Acts 9:1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Though it was the way for some, it was not the way for all … some did not see it as the right way as we see in the next set of verses
Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
Acts 19:9 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.
Acts 19:23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
“The Way” was not always received well.
Acts 17:6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.
Acts 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
These are not reasons to not follow the way. As we will see man and God do not always see eye to eye.
The Wrong Way
(also the Easy Way)
There are two ways described in the Bible
Matthew 7:13 “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.
The way of Adam and Eve
They opted for the wrong way
Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
They would not die immediately, but eventually and as we know they did die.
Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
The way of Cain
Cain also chose the wrong way!
Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain….
Cain envied the acceptance of his brother’s offering. Rather than doing better he hated and murdered his brother. This is the way of life that we see running rampant in the world at large.
The effects of this way of life have led to: war, crime, poverty, disease etc etc etc
The way of man
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
The way of a fool
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.
We are limited in our power, knowledge and ability as men — especially when compared to God’s. When we rely on ourselves, this will inevitably lead down the wrong path.
Now the other path; after seeing where the wrong way goes, one would think that everyone would choose the other Way, BUT the other Way is:
The Difficult Way
Matthew 7:14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
It is a straight path (Acts 13:10; Hebrews 12:13) with ample room – it has enough room to walk. BUT it is one that does not include all the other paths we can take in this life.
We do not get to choose for ourselves what is right and wrong! Adam and Eve did that, as well as Cain — as well as most of humanity. The difficulty is that we have to against OUR nature to contend with and not take the easy solution.
EXAMPLE: It seems easier to steal than work for something and easier to lie than bear the consequences of truth and our actions.
The Way of Escape
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The Way of God
Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.
Matthew 22:16 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 22:17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
[This is one of the opportunities that we have to choose a path]
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
Matthew 22:19 Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius.
Matthew 22:20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
Matthew 22:21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Matthew 22:22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Most did not / do not choose the Way of God, which also is the:
The Way of Christ
Acts 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Acts 18:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
The two are equated, naturally — the Two are One
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” [talk more about this later] John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
[Jesus Christ is even personified as THE WAY]
John 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” [the two are equated]
John 14:8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
The Way to God
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
Hebrews 9:8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
This was tantamount at that time of actually going before God the Father
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest [Christ] who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Now, because of Christ the way has been made for us to go before God now!
The Way of Truth
Christ is the truth (John 14:6 we just read)
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
There continue to be these two different ways. In this case it is lying vs the truth. God’s word, in every form is the way of truth.
Psalms 119:29 Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.
Psalms 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.
Psalms 119:31 I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
Psalms 119:32 I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.
Psalms 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.
Psalms 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
The Way of Righteousness
2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
Once we are on the right path, it is imperative that we stay on it.
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
2 Peter 2:21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
Righteousness is being like God and having the same character and nature as God: perfect, holy, and righteous.
Righteousness is following the Way of God.
Righteousness is tied into goodness, justice, blamelessness, life etc
Proverbs 2:20 So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness.
Proverbs 8:20 I traverse the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice,
Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.
Proverbs 13:6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless….
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
The Way of Peace
The world does not know peace — look at the ~40 wars or conflicts that are currently going on at the moment.
Romans 3:17 AND THE WAY OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Luke 1:79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” [speaking of that which Christ would do]
The Way of Salvation
Luke 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,
Acts 16:17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”
This is exactly what they were doing and the fruit of it is confirmed later in the chapter:
Acts 16:30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
Genesis 3:23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
A life of greater:
- insight and discernment
Now, who doesn’t want that!