Tracks are one of the tools we use to follow and locate positioning, and they can come in many forms. Interestingly, do you know what the primary term for identifying the followers of Jesus was? Do you know the most widely used word for the early church? They were simply called, ‘The Way.’
The NT Book of Acts uses this phrase 6 times (9:2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). Compare these 6 occasions where the name, Christian, is used only once (11:26). Not saying both aren’t important and part of our identity in Christ – just bringing up a reality. So, what can we learn and glean from this title: ‘The Way.’ What can speak to us now, in the present tense, in our lives?
Today, we have a separation between what a person says they believe and the way they live their lives. For example, do you know anyone who says they believe in Jesus, but do not follow His example, His teachings? For most it has become the norm to speak of having “faith in God” without doing the “works of God.” But we must take heed: We do not find this separation between faith and works in the Word of God or in the life of Christ and the early NT church. Rather than separation, there is integration. Pick up and read James 2:18-19, 26.
Paul writes in Galatians 5, v.6: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Love is connected to faith. It doesn’t mean we become a doormat – it doesn’t mean we relinquish accountability. Acts of love are motivated by faith and oneness in Christ, that is, if they are authentic. The true followers of Christ shine – and the true followers of Christ (The Way) will be easily identifiable by the fruit their lives produce (read John 13:35). In the Book of Acts, the early church is identified by the way they lived and not just by what they believed. Same is true today. What good is it to talk all the talk, post all the blogs, do all the daily publications if you aren’t in the lab, on the roads, with the people, living the life?
Let’s live the way Jesus lived!
One thought on “The Way”
Love this blog post Pastor Porter and the discussion we had at Bible Study last night along these lines. I started thinking about a book that I read about 15 years ago and I dug it up to read through the hurricane :-) It’s called, “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldon. It is a heartwarming and very inspirational story about what happens to a town when one small group of disciples from the local church decides to spend the next year doing everything they do only after they have asked the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” Awesome message — awesome possibility for revival and transformation!!! Maybe we should ask a group of Bridgeway disciples to make that commitment and then see what God can do? :-)