July 21st, 2019 Title: The Way to Be Free Sermon Series: Learning Jesus (The Gospel of John)
BIG IDEA Whether you are a long-time Christian or have never been to church before, I want you to know that freedom is available to you. Jesus is the way. He is the way to hope. He is the way to purpose. He is the way to healing. Jesus is the way to be free!
This passage is set at the Passover Meal. Jesus had washed the feet of His disciples, commanded the disciples to love each other, identified Judas as the betrayer, confronted Peter about his upcoming denials, and told them that He would be leaving them.
The disciples were afraid, so He comforted them. But their curiosity was on display. They wanted to know how to find the way that Jesus was going. That sets up the Lord’s stunning “I AM” statement found in verse 6.
We looked at this statement a few weeks ago within our study of the seven “I AM” statements. But in the context of the Upper Room Discourse, we will clearly see that the Lord is offering true freedom and hope. He is the way to be free.
John 14:5-7 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
DISCUSSION & APPLICATION
A Relationship With Jesus Christ Leads to Freedom
John 14:6a “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”
This is the guiding principle of today’s study. Not only does Jesus offer an exclusive path to eternal life—He also offers freedom in this life. The areas of bondage that the Lord can free you from include: Freedom from the bondage of self-determination, freedom from the condemnation of sin (which is death), and freedom that leads to eternal life. a. Are you in bondage? Are you trapped in addiction, fear, hatred, envy, or any other forms of chains that sin puts upon us? Share with the group. b. What do you do to try to escape these chains? Is Jesus a part of the equation? c. Do you trust that Jesus can free you from these issues? Today, I hope that your faith will be strengthened and that you will be encouraged.
1. Jesus Offers Freedom from Self-Determination
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Our biggest spiritual problem is “self.” We wrongly view freedom as doing whatever we want to do. But the human striving for freedom leads to disaster. We cannot carve out a spiritually effective future without God. Mankind is sinful. Instead of getting better or drifting toward God, we most naturally drift away from God.
Adam and Eve, left to their own devices, disobeyed God. They were thrown from the garden and the world fell into the state of sin. Thus, the Bible makes it very clear that sin has caused us to rely on ourselves and pursue all of the things in life that look good to us (in the name of freedom) but in the end destroy us. Self-determination will lead us to spiritual death. a. Have there been times in your life when you followed your heart, even though you weren’t sure God was in your decision? How did it turn out? b. How do you discern God’s will in your life? Do you read the Bible, pray, and seek counsel from other believers? How would these disciplines help you to see God and defeat self-determinism?
2. Jesus Offers Freedom from the Condemnation of Sin, Which is Death
John 14:5 “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Thomas didn’t grasp what Jesus was about to do. The Lord was about to voluntarily give Himself to death on a cross so that those who believe in Him can be free of sin’s condemnation.
Because of Adam’s rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden, we are all held liable, which is a doctrine called Inherited Sin. The ramification of this sinful condition is known as Total Depravity, which means that no human being, on his/her own, is capable of moving toward God. We are trapped in the condemnation of sin. But Jesus came to free us from sin’s destruction:
Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Like a man walking the last few steps to the electric chair, we have broken God’s law. We have been found guilty. We face the sentence of death. But Jesus went to the chair for us. Jesus is the way to freedom and life. a. How does the theology of inherited sin affect how you see Christ and His ministry? b. Do you see yourself as one that is guilty of sin’s penalty? Why or why not? If so, are you willing to accept the grace of God and live for Jesus? c. When is the last time you thanked God for saving you from the “spiritual electric chair?” Maybe, now would be a good time to spend some time doing just that.
3. Jesus Offers Freedom that Leads to Eternal Life
John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
And in order to emphasize His authority to make such a claim, in verse 7, He links Himself with His Father:
John 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
The Lord seems to be rebuking them for a failure to understand His mission. But He also gives them a promise that beyond the cross and His resurrection, they will be glorified and live in heaven with Him. That’s because Jesus is the way to freedom.
a. The Lord knew that we need redemption. That’s why He fulfilled His ministry on the cross. Do you ever wonder if God can forgive you for what you’ve done? b. To help affirm the Lord’s love and forgiveness toward you, would you be willing to memorize encouraging scripture, enhance your prayer life, and share your life with a good friend? c. Jesus offers freedom. What are you waiting for? Make a decision now. Follow Him. Throw off your chains. He is the way to freedom!
PRAY Lord, thank you for your amazing ministry. You are the way to be saved and to find freedom. I look forward to the time when I am with you. But until then, I pray that you will help me to cast off shame, anxiety, and pride. Help me to walk with you in freedom. I want to make my life count for you. Amen.
DIG DEEPER For further study this week: - “Freedom in Christ” - a blog from Kevin DeYoung and guest blogger Jason Helopoulos: https://bit.ly/2Y2pOl2 - Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? – a book from R.C. Sproul
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