Paul's pattern was to gathered the church in homes. Why did he utilize this method and emphasize it so in his epistles? Let us consider a few reasons.

First of all, Paul could have easily done otherwise. Paul was going against the grain of tradition.

The two firmly intrenched religions of Paul's day both met in special buildings dedicated specifically for that purpose.

One of these was the only religion ever ordained by God (James 1:27). We speak of Israel. They had the temple (and the synagogues). Some of the Jews who believed and followed Paul undoubtedly "missed" this aspect of their past religious culture and lifestyle. How easy it would have been for Paul to have substituted a "church house" and a "worship service" for Israel's religious temple worship. But he did not.

Then there was the various branches of the heathen Babylonian religious system which filled the world. They all had "sacred sanctuaries" for the sole purpose of their religious activities. Paul could have made his former idol worshiping followers feel somewhat "at home" by mimicking these meetings. But Paul disregarded these practices altogether. He did not give his Gentile followers a substitute for their possible religious withdrawals. He simply brought them home.

Paul's manner of life with the saints stood as a testimony that the body of Christ was not a part of Judaism or the multifaceted Babylonian religious system. In fact the body of Christ was not religious at all!

"The church in thy house" supported this truth.

Clyde Pilkington

Gladstone, VA

Visit Clyde's web site at http://www.pilkingtonandsons.com

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