The Way

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


Have you ever gotten lost? It is a lonely feeling to be somewhere and not know where you are. Itís always good to have a map when you are in an area that you are unfamiliar with. As long as you can find some benchmarks, streets, towns, etc. then you can find your way. At times in our life we can get lost and not really know what to do. The map that we can use to find "the Way" is found in the pages of your Bible.

There is a theme called "the Way" that runs throughout your Bible. Letís begin exploring "the Way."

The time period was around A.D. 54-57. The Apostle Paul was on his third missionary journey and had gone to Ephesus "And he (Paul) went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. {9} But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. {10} And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" ....{11} "Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul" .... {20} "So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. {21} When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." {22} So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time. {23} And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. {24} For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. {25} He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: "Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. {26} "Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. {27} "So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship"" (Acts 19:8-27).

Notice that the Apostle Paul preached boldly about the kingdom of God and the words of Jesus and some were offended and spoke evil of "the Way". As the gospel was being preached and people were being converted there was a great commotion about "the Way" stirred up by the silversmiths who were afraid of losing their silver idol business and the wealth that came from that business.

What is "The Way"?

We have just seen that "The Way" involves the gospel of the kingdom of God and the words of Jesus. Jesus is the focal point of the gospel message and is also the focal point of the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments. What then did Jesus say about "the Way"?

"Jesus said to him (Thomas), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).

Jesus said that He was "the Way"! Jesus is the author of our salvation (Hebrews 5:8-9), He is our Saviour (John 4:42), our Lord (Phil. 4:9-10), our Redeemer (Titus 2:11-14), our Shepherd (John 10:11), our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), our Apostle and High Priest (Hebrews 3:1), our Master (Luke 8:24), our Messiah and Christ (John 1;41), our Healer (John 12:40) and our Everything (John 16:23-24).

We need to let Jesus live in us because He is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:24-29).

The Apostle Paul told the church in Galatia: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

By letting Jesus live in us then there must be evidence that Jesus is living in us. We must bear fruit to be Jesusí disciples: "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:8).

The Way of God in Truth! 

When Jesus walked upon the earth the hypocritical Pharisees were always plotting against Him, but in the following passage they do say something true about Jesus. "Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. {16} And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men" (Matthew 22:15-16).

Jesus did teach "the Way" of God in truth. Jesus was always honest in teaching Godís truth and set a perfect example in keeping Godís law. The hypocritical Pharisees pretended to be righteous and put on a great show before the people but they were really like whitewashed tombs. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27).

Two Ways of Life!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught about two ways of life: the broad way and the narrow way.

Jesus said: ""Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. {14} "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

The Broad Way!

The broad way is the easy way, the life of self-indulgence and pleasure and it leads to destruction.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

When man follows the broad and loose ways of life, he will become corrupt before God. This is what happened in the days of Noah.

"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. {6} And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. {7} So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." (Genesis 6:5-7).

We all know what happened next, God sent a flood and it destroyed all human life from off of the earth except for Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:8). "Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation" (Genesis 7:1).

Noah found grace in the eyes of Lord and He was righteous before God. Noah followed the "narrow way" and he and his family were protected inside the ark from the flood.

The people of Noahís day followed the "broad way" and it led to their destruction.

Another Example of the Broad Way

The broad way is the easy way. Donít do any more than you have to. Some people say that you donít have to keep any of Godís laws, all you have to do is to believe in Jesus and you will be saved. This sounds simple and very easy. But Jesus Himself contradicts this easy broad way by saying "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Repent from the "broad way" so you wonít perish: "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).

The Narrow Way!

Jesus told us to enter the narrow gate and He said it would be a difficult way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

This narrow way sounds like we need to do something. We must strive to be a doer and not just a hearer only! (James 1:23-24).

Jesus said: "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Mathew 4:4).

The Bible has a lot of words that has proceeded from the mouth of God. Jesus delivered the sermon on the mount as recorded by Matthew in chapters 5-7 and this whole sermon is an example of the "narrow way".

This narrow way is difficult because it requires faith, discipline, endurance and obedience.

Another way to enter the narrow gate is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and follow His righteous example: "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21) .

Jesus was righteous and did what was right all the time. He kept Godís Ten Commandments perfectly and never committed any sin. The writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as being our High Priest and says: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15) .

It is Godís will that we keep His commandments. ""Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. {2} "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) . We will reap many blessings if we keep Godís Commandments. He wants what is best for us.

It is also Jesusí desire that we keep the commandments if we love Him: "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

In the sermon on the mount Jesus said: ""Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Mathewt 6:33). What is righteousness? The Psalmist says: "For all Your commandments are righteousness" (Psalms 119:172). The Apostle John relates to us that Jesus was righteous: "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).

The narrow way does not give you room to wander back and forth between righteousness and unrighteousness. To be righteous is to do what is right. "In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death" (Proverbs 12:28).

In Conclusion:

"The Way" is a narrow way of life that a Christian must follow. He must follow the example of Jesus and keep Godís Commandments. He is to love God and love his neighbor (1 John 5:2-3). "The Way" is to apply the "golden rule": "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (Matthew 7:12). The Christian must love the gospel of the kingdom of God and the words of Jesus.

Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to salvation and it is only through His name that we can be saved (Acts 4:12).

Live "The Way!"