“JESUS SAID, ‘I AM THE LIFE’” (John 14:6)
SERIES: THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE
Originally preached June 1, 2014
By Rev. Jeremy Stopford, Retired Pastor
“Jesus said…, ‘I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father but by Me'” (John 3:16).
TODAY’S “SPECIAL: “Fun answering machine messages”
~ I can’t answer the phone now because I have amnesia and I feel stupid talking to people I don’t remember. I’d appreciate it if you could help me out by leaving my name and telling me something about myself. Thanks.
~ Hi. I’m probably around, but I’m just avoiding someone I don’t like. Leave me a message, and if I don’t call back, it’s you.
~ This is not voicemail. This is a telepathic thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach you, and I’ll think about returning your call.
~ Roses are red, Violets are cheap, Leave your message After the beep.
We are in the 3rd and final week of a series on the verse, John 14:6. First, Jesus said “I am THE way”. Perhaps the word “the” needs to be underscored – as the only other way, according to Scripture, is the “way of death”. Jesus is “the” way which leads to life, righteousness, faithfulness, wisdom, insight, holiness, peace, love, and truth!
Last week, we discussed Jesus being “the truth.” From the gospel of John, we learned that He is the eternal Savior Who bases His mission on the truth of the Living Word, and He encourages growth through the truth, the written Word of God.
This week we are looking at “I am the life.” And it shouldn’t surprise us that Scripture will once again help us to learn what this means, and how God intends to apply this to our life.
AND it shouldn’t surprise us that the Scriptural use of “the life” encompasses every part of the seasons of life.
I. PREVIOUS (before salvation)
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived” (Colossians 3:5-7).
This is a description of the life you once lived – it was the lifestyle of before you knew Jesus.
This was a lifestyle that God doesn’t want us to live anymore – the old lifestyle should not be the new lifestyle.
HOWEVER, the baggage is not lost when we find Jesus. So God says “put it off” – God can’t do that, nobody else can do that; we must do that for ourselves.
And when we focus on the new, the new will become our new lifestyle
II. PERSONAL (faith in a personal God)
“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. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us” (1 John 1:1-2).
The life appeared. True faith is a faith in a Person, NOT in a church, a religion, a religious system.
We’ve seen it for ourselves. It is personal. The only ones who know that you have true faith is you – and God.
“The life” appears when we examine the evidence and trust what we have explored for ourselves
III. PRESENT (NOW!)
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)
#1 This is described as “the real life” (Living Bible) – some of us remember the 60’s, and those who were stoned out of their mind saying, “this is really living, man”. In contrast to what the world has to offer, the Christian life is real life!
#2 “The life you see me living is not “mine”” (The Message) The Owner of this life, today’s life, is not me. The Owner is the Lord Jesus. And the battle line of this life is over Who is the owner at this moment – Him, or me?
IV. PROSPECT (future!)
“Jesus said to her, “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?” (John 11:25-26).
Because of this future hope, we live today with a present hope based on that future hope. Got it? And Who is the One Who has accomplished that? The Lord Jesus, our Hope!
PRACTICAL (local body that shares the life)
“During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea” (Acts 11:27-29).
ILLUSTRATION: The story of The Hedgehogs
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.
The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.
After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive!
“The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others an can admire the other person’s good qualities.” — Author unknown
This is called Body Life, a term coined by Pastor Ray Stedman back in the 1970’s. When the local body of believers does what God calls it to do, and cares for one another, and sees every person and every need as God’s assignment, then it is living THE LIFE that God intends us to live!
There is often a tender thread, an almost invisible “fine line” where people are trying to determine where they belong. Where do you fit in in this “body life”? Do you know that you are vitally needed? AND that you are vitally needed in this local body life?