Christ The Way To God And Heaven.

Adapted From A Sermon By

George Burder

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6 ESV)

Our text this morning, in a sermon by George Burder which he titled Christ The Way To God And Heaven is John chapter 14 verse 6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

If we believe there is a future state of happiness, called heaven, and a future state of misery, called hell, there really can be nothing more important for us, than we may obtain the one, and escape the other. If we have any serious thoughts of these things, we cannot but want to know, Which is the true way to heaven?

Now everything that calls itself Religion, pretends to be the way; but, as there are so many different ways, they cannot all be right: indeed, we can boldly say they are all wrong, except one, and that one is declared in the text; "I am the way,” said Jesus; “No one comes to the Father except through me."(John 14:6) Our Lord spoke these words to his disciples when they were full of trouble, because he was about to leave them. He comforts them by saying he was going to heaven, his Father's house, to prepare a place for them, and that he would come again, and receive them to himself, that where he was they also might be; and then he adds, "you know the way to where I am going."(John 14:4) But Thomas, who was rather of a doubtful turn of mind, replied—Lord, after all you have said, we are still at a loss about the place where you are going, and how then can we know the way to follow you? Jesus answered, I am the way; which is as if he had said, I am the Mediator between God and man; I am the means of communication between heaven and earth; whatever comes from God to a sinner, comes through me; and whatever, of an acceptable kind, goes from a sinful man to God, must pass through my hands.

In treating upon these very important and useful words, we will consider—

I. To what Christ is a way; and

II. What sort of a way he is.

I. We are to consider, What Christ is a way to.

Every way or road leads from some place to another; now, as he is pleased to call himself a way, in condescension to our limited capacities, we are to consider what he is the way from, and what he is the way to. We are to remember that we are fallen, guilty creatures, in a state of sin, and liable to all miseries here and hereafter; and that we are far from God, from righteousness, and from heaven: now, if we are ever brought back to God and a state of grace here, and to a state of glory hereafter, it must be in and through Jesus Christ alone. We say, then, that Christ is the way to God, and the way to heaven.

1. The first of these is directly expressed by our blessed Lord in the text: “I am the one comes to the Father except through me."(John 14:6) When man was first created, he lived in a happy state of nearness to God; he knew God, and delighted in him as his greatest good; but sin, cursed sin, soon made a dreadful separation; and now we come into the world "estranged from the womb; we go astray from birth;"(Psalms 58:3) we desire absence from God; "he is not in all our thoughts;"(Psalms 10:4) but we seek happiness in sin and folly and a thousand and one things in the world.

Yet the Lord our God is pleased to invite us back to him, by the promises and blessings of his Gospel, and by the ordinances of his house. And although multitudes despise these, and madly resolve to pursue the way of destruction, yet a happy few there are, who hear the voice of the Son of God in his word, are made to see, that, being far from him, they must perish, and that it is good for them to draw near to him. But these persons have oftentimes such an awful view of the glorious and dreadful majesty of God, as an infinitely holy and just being, and of the distance that sin has caused, that they do not know how to approach him. The prophet Micah in this way expresses the anxious desires of such an one, "with what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"(Micah 6:6-7)

Blessed be the Lord, "he has told us what is good!"(Micah 6:8) He has given us a full answer to these questions in our text. Jesus is the way. It is not by costly offerings of blood or oil, nor at the dreadful expense of sacrificing a dear child; but Jesus is the way. He not only came to show us the way, but to be the way. He did not come to tell us how we may "make our peace with God," as some express themselves, but to be our peace; for “he made peace by the blood of his cross."(Colossians 1:20) It is by the death of Jesus that we draw near to God; so the apostle Peter tells us, he "suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God."(1 Peter 3:18)

We were far from him; we had neither the will nor the power to return; and sin, if not atoned for, must have made an everlasting separation between a holy God and vile sinners; but Jesus, who was perfectly just and righteous, endured the most shameful and painful sufferings upon the cross for us, that is, in our place, that he might reconcile us to God, and bring us to a holy conformity to him, and happy communion with him here, and to the eternal enjoyment of him hereafter.

In this way, that is, in Jesus, we have free access to the glorious Majesty of heaven; we may, by prayer in his name, "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace," there to "receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."(Hebrews 4:16) Hear what the apostle Paul says of this matter, "therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh … let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith."(Hebrews 10:19-22) What a glorious privilege is this!

We may approach the great God, as our reconciled God and Father; we may use holy freedom with him in our prayers; we have this liberty of access by the merit of Christ's blood, and by the application of it to our consciences through faith in it.

This is the way prepared for our use, even Jesus, who is "the way, the truth, and the life;" he is the truth and substance of all the ordinances of the Old Testament; with particular reference to the tearing of that veil which separated the holy of holies in the temple from the holy place; and which tearing took place at the moment of our Savior's death; which means that now the way to God and heaven is laid open for all believers; and that is the second thing proposed.

2. Jesus Christ is the way to heaven.

This naturally follows the other; for if we come to God by Jesus as our reconciled Father, if sin is pardoned, and we are admitted to a life of holy communion with him here, it is certain that there "will be richly provided for us an entrance into his eternal kingdom ."(2 Peter 1:11) Jesus died, to redeem us to God, to his favor and image here, and to his glory hereafter. He died, to "bring many sons to glory;"(Hebrews 2:10) that they may be satisfied with the goodness of his house, even to his holy temple; that they may be pillars in that temple, never more to go out; that they may approach him in a more sublime way of worship than at present, without the help of means and ordinances; that they may "see him face to face,"(1 Corinthians 13:12) without a cloud to hide his glory from them, and without the hindrance of sinful flesh and blood.

Now Jesus is the only way to heaven. This is the record of the Gospel —"God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."(1 John 5:11) There it is, and nowhere else: and whoever thinks to get to heaven another way, misses the true road, and will be eternally disappointed.

There are many ways to hell, but only one to heaven; and if Jesus is not our way, we will never get there. As sinners, we have forfeited heaven and deserved hell: but Jesus Christ has not only redeemed his people from the curse, that they may not go to hell, but by his perfect obedience and righteousness he has procured for them a title to heaven. The righteousness of Christ is "for all who believe;"(Romans 3:22) it is transferred to them, imputed to them, or reckoned to their account, as if they had themselves performed it; and on this ground it is that they are admitted into the realms of light and glory; "therefore they are before the throne of God, because they have washed, their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;"(Revelation 7:15, 14) and not on account of any goodness, virtue, or good works of their own.

Besides this, there is a fitness for heaven, an alignment of disposition and capacity of enjoyment, for that holy state, without which no man can see the Lord: for it is plain that a wicked man, a carnal man, could not enjoy heaven, were he admitted into it; there must therefore be a change of heart, a love of God and holiness, as well as a title to glory. This also we have from Jesus Christ. We are not pardoned by his blood, and then sanctified by our own endeavors (these also are to be used,) but "Christ is become to us sanctification."(1 Corinthians 1:30) It is by the Spirit of Christ, dwelling and working in us, that we are renewed in the spirit of our minds; the love and power of sin mortified; the world, with all its vanities, crucified to us; and that we are led into a spiritual life of communion with God here, as the preparation and pledge of our eternal happiness in heaven. In this way Jesus is, in every point of view, the way to heaven.

Having briefly shown that Christ is the way to God and heaven, let us stop a moment, and ask ourselves whether we have any desire that he may be our way in these respects. Are there not some who are so far from wishing to draw near to God, that their hearts and lives plainly say, "Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways?"(Job 21:14) You dare not say so in words; but your actions say so. God and sin cannot reign in the same heart; and when you choose sin, and indulge it, you do in effect say "God, begone! I hate your company, I love your enemy, I love sin, and will submit to the devil's rule. I will have nothing to do with you. I hate prayer. I hate the Bible. I hate the saints."

This is awful language, and you dislike the sound of the words; but is not this the fair language of your love for the things of this world, of your contempt of religious ordinances and means of grace? When you behave in this way, do you not say, Depart from me, and let sin and Satan have me?

