These web pages on Christian study are a resource that we use for bible study. We have developed some and we have borrowed other information from studies that are freely available. Our intent is to have a study resource which we can access when traveling. We do not disagree with anyone's personal interpretation of scripture and our thoughts are not offered as an argument for any perspective from our understanding of revelation. Please feel free to read or use the study material if it is of help. Thank you
Way of God
The way of God has a good foundation in both New and Old Testament scripture.
New Testament Book of Hebrews chapter 12; verses 11-14
The fruits of righteousness:
1. make straight paths for your feet
2. permit you to pursue peace with all people
As Christians, we just can’t get away from interaction with other people and the ongoing need to pursue God’s holiness. For this study, the fruits of righteousness also introduce the relationship of righteousness with the straight way of God.The righteousness we have through our Lord, Jesus Christ, gets us to that straight path.
The repentance which John the Baptist taught is related to this concept as it “made straight” the path up on which Jesus started his ministry. This is the focused point at which God reveals His new covenant with man. God at the start of Jesus’ ministry is beginning a new encounter with man. Note the prime reference from Isaiah chapter 40, verses 3-5: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, making straight in the desert the highway of the Lord … the crooked places will be made straight and the rough places smooth … and … the glory of the Lord will be revealed.
So what’s going on with the Way of God? It’s straight -vs - crooked … it’s smooth –vs- rough … it’s about righteousness – though not just the righteousness we gain by our faith in Jesus Christ but also about our ongoing efforts to live our lives in that righteousness so that we may pursue peace with all people and embrace the holiness which God desires for us. To do that perhaps we need straight paths for our feet.
Sometimes it easier to see something by considering what it is not. Note this thread of revelation from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, chapter 2, verses 4-13: What injustice did your fathers find in Me? They went far from me … followed idols … became idolaters. I brought you into a beautiful country … and you have made my heritage an abomination. The priests do not ask “Where is the Lord” … those who handle the law do not know Me … rulers transgress against Me … prophets make prophesies by Baal and walk after things that do not profit. What nation ever changed its gods, which are not gods? But my people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. My people have committed two evils: (1) they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters … and … (2) they have made, for themselves, cisterns which cannot hold water.
Our focus in this study is the way of God. This passage from Jeremiah is helpful in that it shows how a straight path can go crooked. Note in the summation that God is the fountain of living waters and the evil of their straight path gone crooked is both the forsaking of God and the fact that these people do not have a container, or cistern if you prefer, to hold the living waters which flow from God.
Old Testament Book of Jeremiah chapter 2, verses 17-19 continues this thought:
Have you not brought this on yourselves in that you have forsaken the Lord your God when he led you in the way … it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God … reverence for Me is not in you.
Jesus tells us in the New Testament Ggospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verse 14:
Narrow is the gate and difficult the way which leads to life and there are few who find it.
Again our focus in this study is the way of God. What exactly are we looking for?
Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 10, verses 12-13:
What does the Lord your God require of you
- To have reverence for the Lord
- To walk in His ways
- To Love Him
- To serve the Lord with your heart and soul
- To Keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord
Psalm 16, verse 11
Show me the way of life, in your presence is the fullness of joy
Old Testament Book of Jeremiah, chapter 6, verse 16
Stand in the way and see … walk in it … you will find rest for your soul
Old Testament Book of Hosea, chapter 14, verse 9
Who is wise … let him understand
Who is prudent … let him know
The way of the Lord is right
There the righteous walk
There transgressors stumble
To summarize, God is present in the “way of God” … we can find rest and joy there, this is where God wishes us to be, there the righteous also walk however it is there that transgressors will stumble.
Note the verse from the New Testament book of Revelation, chapter 17, verse 14: and those with Him are called, chosen and faithful. This is consistent with the meaning of the way of God, it is God with His people, those who have chosen to walk a straight path in the righteousness which we receive as a free gift from our faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
New Testament Book of James, chapter 4, verse 8:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
New Testament Book of Galatians, chapter 4, verse 9:
Now that you have come to know God … or … rather be known by God
New Testament Book 1st Corinthians, chapter 7, verse 1:
Make holiness perfect in reverence for the Lord
New Testament Book Ephesians, chapter 1, verses 9-10:
He has made known in wisdom … the mystery of His will … to unite all things in Him … things in heaven and things on earth
Old Testament Book Jeremiah, chapter 32, verses 37-38:
They shall be My people … I will be their God … I will give them one heart … one way
Old Testament Book Isaiah, chapter 35, verses 8-9:
A highway shall be there … a way … it shall be called the way of holiness … the redeemed shall walk there
As a Christian this is beginning to look like the “local church” to me.
What are folks doing in this “way”?
Old Testament Book of Malachi, chapter 3, verse 16:
Those who have reverence for the Lord will speak to one another, the Lord will listen and hear them … God remembers those who have reverence for Him and who mediate on His name
Old Testament Book of Zechariah, chapter 7, verses 8-10, 16:
The Lord of hosts says, execute true justice, show mercy and compassion, each one to his brother, do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor, do not plan evil in your heart against your brother. Speak the truth to one another, render true and sound judgements in your courts, do not plot against your neighbor, do not love to swear falsely.
This thread continues by going back to the cisterns (containers) which hold the living water which flows from God.
Our walk in the straight way, our interaction with each other and the world, our continual moving closer to God and Him to us permits the cistern to grow.
What then is the cistern? perhaps faith ... what then is the "way", the straight path, for me as a Christian? perhaps the local church
Peaceful Packers' Home Page