Everyone appreciates and values ‘originals’. Originals teach us where we came from, and warn us of mistakes we shouldn’t repeat. Originals stand for success. Original cars, computers, artists and even original molds, which make great casts for several copies to come. We have in Acts the original church in God’s design. This is good news because since it is God’s original, it doesn’t change or deteriorate. The church is not only described with various pictures like Bride, Body, Light, Flock, Vine, Temple, Nation and Family we viewed in the last lesson. But the Church has also been titled with only one owner, shown as the following:
Church of God Acts 20:28,
Churches of Christ, Romans 16:16.
Church of the Firstborn, Hebrews 12:23,
Church of the Living God, 1st Timothy 3:15.
With all of these names in the title for ONE owner, it is comforting to know that the Owner and Head of the Church tell us of it’s original name. THE WAY.
John the Immersionist proclaimed preparation for the Way of the Lord, Mark 1:3, and Jesus spoke of the Kingdom as near, he also spoke of the Way as being straight and narrow, with only a few finding it (Mat. 7:14). Later on towards the end of his ministry, Jesus claimed that He Himself is THE WAY, (Jn. 14:6). As the church was born and started to become established, the Hebrew writer by inspiration of God described the House of God as The Way, (Heb. 10:19-21).
Chronologically, the first time people of the world are on record as calling the church a name, it was in a derogatory sense, speaking in Acts 9:1-2, “The Way”, was the term they used to target disciples of the Lord Jesus. Then in Acts 11:26, the Disciples are called Christians. This sequence of descriptions, proves to us who owns and controls the Church. Jesus Christ, The Way. There are seven more examples of Christians being described by Luke as belonging to the Way, Acts 16:17, 18:25, 26, 19:9, 23, 24:14 & 22. Even in the mind of Paul (Romans 14:16-20) and Peter (2nd Peter 2:1-2) was the idea of the Church being called the “Way”. To the first Christians, there was only ONE way to please God, love God and grow closer to God. In every instance we talk of a “way”, we are always in need of a map or directions. This is good news, and the Way of Truth & Life with God can be seen clearly as:
Hearing about Jesus, Romans 10:13-15.
Believing in Jesus as God’s Son, John 3:16.
Confessing Jesus as Lord, Mat. 10:32, Romans 10:9 & Acts 8:37.
Changing/Repenting for Jesus, Luke 9:23 & Acts 3:19.
Immersed with Jesus, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:37-38, Romans 6:1-8.
Following Jesus Forever, 2nd Tim. 2:10, James 5:11 & Rev. 2:10.
It is good news to be given such a clear and certain, original Way to grow closer to God and be accepted by Him now and for eternity.