Faithlife Sermons

One Way & Another Helper

"All Eyes on Christ"  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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After foretelling Peter's denial, Jesus reiterates His deity as the Son, driving home the consequences of faith in Him and promising the comfort of the Spirit to those who abide in Him.

Scripture Introduction
Please turn in your Bible to . Today, we continue our journey through John’s Gospel. Do we recall the theme of our series? “All Eyes on Christ.” If I could expand that theme this morning I would add, “Lend Your Ears!” You’ll notice as you turn in your Bible that this entire chapter is a dialogue between Christ and His disciples, and He, apart from a few short questions, is doing all of the talking. If you were to look ahead, the chapters that follow are “red letter” chapters. Jesus has much to say. May we see Him this morning, but, Oh, may we hear Him as well. Follow along as I read this chapter. You may think this too long a chapter to read, but there can be more benefit to you simply hearing these words than for me to add too many of my own. Verse 1, Christ says...
Sermon Introduction
The first sentence of Christ’s lesson are fitting, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” I find this so appropriate given what had just occured; Peter, the most zealous of Christ’s followers, is told that even his faith will fail him as Christ foretells his denial.
Well, I don’t know about you, but if Peter is able to make such a wreck of following Christ, I know that I certainly will lose my way. But Jesus offers comfort, ‘don’t be troubled.’ He echoes this again down in verse 27. And what follows is a beautiful assurance that is rooted in 13:36. “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” And this is where we live, in the anticipation of a journey’s end and the anxiety of losing our way.
“Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
This is why He says what He says in our text today (verse 3), ‘I’m preparing a place for you, and I’ll bring you there when the time is right.’ And this thought is one in a host of comforts. Jesus riddles this passage with several “I” statements. If there is no “I” in “Team” then Jesus is showing us that what He does isn’t part of a group effort.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Jesus riddles this passage with many “I” statements.
I will come again (3).
I will take you to myself (3)
I am the way (6).
I am the truth (6).
I am the life (6).
I am in the Father (11).
I will do whatever you ask in my name (13).
I will ask the Father to give you another Helper (16).
I will not leave you as orphans (18).
I leave you with peace (27).
I do as the Father has commanded (31).
There is no “I” in “team.”
Now, consider the audacity of what Christ is saying. We may think it’s significant to a degree, what Christ is saying about Himself. But notice also how exclusive he is: for everything that He says He is, we are not. Jesus isn’t like many of us, who like to talk about ourselves, putting ourselves in an elite group am. Think about how politically incorrect Christ’s lesson is. There is only one way, and it’s not your own way; it’s me. Jesus, among so many other points that can be made, is driving home two main ideas for those who look to Him: There is only one way, and there is another helper. And these are His comfort to us as we follow Jesus while guarding our hearts from the anxiety of losing our way. To you who fear you’ve lost your way, let Jesus cheer you today, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

There Is Only One Way (verses 1-14).

The Truth (8-17)

The idea of a “way” is one that runs throughout Scripture. In fact this is a concept that touches all of life. If we were to describe someone’s upbringings, their disciplines, their education, and their influences. We could make a judgement call based on how they turned out as to whether or not “that’s ‘the way’ to do life.” We subconsciously recognize all things within the spectrum of the right way of doing things or the wrong way of doing things. This is the application of the comparisons made in , there are two kinds of people in the world today, but there is only one way to live. For our anxious, faithless hearts, this rigid truth is a platform upon which we can rest. There is only one way that last. There is only one way that stands. There is only one way that calms our hearts. Jesus mentions it here in verse 1: “Believe in God.” Salvation has always been a gift to those who place faith in God. Here, at the door step of the New Testament, Jesus sets out to make “God-fearers” into “Christ-followers.” (Read verse 1.)
For our anxious, faithless hearts, this rigid truth is a platform upon which we can stand. There Is Only One Way to God: faith. Salvation has always been a gift to those who place faith in God. Here, at the door step of the New Testament, Jesus sets out to transform “God-fearers” into Christ-followers.
There is only one way that last. to God: faith. Salvation has always been a gift to those who place faith in God. Here, at the door step of the New Testament, Jesus sets out to transform “God-fearers” into “Christ-followers.”
to God: faith. Salvation has always been a gift to those who place faith in God. Here, at the door step of the New Testament, Jesus sets out to transform “God-fearers” into “Christ-followers.”
to God: faith. Salvation has always been a gift to those who place faith in God. Here, at the door step of the New Testament, Jesus sets out to transform “God-fearers” into “Christ-followers.”

The path from being a God-fearer to a Christ-follower.

