Photo. Main street, kc, 2011, E Blick.
IX. The Sermon: Truth, Interpretation and Exclusivity – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church – The Sermon Passage: John 14:6
Intro. The way we now talk about religion in the public square has changed.
The Big Idea: We must interpret rightly the truth of Jesus, a task only the Holy Spirit can accomplish in our lives.
I. Survey the landscape.
A. Truth is stranger than it used to be.
Today we as a culture believe that the only absolute truth that is true for eveyone everywhere is that there are no absolute truths. Now we don’t say that something is true but true for me. The declaration of independence starts by saying that we hold these truths to be selfevident that all men are created equal. In post modernity today we as a western culture no longer believe in the idea of self evident truth.
B. But what about questions?
Pluralism says that all religious roads all lead to God. Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, and Christianity are all true and lead to God, the world largely believes. What’s more, we say that one religion does not have the corner on truth and the way to God and who are we to say your religion does not. Is Jesus Christ the only way to be saved? What do we believe? In vs 6, Jesus says something radical: he claims he is the ONLY way to the Father. What are we going to do with this?
II. Learn a fancy-schmancy term: NOETIC
Noetic is a fancy word that means indwelling sin. We cannot interpret spiritual things on our own because of our condition of indwelling sin. I Cor 1:18-25 says that we see spiritual things and their truth as folly and worthless. However, it is by the Holy Spirit that we get a new heart or a new life breathed into our dry, dead, lifeless, dry spiritual bones that we read about in Ezekiel 37.
If we are going to receive these truths that Jesus says (ie that he is th only way to God), we will receive them not because these truths are self evident but because the holy spirit has made us to see it as truth.
III. Jesus is not merely the guide, but the destination.
V6 Jesus is saying that he is not merely a guide to truth, but he IS the truth. If we are to possess truth, we must possess Jesus. How are we to possess Jesus? By the holy spirit breathing life to our dead, spiritual bones. We must be born again, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3.
IV. Possess a Schaefferian remorse.
In our religion we often look down our noses at those who don’t follow Christ. However, Paul says in I Cor 1 that boasting is excluded from the true Christian life because it is God who makes us alive and to see truth.
Over dinner at Libri, Francis Schaefer would hold q&a sessions with the students. One question was, if all this is true that Jesus is the only way to the father, what about those who never hear this truth about Christ and the holy spirit making those truths real? Francis answered with just tears and wept.
Do you know Jesus? Not do you know a bunch of stuff about the Bible but do you have a relationship with him?
1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 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.”