THE WAY

This entry is part of 50 in the series article 26

(Acts 18:24-28.) 

IN the New Testament, Christianity is spoken of as 
"the way." Jesus Christ calls it "the way" (Matt. 
7:13, 14). Paul speaks of "the more excellent way" 
(1 Cor. 12:31), and of "the new and living way" 
(Heb. 10:20). Felix, having "more perfect knowl- 
edge of that way// protected Paul from the Jews 
(Acts 24:22). Apollos had been imperfectly in- 
structed in the way of the Lord, so Aquila and Pris- 
cilla "expounded unto him the way of God more per- 
fectly" (Acts 18:24-28). The maiden at Philippi 
cried, "These are the servants of the Most High God, 
who show us the way of salvation" (Acts 16:16-18). 
Peter speaks of "the way of truth" (2 Pet. 2:2). 

Isaiah gave us a prophetic description of this way 
hundreds of years before it was opened up (Isa. 35:8- 
10). John the Baptizer was to cry in the wilderness: 
"Prepare ye the way of the Lord" (Isa. 40:3; Luke 
3:4). And Jesus Christ says: "I am the Way" 
(John 14:6). 

How sad indeed that Christianity has come to be 
looked upon as a system of philosophy, as a succession 
of creeds, or a chaos of dogmas! How sad indeed that 
men have put churchianity above Christianity, causing 
sectarianism in the religious world, and rending 
asunder the body of Christ! How sad indeed that the 
way, said to be too plain for error (Isa. 35:8), has 
been clouded by the dogmas and traditions of men! 
What a message for a people who plead for a return 
to the way — the primitive conception of Christianity! 
So we study the way under three consecutive head- 
ings. 

1. The description of the way. Before we enter 
the way, we desire to know something about it. 

a. It is a "plain" way (Isa. 35:8). It is too 
simple for error. There is no controversy in the 
religious world regarding the way. Christ is the way. 
All controversy has arisen concerning things about 
the way. An old pilot was asked if he knew all the 
rocks and reefs along the river. "No," he replied, 
"but I know where they are not." Any earnest man 
can find the way and travel in it by taking the Bible 
as his only guide. 

b. It is "the way of holiness" (Isa. 35:8-10). No 
unclean person — that is, no one who has not been 
cleansed by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7) — shall 
walk therein. The redeemed shall walk therein — not 
the perfect, for that would exclude all mankind and 
leave Jesus alone in the way (Rom. 3 : 23 ; 1 John 1:8; 
Heb. 4:15). Only those who have been redeemed 
through the blood of Christ shall walk in this way 
(Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12). 

c. It is the way that leads upward. Christian life 
is a growth (Phil. 3:12-14). Christ states this fact 
in parable (Mark 4:28). We enter the way as 
"babes" in Christ who must be nurtured by the "sin- 
cere milk of the word"; by and by we can stand meat, 
or sound doctrine (1 Cor. 3:1, 2). The downward 
way is pictured in Gal. 5 : 19-21. The upward way is 
pictured in Gal. 5:22, 23, and in 2 Pet. 1:5-11. It 
is the more excellent way of love (1 Cor. 12: 31). 

d. It is a "strait and narrow" way (Matt. 7:13, 
14). Any way that leads upward must be straight and 
narrow. Anything that costs nothing is worth noth- 
ing. A religion which costs nothing is worth nothing. 
That which is worth while can only be attained by 
industry and perseverance. Every way of progress 
is strait and narrow. But, because it is a way of 
progress, it is also a way of joy (Isa. 35:10). It is 
a way of joy because Christ is all in all (Phil. 1:21). 
Knowing the description of the way, we next inquire 

2. How to get in the way. Christ is the way. 
Hence to be in Christ is to be in the way. How does 
a person get into Christ? 

a. By hearing of the death, burial and resurrection 
of Christ — or the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:17; 
1 Cor. 1:21). 

b. By believing in Christ (Mark 16:16; Matt. 16: 
16; Acts 16:31; Acts 8:37). 

c. By repenting, or turning from the evil way to 
Christ (Jonah 3; Acts 2:38). 

d. By being baptized into Christ (Mark 16 : 16 ; 
Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:27). The members of the church 
at Rome had obeyed "from the heart that form of 
doctrine which had been delivered unto them" (Rom. 
6: 17, 18). What was the doctrine? The death, burial 
and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Therefore 
the form of the doctrine had to be an action which 
symbolized the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. 

Baptism is that action (Rom. 6:3-6). As Jesus was 
laid away in 'Joseph's new tomb, and resurrected on 
the third day by the power of God, so the sinner is 
laid away in the watery grave and resurrected to 
walk in newness of life. This is the action by which 
the sinner is made free from sin to become a servant 
of righteousness (Rom. 6:18). 

Once in the way, our next consideration is 

3. How to keep in the way. A way begins at a 
certain point and leads to another point. The way 
of salvation leads from this world to the Father; and 
this way is Christ. It is known as the way of recon- 
ciliation (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20). Christ 
suffered and died in order to open up this new and 
living way back to God and heaven (John 14:1-6). 
This end can be gained by faithful continuance in well- 
doing (Rom. 2:7). 

a. By studying the Word (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 
2:15). Not preachers only, but every one in Christ, 
should heed this admonition. 

b. By prayer (Acts 2:42; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5: 
17; Jas. 5:16). 

c. By the communion (Acts 2:42; Matt. 26:26- 
29; 1 Cor. 11:26; Acts 20:7). The purpose of this 
ordinance is to test the loyalty of the Christian (Heb. 
10:25; John 6:53, 54). 

d. By service. A way is to travel over; it is not 
a place in which to go to sleep. We must be constantly 
on the move for fear we be left behind, or wander off 
into some bypath (1 Cor. 16 : 2 ; Jas. 2 : 17) . In the last 
day every man shall be judged according to his works 
(Rev. 20:13; 14:13). To endure unto the end, we 
must constantly have on the whole armor of God. 

To those who have grown old in the way, there is 
sweet peace in the words of Paul (2 Tim. 4:6-8). 
To those who have once traveled in the way, but have 
wandered off into some bypath, we quote Acts 8 : 22 
and 1 John 1:9. To those who have never entered 
the way, the Master is standing with open arms, plead- 
ing for you to come now (Matt. 11: 28-30; Eev. 22: 17; 
2 Cor. 6:2).
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