Jesus is helping these Jews realize that the God of Israel is standing before them in the flesh, God is known in the person of Jesus Christ. The time had arrived when having faith in “God” would be synonymous with “faith in Christ.” Even we today understand this, so much so, that it is not right for you to say you really have faith in God unless you have faith in Christ. Our world clamors for a Christ-less god. Truly, to have a relationship with God is to have a relationship with Jesus. The one way, is a path from being a God-fearer to a Christ-follower.

The path to the Father’s house.

Verses 2-3 introduce to us a heart warming truth. God is making a place for us with Him.
A prepared place for you.
Jesus is not idle. Jesus is making preparations. Jesus is finalizing a place for God’s people, and its not merely a weekend retreat. These words speak of family and finality. Those who believe in Jesus are adopted into a new family (verse 23). Followers of Christ have a new home. Verse 6 indicates that all who are in Him have direct access to the Father.
The Son’s relationship to the Father.
Jesus offers this as a guarantee, and He does so because He, Himself is the express image of the Father (). “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” To see Jesus is to see God; He makes this point in verses 7-11 (read). This is a beautiful mystery, the Father’s relationship to the Son and the Son’s relationship to the Father. United, yet distinct. Jesus in adamant in verse 10 that He is the incarnate expression of the Father, thus we see how appropriate His encouragement in verse 1 is.
In light of our feeble faith, our Savior encourages us to find in Him all that is lacking in us. For Christ, continues, “After making purification for sins, [he] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
You can see in this episode the disciples one by one, as they pipe up with questions, growing more and more concerned about their fickle faith. And even though they wouldn’t completely understand everything He’s telling them until later, chapter by chapter, lesson by lesson, Christ is graciously letting them in on the spectacle of the ages: their justification through His sacrifice.
One huge uncertainty remains: what’s all this about Him departing?

There Is Another Helper (verses 15-31).

The Life (18-31)

What stands out so clearly is Jesus’ response to his disciples’ questions of their destination is that He constantly directs them to stay fixed on Him. (Read verses 5-6, 8-9.) Jesus is telling us that the guarantee of not losing our way to the Father’s house is to follow Him. Sounds spiritual enough, right? Problem… Jesus has gone ahead of us. How can we be confident in following Christ, when unlike these disciples we literally have no opportunity to ask Jesus these questions face to face, we can’t see Him with our eyes? In verses 15-31, Christ gives special attention to ways in which His followers can be confident as they follow in His foot steps.

Keeping His Commandments

Verse 15, with such few words we recognize the proving grounds of our faith. Jesus bring this up again a few verses later (verse 21). He is no Christian who is only one in name. James, the half brother of Jesus will write specifically to this point in His New Testament writing, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (). Jesus, Himself had already brought this convicting point to bear on the disciples. We read of it in .
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Committing our ways to the Lord through faithful obedience to love is vital in not losing our way in following Christ. Even in this, we must depend on God’s grace to work in us a sort of love that goes deeper, longer, farther than our shallow affections.

Receiving the Spirit of Truth

Secondly, Jesus speaks to His disciples about “another Helper.” This “Helper” will remain with the believer forever. This Helper is the Spirit of Truth (verse 17). This is a reference to God’s Spirit, and Christ’s words here inform us much about the role of the Spirit in a person’s life.
Generally speaking, He’s a Helper, one who abides with you, dwelling within… forever. The Spirit assures the believer that they are never alone; God’s possession of them is not arbitrary; the Spirit provides believers with the security of God’s work being fully accomplished. The Spirit also helps by interceding on our behalf, even when we don’t know how we ought.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” ()
The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth, meaning He actively testifies of what is true according to His Living Word, both written and incarnate (verse 26). For the Spirit of truth is also the Spirit of Christ who is Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
It is the Spirit who serves as the adoption seal for the spiritual orphan. The Spirit provides comfort to the down cast, pointing them to the realities of their adopted status in Christ.
It can seem easy to pursue one of these means of comfort apart from the other. One seems much more active, while the other seems a bit passive. But beautifully weds these two together. True obedience stems from keeping in step with the Spirit of God. This, itself, provides an additional guarantee for the believer.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Perhaps the idea of Jesus leaving you in the dust is a bit terrifying, as it should be. But just because He’s gone on before us, doesn’t mean we don’t have the guarantees for a successful journey through life. There is only one way. We must let this sobering truth sink deep into our thinking, let us pray that God would fix our eyes on Jesus. And may we more fully appreciate the role of the Helper in our following after Jesus. May we ever keep in step with Him, following the tracks of the Son, on our journey to the Father’s House.
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