Jesus Said, I Am . . . The Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 14:5-6 (Amplified*):
-5:  Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so 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 by (through) Me.

What is so very interesting to me is that verse 6 not only contains one of the greatest revelations ever given to man but that Jesus gave this wonderful understanding to one person: Thomas. Yet, God in His infinite wisdom had John write it down for us to see the love that Jesus has for the individual. Let’s see how this discourse continues:

John 14:7-11 (Amplified*):
-7:  If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him.
-8:  Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father ─ that is all we ask]; then we shall be satisfied.
-9:  Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? {Again, he is teaching only one person.} Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. {So the question to us reading arises: Have we seen and mentally perceived the Savior Jesus Christ in the Scriptures?} How can you say then, Show us the Father?
-10:  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).
-11:  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]

Jesus Christ is the way to the Father, so the more we learn about Jesus Christ (and believe) from the Scriptures, the greater our understanding and knowledge of God will grow, and our personal union with Him will continue to strengthen with heavenly inspired realities. You know the saying “living the good life,” well, being in Christ is enjoying the good life, for with him we have eternal life (I John 5:11-12). Jesus Christ is the way to the Father Who is the true fountain of life.

Psalms 36:9 – For with thee {God} is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Jeremiah 2:13 – For my people have committed two evils; {number one:} they have forsaken me {God} the fountain of living waters, and {number two:} hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

God’s Word is a fountain of living waters refreshing our souls and fulfilling our inner desires to walk within the grace of God. In Proverbs 13:14a we read “The law of the wise {i.e., God’s Word} is a fountain of life.” The two evils are forsaking God’s Word which is a living fountain, and hewing out cisterns (water barrels) that are cracked and leak, which is literally looking for the good life without God, looking everywhere except in the Word of light and life.

Jesus Christ is the Way to the fountain of living waters, he is the Truth showing us the path which takes us into the living room of God, and he is the Life, the eternal life that comes directly from God Himself.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.
Writing within these brackets { } are the author’s notes.

Jesus Said, I Am The Way. . .

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 119:33 – Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

As the Psalmist (David) looked to his Redeemer, he was able to ask God to teach him the way of His statutes; today we also know Jesus Christ who is the perfect way to the Father. The Psalmist first said “teach me, O LORD,” and without God’s instruction, without the teachings of God’s Word, one would wonder aimlessly.  Whenever a believer comes to God’s healing Word with a heart to learn, great things will begin to happen in his or her life because when we receive instruction from the Word with a believing heart: that the Word emanates from God, then the lessons that God teaches us will never be forgotten.

“Teach me” means to show, to cause one to spiritually see, to point out divine revelations of grace. When we look to God’s Word with an expecting heart, then we will see the “statutes” of God’s true and faithful Word, which in turn reveals to us spiritual realities of God Himself.  God shows us the “way,” giving us spiritual inspiration (in-spirit-action), and direction. Then the Psalmist said “I shall keep it unto the end,” he will keep God’s Word for eternity, not simply until the end of his life because God’s Word lives and abides forever! As Jesus Christ “loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). The meaning here is that Jesus loved us beyond his death, he will continue loving us throughout eternity because he was resurrected, and he continues loving us today and forever.

Psalms 18:30 reads, “As for God, his way is perfect.” Men may think that God’s way and His Word are full of imperfections; however, in the eyes of God, as we are taught His Word, and when we believe to live the way that is called “perfect,” then God begins revealing the realities of Himself to our minds. This is what is important to us who believe ─ who gives a hoot what unbelievers think? We can live it up with our heavenly Father in the way that is perfect rather than to worry what the neighbors might think about our enjoying and living in the way God teaches us.

Psalms 18:32 It is God that girdeth me {and you} with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Our heavenly Father is able to uplift our lives with His strength, and cause our ways to be perfect. Wow, praise God for His Word with thankfulness for receiving His divine teachings, and for him who is the way to the Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who let us know: “I am the way . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by {through} me” (John 14:6).

Have you ever had a question about life or about God? Then one day as you were perhaps reading the Bible, or thinking about something spiritual, then all of a sudden your question became answered! Once we receive an answer from God through His inspiration, then that hunger for the answer becomes eternally filled. Oh yes, God will continue giving understanding to life’s questions in specific areas of life, and God can and will continue inspiring us ─ these become truly precious moments of serenity and completeness that only God through Christ gives to us. This is what Jesus was referring to when speaking to the woman at the well in John chapter 4:

John 4:14 – But whosoever drinketh of the water {the word “water” is a reference referring to the Word of God} that I shall give him shall never thirst; but {because} the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The Knowledge of Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once there was a man who hated Christians. He persecuted them at every opportunity; he put them into prison, and gave his vote to have them executed by stoning them to death. He carried written permission from the leaders of his day to go anywhere, into any home, and forcefully drag out men and women and take them to jail. From the depths of his heart he loved God, and walked faithfully and blameless before others who believed in his religion and he somehow did this with a clear conscience. Yet he was a very religious man who prayed and worshiped the same God we pray and worship. He believed in his heart that the Christian movement came from the pits of hell.

