It Is Finished Audio

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Seven “I AM” Statements in the Gospel of John PART 8

The Seven “I AM” Statements in the Gospel of John PART 8

I AM the True Vine (John 15:5)
[“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)][1]

            Benjamin Franklin is often credited for the discovery of electricity through his kite and thunderstorm experiment. That discovery was just the beginning of what would lead to its more complex and fruitful transmission due various scientists improving its properties over the centuries.[2] Electricity has single-handedly made man’s life easier by its ability to give power to various machinery, technological devices, medical life-saving instruments, and home appliances. All one has to do is plug their device into an active power source and their device will be able to work properly. Without electricity, most modern-day conveniences would cease to function, and people would be thrown back into the dark ages and some may even die. Similarly, Jesus gives power to those who believe because He is the True Vine that enables His followers to operate through His authority. Without them being properly connected to Him, they would spiritually die.
            In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as telling the disciples that He is the True Vine and that his Father was the Gardener who did the trimming of every branch that did not produce any fruit.[3] Jesus used this analogy to show that everyone who is in Him receives their vitality from Him because He is the Source that gives them the spiritual nutrition needed to produce good fruit. No one can grow spiritually without being connected to the True Vine. The Holy Spirit supplies the believer with the fruit of the Spirit that comes from being connected to the True Vine which is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.[4] All of these fruits embody the essence of who Jesus is as the True Vine. The Bible lets one know that you can recognize those who belong to Christ by the fruit that they bear.[5] Therefore, the believer is a product of the True Vine and will bear witness to who He is. Anyone who does not represent the Christ will not bear any fruit and the Father will cut him off as a gardener cuts off old branches.[6] 

            During the fall season, the leaves begin turning orange and brown on the trees and eventually they fall to the ground. The reason this takes place is because there is no more life in them. Homeowners will normally rake their yards and dispose of the leaves either by placing them into trash bags or putting them into a pile to be burned. Either way, the leaves are disposed of because they are no longer fruitful to the trees from which they fell. It is the same way with God. Those who choose to disconnect from the Vine will be pruned away and designated for eternal damnation. Unlike the leaves that fall to the ground, everyone has a chance to be reconnected to the True Vine if they have fallen away as long as they have breath. John the Baptist preached the message of repentance during his day and he proclaimed the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.[7] That message is even more urgent in modern times due to the Bible being fulfilled at an accelerated rate than ever before. The only way to have an eternity with God is to stay connected to the True Vine and in Him brings eternal salvation. 

A.    Overview of Divine Qualities as the True Vine.
a.)    Oneness with the Father
aa.) Jesus is the True Vine for He gives power through the Holy Spirit to all who believe because the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One and operate as such.
b.)    Incarnate nature
bb.) Jesus became flesh and sent the Holy Spirit to empower the believer with spiritual gifts that embody the character of Him. Those who know Him recognize His gifting in them and will use those gifts as a representation of the Father.[8]
c.)    Transcendent qualities
cc.) Jesus is the True Vine that spreads throughout the world showing the goodness and mercy of the Father. It is through His believers who act as branches producing good fruit that the world may see and get to know Him.
d.)    Redemptive works
dd.) Jesus gave His life and returned to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come down and give His followers the power to do greater works than He. They in turn show those who are lost the miraculous wonders of the Father who loves and cares for them. 

B.     Application of the Believer
a.)    Jesus has made the Holy Spirit available to all who believes so that they can bear good fruits as ambassadors for Christ. The believer must stay connected to the True Vine to avoid spiritual slothfulness and to receive a constant supply of power to connect others to the Holy Spirit’s power.[9]

The Gospel of John reveals that Jesus is the I Am sent by the Father to embody His divine attributes for He and the Father are One. The seven I Am statements spoken by Jesus bears metaphors to help His disciples and others learn about the Father’s love and care through Him. Jesus often used parables when speaking to a crowd so that they could have simplicity in their understanding of Him. Therefore, the seven I Am statements, although mistakenly taken literally by some of the Jews, was Jesus way of relating a message of compassion for all who were willing to accept Hm as their Creator, Provider, Shepherd, and Redeemer.
 First, Jesus, who is the Bread of Life, gives spiritual nourishment to the believer just as the Israelites were given manna in the wilderness. Second, He is the Light of the world to those wandering around in spiritual darkness. Third, Christ Jesus is the Gate that protects His sheep from would-be wolves, strangers and robbers whose goal is to spiritually sabotage His children. Fourth, He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep, so that they could next experience Him as the Resurrection and the Life having gained victory over death and hell.
Sixth, Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life for it is only through Him that a believer can get access to the Father. He was the Word made flesh in which Truth that leads to eternal life offers anyone who will accept Him the hope of redemption. Finally, Jesus is the True Vine who enables the believer to have an unlimited supply of Holy Spirit power. As a result, the believer produces good fruit and acts as a living witness for the world to see that the Lord is Good.[10] Therefore, everything has been made complete in Jesus from the beginning of creation for the salvation of those who ask, believe, repent and confess that He is Lord over their lives.[11] Jesus offers rest for those who are weary, salvation to those who are lost, freedom from the captivity of the sinful nature, and resurrection to those who are spiritually dead.[12] All one has to do is walk in the knowledge gained from the seven I Am statements to be in alignment with the will of the Father that was manifested through the works of His son, Jesus Christ, who takes away the sins of the world.

[1] John 15:5 (New Living Translation).
[2] Universe Today, "Who Discovered Electricity?," Universe Today, last modified December 23, 2015,
[3] John 15:1-2 (New International Version).
[4] Gal. 5:22-23 (New International Version).
[5] Matt. 7:16 (New International Version).
[6] John 15:6 (New International Version).
[7] Gary M Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 31.
[8] Burge, NIV Application, 59-60.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ps. 34:8 (New International Version).
[11] Brown, "Creation’s Renewal," 288.
[12] Carson and Moo, New Testament, 263.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Seven “I AM” Statements in the Gospel of John PART 7

The Seven “I AM” Statements in the Gospel of John PART 7

I AM the Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6)
[Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6)][1]

            Scientists from all over the world spent centuries trying to find a method that would help them to locate global coordinates for any desired location with great accuracy and speed. On June 26, 1993, the United States Airforce launched the satellite, 24th Navistar, into orbit which was part of a 24-satellite operation called the Global Navigation System (GPS) that made their dream a reality.[2] They were finally able to have a way to have precise coordinates for their various military operations. Not only was the military able to benefit from this technology, but it was made available to the public to use rather they were part of a large company and/or for private use.
Years later, from airplane pilots to city drivers within the United States and abroad, people are able to use this great technology to navigate their way to unknown destinations. Once they type an address into their GPS devices, they can go anywhere they choose, Directions to their desired destination are downloaded to their device in a matter of seconds. In addition to readable directions, most GPS devices have a built-in narrator that talks them through every turn, light, highway and even give traffic updates should they encounter a delay. The only thing that the driver has to do is listen to the GPS and follow its instructions. Even if they miss or make a wrong turn, the GPS will immediately reroute the user to get them back on the right track. Similarly, Jesus, who is the Way, Truth, and the Life is man’s spiritual GPS. He is the Way to the Father who gives them Truth that leads them to Eternal Life. 

Jesus declared in John’s Gospel that He is the Way, Truth and the Life. Jesus was responding to the disciple Thomas’ question regarding knowing which way to go upon Jesus’ departure from the earth.[3] Jesus let the disciples know that there is only one Way to get to the Father and that was through Him. The Father was in Him and He was in the Father; therefore, the Two could not be separated from each other. Jesus helped the disciples to understand that when they have seen Him, they were actually seeing the Father whom no earthly man has seen including Moses who could only see the back of God.[4] Jesus was God made flesh so that they could understand that He was the only Way to get to the Father and no other path could take them to Him.
Many people have tried and failed to find another way to what they believe is paradise other than Jesus through Buddha, Mohammad, Gandhi, money, fame, sex and other acts of idolatry. The Jews rejected Him because they only could see the law that was given to Moses but failed to see that Jesus, who was a greater Prophet than Moses, came with grace and truth; therefore, fulfilling the law.[5] Nevertheless, they will one day find out that their failure to accept Christ in their hearts prevented them from receiving eternal life because they rejected God’s son. If the architect of a house tells an interested person that there is only one way to get into the house, why would that person try to find another way when the builder of the house knows that which he built? It is the same way with understanding Jesus’ words in that He is the only way to the Father who leads the believer to Salvation. Because He is the Architect, He is the only Way that can lead one to the expected end.

Jesus is the Truth who leads the believer to the Father. In the beginning of John’s Gospel, he begins by describing Jesus as being the Word. Within the Word, there is Truth, for in Him, there can be no falsehood found. Everything about the Father is presented in the Word that deliver’s truth to the believer’s ears. This is why the Bible says to not only be hearers but doers of the Word of God because the believer who hears have an obligation to respond to the Truth that they have been presented with.[6] Therefore, everyone will be held accountable for what they have done on earth and will be without excuse because the Word of Truth will have been presented to everyone at some point in their lives, but it is up to the individual to either accept or reject it.[7] Jesus’ truth leads the believer down the narrow path to the Father to gain eternal life.
Jesus is the Life. He laid down His own life so that the believer could have eternal life with the Father. Sin caused a rift between God and man, but the sacrificial gift that Jesus gave offered man the opportunity to be reconnected with the Father. It does not matter what a person has done or how many mistakes they have made, Jesus laid down His life so that everyone could be given the gift of eternal life. Man’s life on earth is short but life with the Father is for all eternity which is promised to those who endure to the end. Jesus having come, died, and rose again made it possible for man to have the blessed hope in the knowledge that the devil was defeated at the cross and could no longer hold them captive to sin. Therefore, in Jesus, the promise of New Life begins for all who believe and the old life that was once full of sin is buried in the bottom of the sea with no residue that it ever existed. 

A.    Overview of Divine Qualities as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
a.)    Oneness with the Father
aa.) Jesus is One in the Father and shows His children the path that leads to eternal life through the truth found in His Word just as a navigator gives directions to the listener.
b.)    Incarnate nature
bb.) Jesus was made flesh so that man could gain wisdom from His teachings and see his signs and wonders that are still being experienced today.
c.)    Transcendent qualities
cc.) Jesus is the only way to the Father by which man can be saved and this truth transcends time and space for all who embrace Him as the Son of God.
d.)    Redemptive works
dd.) Jesus’ death tore the veil that separated man from God and it is through Him that man comes to the knowledge of Truth for He is the Risen Savior. His death served to awaken mankind to their need for Him in order to be freed from the bondage of sin embedded within man’s nature.[8]

B.      Application of the Believer
a.)    Jesus is the Way, Truth and the Life by which all can be saved. Any other path that man follows will only lead to destruction. Therefore, this Truth is found in the Word of God which leads all who studies, follows and accepts its teachings to eternal life.

[1] John 14:6 (New Living Translation),
[2] National Park Service, "The History of GPS," Homepage (U.S. National Park Service), accessed November 22, 2018,
[3] John 14:9-14 (New International Version).
[4] Van der Merwe, "Old Testament Spirituality," 9.
[5] Dirk G. Van der Merwe, "Old Testament spirituality in the gospel of John," Verbum et Ecclesia 35, no. 1 (2014): 6, doi:10.4102/ve.v35i1.837.
[6] James 1:22 (New International Version).
[7] Rom. 1:20 (English Standard Version).
[8] McKinnon, "Contemporary Church Problems," 37.