Acts 24:14 “However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way…“
The Christian life involves re-understanding our entire lives and the whole world in light of God’s revelation.” Eugene Peterson
This is Christianity in a nutshell. This is the Way. What is interesting about the early believers in Jesus Christ being called the Way- believing that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)- is that Christianity is really and truly a journey. A journey of being on the way, the narrow road. It is a journey of re-thinking and re-understanding our lives based on Jesus Christ, the revelation of God. That is repentance. Repentance is not just the forgiveness of sins, but also following the ways of Jesus. Repentance is realizing you need forgiveness but also knowing there is a different way of being human, something God intends that you can become. Jesus is the way to the Father, but he also shows us the way to be. In both of these, we are on the way. This is what it means to say that Jesus is Lord of your life. He is Lord, and you must follow him and begin to live life accordingly. He challenges all other lords- things that demand our attention and allegiance. He challenges with a simple call, “Repent.”
Matthew 4:17 “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and it is for you! And to be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven means that you must begin to live under the lordship of Jesus, the government of the ways of God, on earth right now. Your attention and allegiance are to be to him. In this we find abundant life. This is life as God intends it to be as we wait, longingly, for our Savior to return and bring the Kingdom in it’s finality. This is to be on the way, to be on that journey. Following Jesus and becoming. It is a purposeful life of faith in which you engage with God, allowing him to take the lead step and write your story. It is entirely intentional. Not that you can force things to happen, but you engage with God and allow him to make things happen. When he takes the lead step and begins to write your story, he may wreck, reshape, remove, or add. He will surprise you. He will not always fit into your understanding. He will cause you to turn from the fallen ways and systems of the world. He will cause you to turn from the fallenness in yourself. He will do this while on the journey. In shaping you he can be like the strong wind of a storm or like the quietness of a whisper. But even though he can be like that strong wind, more often than not these things are more subtle than the boom of fireworks. Mostly you will notice your ‘becoming’ as you look back while on the journey. He will take you somewhere.
Jesus says follow me, I am the way, I will make you into… (Mark 8:34, John 14:6, Matthew 4:19)
We believe, confess, repent. We become a Christian. Synonyms such as justified, forgiven, made a new creation, born again, and citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven are enacted.
We then follow. We become Christian. We continue in repentance and sanctification, living as citizens of the Kingdom with lives marked by good deeds. In following we have fellowship fulfilling the relational aspect of creation. In fellowship we become. God changes us. In our becoming we keep on the process of living out of the ashes of our sinfulness. And as we become, good deeds come from our lives. Simply because of change. Intentional and unintentional. In this we are light of the world, salt of the earth. We live each day in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ. We live each day in such a way that we need him. We live each day that if he did not exist, we would be rather absurd. This is the life of faith. All guided by (learning to) loving God and loving neighbor.
We do this in anticipation of the return of Jesus.
We are saved, are being saved, and will be saved. This is belonging to the Way.