Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Way, The Truth, The Life—John 14:1–14

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 6:00
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The Way, The Truth, The Life

May 27, 2012

Lesson: John 14:1–14

Key Verse: John 14:6

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Introduction

Christ testifies, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We are also to believe that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. (John 14:6, 10–11). Both the Father and the Son are revealed to us in Christ, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells (Col. 2:9). Christ, therefore, “is said to be the lively Image, or Portrait, of God, because in him God has fully revealed himself, so far as God’s infinite goodness wisdom, and power, are clearly manifested in him” (John Calvin).

Moses stood before the bush that burned but was not consumed. The judgment of the Lord came upon his people as a burning fire, yet they would not be consumed. For by grace alone the people of God are delivered from their own disobedience and foolishness. This deliverance is seen in these words of the Almighty God: “Certainly I will be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain” (Ex. 3:12). Moses then asked God that when he would come to the children of Israel and say to them, “The God your fathers has sent me to you,” and they would ask his name, then, “What shall I say to them?”  God answered, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he continued, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

We believe in and trust that the God of Moses is the same Lord who has brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We believe in the living and true God who deserves our allegiance; for we are to “fear the Lord thy God, and keep all his ordinances, and his commandments.” We are to be careful to observe his statutes because they have come from his mouth. We believe in him because he has revealed himself, as he truly is, confessing, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” There is no other name under heaven by which we are saved. We understand this to mean that the Lord alone is the Lord! Therefore, we take his words very seriously. When he commands us to teach them to our children we must obey by being diligent, talking to them about his word, when we sit in our house, and when we walk the paths of life.

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Many Dwelling Places—John 14:1–3

The Son of God, in who dwells the fullness of the Godhead, identifies Himself with the Father, saying, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.” The ever-present God, the “I AM” that was with Moses, is with us. A troubled heart does not rest upon the truth that our Savior is close by us at all times. The next statement reveals the hope of every Christian redeemed by Christ, that there is plenty of room in the household of God, each place having been prepared by the Father for His adopted children. This assurance that we have a place in the household of God is seen in our adoption which “is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God” (S.C. 34). This place is one of fellowship and hope eternally as his very own children, “then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).

Christ’s promise is this: “In my Father’s house are many (dwelling places); if it were not so I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” What a wonderful picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Father adopts us and the Son justifies us and, in His resurrection, assures us of His eternal presence with us. Christ Jesus prepared a place for us by His death on the Cross of Calvary: “freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:23–25). The “forbearance” of God reveals that it is at the Father’s good pleasure that the Son be “a propitiation” for our sins, satisfying His justice, which endures forever and ever. We are therefore in the presence of the Father in this life and always, for Christ Himself is the Resurrection and the Life.

Discussion: What does it mean that Christ has prepared a place for us in the Father’s house?

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The Truth, Way, and Life—John 14:4–7

Christ challenges His disciples with the statement, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” Through the teachings of their Master, the disciples should have answered in the positive. How easy the truths of Scripture escape us, yet Christ is longsuffering and would have us not understand. So the Spirit continues to guide us in our study and obedience of the Word of God. Thomas asked of Christ, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Thomas did not understand and asked an honest question. Thomas’ words reveal that we need something more than our senses to understand the words of our Lord. Thomas states that he does not know, cannot perceive with his sense or discover where Jesus is going. The question “how can we,” asks, how are we able, have the “dunamai,” the power or capability to know the way. Christ presents Himself as the only way: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” We are to the both know the way and the destination.

It is Christ alone who is the ‘I AM’—the very presence of God, who reveals the true path of conduct, the reality of all things as the Truth, and the Logos or Word of life for the living soul. There is no other way than the one who was named ‘Yahshua,’ for he alone came to save his people from their sins. He alone can declare, “I am that Way, and that Truth, and that Life.  No man comes unto the Father, but by me.” Herein lies our true happiness. Without Christ there is no hope, we go astray. Without Christ there is no faith, we feed ourselves on the philosophies of the world rather than the truth. Without Christ there is no love, our lives are like a desert rather than a life flowing with living water.

To know Christ the Son is to know our Father in heaven: “If ye had known me, ye should have known the Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” It is the Father who has sent the Son: “For God so Loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Again Christ testifies, “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (John 8:42).

Discussion: What does it mean for Christ to be the way, truth, and life?

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True Faith—John 14:8–14

Philip asks of Christ, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Christ answers, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Christ tests the faith of His disciples to make that faith stronger: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” The great ‘I AM’ identifies him as a member of the Triune Godhead. The power and grace of the Father is also in the Son. The very core of our soul’s hope is found in the truth that Christ is the second Person of the Godhead. If full trust and confidence is to be found in God the Father and in God the Holy Spirit, it surely can be found in Christ Jesus, the Incarnate Son. When we put our faith, our trust in Christ, we are putting full confidence in the one and only true and living God.

Christ continues: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works that these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Calvin wrote that “Christ did not ascend to heaven in a private capacity, to dwell there alone, but rather that it might be the common inheritance of all the godly, and that in this way the Head might be united to his members.”

Therefore, because the Son ascended to the Father, having finished the work of redemption on our behalf, our faith is in Him and the Father: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Our faith is shown in our fellowship with our Father in heaven and in the Son our Savior. Our faith produces prayers that are in the will of the Father, that whatever we ask will glorify our Father in heaven. Christ ought to be seen in our prayers, in every asking that we bring to our heavenly Father.

God the Father is to be honored and worshiped with much thanksgiving because “according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).

Our faith should be seen in our walk with Christ, that we walk worthily of Him, pleasing him alone in our words and deeds, “being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Col. 1:10–s12).

Discussion: How is our faith in the Father and Son shown in our daily lives?

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Lessons are based on the International Sunday School Lessons for Christian Teaching, copyright © 2012 by the Committee on the Uniform Series.

 

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