The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’ ” (Jn 14:6).  In this one verse, we have a beautiful summary to the message of John’s gospel.  Jesus said that He is the only way to God, His message is truth, and the reward for believing this is life eternal and abundant.

That Jesus is the only way to the Father is a theme throughout John’s gospel.  In the middle chapters of the book, Jesus specifically reiterated this point over and over with various word pictures and direct instruction.  In fact, the firmness with which Jesus identified Himself as the Christ, the Son of God, the only true path to life made such an impression on me that I wrote a book about it.  Is Jesus the Only Way? is a verse-by-verse look at what Jesus claimed about Himself as the only way.

Another feature of John’s gospel is his focus on the truth.  Quotes like, “I am the truth”, “You will know the truth”, “Full of grace and truth”, “He who practices the truth”, “Worship the Father in spirit and truth”, “There is no truth in him [the devil]”, “I speak the truth”, “When the Spirit of truth comes”, “Sanctify them in the truth”, “Your word is truth”, “The truth will make you free”, and finally, “What is truth?” asked by Pilate.

John makes clear that Jesus’s message should be believed because it is true.  There is no social agenda, no political agenda, not even a theological agenda in Jesus’ words or John’s writing.  The appeal is always to the truth and to the idea that we should believe and embrace the gospel message of Jesus Christ because it is true.

And finally, Jesus is the life; the perfect conclusion to this triplet in John 14:6.  If you believe the truth about Jesus, about Jesus’s identity as the Son of God, about Jesus being the only way to God, you will inherit life itself.  This message is so straightforward and one that we have heard over and over in John’s gospel.  Because it really is the good news, the message of the gospel.

If the idea of believing the gospel message of Jesus is new to you, let me close with this offer.  When Jesus came to earth, He initiated a new arrangement between God and man.  His message of release from the penalty of our sin was totally founded upon His death, as a substitute for each of us, on a cross.  Under God’s old arrangement, the default arrangement for the whole human race, we stand guilty of breaking His moral code.  But that all goes by the wayside when we agree to God’s new arrangement by acknowledging our guilt, accepting the free gift of Christ’s death in our place, and believing what Jesus says is true.  If you wish to say “I’m in” with this new arrangement, tell God in prayer about your decision.  Then, talk to someone about it.  If you would like to know more about God’s offer or talk with us about a decision you’ve made, drop us a line at

Resurrection Life

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies’ ” (Jn 11:25).  Jesus is the resurrection and the life.  I like to put these two terms together and call the life Jesus promised His believers “resurrection life”.  Resurrection life has a longevity (eternal) and a quality (abundant) based on the promises of God.

Resurrection life delivers a promise about our past – we have been set free from the penalty of sin.  Resurrection life holds a promise about our future – life with Jesus forever because our sins are forgiven.  And resurrection life delivers a promise about our present – freedom from the power of sin in our walk today.

Let us focus for a minute on the present promise.  The apostles, over and over, emphasize that our daily walk in the Christian life is empowered by the resurrection life of Christ living inside us.  To develop that theme, let’s take a quick tour through the book of Romans as one example to see what the resurrection of Christ accomplished in us.

First, as the foundation for our faith, the resurrection sealed Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Son of God.  “…His Son was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:3-4).  Jesus’ resurrection from the dead declared with power that He is who He said He is, Christ, the Son of God.

“For our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 4:24-25).  The word “reckoned” used in this passage is an accounting term.  On the basis of Christ’s resurrection we can go to the ledger and put ourselves in the justified column; declared righteous and the penalty for our transgressions taken away.  “He was raised for our justification.”

But wait, there’s more.  “We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Rom 6:4-7).

This “newness of life” that we are to walk in is literally the resurrected life of Christ (“in the likeness of His resurrection”) living itself out in us.  And one of the beautiful outcomes of Christ living His resurrected life in us is that “we are no longer slaves to sin”.  We have been set free from sin’s power.  But how do we tap into this resurrected life and experience its power?

“However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, since indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  And since Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  But since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom 8:9-11).

The Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead dwells inside you.  It could not be more clear.  Twice in verse 11 alone, Paul refers to the Christ’s resurrection life living in you by the presence of His Holy Spirit.  This is the promise of a life set free from sin’s power.  It is fueled, it is energized by the Holy Spirit living in you.

And all of this is true because Christ is raised from the dead.  The apostles, in their early sermons in the first few chapters of the book of Acts, consistently proclaimed Christ’s resurrection.  The empty tomb is a powerful point of apologetics as we defend our faith and defend the identity of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.  But the resurrection was so much more.  It sealed your past; forgiveness and the penalty for your sins taken away.  It sealed your future; an eternity in the presence of Jesus.  And it has a promise for your present; a life set free from sin’s power.

Life Eternal and Abundant

One of the words the apostle John uses over and over in his gospel is the word “life”.  From beginning to end, the life imparted to us by Jesus Christ – life eternal and abundant – is a constant theme in his book.  Here are just a few of those references to introduce us to John’s development of this topic.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (Jn 1:1,4).  Jesus and the life He imparts was there from the beginning.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (Jn 3:36).  A pretty straightforward if-then regarding belief and eternal life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (Jn 5:24).  Believe and we literally cross over from death to life!

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’ ” (Jn 6:35).  I wonder what this “never hungry, never thirsty” promise is all about.

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6:40).  It is not God’s wish, it is not God’s hope that those who believe in Jesus attain eternal life.  No, it is God’s will, God’s determined plan that eternal life is the promise for those who believe in Jesus.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (Jn 6:47).  Another if-then regarding belief and eternal life.

“I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:48).  Jesus is the provision of this life eternal and abundant.

“Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life‘ ” (Jn 6:68).  Peter acknowledges that Jesus’ words are the very words of eternal life. 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).  Jesus’ promise of abundant life stands in contrast to Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies’ ” (Jn 11:25).  Jesus’ own resurrection will be a picture of the resurrection life for us.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’ ” (Jn 14:6).  Jesus is the only way (a theme repeated over 20 times in John’s gospel).  Jesus says this because it is true; no other hidden agenda.  If we believe Jesus, the truth about Jesus, we will have life.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3).  Believing that Jesus is the Christ and that God sent Him is at the heart of the promise of eternal life.

“These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (Jn 20:31).  Finally, John reveals his purpose in writing this gospel; that we would recognize Jesus as the Christ, believe that He is the Son of God, and by believing experience life in the name of Jesus.

And these are only scratching the surface.  What I would like to do in the upcoming weeks is explore what kind of life is Jesus advertising in these consistent promises of life everlasting.  Is it only a longevity promise; that is, life that lasts for eternity?  Or is there a quality promise also?  What does Jesus mean by an abundant life?  Is the abundant life for the here and now or only in the far off future of heaven?  And what about His promise of “never hungry, never thirsty” (Jn 6:35)?  Never is a pretty strong word.

These are a few of the questions we will begin to answer next time.