"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, December 16, 2011

WHICH WAY? WHICH PATH? WHO WILL I FOLLOW?

John 14:5-6 (NIV) "Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."



We unloaded the van with our water toys, walked across the dirt parking lot and stopped in front of the trail-head sign. My boys and I had only been to this spot on the river once before and they couldn't quite remember the correct trail. It was unclear to them which path would guide us to the waterfront.

"It's this one," piped my youngest. "No it's not, it's the one over here," commanded the oldest. My middle son gave me a quizzical look, shrugged his shoulders and questioned, "Which one is it Mom?"

"Boys, it's this trail over here. This is the one we took last time. Follow me." Half-way to our destination and unsure of my sense of direction, they questioned if it was actually the right path. But then, they began to recognize the landscape and realized this indeed was the exact pathway to the river.

This predicament with my boys instantly went deeper in my heart and reminded me of several spiritual truths. Many are in search for the right path in life. Many are lost, uncertain of their destination. Others believe there could be innumerable paths. Several wander in their quest for truth. Yet, others stand at a crossroads and wait for others who know the way to direct them.

Followers of Christ live in a culture that tolerates every wind of teaching except Christianity. Many object, claiming Christianity is narrow-minded and intolerant because it claims there is only one way, one path, one person who is truth.

A closer look reveals that truth, by nature, is exclusive. Truth is not relative. For example, if I am sick and go to the doctor, isn't that narrow-minded? Why would I go to a physician when I could go to a witch doctor? For me to go to a medical doctor makes sense because they know how to treat my illness. Likewise, Christ is the remedy for our spiritual disease known as sin. This is not intolerant. It is wisdom to choose truth.

Here's another example: two plus two equals four. The equivalent will always be four, not five or six, but four. Regardless of how I feel, the sum equals four. Just as Christ is the only way to salvation, it is not narrow minded to believe that two plus two equals four because it is objective truth.

Jesus declared that He in fact is the representation of all truth leading to the Father. During the first century, truth for Christ's audience was held in the Law, but Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets. Even during Christ's lifetime gnosticism was a common false teaching. Jesus came toe-to-toe with popular thought and taught that all truth stems from Him, is for Him and by Him.

Jesus is the way and the reference point for how we develop a biblical worldview. Christ is the cornerstone by which we build our foundation and establish our lives. How we live is filtered through God's Word because He is the truth. The framework for how we view life stems from and is held together by this foundation stone.

C.S. Lewis says, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

When people do not operate from a biblical worldview, moral relativism creeps in to their thinking. Justification, rationalization and situational ethics take the lead because what may be right or wrong for one may not be for another. Thus begins the crumbling groundwork of absolute truth.

If truth is not absolute then lives are governed by personal preference, convenience and opinion. What is to stop an individual from killing someone? If they don't believe it is wrong, then is it okay? Is it wrong because state or government law says it is wrong? Who decides what is right and wrong? When truth is corroded we elevate ourselves to a position ordained only for God because He is the source of truth.

When I was younger, even as a Christian, I remember sliding into an un-biblical form of thinking. I was persuaded to swallow popular thoughts and lies of my culture. Isn't it good enough if someone is sincere in what they believe? They are such good people, surely God wouldn't send them to hell. Well, if what they think works for them, then maybe their path is okay. I was being easily swayed into dangerous traffic of humanism, pluralism and universalism. Thankfully, I was redirected by others who taught me God's sustaining truth and helped solidify my position with a biblical worldview.

Jesus did not say, "I am one of the ways; one of the paths to the Father." Jesus made an emphatic claim to be THE way, THE truth, and THE life, and no one can come to the Father except through Him.

During this season we celebrate the birth of Christ. But, if we don't recognize that this precious infant grew up to lead people into all truth as the ONLY way to salvation, we are misguided in our celebration. We don't just celebrate His birth, we acknowledge all God completed through His birth, which includes His atoning sacrifice as the only means, only way, only path to our redemption.

When my boys and I arrived at our location I had them sit on the rocks to discuss our situation regarding the right path. They have learned by now how I often take advantage of teachable moments with them. It was a good discussion bearing much fruit. As their mom, I must equip them with a biblical worldview so they can know which way, which path and Who they are to follow.




Heart Work:
How are you prepared to lovingly share truth from a biblical worldview? If you have not considered the importance of this, write down specifics regarding how you can present Truth with gentleness, respect and non-judgment.

Pray for those in your immediate sphere of influence who need to understand the authority of Scripture and who need to accept Christ's claims.

Memorize John 14:5-6 or another verse listed below.


Heart Exam:
What path are you on? What authority do you live by? Who determines your worldview? How is absolute truth revealed in your life?

Are you struggling to accept that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation? What inhibits you from embracing this truth?

What popular wind of teaching tries to infiltrate and corrupt your thoughts? How can you better stand firm on God's truth?


Heart Changing Word:
Colossians 2:8 (NIV) "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

2 Timothy 2:18a, 19a (NLT) "They have left the path of truth . . . and have turned some people away from the faith. But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone."

2 Timothy 2:25 "Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants."

2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

1 John 4:1 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

1 John 4:3 "Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

1 John 4:5-6 "They (spirit of the antichrist) are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood."




Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.