As you know there are many things competing for our affections, time, energy, and heart! Many are appealing, but we believe the best way is the Jesus way. Today we will compare and contrast the way of the world and the way of religion versus the way of Jesus!

As we continue throughout this series, our goal is to define the different ways of life. Reference these definitions to help people recognize the three ways to live – the way of the world, the way of religion, the way of Jesus – and to discover the tools necessary to follow in the way of Jesus.

The Way of the World 

  • Definition: The culture and practices opposed to God under the control of the Evil One.
  • Example: The Way of the World says “do whatever you want and you’ll be happy.”

The Way of Religion

  • Definition: The culture and practices that distort God under the control of hypocrites.
  • Example: The Way of Religion says “just follow the rules and you’ll feel worthy.”

The Way of Jesus

  • Definition: The culture and practices that glorify God and shape us to the image of Jesus.
  • Example: The way of Jesus says, “learn to live in God’s world God’s way and experience true life.”

Start Talking

  • Think back to your childhood/teenage years. How would you have described “worldliness”?
  • What things or behaviors would you say demonstrate worldliness today? Are they different from your childhood description?
  • What does it mean to “mislive”? Have you ever felt like you are doing this?

Read This

  • Read Galatians 5:13-22. Compare and contrast Godly living vs. Worldly living seen in these verses. 
  • Worldliness isn’t just choosing not to follow Jesus. We can be religious and also worldly!  Take a list of the two categories below. Tell us where you may find yourself leaning?

Some marks of worldliness are:

  • Following the Way of the world:
  • Following the way of religion:
    • A hypocritical life committed to tradition & works vs Jesus(Matthew 15:7-9, Matthew 23:13-15)
    • Simply modifying behavior over dealing with heart issues
  • We believe there is a better way than the way of the world and also  the way of religion. We believe the way of Jesus is better. They way of Jesus is marked by these things:
    • Formation (Galatians 4:19). He moves us beyond and below our behaviors. Not just doing the right things, but wanting to become like Him
    • Transformation (Romans 12:1-2). Our minds and hearts actually become different. 
    • Conformed (Romans 8:28-30). Taking  on the form and likeness of Jesus.

What Now

  • Would you say that right now God has control of your heart and not just your behavior?
  • Read John 10:10. Did you know Jesus came not just for our eternal life but for our abundant life here on Earth? How do we experience this?
  • Read Haggai 1:5-9. Talk about what it means to give careful thought to your ways? 
  • Which way are you living? The way of the world, The way of religion, or The way of Jesus. How do you know?
  • What step can you take this week to walk further in the Way of Jesus? How can this group help you?

Perhaps you know you want to walk further in the way of Jesus, but you don’t know what to do from here. Consider starting by praying this prayer this week. You can even post it somewhere to see each morning:

“Lord I renounce the way of the world and the way of religion, and I say yes to your life giving way”

Additional Resources

Luke and Acts reading plan