The Church in Jerusalem
Street and houses in Jerusalem Photo: © Fotolia.com
A Caring, Sharing Fellowship ACTS 2:42-48
The earliest Christian fellowship following the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, 33 AD, was
The Jerusalem Church. From this passage we learn it was characterised by -
• Teaching by the apostles, based on Jesus' teaching
• Fellowship together
• Shared meals, including celebration of The Lord's Supper
• Sharing of property and possessions
• An awareness of the supernatural eg signs and wonders
• Meetings in The Temple for worship and in houses
• Praise and worship for all the wonderful things God was doing
Tensions Between Jewish & Gentile Believers
The leadership of the Jerusalem Church consisted of the apostles, all Jewish males, under the overall leadership of James the brother of Jesus, along with Peter and John. The congregation grew from 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost to 5,000 within a short space of time and included both Jews and Gentiles. Women played a prominent role in providing accommodation and meals for the meetings, which took place in individual houses. Joint worship took place in The Temple.
Before long the tensions between the original Jewish believers and Gentile converts became a source of division for the fledgling Church. To settle the concerns of Jewish believers that the Gentiles really were part of God's plan of salvation, the leaders called a Council meeting with Peter, James, & John and Paul & Barnabas to sort out the theological issue of circumcision. The Council of Jerusalem, which met in about 50AD, hammered out a policy for Jewish and Gentile Christians to meet the demands of the growing Church.
For more on The Council of Jerusalem, click