Do seriously consider what will be the end of these things. You must die, and then appear before God; a holy, just, and offended God; and should you not inquire, How may I come before him acceptably? Remember then that Jesus is the way, and O that you may "offer yourselves freely on the day of his power,"(Psalms 110:3) to come to him for pardon and life; for "he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him."(Hebrews 7:25)

The same may be said of Christ as the way to heaven. Sadly, how many there are who care nothing about heaven! And can it be supposed that any man will ever come to heaven, who never thought of it before he came there! No, indeed, it is "the prize set before us,"(Philippians 3:14) and the Christian must "So run that he may obtain it,"(1 Corinthians 9:24) and there is no way to run in, but in Jesus Christ. Most men hope to go to heaven when they die; and yet few consider whether they are in the right way. As Christ only is the way, let any person inquire, when anything is proposed to him as the way, Is it Christ? If men say, Good works are the way, ask, Are good works Christ? If they say, Baptism and the Lord's supper are the way, ask again, Are these Christ! Is repentance Christ! Are alms Christ! This is a very easy method of coming to the truth. Christ is the way; and therefore, whatever is not Christ is not the way. He then, only, being the way, let us,

II. Show what sort of a way Christ is.

1. Christ is a new way; so he is called in Hebrews 10:20. Not that the way of salvation by Christ is a new invention, for he is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."(Revelation 13:8 NKJV) Adam, Abel, and Abraham, went to heaven in this way; but it is called new, because there was one before it. The first way, in which it was proposed for man to be happy, was by his own innocence and perfect obedience: and if Adam had not sinned, this would have been his way to heaven; but as soon as he sinned, and fell, and we in him, this way was shut up forever so that there never was a soul got to heaven in the way of works, nor ever will. This way, by grace, came after the other, and instead of it, and is therefore called a new way.

It is called new, because it was newly made, when the New Testament was written. Jesus Christ had lately died to become this way. It is new, because newly and more plainly revealed in Gospel times than it was before; and because it will always be new, and never give place to any other.

2. It is a living way. This way to heaven was by Christ's dying; yet it is called a living way, because all our life springs from his death. Christ is the life of all who live spiritually or eternally and they are the only ones who take this way. All who are in this way are alive to God, and, what is more, they will never die. The eternal life of all who are in Christ, and walk in him, is secure; for because he lives, they will live also. No man ever died upon this road. "I am," said Christ, "the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."(John 11:25-26)—The body indeed must die, because of sin, though that is more properly called sleep, in the New Testament, and the body will be raised in glory; but “the spirit is life, because of righteousness,"(Romans 8:10) and will never perish, but have everlasting life.

3. It is a plain way. Some ways are hard to find; have many turnings and windings and cross-paths; but this way is easy to find, and to keep. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of those who walk in it, says, "even if they are fools, they shall not go astray."(Isaiah 35:8) It is an infinite mercy, that the things which belong to our peace are not difficult. There are, it is true, deep and difficult things in the Bible; but the grand truths which concern our salvation are perfectly plain and easy. What can be plainer than what is said about our fallen, sinful, helpless state, as sinners? or about Jesus Christ, as the only all-sufficient Savior? or about our duty towards God and man? It is a great blessing to poor people, that these things are so plain, and that God by his Spirit makes them so, even to "babies and infants;"(Psalm 8:2) for "The unfolding of his words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”(Psalm 119:130)

4. It is a free way. There are private ways that belong to great men, and they are open to few; it would be a trespass for a stranger to be found in them; but this is a public way, the king's high-way. The apostle Paul says, it is consecrated,(Hebrews 10:20) that is, appointed, dedicated, devoted to this purpose, and free for the use of all who desire to travel in it. There are no bars or tollgates, where travelers must pay for permission to enter or proceed; for salvation is "without money and without price."(Isaiah 55:1) It is a way prepared on purpose for the use of sinners, who are returning to God; and no objections are made to such persons. No worthiness, nor qualifications, nor conditions, are required of the traveler; whosoever will, may come and be welcome. It is a free way.

5. It is a safe and sure way. It is a firm solid road, there is no danger of sinking in it, for Christ is the rock of ages. It is not damaged by rains and floods, as other ways are; it is passable at all times; there is nothing at any time to hinder our access to God, and progress to heaven. Nor is there any occasion to fear enemies upon it. There are such; but they cannot overcome. "The devil (says one) has been busy upon this road for about five thousand years, but yet never slew one believer; for every traveler is kept by the power of God, through faith, to salvation. So that he may walk on with boldness, and fear no evil; rejoicing to think that every believer, that once set his foot in this way, has been enabled to proceed, and not one of them failed of receiving the end of his faith, even the salvation of his soul."

