"JESUS, THE WAY" Jesus, The Way To God INTRODUCTION 1. In the last lesson, we saw that by His death on the cross, Jesus made possible the forgiveness of our sins 2. When our sins are forgiven, we are no longer the objects of God's wrath - Ro 5:9 3. As wonderful as being justified by the blood of Jesus may be, we need more than this...we need the kind of close friendship that existed between God and Adam before the "Fall" 4. But if a close relationship is to exist between God and ourselves, we must understand God and feel comfortable in approaching Him [When we contemplate the difference between God and man, we can see that this is not easy...] I. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN A. CONSIDER THE DIFFERENCE... 1. When we consider the nature of God as revealed in the Bible and nature, we see: a. One with unlimited power, unlimited wisdom, unlimited holiness b. One who is the creator of all things, the sustainer of all things, the knower of all things c. One who is eternal, immortal, and invisible d. Indeed, this Supreme Being fills the entire universe with His presence - Jer 23:23-24 2. On the other hand, man is... a. Mortal, finite in knowledge and understanding b. The created one, sustained by God who supplies all his needs - cf. Ac 17:24-28 B. THE DIFFERENCE IS OVERWHELMING... 1. The difference between God and man is so great, it ought to overwhelm man with awe 2. Note the reflections of David as expressed in Psalms
- cf. Psa 139:1-12 3. In the Bible, whenever man came even close to approaching God in His Glory, it was terrifying! a. E.g., when God first spoke to Moses, he was afraid
- cf. Exo 3:6 b. E.g., the Israelites at Mount Sinai were terrified
- cf. Exo 20:18-21 4. How then can man hope to comprehend God and approach Him in a close relationship during this life? 5. This difficulty was experienced and expressed by Job
- cf. Job 9:32-33 [But what may have been true in Job's day (that there is no "daysman", or "mediator") is no longer true today! Jesus is the means by which man can comprehend God and also approach Him in such a way as to enjoy a loving relationship with Him! Let's see how...] II. HOW JESUS IS THE WAY TO GOD A. BY HELPING US COMPREHEND GOD... 1. In coming to this earth, Jesus declared or manifested God to us - Jn 1:18 2. How was Jesus able to "declare" (manifest) God? a. For one thing, He came to this earth from God, and is the only one who has truly seen Him - Jn 6:46 b. But also, He is God Himself! - cf. Jn 1:1-2 1) Who is this "Word" that was with God and was God? 2) The One who came in the flesh! - cf. Jn 1:14 3) The "Word" was Jesus! 3. Therefore, it is in seeing Jesus that we are able to comprehend the Father a. Just as Jesus told His disciples - Jn 14:7 b. In similar fashion, the apostles of Jesus proclaimed that He was the complete manifestation of God - Col 2:9; He 1:1-3 4. Yes, it is in Jesus that God is revealed in terms that mortal, finite man can comprehend and personally relate to a. Therefore, as we study the gospels, we see Jesus and His attributes (power, wisdom, holiness, love, mercy, divine wrath) b. As we see Jesus, we see God and His attributes! [But Jesus also provides the way to God...] B. BY HELPING US APPROACH GOD... 1. This we touched upon in our previous lesson 2. How that by offering Himself as a propitiation for our sins Jesus has made it possible for a sinful man to approach God who is supremely holy and just 3. Jesus helps us to approach God in yet another way, as our High Priest in heaven a. Though Jesus was truly God (as stated by John and Paul), by becoming man He fully understands our difficulties - He 4: 14-15 b. With such a wonderful high priest, One who is both God and has been man, Jesus makes it possible for us to approach God with great confidence - He 4:16 [Yes, through Jesus we can both comprehend God and approach God, making it possible to have a close relationship with our Heavenly Father, enjoying all the blessings such a relationship provides! To better appreciate the beauty of this relationship available with God through Jesus, let's briefly notice some terms used in the New Testament to describe this relationship...] III. TERMS USED TO DESCRIBE THOSE WHO ARE IN JESUS A. A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER... 1. First, there are terms which proclaim a special relationship with our Heavenly Father 2. E.g., we are called the "children" of God - Ga 3:26; 4:6-7 3. Also, we are called the "house" (family) of God - 1Ti 3:15 B. A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A HOLY, SUPREME BEING... 1. There are also terms which proclaim a special relationship with a Holy, Supreme Being 2. One describes us as a special dwelling place of God: the "temple" of God - 2Co 6:16 3. Another speaks of our role in service to God: a "royal priesthood" - 1Pe 2:5,9 CONCLUSION 1. Other terms might be considered, but these suffice to show that it is possible for those who were once lost in sin to enjoy a new, personal, intimate and fulfilling relationship with the Majestic God in heaven! 2. And what a wonderful relationship it is! One that offers promises that overwhelm you; for example, this one where God promises: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (He 13:5) 3. But let us be clear in our understanding... a. Jesus is the "The Way", the only way to God - Jn 14:6 b. Only those in Jesus have the assurance of enjoying this wonderful relationship with God! c. How can we be sure that we are in Jesus, and as such the children of God? 4. By taking to heart and life the truth of God's Word...! a. E.g., becoming the children of God through faith and baptism
- Ga 3:26-27 b. E.g., remaining the children of God by abiding faithfully in the teachings of Christ - 2Jn 9 Have you become a child of God by receiving Christ in faith and baptism? If not, why not today? If you have, are you maintaining your relationship with both the Father and the Son by abiding in the doctrine of Christ? If not, why not be restored to God today (through repentance and prayer)? Only in so doing can you let Jesus be your way to God!