The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 14:12 (KJV)
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 12:15 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 (KJV)
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)
Land navigation is not always easy, depending upon the mode of transportation and the navigation aids available to the traveler. Traveling on the surface of the earth means making many turns and reorientations to one’s route. When we travel by land, our journey is facilitated by roads, highways, and perhaps rails. These are man-made routes which are seldom strait. But when we travel by air, we are not hindered by earthen structures and are able to fly direct routes between point A and point B, depending upon ATC clearances. But I like to think of air travel as the kind of travel the Christian must travel as opposed to the circuitous land routes of the world.
The Christian is equipped with the most perfect of Navigation Charts – the Holy Bible; and the Compass he has available is infallible being the Word of God. He has the best of all elements of lift in the winds of the Holy Spirit which enable the Christian to spread his wings and glide effortlessly on the Winds of God.
But even so, all is not always smooth sailing for we are often buffeted by the storms of doubt and temptation which cause our ships of soul to fluctuate in altitude, heading and speed. The craft of flesh may be weak and may temporarily vary from that true heading of life, but the Chart, Compass and Lift have not failed. It was our own distractions and failures that caused the variances. If we are seasoned navigators, we will make course, altitude and heading corrections to return to the precise route laid out by our Lord – and we will not fail to arrive at our destination. But we must, above all else, trust those Resources that God has placed at our disposal.
It would be impossible to begin a journey without a starting point and, even if we have the proper Chart, Compass, and Propulsion, we cannot make a proper and righteous journey to the Narrow Gate without having that starting point. Each Christian had a starting point. It may not be so well defined for one as for another. For those raised in the nurture of God’s Word from childhood, it may be difficult to define the precise time and place of their conviction as sinners in need of a Redeemer. These may have been raised with that knowledge from a tender age, and at such an age came to the knowledge of the truth in Christ. Others, like Mary Magdalene, may have been serious sinners whose lives were changed in a stark moment by the Voice of the Lord’s calling to life. Though the calling and election in Christ was issued long before our breaths were given, there is a point in time of God’s choosing that He will make that calling and election sure in our hearts.
It is a hard thing for man to grasp that God would save some, and not others. It seems unfair to mankind, but it is not. We are all conceived in sin, and all deserve to go down to the grave in damnation. So, those who do not hear the call are not in any wise defrauded for they have received their just deserts. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Romans 9:18 (KJV) Those who feel that they DESERVE salvation are precisely those who are farthest from the Kingdom of God. Salvation is all of grace – an act of God – by means of faith, a grant of the Holy Ghost.
One of our leading biblical texts today from Proverbs reads, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” When men attempt to exalt government to the role of God to His exclusion, the condemnation will lie in wait for such a nation. Socialists, Communists, and Fascists attempt to do just that. “We need no God because government will provide ALL our needs” they vainly proclaim; and then lead the nation into want and ruin. Any man or nation who believes they can wing it without God are suing for an untimely and eternal death.
There is a popular saying the Romanists which claims, “All roads lead to Rome.” Even if that were true, whatever road leads to Rome certainly will not lead to Heaven. We are given precise description of that Road that leads to Heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ! “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Christ did not say, “I am ‘a’ Way”, but “THE Way!” None of those roads leading to Rome will ever find terminus in Christ for His is the ONLY Way!
We are given clear doctrinal boundaries concerning the Way of the Lord in Holy Writ:
- The Law and commandments of God are a definition of the Way “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” Psalms 119:1 (KJV)
- The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is a definition of the WAY: “But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.” Acts 19:9 (KJV) Hopefully, we, too, will be separated from all false teachers in our churches.
- The WAY is defined by the ‘secret counsel of God’ for as Paul proclaims: “33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36 (KJV)
- And what of the conversation and walk of the Godly? Does it not define the WAY? “1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1 (KJV) You needn’t read many of my devotions without realizing that this verse is a favorite of mine. It demonstrates that the steps of the righteous are ordered by God, and the descent into the abyss of sin is a progressively escalating way of the sinner. But the righteous man or woman will not walk with the direction and counsel of the ungodly for it always leads to ruin. If we take counsel and walk with the ungodly, we will soon find ourselves standing with them in their ungodly counsel; and if we do so, we will next make ourselves at home with the ungodly in their churches or synagogues in scorn of the Gospel of Christ.
- The works of God as well define the WAY of the Lord and extol His power and virtue. When Job question these, God answered Him out of the whirlwind: “2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?” Job 38:2-13 & more.
- The most perfectly complete definition of the WAY is Christ Himself – not some king, pope, or potentate. He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. In Him is no sin, and in Him is no death. If we imitate His righteousness out of the gift of grace, we will be called Christians in both name and nature. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Being in Christ as our Ark of Salvation, we need not fear death, for there is no death that can abide in Him.