His Ways and Our Walk

Boy Jesus

Isaiah 2:3 “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The Law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

When we hear that God will teach us his ways, the prophet does not mean the ways the Lord wants us to act. His ways are the ways that he acts. His ways are the things he has done for us. Here we have the heart and core of the loving change our Savior came to work in us.

We live in a world divided by sin. We can have peace with each other and live a life of love only when we have peace with God. And we can have peace with God only because Jesus has made that possible. Jesus came first to remove the sin that made God angry with us. He stepped between us and an angry God. He bore the punishment that brings us peace (Isaiah 53:5). God’s way was to sacrifice his own Son for our sins. God’s way was to raise that Son from the dead as proof that sin has lost its power. God’s way was to love us enough to take care of our problem for us. He gave us life and salvation as a free gift. When he gathers many peoples from many nations together, this is the way of peace that he teaches us.

And only then can we “walk in his paths.” Only when my Savior has gathered me to himself and taken my sin, only when he has come to live in me himself, will I walk in his paths.  Only then will I treat my brother or sister in the faith the way he would treat them.  Only then will I reach out to others who don’t know God’s peace and extend that peace to them as well.

Perhaps it should be obvious, but we know this because from his house our Lord has taught us his word: “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Sometimes people get the idea that the church is nothing more than a dead institution. In individual congregations or church bodies, that may be true. But far from a dead institution, the Holy Christian Church, God’s Zion, his gathering of believers, is something the Lord himself has raised up and preserves to share his word. As the Lord gathers the nations there, as he gathers us there, we hear his word and learn his ways.

That word, in turn, changes hearts. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes according to the Apostle Paul. God’s word takes the heart captive. It makes him our ruler: a good and gentle king who rules there with his grace and love. It makes us his agents: ambassadors of God’s peace and love to a world that desperately needs them.

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