The Church As The Family Of God
Photo: Gwen Paget
The Church Is Not A Building - It's God's Family
The Church is not a building - it's a body of people who have been saved from God's judgement through their faith in the LORD Jesus Christ and have been born again by the Holy Spirit as God's children to become part of God's worldwide family. Each local congregation is an expression of The Visible Body of Christ on earth.
As in natural families each fellowship will have a different personality and family characteristics. We can see an example of this in the churches in Jerusalem and Corinth.
The Earliest Church Met In People's Houses
After the Holy Spirit fell upon about three thousand people in Jerusalem at Pentecost, groups of believers met together in one another's houses.
The earliest example yet found in Israel was found at Megiddo in 2005 near the camp of the Tenth 'Ironclad' Legion of the Roman army stationed there. It had been built with donations from a Roman centurion named Gaianus and had a prayer room or sanctuary with a communion table in memory of four women. To read more about this, go to EARLIEST CHRISTIAN HOUSE CHURCH IN ISRAEL.
The Church In Jerusalem & The Church In Corinth
The Jerusalem Church consisted of Jesus' original apostles and disciples, who were Jews, and Gentiles who were converted on The Day of Pentecost and afterwards. Its attitudes and forms of worship were Jewish, involving meetings in The Temple as well as in individual houses.
The Church in Corinth, in contrast, consisted mainly of Gentiles, who had been converted out of thoroughly pagan backgrounds, including gross immorality and idolatry. Its leaders, like Erastus, had been leaders of the local synagogue, who had responded to Paul's preaching about Jesus being the Messiah for whom they had been waiting. The members of the fellowship had experienced being born again supernaturally and filled with the Holy Spirit, and their meetings were characterised by manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit.