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Jesus the Way

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

 "Jesus said to him, ĎI am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6

 Jesus is the only one who can stand as a man in the presence of God and stand as God in the presence of men.

The first man and woman were created perfect and had sweet fellowship with their Creator, but disobedience separated them from their holy God. God had lovingly prepared a garden paradise for them and gave them permission to eat from every tree but one. He warned them that the fruit of this tree would bring death into the world. Of course it was there that the enemy met them posing as a concerned friend saying, -"You will not surely die, but have your eyes opened." The serpent implied that God was withholding something good from them but in reality He was only protecting them from something very bad.

 The very first doctrine or teaching that God gave to man was to simply trust and obey Him. When man failed, Godís solution was not to deliver some new teaching or doctrine, but to send His own Son that we may receive and live in His grace - a pardon and a reconciliation that we could never earn or deserve, yet He freely gave it and wants us to joyfully receive it.

 Man had already shown that he could not be trusted to follow Godís instructions under the duress of temptation so it would be useless to give him another teaching. Doctrine teaches us how to live and how to honor God, but no doctrine or teaching has the power to cleanse us from our sins. If the first humans had obeyed God before sin was in the world there would have been no need for a Savior, but because they had already disobeyed and were now facing the penalty of that disobedience, doctrine could not save them.

 The only solution to sin is grace and Jesus is the only way to grace. He is the only way to salvation - all others who came before or after Him are imposters. Jesus alone is the beginning and the end and has existed from eternity as God. He alone emptied Himself of divinity to become a man. He alone lived a sinless life and laid down that life for the sins of others. He alone conquered death when He rose from the grave. And in His name alone can anyone be saved, -"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4) And it is Jesus who is both Savior and Judge of all.

 I know that it is a common belief that doctrinal teachings lead us to God and act to transform us into the holy likeness and righteousness of Jesus, but I truly doubt that this is the way it works. I think it is more likely that it is Jesus living in us who brings us to His teachings after we receive Him. Paul wrote, -"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal.2) Jesus is in us by the agency of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Spirit which teaches and leads us into all truth, -"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Gal.5)

 Other than the Gospel, perhaps teachings do not lead us to Christ as much as Christ leads us to His teachings, -Jesus said, "If you love Me you will keep My Commandments."  Faithful obedience is the manifestation of our love for Him - love appears to come first and  gives us a desire to obey - then the Spirit gives us the ability to fulfill that desire.

 It is not the teachings of Jesus or of the Bible that causes us to become more and more like Him - it is His divine life living in us through the Spirit that moves us to walk in His way. Obedience to His teachings is evidence that He is living His life in us. Our role is to yield to God and allow the Spirit to manifest the sweet fruits of Jesus in us.

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries