The Book of Matthew

Wednesday: “I Am the Way”

Matthew 7:13-14 In this week’s lessons, we see that it is everyone’s need to come to Christ for salvation, and that to live along the broad path only leads to destruction.
Theme
“I Am the Way”

Another truth also lies at the heart of His warning, the truth that salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ only. What is the gate? What is the way that leads to life? The answer is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9). He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). These verses throw the only proper light upon our text. For they show that Jesus was speaking of faith in Himself when he told the Galileans, “Narrow is the gate, and hard is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The way to heaven is as narrow as Jesus.

When I was in college I was taught that one of the things a student should never do when writing a paper was to make a value judgment. Since my college days I have come to doubt the wisdom and correctness of that axiom. But I accepted it then. For I was taught that you could describe the subject matter. You could contrast it with something else. You could dissect it; but you could not say that the thing itself was either good or bad. You could not say that it was inherently worse or better than something else.

The same idea that was present in the classroom then, today pervades all of our American culture. The result is that for most people nothing is to be received as absolute truth, and nothing is inherently better than anything else. Of course, right here Christianity has trouble because it claims to have absolute truth, since it presents Jesus Christ as the sole way to God. Jesus’ words about Himself, as in the texts I have mentioned, are unqualified. This means that if Jesus is right, as He is, then there are no other ways to God for men to follow.

Let me make this point clearly. First, it means that no man will be able to come to God through nature. This is a popular thought among many people who are dissatisfied with the Christian churches. But the idea that God can be found in nature is an illusion, and it leads to idolatry.

Several years ago, after I had spoken on this subject in my church, a woman came up to me and told me of her experiences working with Campus Crusade for Christ in California. She said that she had worked on the beaches with surfers. In many cases she was told by the surfers that they worshipped God in nature. She soon learned to ask, however, “What is God?” And often she was told, “My surfboard is my god,” or something like it. Well, at least that is honest. But it is pure paganism, and it is nothing but a delusion to think that this attitude has anything to do with the worship of God Almighty, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. A man is deluding himself if he thinks that he is worshipping God in nature as he plays golf on Sunday mornings or goes for a drive in the country. If you are going to do this or are doing it, you are not worshipping God in nature. You are either not worshipping at all (which is probably most often the case) or you are worshipping nature, and nature is not God. That belief is pantheism.

Do you know what the revelation of God in nature is for? The Bible says that it is to condemn men for failing to recognize God. Romans 1:20 says that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all men, for “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” No man has ever come to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ through nature.

Study Questions
  1. What examples do you have of how various segments of contemporary culture attack the idea of absolute truth—whether that be in matters of religion, ethics, science, mathematics, history, or other areas you can think of?
  2. What is wrong with thinking that God can be worshipped in nature? What two errors does this produce?
  3. What does the Bible say is the purpose of God’s revelation in nature?
Application

Reflection: What are some reasons why people think they can avoid worship in church and instead worship God in nature? What is missing in their conception of who God is, and therefore of what worship is?

Application: While God cannot be worshipped in nature, Christians are to praise God for how He has revealed Himself in nature. Give praise to God for His power, wisdom, and goodness expressed in the beauty and intricacy of what you can see around you.

For Further Study: To learn more about this narrow way, download for free and listen to Philip Ryken’s message, “One Narrow Door.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

For Further Study: The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is offering an excellent study on the exclusive truth of Christianity. Order your copy of Only One Way, and save over 25% off the regular price.

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