GPS devices are certainly amazing and seem to have largely replaced the old traditional, fold out maps that once provided direction while traveling. When the GPS is working right, it’s almost like there is an additional person in the car, pointing out where to turn and helping you find your way.
However, when a GPS device gets it wrong, it can be pretty bad – sending individuals down one-way streets, telling them to turn onto non-existent roads, or even taking some people down obscure, single-lane, pot-hole-filled dirt roads in the middle of nowhere – dangerous roads which have no business having cars on them. When these problems occur, there is no way to tell the machine that it messed up. At such times, one realizes how much better it would be if you had an actual person right there beside you who knew the route and could help you. The GPS might seem very knowledgeable, but it is only as good and knowledgeable as the persons that programmed it.
We mention that to mention this: there is a way to get to heaven, and though GPS won’t be of any assistance on the journey, there is one who can walk beside you and give you guidance. Further, if you listen to His words, He will never steer you wrong.
Jesus Christ said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – no one comes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6)
Elsewhere we read, “we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh.” (Hebrews 10:19b-20; ESV)
Notice two things here. First, as aforementioned there is a way to God that Jesus provides. There is a way to reach a heavenly, eternal home, a holy place, by the Father’s side and that way is nothing more nor less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus opened this way for travelers when He died on the cross and provided atonement and through that atonement, a way to have a relationship with God. (cf. Ephesians 2:14-16)
The second thing to notice is that this new way to God, the only way to God, is a living way. Jesus, who died for our sins, rose from the dead and now He always lives to make intercession on behalf of His disciples. (cf. Hebrews 7:25) Moreover, as a guide, Jesus is not unaware of our needs and conditions. He is keenly aware of the turns and twists we face on the road ahead, and will not, out of ignorance, steer us in a wrong direction. “No creature is hidden from his sight.” (Hebrews 4:13a)
The guidance that Jesus provides us is found in the words of the Bible. When Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” (ESV) the apostle is speaking about the very same words of which he declares earlier, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16a; ESV)
Christ provides a new and living way to God through the salvation of our souls. We learn of Christ and this way through the Scriptures, hence the Scriptures are the power of God unto salvation. And concerning the Scriptures, we read the divine testimony: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12; ESV) And again we read, “you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God,… and this is the good news that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23, 25; ESV)
These words are meant to assure us that the Bible, written by an all-knowing, all-wise God, is not some dead machine whose guidance might steer you wrong at just the wrong moment, sending you careening down a one-way street in the wrong direction and against the flow of traffic. It is a living, vibrant guide written by the Living God, about the New and Living Way, and its words, properly applied, will always be on target.
It is because of the importance of this message given to us that we should be diligent in our studies of the same. If you are interested in learning more of the words of Christ, as given to us in the Bible, the church of Christ invites you to study and worship with us at 234 Chapel Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio. Likewise, if you have any questions, please share them with us through our website chapelhillchurchofchrist.org.
Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.