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What Should We Call The Church?

By Don Loftis | 02.20.13

Many are surprised to learn that the church did not have a particular name throughout the New Testament.  The church was the body of obedient believers who were connected to their head, Jesus Christ.  Thus descriptive phrases like the church of God, church of the Firstborn, or churches of Christ were used.

However, one of the most common terms used to define early Christianity was “the Way.”  Saul set out to Damascus with papers of authority, “that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2).  In Ephesus there were some who spoke evil of “the Way” (Acts 19:9).  Later, Demetrius led a group of people who caused no small disturbance concerning “the Way” (Acts 19:23).

The term clearly reminds us of Jesus’ own proclamation in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  The church is a group of pilgrims on a journey; a band of disciples following the instructions of our Lord.  We are attempting to encourage one another, as we press on toward the final destination of heaven.

It is important that we stay in  the path that leads to life.  Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are a few who find it” (Mt. 7:13-14).  Let’s be sure that we are unmistakably in “the Way.”


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