“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Sin, not Salvation comes from our Fathers
As I said in my last post, grandfather Bepaw and his son, my father, were the two finest men that I have ever known. But as great as they were, neither one of them could secure a place in the Kingdom of God for me. That’s right! Even though one was a church pastor and the other a trusted church leader, both shared the same Father. His name was Adam. And through Father Adam, both my father and grandfather inherited the Sin nature and committed their own sins, thus needing someone to provide salvation for them.
The same way religion can’t save a person, neither can religious leaders. Even when those religious leaders are fathers.
Sin, you see, comes from men. Salvation comes from God. And God provided that salvation for our sins through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was the “last Adam.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49) Born not of the sons of men but of the Virgin Mary who had been impregnated by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18-25) The woman did not carry the “Sin Nature”.
Jesus, the Son of God was not born of men and thus did not inherit the Sin Nature. And unlike Adam, He did not commit His own sins; therefore, He was qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for my sin and yours.
Faith of our Fathers v. Faith in our Fathers
There was a time in America when school boys and girls could sing hymns of faith. And one of my favorites was this one.
“Faith of our Fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword:
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.
Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.”
Unfortunately many of us continue to think that our hope and help will come from the sacrifices of well-intentioned and patriotic men and women. The quoted hymn, however, sings the faith “of” our fathers, not faith “in” our fathers.
Father or Judge
One of the oft quoted admonitions is never to discuss religion among friends or enemies. Nothing good, we are warned, will ever come from such confrontations. You are likely either to lose your friends or turn your enemies into monsters.
And certainly one of the topics that more often than not will provoke such a conflagration of feelings is this one, “Is there or is there not more than one way to God?”
That was the question a news reporter asked Pastor D. James Kennedy (“Evangelism Explosion”) one day. I saw the interchange on television more than a decade ago. Kennedy was one of the most ardent of all “truly reformed” theologians of the Twentieth Century and he certainly held firmly to the Biblical doctrine that only Jesus provided the sacrifice necessary to assuage the righteous judgment of a Holy God.
So having been challenged by the reporter with the question, “Dr. Kennedy, do you believe there is more than one way people can come to God?”, both the questioner and I were shocked to hear the Pastor’s answer. Without a pause he replied: “Yes, of course, there are any number of ways one can come into the presence of God”.
Flabbergasted the man rephrased the enquiry: “Dr. Kennedy, did you hear and understand my question? Can a man or woman come into the presence of the Father in some way other than through Jesus?”
“But that wasn’t the question you asked,” Dr. Kennedy retorted. “You said: ‘Can a person come into the presence of God in a way other than through Jesus Christ? And I answered: ‘Yes!’ Every man, woman, boy or girl will come into the presence of the Almighty and Holy God of the Universe. The only question of eternal consequence is this: ‘Do you want God to be your Judge or your Father?”
Jesus did not say: “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to God but through me.” He said: “No man comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)
I was blessed with the finest grandfather and father a boy could have. Where God is concerned, however, I was “good and lost”.