The Great I Am-Part Three

Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 14:1-14 1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Silent Prayer

Jesus, the Great I Am is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, The door, The Good Shepherd, and today as we explore this fifth “Great I Am” statement, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (Verse 6) Just what did He mean when He called Himself the way?

  1. Jesus is the way to know the Father.

    Verse 6 is very clear. The way to the Father is through Jesus, the Son. The way isn’t through understanding or enlightenment for Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” In and through our own intellect or wisdom, we may know ways, but they are the wrong ways to peace in this life and in the life to come. Only through Christ Jesus do we find the way to a relationship with God. The way isn’t through a religious ritual. The way isn’t through church affiliation. The way isn’t through moral goodness. Jesus is the way to God the Father.

    And Jesus said of Himself in verse 9 that He is so clearly the way to God that if you looked at Jesus, if you experienced Jesus, you might as well claim you had experienced the Father. Jesus revealed with perfection who Father God is and what He desires.

    Jesus is the bridge between earth and heaven. He makes a relationship with our Heavenly Father possible. He is the One who makes it possible for our sin, sin that offends a Holy God, to be taken care of, to be removed from us. He is the One who enables us to have the kind of relationship with God that enables us to live a successful earthly life.

    Without God in our lives, we are left to follow the culture or left to do what seems best to us, but by entering a relationship with Jesus, we gain the wisdom of God and the power of God to live our best possible life. If you are a believer this morning, could you imagine how extra and unnecessarily difficult life would be without God in your life? Can you imagine not having Him to lean on in times of trouble, Him to talk to when what you have to say is so personal and sacred that you can’t even whisper it to anyone else? Can you imagine not having God’s presence with you when you feel lonely or afraid?

    Think of all of the promises of God that aren’t just for when we slip into eternity. Think of how God’s presence makes a day to day difference in your life. Think about the fact that God is for you. “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

    That ought to put a shout in someone’s spirit. That ought to put a spring in someone’s step. Every one of us needs a cheerleader, someone to root us on and encourage us, to tell us to keep going and that we matte. GOD is for us. God. The Sovereign God is your cheerleader. The All-glorious One, the All-powerful One, the All-knowing One, the Forgiver of sins, the Blesser of lives, the Giver of good and perfect gifts, the One who loves without limit, the One who rules with justice AND mercy, the One who is patient and kind, the One who is tender, and peace-giving, the One who dispenses power and joy, the One who sustains and keeps, the One who has all authority and who is also willing to hear the prayer of His children, the One who defeated death, hell, and the grave and who put the devil in his place forever, the One who created all and is in all and is through all, that is the ONE who is for you all because Jesus makes it possible. Do you know the Bridgebuilder named Jesus this morning? He makes it possible for God to be with us in this earthly life, with us in time.

    Now, because we weren’t created for time, but we were created for eternity, point number two is really important. Listen up:

  2. Jesus is the way to Heaven.

    Look again at verse 1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. The house with many rooms, the prepared place for Jesus’ followers is heaven, and He said He would go ahead of us and that He would also take us to be with Him in eternity when our time on earth is through.

    If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I want to follow the One who knows the way to heaven. I’m not the kind of person who wants to guess how to get somewhere, you know? I don’t want to hope I know the way. I don’t want to try to guess the way. I want clear and concise directions from point A to point B. I want to get where I am going without getting sidetracked or delayed. I don’t want to wonder and worry if I am lost or will ever make it. I want to know that I know that I know that I am headed to the place I am intending. That is why I like following Jesus. He knows the way. He is the way. Notice that Jesus didn’t say He was A way. He said He was THE way. I love that about Jesus. He left no guesswork for us to do. There is one way to Heaven, and it is through Jesus. Not everybody likes that answer, but it is the truth. People call the idea that Jesus is the only way to heaven, narrow-minded. They call it elitist. They call it judgmental. Ok. Let’s look at it.

    I love the example of a trip to Disneyworld. Rather than making reservations, you show up at the airport and you see a flight listed up on the monitor: Flight 2020 to Orlando. Next to the flight number it says, “Gates 21-29.” That doesn’t make much sense to you, but you head down to that area, figuring someone will point you to the proper gate when you get there.

    When you arrive, you find that none of the gates have signs on them indicating the flight number or the destination. There are planes out there, and people waiting to board, but you don’t know where any of them are going. You turn to some of your fellow travelers and ask, “Which of these flights is going to Orlando?”

