The Design of the Church is to be brought into Christ’s Likeness
Through Spiritual Gifts
Now we come to the New Testament Times
Christ spent three years with the apostles equipping them with the abilities to do the work which He desired for them to do.
When Christ returned to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in every believer.
In those very early days in Jerusalem and then when they were scattered throughout the area, those early Christians were in a new environment.
Now I don’t know about those four hundred years between the Old and New. We are told that God did not speak in those years. There were some believers I would think, since John the Baptist and Mary and Joseph were believers. But the meeting places of those believers were small.
The twelve did not use the term "local church" to describe their gathering to worship. It was only later when Paul came on the scene that he used the term "church". He viewed the "churches" as independent congregations. It seems to be clear that the early communities of Christians did share in independent group fellowships called "churches"; for example, in his letter to "the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea" (I Thess 2:14), and in his letter to "all the churches of the saints." (I Corin 14:33)
The idea of where they met varies in those early times. They gathered for worship in a particular house (Romans 16:5) or they met in public places, including the Temple (Acts 2:46) or out in the open as on Mount of Olives (Acts 1:6) or on the sea shore (Acts 21:5) or in "an upper room" (Acts 1;13-14)
In those early years buildings were not built, but they met in private houses. In those days there was the persecution of the Christians, and they met whenever they could. Therefore, they had to meet in private homes.
- Cornelilus’ house Acts 10:27
- Simon’s house Acts 106
- Mary’s Acts 12:5
- Lydia’s Acts 16:40
- Jason’s Acts 17:5
- Justus’ Acts 18:7
- Philip’s Acts 21:7
- Paul’s abode Acts 28:23-30
- Priscilla & Aquilla Romans 16:5
- Nympha’s Col 4:15
- Philemon’s Philem 2
As a matter of record "until the second century Christians were not permitted to erect churches, but were compelled to worship in private homes, in the open fields, or , to escape persecution, in the Catacombs and other concealed places."
Church historian Quinus Tertullian, early in the third century writes: "Lastly, if you cannot assemble by day, you have the night. Be content with a church of threes. It is better that you sometimes should not see your crowds.
I keep getting off the topic here, about spiritual gifts and the work of the ministry. But I will get back on topic on Monday
Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant