"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
John 1:1-14; 8:58; 10:30; 14:6; 20:28; 2 Peter 1:1
Is your church inventing or following Jesus?
Key point: Many churches are personality-driven, placing the focus on making God into their own image-inventing their own user-friendly Jesus. Thus, the Gospel is reduced and diluted into a mere personal narrative or cheap sound bites that have no real depth or impact. This is most certainly not the Church Triumphant. Let us not do this; rather, let us surrender to His Lordship!
Jesus IS God! Jesus is the Eternal Creator God Who gives us Redemption! Therefore, as a church we are the primary place to equip, train and inspire our people to know and grow, to reach and send, to prepare and serve. What we do is point to Him. The chief end and purpose of a child of God is to please God and enjoy Him, which Jesus demonstrates here. Somehow, in our musings of our church planning, this may be forgotten or pushed to the side.
Many people will not truly believe it, so what does Jesus do about it? It is the same situations and responses we have today! Keep in mind that we, by nature, are all children of wrath. We are sinners, seeking our own pride, and are willfully disobedient. In Christ, we have the choice and power to become children of God (John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:30-10:13; Eph. 2:2-3).
John 1; The Word was God. Here, it basically means that Jesus Christ is God. There is only One God (monotheism), and He is the eternal God Who holds all things and Who holds us. Jesus is the embodiment of God, the Law, and the revelation of the Scriptures. This is the only human word that has ever been fathomed that comes closest to our understanding Who God is.
Two of the primary foundations of the Gospel Message are who Jesus is and what He did on the cross for us.
The point is that if we have life by Him, then we accept Him. We should then love Him with our love being demonstrated in how we follow His precepts. He is still fully God and demonstrates this by His resurrection, which enables Him to conduct our salvation (Isa. 43:10-11; John 1:18; Rom. 16:27; 1 Thess. 3:4; 1 John 1:2).
We are called to holiness, not just to love and trust our Lord, but because of gratitude for His grace and patience, we are called to pursue faith and exhibit loyalty, goodness, and love with thankfulness and submission. Do not allow your life to be dim or you may slowly find yourself so far away from the Light you will be making bad choices and living in darkness and dismay without enjoyment because of your own apathy and/or pride (Psalm 73:25; 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 5:21-23; Col. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:5, 13-21)!
In the beginning, before all things were created or made, God the Personal, always-existing, eternally-loving, most Holy God. He is the Word Who has always been and Who always will be. He is the eternal One Who forever was, forever is, and forever will be. He was with God, is with God, and will always, consistently be with God because He is the God everlasting. He is and was and will be. He was the beginning, He is the now, and will be the future, all with God, all as God. He is the only one God who created everything--all that there was, all that is, and all that will be. He created it all.
This all means Christ is the eternal God and that we can trust Him!
We can have real active faith in and hope in Him. There is a distinction of God to Christ--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons, but with one essence; three manifestations and Personalities and roles, but One Godhead (Gen. 1:3; Ex. 34:12-22; Deut. 32:46-47; Psalm 19:8; 33:6; 119: 105, 130; Isa. 6:1-13; 44:6; Hos. 1:1; John 1:1-13, 17; 12:41; 17:5; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 8:4; Phil. 2:6-8; Col. 2:9; Rev. 19:13).
Jesus gives us Life! He is the Creator! All that exists is from Him--our physical and spiritual lives, the world in which we live, the substances we need. Everything and all things are from Christ. One of our chief goals in the Christian faith is to commit to faith and practice our obedience with joy and passion! This statement is also an affirmation to the Deity of Jesus Christ (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; 8:1; 11:9; Psalm 123; John 5:26; 6:57; 8:12; 9:5; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 14:6; 17:3; 20:31).
Jesus Fulfills the Law! The Law is now fulfilled, but we are still called to trust and obey God and His written Word so we can be agents who ignite a dimly lit world, and who dispel sin by dispensing righteousness as a display in order for others to see God. Because we are filled with sin, He takes our place in life in pure perfection, to not just die for us, but also live for us, too (Psalm 119:105; Isa. 9:2; Matt. 14:6; John 8:12).
Jesus is the Light! This refers to God's blessing of Israel first though the Patriarchs, to have God's face to shine upon you. Jesus is the Source of light and life. This blessing is offered to all of humanity. Christ is what is never-ending and what is true. He made the world and all things. Darkness corrupted everything. Sin blinded people from the Truth so they needed His light to know God and to live. We can now see the Light, the hope and love of God, accept His saving grace to become the children of God, and be reborn. All of these gifts come only from God. This also refers to the good news of Christ, the Gospel, and the true truth that God so loved the world, He came to save those who do not deserve or merit it (Ex. 13:21; 25:37; Lev. 24:2; Num. 6:24-26; Psalm 19:1-11; 27:1; 80:3-19; 119:105; Isa. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; Ezek. 1:4-28; Matt. 11:11; John 3:16; 4:24; 6:32; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7-14; 11:25; 12:35-36; 14:6; Acts 19:1-3; Rom. 1:19-20; 2:12-16; Eph. 5:8-14; 1 John 1:5-).
Grace is free and can never be implemented by human achievement, yet there is a call for us to receive it. He gives us the faith, but we have to take it, work it, and grow it (Eph. 2:8-10).
God is more interested in how we are than what we are. He wants us to be good more than He cares what we do with a vocation or living. He wants character, faith, and fruit from our spiritual growth, not spiritual descent from our disobedience, lack of faith, pride, or relying on what is not true or fleeting, like relying on one's ancestry as these religious leaders were doing.
This is a key principle of our Christian faith that means we are holy in Christ; He sets us apart for a reason and a purpose.
Our life has meaning and value; therefore, Jesus wants that meaning for our lives to be infused by Him so that the purpose becomes to glorify Him, enjoy grace and fellowship in Him, and share it with others (Gen. 24:27; Ex. 34:6; Psalm 25:10; 26:3; 73:24-28; Prov. 16:6; John 17:21-23; Rom. 1:6-7; 11:36; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eph. 1:5-8; 2:7; 1 Thess. 3:11)
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/