    They say, “Oh, we were just discussing that. John here likes the look of that 747 out there, so he’s going to go through Gate 26. But 22 has always been my lucky number, so I’m taking gate 22.” Some lady nearby says, “My son-in-law travels all the time. He knows all about airports. And he said last time he went to Orlando he went out of gate 25, so that’s what I’m going to take.”

    You say, “Yeah, but how do you know it’s going to Orlando?” She answers, “Well, who can really know anything for sure? I figure I’ve got as good a chance as anybody of getting on the right plane.”

    Finally, you can’t take it anymore, so you go to the desk and ask which of these flights is 2020 to Orlando. And the staff member says, “It’s not our policy to tell people which gate they have to fly out of. That would be rather narrow-minded, wouldn’t it? I mean, these are all wonderful planes with hard-working crews and sincere passengers. Who are we to say that one is better than another? Take whichever one you want. They’re all going somewhere.”

    How ridiculous and irresponsible would that be?! Just as ridiculous as it is to suggest that all roads lead to heaven, and just as irresponsible as to withhold information that can help people get where they want to go. If you don’t care where you spend eternity, then it doesn’t matter which road you take. But if you want to go to heaven, you’d better be sure you’re on the right track. That’s the wonderful thing about this narrow way Jesus described – it’s clearly marked so you know what is required of you.

    http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-jesus-answer-way-truth-life-john-14

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

    Yes, salvation is exclusively found in Christ alone, but anyone can be saved and book their trip to heaven!

    Jesus is the way to the miraculous. Listen again to verses 11-14 again:

    Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    If you are going to experience miracles as you travel through life it will be because you have called on the name of Jesus. We are to believe on the name of Jesus. We are to ask for miracles in Jesus’ name. The name of Jesus is a powerful name. Demons tremble at the name of Jesus. People are healed in the name of Jesus.

    What did Peter say to the beggar at the temple Acts 3:6-8 (NIV) 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

    It was in and through the name of Jesus that Peter healed the lame man. Now listen to me; the name of Jesus isn’t an abracadabra formula. Peter could only speak healing in Jesus’ name because he had a relationship with Jesus. He knew Jesus. He followed Jesus. He was a representative of Jesus. Jesus is the way to miracles because as people know and follow Him, they begin to represent Him on earth. If you KNOW Jesus, you know the way to see God’s power unleashed in your life.

    Jesus says that our faith in Him will enable us to do the things He did. Notice the repetition in verses 13 and 14. When we ask in Jesus name, so that Jesus can glorify Father God, He will perform miracles! Isn’t that awesome? Jesus was all about glorifying the Father while He lived here on earth, and He is still about glorifying the Father. He loves to glorify the Father by doing miracles in response to our prayers.

    Now, I ought to mention that if the miracle you want, if the thing you are praying for God to do, wouldn’t glorify God, you ought not ask for it because Jesus won’t do anything for you that won’t also glorify God. But if what is on our heart will glorify the Father, Jesus won’t hold back. He will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us! (Eph. 3:20) I mean, really! You might pray for a miracle and get your miracle and a bonus miracle on top of that one. Jesus invites you and me to believe that this morning!

    Not only do we need to believe in the power of His name, but we need to understand the importance of honoring His name in and through our obedience. Go with me one verse beyond our text to verse 15. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” If we really know Jesus the way He wants to be known, it will result in obedience in and through our lives. Our relationship with Jesus is more than intellectual knowing. It is more than emotional knowing. It is even more than knowing deep in our soul. It is a knowing that leads to becoming and doing the things that please Him. It is from that kind of relationship that Jesus moves in our lives. You can’t just know the Name of Jesus, you also have to live to honor the Name. And when you do, you will start to see miracles happen!

    Jesus is the way because He is the truth. It might be easy to gloss over, but 29 times just in the book of John Jesus began a sentence with “I tell you the truth.” Everything Jesus has said is the truth so you can build your life on the foundation of his life, his words, and his works. That is what it means to live a Christian life. It means we build our lives on the truths Jesus proclaimed.

    Jesus tells us that the truth is real and can be known. He said in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If you know Jesus, you are going to know truth and when you know truth, you are going to walk in freedom. That is a real thing. If you are not free this morning, start to evaluate how well you are connected to Jesus.

    Truth is fixed. It doesn’t change. What is true has always been true and will always be true. How can I say that? Because Truth is Jesus. Jesus is truth, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That is why I can preach this morning that truth is fixed.

