A pilgrim is not a wanderer. Psalm 119:10 says, "Don't let me wander from the path." A pilgrim has a definite goal in mind. He may be passing through. He may not take up residence along the way that he is traveling, but he is traveling to a specific destination. He is on a pilgrimage. Perhaps we are most familiar with the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslim pilgrims may travel from one country to another, but they always have their sights on Mecca.
Christians who keep God's holy days make a pilgrimage every fall to the Feast of Tabernacles. They may travel through many states, but they have a singular destination in mind. They follow the route mapped out to get there. They are pilgrims, and there is a route—a way—that they must follow to arrive there.
There is a proper way to play a card game, a basketball game, or a football game. Is it possible to play a coherent game when each player does what he just "feels" is right, if he has his own set of rules, his own way? Is it possible to play a coherent game when some of the rules are left out? Hardly. The game immediately degenerates and will not achieve what the game's designers intended.
There is a way to repair a mechanical device. There is a way to assemble things. We experience this with things we buy that must be assembled. If we do not follow the directions, the dumb thing will not go together!
The point is this: God is not just trying to save us. He is producing a product that is in His image, and there is a way that will produce it.
The commandments—all ten of them—play major roles in His way. If we remove any one of them, the product will be deficient. It will not be assembled in the right way. It will be lacking. Some people think God is stupid for assigning a particular day for worship, but He has reasons for it.
Thus, a way is a method, a manner, a direction, or a route to follow—and that way has rules.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 2)
In the New Testament, the most common Greek word for self-control (temperance, KJV) is enkrateia. Its root meaning is "power over oneself" or "self-mastery." Self-control, in its widest sense, is mastery over our passions. It is the virtue that holds our appetites in check, controlling our rational will or regulating our conduct without being duly swayed by sensuous desires. Moderation is a key element in self-control.
Martin G. Collins
Under the New Covenant we, too, should consider ourselves aliens and pilgrims in relation to this world. We live here as co-heirs of the earth with Christ, but we are to live our lives as if we are just passing through on the way to our inheritance. A pilgrim is a person out of his own country, in a foreign land. He does not intend to put down roots there but is heading elsewhere toward a definite goal. Thus, his life is always in transition. He should not view himself as permanently anchored to the society in which he lives.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 1 Peter 2:11: