The Good Way
The Bible shows us how during a time of religious declension God spoke to Israel through His faithful servant Jeremiah. He exposed the folly of the backsliding prophets and priests and challenged the people, warning them and then urging them with these words: “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jer.6:16).
This is a message for our own day. The Christian faith has long enjoyed a privileged place in Scotland but now the gospel seems to be an embarrassment to many and a sinful, man-centred pride is evident. Yet the result of this unbelief is that the vital questions which face us all go unanswered: Who made me? What is my purpose in life? What will happen to me when I die?
Scripture teaches us that God has put us here to glorify and enjoy Him but sin has entered our hearts and made a separation between us and God, bringing death. We are pilgrims on the way to eternity. If we are to reach heaven it must be by the good way God has set out in His Word – in the ‘old paths’ of grace and godliness. How can we find this good way?
To find the good way we first need to stop. We must pause and consider which road we are on. Although there are many paths in life there are really only two ways and ultimately only two destinations: the “broad” way that leads to destruction and the “narrow” way that leads to life (Matt.7:13,14). Which are you on?
To find the good way we then need to look. We must apply our minds to the truth as it revealed to us in the Scriptures. The broad way is the way of rebellion against God and in our natural state we are all travelling it. The narrow way is the way of faith and obedience to God and we will not take it unless there is a great change in our lives through the work of His grace.
To find the good way we also need to pray. To know God’s saving grace we must call upon Him in the name of Jesus Christ. Nowadays we are told that all religions lead to God but the truth is that there is only one way to Him and it is by His Son, the loving Saviour who died at Calvary to put away sin and reconcile the guilty to God.
Having found this good way we finally need to walk. Those who walk in the old paths are promised rest for their souls. The path of grace is a sure one; never has anyone walked in it and not found peace and joy and hope. But the path of godliness must be walked in too, else it is doubtful whether we are actually in the path of grace.
Christ speaks very tenderly to sinners when He says to them: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt.11:28). That is surely grace. Yet in the next verse He says: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” That is surely godliness. The one leads to the other. It always does.
Jeremiah had to report the defiant response of the people: “We will not walk therein.” Sadly the same stubbornness is found today yet refusing God’s gift of salvation is the greatest sin we can ever commit. Seek then the old paths and the good way; you will never regret it.