It was registration day at a certain college, and the students were filling out theirs enrolment forms. On one form was a place marked “Religion,” where each prospective student noted the name of the religion he professed. A Chinese lad brought his competed forms to the president. Apparently he had some trouble with English, for when he filled out his form he wrote “C-o-n-f-u-s-i-o-n” as his religion rather than Confucianism.
More people’s religion is described by the unwitting mistake of that Chinese student than many realize. There are countless millions who are following religions that are really confusion. The world’s religions system is called Babylon in Revelation 17:5. The root meaning of Babylon is “babel”, confusion.” God is calling His people out of this Babylon Revelation 18:4, into the true way of Jesus.
The lord Jesus is not merely one of several different ways to heaven. He is the only way to heaven this truth is all wrapped up in four of His words: “I am the way” John 14:6.
Is Christ is the only right way in religion, there are bound to be confusion and error in every religion that does not conform to His pattern. If all followed the Jesus way in every part of their religion, they would be united in His one right way. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s pattern of the real truth. In keeping with this, the bible declares that Jesus left us an example that we “should follow his steps” 1 Peter 2:21. The example and teachings of the Lord Jesus constitute the authoritative standard of Christian doctrine and duty.
Consider how this simplifies the problem of finding the right way because there are so many denominations teaching so many discordant theories. But it is not impossible to know which is the right way. Since Jesus is the only right way, all we need to do is to find His way and walk in it.
We shall now look at some of the things Jesus taught, which will be a kind of review of some of the things we have already said.
The way to proceed is open before us. We may start with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, for there God has given us a record of Jesus` life. Those writers reveal what Jesus taught and lived with respect to the essentials of His way. (We may go on from there to find Him throughout the Bible.)
Jesus regarded the Scriptures, the Holy Bible, as the Worde of God to man, and the only authoritative rule of belief and practice. He said, “The scripture cannot be broken” John 10:35.
He taught that He alone can save a person. Man cannot save himself by all his good works or by trying to keep the Ten Commandments. Salvation depends on receiving Christ as a personal Saviour, John 3:16, 18, 36; 8:24. Jesus´ blood alone can atone for sin Matt. 26:28.
Christ taught that no one can be a Christian and go to heaven unless he is born again: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3. “Except ye be converted …ye neither shall nor enter into the kingdom of heaven” Matt. 18:3. This new birth leads to a transformation of life and character by the re-creative power of God through faith in Him. This new birth takes place when Christ is received into the heart, John 1:12, 13.
Jesus taught that the only way a person can live a victorious life is by abiding in Him, John 15:4-8. this can be experienced only by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. Christ taught that when a person has received this Gift, he will know that he is in Christ, and that Christ is in him John 14:16-20.
Jesus taught that the person who has a continuing experience with Him meets these conditions: a daily crucifixion of self (Luke 9:23); implicit obedience to His commandments (John 14:15,23); daily prayer and partaking of His Word (see Luke 18:1; John 6:56-63); and a constant and complete surrender of the will to follow His will (see Like 14:33).
Jesus taught that obedience to the Ten Commandments is one of the essential conditions for entering heaven. When a wealthy young man asked Him, “What…shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus responded, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” When the man then asked Him which commandments He meant, Christ quoted a few of the Ten Commandments. (Matt. 19:16-19).
In commanding obedience to the Decalogue, Christ did not indicate that anyone could earn his way to heaven by keeping the commandments. Salvation is by grace alone. No one can be justified by the works of the law. Justification is attained only by faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16; John 3:18). But after a person is saved by grace, he will obey the Ten Commandments as God’s standard of righteousness.
Jesus taught that the seventh day of the week is to be kept as the Lord’s holy day. The fact that He upheld the keeping of the Ten Commandments is clear evidence that He endorsed the keeping of the seventh day, which is the subject of one for man” (Mark 2:27).
As the Creator of this world (John 1:10), Christ made the seventh day the Sabbath by resting upon it after He had made the world in six days. Then He sanctified, or set apart, each succeeding seventh day for man to keep holy. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11).
The keeping of the seventh day of the week is a part of Christ’s original order for man. Nowhere do we have a record of His changing that requirement; therefore, the keeping of that day is one of His steps we are to follow. So long as Christ is the Creator – His position as such is established as a Biblical fact – and only Saviour, so long will the seventh-day Sabbath be the sign of Christ as the Creator-Saviour (see Isa. 66:22,23).
