Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus – The Way, Truth, and Life

John 14:6

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

112015 Ray McDonaldOnce in awhile I will write articles about basic Christian beliefs – beliefs that I believe are essential to the faith – essential to be called a Christian.  So basic that I would have a hard time having any meaningful relationship with a pastor or church that didn’t believe them.  There are many denominations that call themselves Christian in the world today – and some are teaching a form of Christianity that is not only not orthodox – but not grounded in the basics of Christianity.

If I were asked for the most basic of beliefs – one of the first ones I would mention is that salvation is through Christ and Christ alone.  There is no other means of grace – no other way to approach the Father – to enter heaven.  Here are two Scriptures that I believe support this belief.

Jesus was preparing the Disciples for His death – His crucifixion – and was trying to explain to them what was going to happen.  Thomas – one of the Disciples asked Jesus the following question.

John 14:5 – “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I once asked a group of Young Adults at a church I served for the four most basic things they would look for in a potential life partner.  The assumption in the group was that they first had to be a Christian so we made that a given and asked for four more things.  The usual list of things surfaced.  The person needed to be kind – intelligent – a person of integrity – warm – friendly – athletic – and so on.  They also said they needed to be attracted to them – not meaning they needed to be drop dead gorgeous – but there needed to be some chemistry between them.  One of the young adults said that among the things they were looking for in a life partner was a belief in John 14:6.  Several of the others agreed.  A person’s Christology (theological understanding of Christ) is very basic and important.  For some – it would be a deal breaker if a person didn’t believe it.

As Christians – we talk about standing for Christ in the world.  I would suggest – that we also need to also stand for Christ in our own church – in our own denomination – in the church universal.  It brought me anguish when – as a member of our conference examining board for potential clergy (BOOM – Board of Ordained Ministry) – I faced candidates who didn’t believe that Christ was the only way to the Father – to heaven.  Coupled with this were clergy candidates who were universalists – persons who believed everyone was going to heaven – but that is another article all together.

Peter certainly believed that Christ was the only way to the Father.  As the Disciples were preaching – post Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit) – they were approached and told to stop teaching about Jesus by the Jewish leaders of the day.  They had healed a cripple and they were questioned by what authority they had healed this man.  Held overnight – they were questioned the next day.  This is what unfolded.

Acts 4:5-7 – 5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Acts 4:8-11 – 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.'”

Peter didn’t pull any punches for sure.   But he didn’t stop with the previous statements.  Peter – standing before the religious leaders of the church in his day – said the following.

Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

I believe that Christ alone has provided the way to heaven.  His life gave us a model to follow – His death gave us forgiveness of sins – His resurrection gives us victory over the grave.  Without Christ – there is no salvation – no way to heaven – no hope.  Your thoughts?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 12, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Amen

    Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 6.

    Like

    Comment by ANN MARIE MILLER | April 12, 2016 | Reply

  2. Rev., I hope you have recovered. See you next Tuesday night. Seeking all the help we can for our son, Samuel. Regards to all. Thanks.

    Like

    Comment by Gilbert Abraham | April 12, 2016 | Reply


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