The Church in Their House

Likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:5).

The New Testament is clear about the fact that God’s people are to assemble on the first day of every week to worship (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7). Therefore, forsaking the as­sembling of the saints together is sin (Hebrews 10:25).

The New Testament is equally clear about the fact that God has not identified a specific physical structure which must be used to assemble and worship in. During the earliest days of the church, it appears that the temple in Jerusalem may have been used for a short while. It is possible a building or facility was rented (the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus may be an example of this—Acts 19:9). In the first century, there is scant, if any, evidence of physical structures called “church buildings”.

A common way by which God’s expectation of assembling together was fulfilled by His people was through gathering together in someone’s house. In Colossians, for example, there was a congregation of God’s people who assembled together in this manner (Philemon 1-2). In Laodicea, a congregation assembled in Nymphas’ house (Colossians 4:15). In Ephesus (1 Cor­inthians 16:19, 9) and in Rome (Romans 16:5), Aquila and Priscilla opened their residence for the local saints to assemble together and worship.

As it is used in the New Testament, the word “church” is not a physical building at a specific geographical address. It is a spiritual house comprised of living stones (1 Peter 2:5) which can meet anywhere in the world and worship God in spirit and truth.

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Author: jchowning

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