6. It is a pleasant way. The Scripture says, "the ways of wisdom are pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”(Proverbs 3:17) Satan invites men to travel in the ways of sin, under the notion of their being pleasant and there certainly are pleasures in sin; but they are for a short time; even now they are mingled with bitter pains and pangs of conscience, and they will end in everlasting misery. But "the ransomed of the Lord," who return to the heavenly Zion, "shall return with singing; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads."(Isaiah 51:11) Believers are called upon to "rejoice in the Lord always."(Philippians 4:4) Those who travel in this way are not only secure from harm, as you have heard, but the Lord has engaged to provide for their needs on the road; he has promised that they shall “feast on the abundance of his house, and he gives them drink from the river of his delights."(Psalm 36:8) They shall "sit under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit be sweet to their taste."(Song of Solomon 2:3) They will enjoy the company of the saints as their fellow-travelers, with whom their communion will be sweet. Indeed, the Lord of the way himself has promised to accompany them, and has said "Fear not, for I am with you;"(Isaiah 41:10) and "I will never leave you nor forsake you."(Hebrews 13:5)

Lastly, It is the only way. Many ways to God and heaven have been proposed by mistaken men, under the influence of the great deceiver, the devil: and it is too commonly supposed that any way will do, if a man is but sincere in it. But this cannot be true; for if any way of man's invention might do, what need was there for Christ to come from heaven, obey the law, and endure the curse, that he might become our way? for, "if righteousness were through the law," or men can be their own Saviors, or partake of the mercy of God without an atonement, all the vast expense of Christ's sufferings and death might have been spared; indeed, in that case the grace of God is nullified, and “Christ died for no purpose."(Galatians 2:21)

But Christ crucified is the only way; so the apostle Peter solemnly declares, "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."(Acts 4:12) There is salvation in his name; it was procured by him, and he ever lives to bestow it; it is also published by divine authority; it is proclaimed in the preached gospel; but there is no other, under heaven, given for that purpose; none given by God's orders; if any others are given, it is by impostors and deceivers. Jesus only is the way to God and heaven. Thus you see that Christ is a new way—a living way—a free way—a safe way—a pleasant way, and the only way.


Now please take a moment to consider, that as certainly there is a way to heaven, and Christ is that way, so certainly there is a way to hell, and sin is that way; and so surely as the believer in Christ will arrive at heaven, so surely will the sinner going on in his wicked way, go to hell at last. Please do not despise this! Do not laugh at it! It is fitting for all of us to be serious in serious matters. "Now, therefore, thus says the Lord: Consider your ways."(Haggai 1:5)

The Scripture speaks of a false way, a crooked way, a perverse way, a wicked way. Now what is your way! Is it the way of the flesh, the way of the world! Then, allow me to tell you, "it leads to destruction."(Matthew 7:13) The Lord's eye is upon you. He knows the way you take; "and the way of the wicked is an abomination to him."(Proverbs 15:9)

Now, it is possible you may be deceived concerning the way you are in; you may think it safe, while you are in the utmost danger; for “the way of the wicked leads them astray;(Proverbs 12:26)and the Scriptures declare, that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”(Proverbs 14:12) Is it not then your wisdom, to examine very carefully whether you are in the right way or not? and as the heart is very deceitful, let me recommend it to you to pray for the Lord's help, for fear that, after all, you should be deceived. Let me advise you to use that prayer which you will find in the 139th Psalm, the 23d verse—Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Listen to the voice of heaven, which invites you in these words—“let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7) Let it be your prayer, that God would teach you his way and convert you from the error of your own ways: and for this purpose, read and hear the word of God. Say to your companions, in the words of the Prophet—“Come, let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”(Isaiah 2:3)

Is Christ the way to God? then, believers, make daily use of him as such. Come boldly to the throne of grace. This is a way consecrated for you, and free for your use. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Remember, he is a living way. Live upon him, and live to him. Let others see you are in Christ, by your walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Remember, he is a sure way; you may walk with confidence in it, without fear of going astray: "He who promised is faithful."(Hebrews 10:23) Christ has promised to keep his sheep, and that none will pluck them out of his hand. The world may oppose, and Satan oppose, but “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,"(1 John 4:4) and "if God is for us, who can be against us?"(Romans 8:31)

Is Christ the way to heaven? and are any of you in him? look forward with joyful hope of the glory of God. Bless him for bringing you out of the paths of destruction, and leading you into the way of peace. Love Jesus, for becoming your way at such an expense to himself; and be concerned to walk even as he walked.

In so doing you will recommend this way to others, and constrain them to say, We will go with you, for God is with you of a truth.