Presentation on theme: "The First Churches By Paul Gibson UofL BCM. Where We Left Off… 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given."— Presentation transcript:
Where We Left Off… 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Build A Church Form groups of five or more (please, no less than five) Build a church by fulfilling the following requirements… – Leadership: Appoint a pastor, everyone else will be elders – Choose a location and name – Choose a mission (over- arching purpose) – Decide on three core beliefs that will guide your future decisions – Decide which ministry to start first Pastor: Barry-E Location: EazyStreet Name: First Presbaptmethochrist Church Mission: To reach Red Raider Nation with the Love of Jesus Three Core Beliefs: – Life – Liberty – Pursuit of Happiness First Ministry: Cookie Ministry
Ecclesia to “Church” Ecclesia was used by then modern day Greek speaking people to describe or declare a gathering of a regular assembly of citizens. http://www.denofgeek.com/siteimage/scale/800/600/7789.png
The Ecclesia According to Paul Paul did not describe physical Christ- followers as constituting (making-up) one large physical church. Instead, Paul only saw “local churches” existing to reach local people.
The Ecclesia According to Paul 14For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews… (1 Thessalonians 2.14) 4Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. (2 Thessalonians 1.4)
The Ecclesia According to Paul 19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (1 Corinthians 16.9) 1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Faher, who raised him from the dead—2 and all the brothers with me, To the churches of Galatia… (Galatians 1.1-2)
The Ecclesia According to Luke Instead of theologically interpreting the meaning of “ecclesia,” Luke focused on writing a historical account of the first churches. Therefore, Luke’s stories describe what already existed.
The Ecclesia According to Luke 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke break in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts… (Acts 2.46) But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison… (Acts 8.3) Emphasis was placed upon ecclesia (local gatherings) in homes.
Pagan Ecclesia? Because “ecclesia” meant “gathering,” ecclesia could also be used to refer to a pagan worship service. In the first-century, what set Christ-following ecclesia apart from pagan ecclesia?
The Difference 1 Paul, Silas, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. (1 Thessalonians 1.1) 1 Paul, Silas, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2.1)
The Difference The ecclesia at Thessalonika was set apart from pagan ecclesia by the use of the words, “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The first-century ecclesias gathered in the name of God and Jesus in order to… “devote themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship (Koinonia), to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.”
Fellowship—Koinonia Koinonia usually meant that gathering parties had something in common. Christians who gathered as an ecclesia in the first-century shared the supernatural koinonia they had with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Trinitarian Koinonia May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13.14
The Reality of the First Churches 1.Illegal* 2.No “Church buildings” 3.No Printed Scripture 4.Persecuted 5.Catechisms Based upon the facts above, how fast do you think the church grew during its first three centuries? *The Book of Revelation was written to the first churches in response to current persecution.
Early Growth 1 1. Hirsch, Alan. The Forgotten Ways. Grand Rapids, MI: BrazosPress, 2006. 16-17. Print.
Is the Modern-American Church Model Right or Wrong? First Churches 1.Illegal 2.No “Church buildings” 3.No Printed Scripture 4.Persecuted 5.Catechisms Modern-American Church Model 1.Legal 2.Church buildings 3.Printed Scripture 4.Little/If Any Persecution 5.Easier Path to Membership What Is Missing?
Back to the Future 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:41-47 (NIV)
Characteristics of a Growing Ecclesia 1.Biblical Teaching 2.Daily Trinitarian Koinonia 1.Emphasis upon house churches 2.Food 3.Sacrament of Communion 4.Prayer 5.Service