christ. comm. part 3.pdf
Jesus heart’s desire that Christians are one worldwide.
NKJV (John 17: 20-23) 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
In the previous article we talked about the origins of the first communities, the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas and how the first Christians experienced the faith in Christ and strengthened their love for each other.
In those exciting days the good news was spread and the Christian house communities spread like an oil slick over the civilized world:
NKJV (Romans 16: 5) 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.
NKJV (1 Corinthians 16:19) 19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
NKJV (Colossians 4:15) 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.
NKJV (Philemon 1: 2) 2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
These house communities were the meeting places where education, knowledge, chants, prayer and meals were shared. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Jesus said the following about meetings:
NKJV (Matthew 18:20) 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Sometimes there were special circumstances, such as speeches and healings by the apostles, or the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, whereby the various house communities gathered together:
NKJV (Acts 5:12) 12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
NKJV (Acts 20: 7-8) 7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.
These were also meetings where the individual Christian house communities could speak to each other, encourage each other and where new disciples were presented to each other.
The book of Acts mainly describes the Christian (missionary) work of the apostles Peter and Paul and the building of the Christian communities.
It is generally assumed – by the remarkable use of words and described healings – that the physician Luke has written the gospel according to Luke and also the Acts of the apostles:
NKJV (Colossians 4:14) 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.
The theme of this article is the missionary work and the establishment of the house communities, the points of attention that there were and the run-up to the two witnesses prophecy.
Continue reading “3. Community”