Author: Ron Graham
The Perfect Path
—Paths of grace trilogy (1)
We have considered how the soul may make various journeys or transitions from state to state. In this lesson we trace the ideal path that the soul should take.
I have called this one of "the paths of grace" because God has provided this path out of his kindness, goodness, and love. One special human being walked this perfect path setting us an example.
1 The Path that All Should Take
There is a perfect path that ought to be taken by everyone. From conception one should remain innocent and never commit the first sin. You might say, “That never happens; everyone sins” That's wrong, because Jesus lived his whole life without sin (1Peter 2:22, Isaiah 53:9).
But there's also the fact that thousands of babies aborted, and many infants who die never sin. These innocents travel the perfect path behind Jesus. I concede that they did not choose to do so. Nevertheless they did take the perfect path.
We all got started on the perfect path. We all made the first journey. We were conceived in our mother’s womb and were innocent. Thus we were born and developed as infants in this world. We had no say over this. It was God’s doing and our parent’s doing. However, what we made of this perfect start when we grew up, was up to our own choice.
We could have continued to walk in innocence until now, and onward to the time when we no longer exercise choice. That would be the coming of death and judgment. After thst, we would enter into eternal life in heaven. This perfect path was God’s will for us.
It was by God’s grace that we were brought into the world innocent and with an opportunity to walk the perfect path.
Without God’s gracious and kindly help, it would be nigh impossible to walk that path, but God has always been there to help and shepherd the righteous along the righteous way (Psalms 1:6, 23:1-4, 33:13-22, 1Corinthians 10:12-13, Hebrews 4:14-16).
2 The Path the Sinner Should Take
But what if one leaves the perfect path? What if one foolishly chooses to go on a wrong journey leaving the state of innocence and committing the first sin. This brings that person into the state of spiritual death. That person is now "dead in trespasses and sins" (Romans 3:23). What is the sinner’s right path?
Those who have left the perfect path can regain it (Ephesians 2:1-10). Just as one left the perfect path and took a wrong journey, so one can, through Jesus, and by God’s kindness, take a corrective journey and regain the perfect path.
This path of return is not the perfect path, because it starts from a wrong place. But it takes you back to the perfect path. By the grace of God, through conversion, you can regain the perfect path and the spiritual life that you lost.
The state of spiritual life is the state of forgiveness, rebirth, salvation, redemption. From this state we are able to take the same journeys as the innocent.
It is by God’s grace that, having spoiled our opportunity to walk the perfect path, we are not left in a dead end state. We are provided a way to pass out of death in sin into a state of rebirth (Romans 3:23-24, Acts 3:19).
3 The Path After Conversion
After regaining spiritual life, one ought to walk the path one should have followed all along. However, sadly, that is not what every Christian does. There is a wrong path for a Christian which passes through apostasy back into the state of spiritual death (2Peter 2:20-22).
It is by God’s grace that, having taken the corrective path, we can then go forward (Philippians 3:13-14) and follow the path of life just as we would have done had we never sinned (Matthew 7:13-14).
4 The Paths of Grace
Jesus is everyone's Saviour, even the Saviour of those who have not sinned, because it is He who keeps them safe from the evil one, and they walk by faith through grace. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, nobody can come to the Father except through him (John 14:6).
That applies to those who have not yet sinned just as much as to those who have. No one is accepted by God in his own right. He is "made accepted" in God’s beloved Son (Ephesians 1:6 KJV).
A correct understanding of grace balances four points...
- A person who is capable of sin is also capable of faith (Matthew 18:6).
- That person cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).
- That person can have faith only by grace (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:8-17).
- There is no such thing as faith without obedience (James 2:20, Romans 1:4-5).
L=Life eternal in heaven
C=Confession of Christ
E=Endurance, continuing faithful