Read His Words Before Ours!
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
These words, spoken by Jesus in John 14:6, are the foundation of Christianity. In this statement, Jesus disputes the arguments of many religions both in His time and ones to come. A non-Christian coworker told me, “All religions are basically the same. They all lead to heaven.” But is that really true? Do all the different roads of faith lead to that one coveted destination, heaven and eternal life with God?
In short, no. Let’s go back to John 14:6 and note the word choice. Jesus says He is the way, the truth, the life. He says we can only get to heaven and thus, God the Father, through Him. There is one road. And His name is Jesus.
So, why is Jesus the road?
Well, let’s go back to the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis. The first verse, Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” No Jesus there, right?
But verse 26 (emphasis mine) says, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.”
So God was not by Himself, but who was with Him?
John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” To further identify this person, we look at verse 4, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Remember John 14:6? Jesus said He is the life.
What about the light? Well, in John 8:12, Jesus tells us He is the light of the world. Now we’ve learned Jesus is the light, the life, and the Word who was with Father God at creation.
But we know there had to be another present at creation, because Jesus speaks of Him later in John 14. He tells us of the Holy Spirit, whom He refers to as “another Counselor” (John 14:16) and “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17).
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity. He is our counselor, who is also holy and divine. As the Spirit of Truth, he empowers us to live godly lives.
When we accept Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, Father God then sends us the Holy Spirit to help us live for Him and like Jesus.
This is important because many other religions are performance-based. In some, when you die, your “good deeds” are counted against your “bad deeds.” If the bad outweighs the good, you are reincarnated to “try again.” Others say that as you live each reincarnated life, you should become more humble and eventually you’ll earn salvation. In others, you have to stop desiring all things in order to stop suffering and earn enlightenment.
All these variations depend on you saving yourself.
It is your work and effort.
There is no helper like the Holy Spirit.
There is no Savior who sacrificed Himself to pay for your sins.
There is no Father God who loved you enough to make a way back to Him.
In every other religion, you are on your own, trying to figure out how to reach nirvana or enlightenment.
I don’t know about you, but this one life is quite enough. I don’t want a do-over, and certainly not an indefinite number of them. And as Christians we don’t need a do-over. Romans 3:10 tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”
Thank God, hope is not lost because we do not need to manufacture our own righteousness. God already worked it out. John 1:14-16 explains that The Word (read: Jesus) came here to earth, dwelt among us, and gave us grace and truth.
Romans 3:22-26 gives us the details:
Every person sins and falls short of the glory of God.
The righteousness of God is given to us when we believe in Jesus Christ.
We are justified in God’s sight by God’s grace.
We receive God’s grace by the redeeming power of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross.
Our sins are eternally removed when we are justified by faith in Jesus.
We are saved, not by our own work, but by grace (Ephesians 2:8). We are never righteous, but righteousness becomes ours through Christ. It is Christ’s perfect righteousness that welcomes us to salvation. I’m so glad my entrance to eternal life is a one-time deal and it does not depend on my perfection! If it did, I’d never get in.
Speaking of heaven, we know we’ll see Jesus there. Romans 8:34 says, “Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.” No other religion teaches of being loved and cared for by God while we are here on earth. Jesus died for us, was resurrected, and went to be with God the Father. We will worship the fullness of the three-in-one God in heaven (Revelation 4:1-11). I look forward to offering praise in the very presence of God. I can’t wait to see His glory and be surrounded by His love. I hope you’ll join me!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!