Jesus Christ gave us an example to follow. In Luke 4:16 we learn that it was His practice, or “custom”, to attend the worship service on the seventh day of the week, or Saturday.
Jesus taught by the parable of the tares that the impenitent are not cast into hellfire as soon as they die but will be cast into the lake of fire at the day of judgment at the end of the world (Matt. 13:24-30, 38-42). And after they are punished, according to their evil deeds, they will be totally destroyed, soul and body, Matt. 10:28.
Jesus taught that life after death depends on being resurrected at the last day (John 6:39,40,54). He taught that the righteous do not receive their reward until He comes at His second advent (Matt. 16:27), and that His followers will not be taken to heaven until He comes again (John 14:1-3).
Jesus declared that His followers will know when His second coming is near, by the fulfilment of certain signs (Matt. 24:29-33; 16:1-3).
Jesus endorsed the payment of tithe, the tenth of one’s net income, to support the preaching of the gospel. The Pharisees gave God the value of a tenth of such diminutive herbs as mint, anise, and cumin from their gardens. But they overlooked the more important matters of the Pharisees tithing, Jesus said, “theses ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” Matt. 23:23. Tithing is a part of Jesus way.
It was Christ’s steadfast purpose to obey the will of God in all things – His eating, drinking, dressing, talking, or whatever. And He taught that His followers should obey God in everything. Their religion has a sanctifying influence on every aspect of life (John 15:14; 17:17, 19; Luke 6:46; Matt. 7:21; 12:50).
In view of Jesus´obedience to God´s instruction, it is certain that He refrained from eating he flesh of those animal, fowls, and fish that are unfit for food according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. when a person adopts the way of Jesus, 1 Corinthians 10:31 will be the controlling rule of his life: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Jesus declared that His followers will be separate from the world, and will not follow its sinful ways (John 15:19; 17:15, 16; Luke 14:33). Those who choose the Jesus way will shun sinful practices such as dancing, gambling, and spiritually destructive television.
Jesus Christ taught that Christians should practice certain ordinances to show their love for Him, and for one another. By His example He endorsed the ordinance of baptism by immersion as a sign that the believer has committed his life fully to God (Matt. 3:13-17). He taught that baptism is one of the steps in being saved (Mark 16:15, 16). Many Christians sincerely believe that sprinkling is baptism. But Christian baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:35; Col. 2:12). Sprinkling does not meet God’s pattern for His followers.
Jesus´instructions concerning the ordinances of humility and of the Lord’s Supper are found in John 13:12-15 and Mathew 26:26-28. he washed His disciples´feet, then commanded His followers to do so also: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). He gave the broken bread as an emblem of His body sacrificed for us, and the wine as an emblem of His blood shed for or sins.
Among the many religions in the world, where do you find a people who follow all these steps in the way of Jesus? All denominations follow some of them, some follow nearly all, but only one group follows all of these steps – that is the Seventh-day Adventist people. This confirms that they represent Christ’s remnant – the last part of His true church. This reveals that Adventists, as the people of the threefold-message movement, are not merely another church or some new church, but a restoration of the original religion of Christ. They are not religious innovators or inventors of strange new doctrines, but the restorers of the ancient Jesus way. They are restoring every neglected truth taught and practiced by the church in the days of the apostles.
If you knew which church Jesus Christ would unite with if He lived in your city, as He lived in Palestine 1900 years ago, would you unite with it? Jesus has not changed. Is it not clear that if He live here today He would take His stand with these people who teach and practice what He taught then?
In the West Point cadet’s prayer there is a sentence that says, “Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never be content with a half truth, when the whole can be won.” O how people need to apply this when confronted with these steps Christ has left for us to follow!
Love makes difficult things easy. Jesus declares that if we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). When we love Him we find real happiness in doing what He asks us to do.
Jesus expects us to follow His requirements all the way. When He washed the feet of His disciples before He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper, Peter at first refused to have Jesus wash his feet. He said: “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” Jesus told him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” John 13:8. Then Peter quickly agreed to have the Master wash his feet. But note, if Peter had persisted in his refusal, it would have cost him eternal life. We cannot afford to refuse to have Jesus do with us as He wills, or to withhold obedience to any of His biddings. When we love Jesus with all our heart, we will follow Him all the way.