I have no doubt that I would not allow him into my home or around my friends because his very presence could mean death. He thought in his heart that he was a great believer and that he was doing the right things before his God as he personally anticipated the coming of the Redeemer.

This man lived in the first century as a Pharisee, he had the best schooling that money could buy. He also had the right credentials as he sat under the greatest, first century teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures, named Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, Acts 22:3), and he was one of Gamaliel’s favorite pupils. This man was Saul, also known in the Scriptures as Paul (the difference in the two names is that Saul comes from the Hebrew spelling, while Paul is from the Greek).

Acts 22:4 – And I {Paul} persecuted this way {this way represented the followers of Jesus Christ who was, is, and shall always be “the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6} unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

I Timothy 1:12-13:
-12: And I {Paul} thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
-13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious {an insulter}: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ignorantly in unbelief means that Paul did not have the right information to believe correctly, even with all his religious training in the Scriptures which foretell and announce the coming of Christ, the promised Messiah. Paul completely missed the truths in the Scriptures that reveal Jesus Christ to be the promised Redeemer and the Savior of humanity.

One day when Paul was on the road to Damascus he, for the first time in his life met Jesus Christ, and as we know from the Scriptures, Paul had an immediate change of mind and heart, because he for the first time in his life saw the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!” Can you imagine?

Personally — if I were Paul — this meeting would have given me a heart attack! Yet, Paul recognized the error of his ways, changed his mind, and he became one of the greatest believers this world has ever known, he received perhaps more revelation and inspiration than any man or woman has received in all of history.

The great Apostle Paul from that day forward dedicated his life to teaching and showing others the depths of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul helped believers receive an understanding of the healing Word by preaching Jesus Christ, who in turn reveals the righteousness of God to our inner hearts, as His Word continues blessing our lives with spiritual truth.

Philippians 3:8-9:
-8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered {or allowed} the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ {there is nothing as precious as learning about Christ},
-9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Discovering our Lord and Savior in the Word of God is a rewarding adventure in this life as Jesus said, the Scriptures testify of me (John 5:39). It is Jesus who opens up our understanding to the Word of God, so with him the words in the Word begin making perfect sense. Luke wrote: ”Then opened he {Jesus} their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

Grace and peace is something we may expect to receive simply by going to our Bibles and looking for the knowledge of Christ, who is according to I Corinthians 1:24, ”the power, and wisdom of God.”

Grace and peace being multiplied in the Apostle Paul’s heart is what changed his life around and presented to him great deliverance, and this will also bless us with the inner comfort of having grace and peace in our hearts through discovering the wondrous knowledge of Christ.

The Creator’s Masterpiece (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Before our salvation, we were living our lives in the very nature of sin that was implanted in man since the fall in Genesis (Romans 5:8-12), for without God and the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, there is no everlasting forgiveness. Thus, humanity lived in a state that the Bible calls being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But when we become saved through the work of Jesus, we are completely forgiven and are given a new life in Christ. This new life completes the Creator’s Masterpiece because our God creates Christ in us (Colossians 1:27)! When men and women accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they become spiritually one with God’s love – in Christ – in them (John 17:11, 21-23), and members of God’s illustrious family (Ephesians 2:13-22).

Ephesians 2:1-2:
-1: AND you hath he quickened who were {once, before our salvation} dead in trespasses and {in} sins;
-2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been quickened. This word means being made alive (spiritually) which is the opposite of being (spiritually) dead in trespasses and sins. “Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5), giving us a life in Christ to enjoy in the present world. God has totally forgiven and cleansed us of sins and He has presented to us a new life in Christ, a life that is more than abundant; as Jesus said, “I am come that they have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

This new life in Christ is separate from the course of this world because we have been totally released from the prince of the power of the air who is the Adversary. Without God in Christ in us, no matter what direction in which we were headed and regardless how wonderful that course may appear, it was a course of trespasses and sins when we were living our lives without God. However, after our salvation God presents to us a course that leads us to the light of His Word, a course to His right hand, a course into the righteousness of God, and a course that is quickening our very lives to be the honored children of His Holiest. This spiritual course becomes recognized through Jesus Christ, the golden thread who, when followed, will lead directly up to God and His eternal promises.

Yet for so many people, Jesus Christ is not understood outside of the confines of the four Gospels, and is the reason why so many people miss many of the reasons for man’s purpose on earth and his eternal destiny. Coming to an understanding of Jesus from the whole Word will identify him as the genuine link to the life more abundant he promised to deliver. This is the theme of our series on The Golden Thread. This is not a series on the subject of history from the Old Testament, but it IS on the subject of his‑story from the Old Testament. Jesus is the singular thread connecting both Testaments to himself, and through him we are introduced to our heavenly Father by crystal clear, present day revelations! He is our Savior right now and we can bring him off the pages of Scripture and into our everyday lives as our necessary refuge from the spiritual storms hidden along the course of this world.

Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The word workmanship is the Greek word poyeema and means a thing made, a thing produced, with effort and design; our English word “poetry” is derived from poyeema. In Ephesians 2:10 the word poyeema literally is in reference to us being God’s masterpieces. We can literally define the word poyeema as poetry in motion, for our lives are ordained by God to live in fellowship and harmony with Him Who has given to us a spiritually revived life so that we may walk with God and experience true heavenly joy.

Romans 8:29-30:
-29: For whom he {God} did foreknow {you and me}, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son {i.e., created in Christ Jesus}, that he {Christ Jesus} might be the firstborn among many brethren.
-30: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we are God’s new creation, created in Christ Jesus, and we are those who can live our lives not in the course of this world but in good works that God makes available to us through an understanding of His healing Word. Being God’s workmanship is a tremendous privilege, wouldn’t you agree? In Deuteronomy 32:4 we read, “He {God} is the Rock, his work {or God’s workmanship} is perfect,” and since we are, according to the Bible, God’s workmanship, then we certainly have been called into something perfectly wonderful! It is a calling into fellowship with Christ Jesus and set upon a course to enjoy his resurrected life in us, for we are created in Christ Jesus, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Every craftsperson is pleased with his workmanship, and it is the same with God – He is completely thrilled with us! The Epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) shows us the good works that God would have us walk in, but the choice is obviously ours in this life. This is why the verse states that we should; this is not a commandment but a loving request. When comparing walking (or living) by the course of this world as is shown in Ephesians 2:1-2 with what is made available to the believer in Ephesians 2:10, that we may live our lives by the good works that God has already ordained for us, we cannot be anything but thankful because we are already pleasing to God. This is an awesome place to start because God has already, “made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), the beloved being our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we have been accepted to stand with him and our heavenly Father from this moment onward.

Let us again read Ephesians 2:10 from the Amplified Bible:

Ephesians 2:10 (The Amplified Bible):*
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Being God’s workmanship is an awesome present, freely given to all believers, and God be lauded and praised today as we recall the blessed life of our Savior, Christ the Lord. He made it available for God to work this miracle for you and I to be The Creator’s Masterpiece, His workmanship, “recreated in Christ Jesus,” as we continue enjoying the blessings of living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to enjoy with Him for all eternity!

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” ~John Ruskin~

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Ezekiel – Revealing Our Covenant of Peace

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Old Testament times, Zion was God’s chosen place and is the place where God intended to inhabit (Psalms 132:13) and establish His covenant of peace.  Today in God’s grace, we believers are the chosen place where God inhabits (Ephesians 2:18-22) giving us spiritual peace.

Ezekiel 34:25-26:
-25:  And I {God} will make with them {believers} a covenant of peace {also see Ezekiel 37:26}, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
-26:  And I will make them and the places round about my hill {Zion} a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

The “covenant of peace” was given to those of the children of Israel who would believe and looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. Today, Jesus Christ has already come. He is our covenant of peace (with God), and he currently is residing within our hearts (Colossians 1:27).

This is the definition of the word Christian, for a Christian has Christ – within!

In Acts 10:36 we have an enlightening verse of Scripture: “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).” The Word of God that was sent to the children of Israel by God’s prophets was for “preaching peace by Jesus Christ” because all of the Scriptures relate to Jesus as he is the subject of the Word.

Then the verse states “he is Lord of all” because today he is our Lord of peace and our covenant of peace.

II Thessalonians 3:16 – Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Jesus said “my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27), and “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace” (John 16:33). Jesus Christ, by giving his life for us, made an everlasting covenant of peace between God and man (believers).

Hebrews 13:20-21:
-20:  Now the God of peace {the architect of the covenant of our peace}, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood {the blood of Christ that washed our sins away} of the everlasting covenant {of peace},
-21:  Make you perfect {in our standing before God} in every good work to do his {God’s} will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through his accomplishments on our behalf. Since we have peace with God; He is able to work within our hearts to do that which is well-pleasing in His sight (Philippians 2:13).

Jesus Christ made an everlasting covenant for us by offering and giving his life (Hebrews 9:13-28) in order that we may boldly walk with God.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
-14: For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace, who hath made both one {believers from any walk of life}, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments; for to make in himself of twain {two} one new man, so making peace;

The “enmity” was a conflict between the children of Israel and the Gentiles because Israel thought they were God’s chosen people (and they were during the Old Testament times).

Now in God’s grace, in the New Testament age, any person who will simply accept Jesus Christ can become saved and enjoy our Covenant of Peace that we now have in and through Christ.