fear not for He is with us! First, we must repent from our own sin. Confess it and turn from it. We must also repent from our national sins and individually and collectively place our trust in Christ alone. We must seek to tell others of Jesus who is mighty to save. We must stand firm for this is the only solution. This is the plan. This is The Way, The Truth, and The Life! Indeed, there is No Way, No Truth, and No Life apart from Christ.
  1. THE WAY:
Many people in America have lost their way. Many of our so called National leaders have lost their way. There are pastors in churches around the nation who have lost their way, and are trying to bring the culture into the Church in an attempt to find their way. They cannot do so! Sin always causes one to lose his way!  Anyone who is following any way other than Jesus has lost their way. The Way lies not in marketing schemes, new contemporary music, new ideas, new programs, or anything other than Jesus. He is The Way and that means the only way.
When God delivered Israel from Egypt, Psalms 107 records that eventually “they were in the wilderness in a desolate way”. They were looking for a city of rest, but they had missed the way. They finally cried out to God and He heard them and “led them forth in the right way”. Jesus is that Right Way for all who “come to Him”. He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever”. “His ear is not heavy that He cannot hear and His arm is not shortened that He cannot save”. He is The Way; the straight Way; the direct Way; the simple Way; and, there is no other Way! Our people, indeed, all people from top to bottom, need Jesus.
                When Jesus was talking to the disciples as recorded by the Apostle John in the 14th Chapter of the Gospel of John, He had told them that He was going to prepare a place for them and He also told them that He would come again and take them to that place; [so] that where He was they could be also. Clearly, Jesus is telling them that the significance of Heaven is that it is the place where He is. It is the place where they and we can be with Jesus. Thus, we should conclude that the goal of redemption, accomplished by the precious blood of Jesus, is to achieve the perfected fellowship through Christ alone with the Triune God. Dr. Frank M. Barker Jr, related the following in a sermon preached, circa 1973:
            "The bride eyes not her garment but her dear bridegroom's face; I shall not gaze at glory but on the King of Grace. Not on the crown He giveth, but on his pierced hand, the Lamb is all the glory in Emmanuel's land."
When the Lord Jesus had made this declaration that He was The Way, The Truth and The Life and that they knew where He was going, Thomas said "Lord we don't know where you're going. How can we know the way?" To which Jesus responded "I am the way". Dr. Barker, the former senior pastor at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama in commenting on this fantastic claim said the following:
            "Notice what a fantastic claim that is…'I am the way to God.' In the light of this claim, is it logical to say, 'I believe Jesus was a good man but not God.'"? .…...
  • HOW TO TAKE HIM AS “THE WAY”
"When Jesus says, 'I am the way,' how do you take Him as the way for you? According to the Reformers we must do two things. Dr. Barker said, “You must surrender to Him and put your trust in Christ as your Savior." This means repentance, which is a gift in and of itself. Repentance is the surrender of your will to the Lord's will. You stop doing your own will and to seek to do the will of God. Indeed, the Bible records that Jesus came "delighting to do the will of the Father". Is that your delight? Do you desire above all else to delight yourself in the Lord God and to delight to do His will?
            We have been made citizens of Heaven. In Philippians Chapter 3 we see that's where our citizenship is. In the 3rd Chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Church at Collosse he writes, "if you then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above where Christ sits on the right hand of the Father. Set your affection on things above and not on the things of the earth." Have you surrendered your will to the Lord's will? Are you seeking those things which are above? Are setting your affection on things above and not on the things of the earth? Jesus is the way. It appears that He is coming soon. If you haven't done that do so today.
            The 2nd part of what the Reformers called "conversion" is to place your trust in Christ alone for your salvation. This is also referred to as "saving faith". It too is received as a sheer gift from God. Therefore, in order for Jesus to be "your way", surrender your will to His will in true repentance, and place your trust in Jesus alone as your salvation.
II.        THE TRUTH:
            When Jesus stood before Pilot, Pilot asked the question that many have asked through the ages. Pilot said "What is truth?" Indeed, there are many today who make light of the issue of truth by stating such things as "truth is relative"; "that is your truth but my truth is something else"; and, "there is no such thing as absolute truth". However, we can take from the Lord Jesus Christ, that there is absolute truth! It is not relative, it is not dependent upon who is speaking, He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is Truth itself. He cannot lie. He is the eternal Living Word, the "logos", of God. In the 17th Chapter of John's Gospel in verse 17, Jesus says to the Father "sanctify them in thy truth thy word is truth. In Isaiah, we see that in Israel, as America today, "truth has fallen in the streets". Many people don't think that truth matters. They believe that only power matters. Scripture teaches us that such an attitude is a lie and leads to destruction. ("There is a way which seemeth right to a man but the end thereof leads to destruction")
            There are men today in America occupying pulpits with the corresponding responsibility to "Shepard the flock of God" who are actually teaching that God's Word is not true! They have moved from the bed rock absolute that Jesus is in fact Truth, and the corresponding truth that there is "no other truth", and that God cannot lie. This doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture is being eroded by some of the very persons who professing themselves to be ministers are undermining the Word of God. They are, simply put, taking man's word rather than God's word. This is what the Apostle Paul's says to the Church of Rome in the first Chapter of his Epistle to the Roman Church when he says, "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things." Indeed, when these men, professing themselves to be wise, take the position that "science has shown that God's Word is not true in the historical account of the creation set forth in the book of beginnings, i.e. Genesis, they have become fools. It seems to me that it would be far better to take what has been recorded by Moses and other prophets through the ages as "truth" than what someone says about science in order to try to show that God's Word is not true. Jesus is Truth! Receive this as God's Holy Word and trust in it. He is the Way and He is the Truth. And there is no other. Therefore, you can be sure that those who are promoting science rather than the Word of God are completely wrong. Don’t fall for their lie. Jesus is Truth!
III.       THE LIFE:
            In the first Chapter of John's Gospel we see, without equivocation, that in Jesus is life. The life is the light of the world. He states, again without equivocation, "I am the life". God was in the "heart transplant"" business before modern medicine. When we surrender our will to the Lord's will in true repentance, and place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our only way for salvation, God's Holy Spirit comes and lives in our bodies according to the Lord Jesus Christ. We actually receive a new heart and are new creations in Jesus. Frank M Barker, Junior, now pastor emeritus at Birmingham's Briarwood Presbyterian Church said, quoting from someone else, "without the way, there is no going; without the truth, there is no knowing, without the life, there is no living." Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man comes unto the father but by Him. There is no other way; there is no other truth; there is no other life!
CONCLUSION:     
            Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, man is dead. ALL mankind has sinned and come short of the glory of God according to God's Holy Scriptures. Everyone is dead in their trespasses and sins apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that God who is rich in mercy with His great love wherewith He loved us has made us alive in Christ Jesus. He has given us life! It is true! He is the way! One can either argue with the truth of His Holy Word and debate these matters, or one may embrace them and live. This is not the first time in the history of the world that people have debated God's Holy Truth and argued with it to no avail. God's Holy Truth is like an anvil and those who insist on debating and arguing with God's Holy Truth will be crushed. Joshua, who succeeded Moses, cautioned Israel and told them the following: "I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your father's served on the other side of the river and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
            When Jesus says that He is the "the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes unto the Father but by [Him]" this same admonition that Joshua gave to Israel can be given to America today. As I set forth above, what America needs, indeed what the world needs, is not new policies, new politics, new political parties or new economic plans, but, rather, we need to repent from our individual and national sins, surrendering our wills to the Lord's will, and individually and collectively place our trust in Jesus alone to save us!
Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I AM meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light".
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever Amen.
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Daniel (William Gray)
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