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 without God.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Example: The way of Jesus says, “learn to live in God’s world God’s way and experience true life.”

Start Talking

  • Growing up, how would you describe your understanding of Christian “Salvation”? Where did this understanding come from?
  • Is your understanding the same or different as an adult?
  • Has anyone ever given you a super weird or confusing explanation of Christian Salvation?
  • It turns out the truth of the gospel is much different from The Way of the World, and The Way of Religion. 

The Way of the World teaches us:

  • That we are born innocent
  • That any trauma we experience has been done to us, that we are never at fault. 
  • That we simply need to rediscover our true selves, however we may do that.
  • That heaven is really here and now, and we should pursue happiness at all costs!

In summary, find your Way! You do you!

    • Talk about how you have experienced this way of thinking.

The Way of Religion teaches us:

  • That God made everything perfect! 
  • That we are sinners that have lost their way.
  • Because I have lost my way, I just need to find my way back and work to do it.
  • That the way to heaven is to do more good than bad. 

In summary, work your way back into relationship with God! 

    • When have you felt pressure to live this way? 
    • What does it look like to “work your way” back into relationship with God?

In contrast to these two methods, we believe The Jesus way is THE Way. The Jesus Way is that “He is the Way Back

Read This

Read John 14:1-7

  • What Stands out to you?
  • What are the disciples saying in this passage?
  • What is Jesus saying in response?
  • How does this passage apply to today’s conversation?

Read also Luke 15:11-32

  • In thinking about what Clay shared with us on Sunday, describe which “Way” each brother is pursuing. 
  • Which of the two brothers can you relate to (it doesn’t have to be now, but perhaps how you have lived before) ?

What Now

  • The Way of the World leads to a life of self-determination, self-fulfillment, and self centeredness. The Way of Religion leads to self-righteousness, legalism, and rigid judgment. Yet, The way of Jesus leads us to sacrifice, selflessness, and surrender. When we realize we don’t have to, and can’t make salvation happen for ourselves, our natural response is gratitude towards Jesus. 

Talk about when this first clicked for you. What happened IN you when you realized The Way of Jesus was better than the Way of The World and The Way of Religion?

  • Perhaps you haven’t fully understood The Way of Jesus until now. What if anything has held you  back from fully surrendering to Jesus’ way?
  • Furthermore, you may have chosen The Jesus Way for eternal salvation, but you have a hard time not choosing the way of the world or the way of religion in your daily life. Is there an area of your life you are still holding back from God?
  • What do you need to surrender to God?

Additional Resources

Summary of the Message:

SYSTEM WORLD RELIGION JESUS
GENESIS Inner Child Perfect World Perfect World
FALL Trauma Lost My Way Dead
SALVATION   Rediscovering Self Works of Righteousness The Work of Jesus
HEAVEN Pleasure The After Life God’s Kingdom

Luke and Acts reading plan

Podcast: This Cultural Moment pt. 12, “Salvation Schema” by Mark Sayers and John Mark Comer.

Song: Bethel Music: Goodness of God

Song: Judah and the Lion – Over My Head