    Why is He the truth? Because He is God, and God gets to establish truth. I am convinced now more than ever that people who want to say that truth is relative really just want to be their own god. Satan is at work in the same ways as he has always been. He has always tried to get people to worship false gods. By poking at absolute truth, by creating doubt that truth could be fixed, by encouraging people to make the truth relative and to fit their circumstances, he is encouraging people to see themselves as a god.

    Listen, if there are many gods and any god can do then no one is in charge, and if no one is in charge there is no truth and if there is no truth we are all sunk because we can’t all be right! Jesus has never given us a reason to doubt Him. Everything He said He would do, He did, and all of that was documented by eye-witnesses.

    I will tell you why the world has a problem with truth; it is because the world has a problem with accountability. Our culture doesn’t want to have to listen to anyone. Many people don’t want to be accountable for their actions. They don’t want to conform to any standard but their own. That is why the world has a problem with truth. It isn’t because they don’t believe it exists, but it’s because they don’t want to be called out by it. If there is no truth, then there is no guilt. If there is no truth, then there is no need for forgiveness or repentance. If there is no truth, there is no need for transformation. BUT what is being missed is that without TRUTH THERE IS NO FREEDOM! You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free! Am I making sense this morning? No truth? No freedom? Who is it that wants to keep you bound? Satan the deceiver, the liar, the manipulator, the twister of truth. Jesus is the way because He is the truth. Trust Him and follow Him into freedom. If you want to take the way of truth, follow Jesus.

    Jesus is the way because He is the life.

    Jesus creates life. He created your life and has plans for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) He has purposes to fulfill in and through your life. (Romans 8:28) If you live disconnected from Jesus, you live disconnected from those plans and from that purpose. Jesus can take the ashes of your life and create beauty out of them. He has the ability to weave hard, unwanted, and awful circumstances into something you wind up becoming thankful for. That is just how good He is at creating life and supporting life and restoring life. He has the power to come to us in our brokenness, and while He acknowledges that when we suffer loss or heartache our lives will never be the same again, He helps us see they can be good again. They can be fulfilling again. They can be satisfying again. There is life after heartbreak. There is life in the midst of suffering. Jesus is faithful and He is super creative.

    Jesus sustains life. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) He adds blessing to our lives. He gives us eternal life. He gives us abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus changes people’s lives for the better. He provides satisfaction (John 4:13-14). He will give you understanding about life (John 8:12). He can free you from your sin, from your vices, and completely change you from the inside out (I Cor. 6:9-11). He can give you a fresh start, a fresh heart, and a fresh outlook on life.

    Life isn’t found in pleasure or performance. It isn’t found in position or possessions. It is found in a Person. It is found in Jesus. All He wants to do is improve your life. All He wants to do is to make your life better, and He has the goods to pull it off. While you live, He wants you to truly live. If you want true life, follow Jesus. Real life, abundant life, is the adventure that is following Jesus.

    I guarantee you that the disciples who left everything to follow Jesus experienced things they wouldn’t have otherwise experienced, saw things they otherwise wouldn’t have seen, and learned things they otherwise couldn’t have known. And if we could speak to them today, I venture to say none of them, not even Judas, would say that following Jesus was a bad decision or made their lives worse. Quite the contrary.

    Here’s the deal, some of us here this morning need to hear this message about Jesus being the way to life because some of us are on the verge of giving up, some of us have messed up, some of us are fed up, some of us are caught up in things that are draining life from us, and Jesus is here this morning to invite us to draw close to Him because He has life to give.

    The way to the Father, the way to Heaven, the way to miracles, the way of truth and the way of life is here this morning. He is Jesus, the Great I Am. Do you know Him? Will you draw close to Him? Will you trust Him? Will you surrender to Him? Will you let Him give you real life in His name?

Have a question?

Please contact any of our ministry leaders with any questions.

Lead Pastor
Pastor Melissa Pratt
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Counseling Ministry
Pastor Thom Pratt
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Support Ministries
& Office Administration

Brenda Kraft
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Youth Student Ministries
Pastor Jed Worline
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Tami Evans
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Susan McGough
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Pastor Megan Cloninger
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Financial Secretary
Beverly Miller
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Outreach Ministry Director
Danielle Williams
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Worship Ministries
Pastor Mandy Bohm
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CARE Ministry Director
Cassie Escue
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