Monday, August 10, 2015

Christ the Only Way

Setting:  upper room, last night, Judas has departed.
John 13:31-14:6

6th. "I Am" - contains 3 "I am's" in one but focus = THE WAY
Definition = road, route, path, passageway - Examples:  bridge - ladder - stairway
No way for sinful man to get into presence of Holy God except through Jesus.

The term "way adopted by the early church - Acts 9:1-2, 24:14  (Saul - on route when got saved)
"The Way" = Jesus

This doctrine has always  been:
1)  Fundamental - basic/primary/non-negotiable teaching
2)  Controversial - can't be proven this side of the grave, or the return of Christ
3)  Offensive - especially with the New Tolerance these days.  Was offensive then and is today.

Old tolerance = respect and treat as equal people of different beliefs
New tolerance = accept as equal ... their BELIEFS!!! - can't hold to your belief as exclusive, BUT can't both be right!!!

Therefore:  the temptation is to preach, teach, embrace John 14:1-3 and distance 'self from John 14:6 - I am THE way!!!!!

So, why does the church hold to this controversial, offensive doctrine?
#1.  Taught by Christ - John 3:18, John 8:24, John 17:3
#2.  Affirmed by the Apostles - Acts 4:12, 1 Tim. 2:5
#3.  Embraced by the Early Church
#4.  Considered orthodox ever since

Therefore:  as Christ's followers we are obligated to hold to this ---
unless can be shown error in:  the Record
                                             the Transmission
                                             the Translation
Being unfaithful to His teachings = being unfaithful to Him!!

So, How to get in the Way?  What's required?
Some views -  1)  inclusivism - on one hand Jesus = the only way
                                  - on the other hand, you just need to believe in whatever in order to receive
                      2)  Baptism - or other sacraments bestowed by the church
                      3)  Confession - contrast - Matt. 7:21-23
                      4)  Good works (deeds)
                      5)  holy living (lifestyle)

The Protestant/Reformed view in order to get into the Way = C.A.T.
#1.  Content - need to know that Jesus is the Christ, are a sinner, need a Savior, etc.
#2.  Assent/Agreement - must see the truth of and agree with the content
#3.  Trust (which is more than believing with head - James 2:19 ) - must believe enough to walk across bridge in faith.
Which brings us BACK to:  John 14:1  and the question?  IF you can't trust Him with John 14:6, why should you trust Him with John 14:1-3?

(ie:  I trust your knowledge of Heaven, Jesus, but I question your knowledge of how to get there!)

1.  We are obligated to accept this even if we don't like it!!  (we have no Biblical reason to reject this)

2)  The charge of arrogance, narrow-mindedness that accompanies this falls on Jesus (not us)  He's the One who said it!

3)  Though many have found this outrageous and offensive, so also many have been challenged-->converted-->transformed by the very same statement.  So:  Rom. 1:16

Question #1:  Is there Only One Way???  (and many questions related to this discussion)

Question #2:  ARE YOU IN THE WAY??? - not, are you believing in the gospel, in the way?
Rom. 10:9-11

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